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Captain James T. Kirk in Star Trek Strange New Worlds explained

Star Trek Strange New Worlds season 2 has given us more Captain Kirk, and we'll never say no to that. Here's what you need to know about his role in the series.

Paul Wesley as captain kirk on Strange New Worlds

Everything you need to know about Captain Kirk in Star Trek Strange New Worlds. Minor spoilers for season 2 ahead.

Star Trek started with Captain Kirk, and six decades on it still hasn’t gotten over him. And that’s fine by us: he’s everyone’s favorite Star Trek captain (OK, maybe not everyone’s) and has been the driving force behind the best Star Trek movies.

Now, the Star Trek series Strange New Worlds has brought him back once again. But, it’s not as straightforward as that, really. Time travel and alternate realities have all been involved, and it might all be leaving you feeling rather confused. We’re here to clear all of that up with our explainer on what’s gone on with Captain Kirk in Star Trek Strange New Worlds.

Captain Kirk in Star Trek Strange New Worlds explained

We’ve so far seen three separate versions of Kirk in Star Trek Strange New Worlds.

The season 1 finale introduced audiences to a version of Kirk from an alternate future. Here, he’s the captain of the USS Farragut and helps Pike’s Enterprise to fend off Romulan attackers.

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The next time we see Captain Kirk in Strange New Worlds is in season 2 episode 3, Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow, in which he appears in yet another timeline. This one is in the show’s present, though, created by a change in the past. He goes back in time with La’an to fix things, dying along the way, though he corrects the timeline to the one we know and love (in which he’s still very alive).

Later in that episode, we see the version of Kirk we all know and love… almost. He might be in the right timeline, but as SNW is a prequel series Kirk isn’t yet a captain and carries the rank of Lieutenant. Still, it’s him, and that’s fine.

Since then Wesley’s Kirk has been back aboard the Enterprise for more fun, in a recurring guest role. As the show gets closer to the events of TOS, we’re expecting his influence on the series to only get more frequent and significant.

For more on the latest of Star Trek, find out which Star Trek captains would survive in a zombie apocalypse, and check out our Star Trek Strange New Worlds season 2 review, as well as our explainers on the Crossfield classPelia, and Lanthanites.

You can also find out how we celebrated Captain Picard Day, before learning how Patrick Stewart’s pride nearly killed Picard season 3 and reading our interview with Anson Mount and Rebecca Romijn.