In May, CBS All Access announced Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. The new series is a Star Trek: Discovery spinoff and, therefore, a prequel to Star Trek: The Original Series. Strange New Worlds will follow Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount) and the USS Enterprise crew. But could the future captain of the Enterprise, James T. Kirk, make an appearance? The series already stars Ethan Peck as Mr. Spock. It doesn't seem out of the question that Kirk could appear as well. But is it possible given what we know of Star Trek canon?
Strange New Worlds will presumably take place after the events of Star Trek: Discovery's second season, which occurred in the year 2257. Thanks to the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Obsession," we know that Kirk was a lieutenant aboard the USS Farragut in 2257. We also know that Kirk was in command of the Enterprise by 2265.
We don't know what happened in the intervening years. That leaves the door open for Kirk to appear in Strange New Worlds. One possibility is that the Enterprise runs across the Farragut. The two ships may need to work together on a Starfleet mission.
Another possibility is that Kirk leaves the Farragut and joins the crew of the Enterprise. As mentioned, we know that Kirk is in command of the Enterprise in 2265. We don't know whether he was promoted from within the Enterprise's ranks or reassigned from another ship. Typically, Starfleet puts a fresh face in command of a vessel, but that doesn't mean that an officer already aboard the starship taking control is out of the question.
But why would Kirk leave the Farragut? Again, we can look at "Obsession." The episode reveals that, in 2257, the Farragut's captain and 200 members of its crew died during an encounter with an alien cloud creature. Kirk was part of the ship's phaser gun crew and blamed himself because he was slow to fire during the battle. Despite the ship's first officer vouching for Kirk, the lieutenant still felt responsible for the tragedy.
Could it be that Kirk requests a transfer off of the Farragut to escape the shadow of his perceived failure? Might that request, coupled with praise from a senior officer, land him aboard the flagship Enterprise? It's a reasonable possibility, and Discovery's second season showed us that Alex Kurtzman and his team aren't afraid to recast iconic roles.
Do you think Kirk should or will appear in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds? Let us know in the comments.