It’s all but official now. Star Trek has its new Captain James T. Kirk. Last week actor Chris Pine was rumored to be up with the role. Word was that he was deciding between sitting in the Enterprise’s captain’s chair and starring in Joe Carnahan’s new movie White Jazz. He’d worked with Carnahan previously, as one of the crazy gun-toters in Smokin’ Aces. But come on, it’s captain freakin Kirk. That’s hard to turn down.

Today, director Joe Carnahan announced on his official blog that Pine has decided to leave White Jazz in favor of making love to luscious green women. He says, “The young man playing Junior Stemmons has opted to 'boldly go where no man has gone before' and thus, had to bow out of White Jazz. I've been talking to him this past week and knew how tough the decision had to be for him. I don't envy ever being in that spot but I gave him my full support, even if it meant he didn't do Jazz. I get it. You don't get opportunities like that often and I told him as long as he could control as much of that process as possible and not get sucked into doing lesser sequels as a result of taking this gig, then good luck and God bless.” Good advice Joe.

So we have our Captain Kirk. Who the hell is he? The rest of the cast is composed almost entirely of known, if minor, names like John Cho and Zachary Quinto. Pine has worked pretty much under the radar. His biggest role to date was opposite Lindsay Lohan, as her love interest in the box office flop Just My Luck. But don’t hold that against them. As mentioned previously, he was in Smokin’ Aces as one of the psycho “Tremor Brothers”, rocking crazy goggles and turning in a lunatic performance that can only be described as flat out awesome. He’s been in a variety of other television shows and smaller parts in movies. He’s a guy on the verge of taking off. Well here’s his rocket ship.

Pine fits the age Abrams has said he’s looking for. He’s 27. This should be somewhat annoying to Trek fans, since established Trek-lore makes it pretty clear that Kirk was 34 when he became captain of Enterprise. Pine could be playing older than his age, but without any evidence to contradict it fans are almostly certainly (and perhaps likely) left to assume that this is just the first step in JJ Abrams making a mess out of continuity. After all it worked so well for Highlander.

If you take continuity out of it though, Pine could actually work. He has a similar look to Shatner, the right hair color, similar facial structure and build. He’s significantly taller though. Shatner is only 5’9” while Pine is 6’0” tall. Of course people are just generally taller than they were back in the 60s, so I’m not sure that matters. As long as Quinto’s Spock is a little taller (he’s 6’2”) it’ll look right. Can Pine act? Does that even matter? Maybe it’s better if he can’t, since even though he had his moments, part of Kirk’s charm was that Shatner seemed mostly to be playing, well, Shatner. Is Chris Pine an alpha-male womanizer in real life? Then he should work out just fine.

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