Could Star Trek: Discovery Introduce Captain Kirk? Here's What The Showrunner Says

Star Trek Discovery Captain Kirk William Shatner
(Image credit: CBS Television Distribution)
(Image credit: CBS Television Distribution)

With each day that passes, Star Trek: Discovery's second season gets closer than ever to debuting on CBS All Access. Could the prequel series be on the verge of introducing Captain Kirk, first brought to fame by William Shatner? Here's...what showrunner Alex Kurtzman...had to say:

There's a 10-year gap between where we are in Discovery and Kirk's arrival on the Enterprise. There would [have to] be a major time jump if we were going to do something like that. What Kirk was doing at this particular time is another question, but we don't have any immediate plans. I have not spoken to Shatner about it.

That is not the answer some Captain Kirk fans may have wanted to hear. According to what Star Trek: Discovery's showrunner told THR, things seem to be pointing to "no" for now, and unless the Discovery crew finds itself on the other end of a decade-long time jump, the chances of seeing the venerable Kirk getting introduced in the near future are grim.

Stranger things could happen in order to introduce Captain Kirk, of course, given this franchise's rulebook. What is a little trip through time? That kind of plot would not be beyond the realm of possibility if Star Trek: Discovery really wanted to introduce it. One extended trip on a sleeper ship could even get the job done, allowing the crew to travel through time for ten years without aging much.

So yes, Star Trek: Discovery's take on Captain Kirk is apparently off the table for now. However, what about a stand-alone series starring William Shatner, the man who originated the role and propelled Kirk to his pop culture mega-status? The acting legend recently opened up about whether he would be into the idea of reprising the role for a new television show. For now, Shatner is content with what his current non-Kirk life.

The chances that Star Trek fans will see Captain Kirk again soon are growing dimmer by the day. Star Trek 4's fate was just plunged into incredible doubt with news that its planned director, S.J. Clarkson, will be taking on directing duties for the Game of Thrones prequel.

It would seem there will be no Captain Kirk on the big or small screen for the immediate future. With so many new projects set to take shape in the Star Trek universe, it stands to reason that CBS All Access could be holding out for something else down the road. Perhaps, a Captain Kirk solo series that doesn't involved William Shatner?

If the character is not going to appear on Star Trek: Discovery, why not give Captain Kirk his own show, regardless of who's playing him? It would be a neat solution that would enable Star Trek: Discovery to retain its current timeline, while also giving Captain Kirk a lively presence in the franchise. Star Trek: Discovery is set to introduce Mr. Spock and Christopher Pike in Season 2, so the connective tissue is definitely there.

You can discover the second season of Star Trek: Discovery when it arrives on CBS All Access on Thursday, January 17. The series is among many making a return visit to television during the midseason.

Britt Lawrence

Like a contented Hallmark movie character, Britt happily lives in the same city she grew up in. Along with movies and television, she is passionate about competitive figure skating. She has been writing about entertainment for 5 years, and as you may suspect, still finds it as entertaining to do as when she began.