Star Trek has yet another Captain Kirk. Star Trek: Strange New Worlds follows the adventures of the Enterprise before Star Trek: The Original Series, and Captain Kirk will return in it, this time played by new actor Paul Wesley.
Wesley is best known for his role on The Vampire Diaries, and he will be the third actor to play the heartthrob captain after William Shatner made the role iconic in TOS and Chris Pine reinvented it in the new movie series (which has another film coming). Paul Wesley doesn’t quite have the build of Shatner, but this would be a much younger version of Captain Kirk anyway as Strange New Worlds takes place years before TOS.
“Paul is an accomplished actor, an astonishing presence, and a welcome key addition to the show,” said showrunners and producers Alex Kurtzman, Akiva Goldsman, and Henry Alonso Myers. “Like all of us, he is a life-long Star Trek fan and we are excited by his interpretation of this iconic role.”
There’s little word on how Captain Kirk will fit into the series. Current canon doesn’t exactly explain how and when he came aboard the USS Enterprise after serving first on the USS Farragut, but he does eventually take command of the ship after the unfortunate paralysis and near death of Christopher Pike. In the new image released, Kirk is wearing the gold uniform of a commanding/bridge officer of some level and sitting in the Enterprise’s captain’s chair, so it could be that he is transferred on board during the second season that has already been announced.
As the new actor for Captain Kirk, Paul Wesley will be joining a cast of characters in Strange New Worlds who had already come together during the second season of Star Trek: Discovery. Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount), Science Officer Spock (Ethan Peck), and Number One (Rebecca Romijn/Una Chin-Riley) will be starring. Joining the actors will be Jess Bush as Nurse Christine Chapel, Christina Chong as La’an Noonien-Singh, Celia Rose Gooding as Cadet Nyota Uhura, Melissa Navia as Lt. Erica Ortegas, and Babs Olusanmokun as Dr. M’Benga. The show is said to be more episodic than the likes of Discovery, a format that has proven to work recently with Star Trek: Prodigy.