Kirk is a Star Trek legend and the fact that he died 3 times in two different timelines, with one death being permanent, fits the Captain’s legacy.

Captain James T. Kirk died three times in two different Star Trek universes and here’s how old the Captain of the Enterprise was each time Kirk’s death happened. The original version of Captain Kirk was portrayed by William Shatner and was introduced in Star Trek: The Original Series. Shatner played Captain Kirk from 1966-1994 in 3 seasons of Star Trek: TOS, one season of Star Trek: The Animated Series, and 7 Star Trek movies. Chris Pine took over the role of Captain Kirk in J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek movie trilogy, and he played the alternate Kelvin timeline’s Kirk from 2009-2016.

In the Prime Timeline, James T. Kirk was born on March 22, 2233. Captain Kirk commanded the USS Enterprise on its original 5-year mission of exploration from 2266-2270. Afterward, Kirk was promoted to Rear Admiral but he wasn’t old enough for desk duty and Kirk yearned to command his beloved starship once more. In Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Kirk returned to the bridge of the Enterprise and he held onto the captain’s chair until Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, when Kirk destroyed the Enterprise to keep it from being captured by Klingons. After Kirk and his crew saved the Earth in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Jim was court-martialed, demoted to Captain (the rank he wanted all along), and given command of the USS Enterprise-A. In Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Kirk’s final mission with the Enterprise forged an unprecedented galactic peace between the United Federation of Planets and their enemies, the Klingons.

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In Star Trek’s Kelvin timeline, Chris Pine’s Jim Kirk was actually born 2 months before Shatner’s, on January 4, 2033. Kirk came into the universe moments after his father, Lt. George Kirk (Chris Hemsworth), died commanding the USS Kelvin in an encounter with the time-traveling Romulan named Nero (Eric Bana). At age 22, Jim joined Starfleet on a dare but he rapidly rose to become Captain of the Enterprise at just 25 years old when he led the starship’s defeat of Nero in 2258. However, the Kelvin timeline’s young Kirk died just a year later in Star Trek Into Darkness, although his demise was very brief.


All 3 Times Kirk Died In Star Trek


Star Trek Generations Kirk dies

William Shatner’s Captain Kirk is recorded to have died twice although only one death proved to be permanent. Kirk’s first “death” happened in the opening flashbacks of Star Trek Generations. In 2293, Kirk vanished and was presumed dead after he saved the USS Enterprise-B from the energy ribbon called the Nexus. But Kirk didn’t die; Jim was actually transported inside the Nexus’ extra-dimensional reality. But as far as Starfleet knew for the next 78 years, Kirk died in Star Trek Generations‘ opening scene.

Captain Kirk’s actual death happened in 2371 at the end of Star Trek Generations’ main story. Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) also entered the Nexus and discovered Kirk was alive. The two Captains of the Enterprise then left the Nexus together and teamed up to stop Dr. Tolian Soran (Malcolm McDowell) from destroying Veridian III. However, Kirk was mortally wounded in the fight against Soran and, this time, Captain Kirk’s death was permanent.


Since almost everything in Kirk’s life in the Kelvin timeline occurred faster than it did to Shatner’s Kirk, the Captain’s death (and resurrection) was no different. In Star Trek Into Darkness, Chris Pine’s Captain Kirk died from warp core radiation poisoning while trying to save the Enterprise from Khan Noonien Singh (Benedict Cumberbatch). However, Kirk was immediately resurrected, thanks to a serum Dr. Leonard McCoy (Karl Urban) synthesized from Khan’s genetically-engineered blood.

Related: Why Star Trek Generations’ Alternate Kirk Death Was So Controversial

How Old Kirk Was When He Died


Kirk Dying Star Trek Into Darkness

William Shatner’s Captain Kirk was 60 years old both times he “died.” Since Kirk was the same age as he was when he first entered the Nexus, he was physically still 60 years old. However, time had no meaning in the Nexus and, factoring in how much “real-time” elapsed until Kirk emerged from the Nexus on Veridian III with Picard, Captain Kirk was chronologically 138 years old when he passed away for good. But in Star Trek‘s Kelvin timeline, Chris Pine’s Captain Kirk died at a considerably younger age. Kirk’s death and resurrection happened when he was just 26 years old.


Next: Star Trek: What Kirk’s Dying Words In Generations Mean (& Why They’re Perfect)

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