A new rumor details that Alex Kurtzman and ViacomCBS will retcon the sexuality of Captain James T. Kirk in their newly announced Star Trek: Strange New Worlds show.
Star Trek recently announced Star Trek: Strange New Worlds in May indicating it would be a spin-off of Star Trek: Discovery focused on the adventures of Anson Mount’s Captain Christopher Pike, Rebecca Romjin’s Nmber One, and Ethan Peck’s Spock.
The series is expected to follow Pike and his comrades in the decade before he boards the U.S.S. Enterprise.
Writer Akiva Goldsman detailed the show will combine episodic and serialized storytelling and will going back to “classical ‘Trek’ values.
He explained, “We’re going to try to harken back to some classical ‘Trek’ values, to be optimistic, and to be more episodic.”
He went on to explain how the show will embrace episodic storytelling, “Obviously, we will take advantage of the serialized nature of character and story building. But I think our plots will be more closed-ended than you’ve seen in either ‘Discovery’ or ‘Picard.'”
He elaborated, “I imagine it to be closer to the original series than even ‘DS9.'”
While Goldsman indicated the show would embrace more “classical” ‘Trek’ values” a new rumor details Goldsman and company are tossing around the idea of including James T. Kirk in the show as well as making him bisexual.
The rumor comes from scooper Daniel Richtman who wrote on Twitter, “Heard they are toying with the idea of making Kirk bi in the new series.”
Heard they are toying with the idea of making Kirk bi in the new series
— Daniel Richtman #BlackLivesMatter (@DanielRPK) June 13, 2020
If Goldsman and company do intend to pursue this it wouldn’t be too surprising and follows Star Trek’s retconning of Hikaru Sulu into a gay man in director Justin Lin and writer Simon Pegg’s Star Trek: Beyond film. Sulu is shown in a relationship with another man and having a daughter.
Simon Pegg explained the decision on SiruisXM radio.
He stated, “And that was us as well. Why don’t we change his sexual orientation because that would be good to do that with a character we already know. He’s already prejudged. Introducing a character because of their sexuality felt a little bit too pandering. And then you know you have to set them up and then you have to say ‘Oh by the way I am gay.’ And it’s like well why?”
Pegg continued, “We thought it would be interesting to have a character who you already knew as is often the case when a society actually feel…who feel they can’t come forward and be honest about themselves. You might know someone for a few years and they say ‘Oh by the way there’s this as well.’ And we thought that was good.”
He then added, “And also, it also felt very…I mean who knows what we all are. This is a world where acceptance is total and all that kind of thing is not an issue. And we kind of wanted it to be not an issue which is why we made it Sulu. And it became an issue.”
Actor George Takei, who played the original Sulu in Star Trek: The Original Series opposed making Sulu gay.
He told The Hollywood Reporter, ““I’m delighted that there’s a gay character. Unfortunately, it’s a twisting of Gene’s creation, to which he put in so much thought. I think it’s really unfortunate.”
Takei even detailed that he attempted to get Cho and Pegg to make a new character gay rather than Sulu. He stated, “I told him, ‘Be imaginative and create a character who has a history of being gay, rather than Sulu, who had been straight all this time, suddenly being revealed as being closeted.”
He added, “I said, ‘This movie is going to be coming out on the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, the 50th anniversary of paying tribute to Gene Roddenberry, the man whose vision it was carried us through half a century. Honor him and create a new character. I urged them. He left me feeling that that was going to happen.”
Takei elaborated on these comments in an update to his Facebook page as reported by Entertainment Weekly. He stated, “I hoped instead that [Star Trek creator] Gene Roddenberry’s original characters and their backgrounds would be respected. How exciting it would be instead if a new hero might be created, whose story could be fleshed out from scratch, rather than reinvented. To me, this would have been even more impactful.”
He added, “While I would have gone with the development of a new character in this instance, I do fully understand and appreciate what they are doing — as ever, boldly going where no one has gone before
Though at this point this is a third party rumor, at best, it wouldn’t be too surprising to see this happen. Back before Star Trek: Beyond premiered, the character of Hikaru Sulu reconned as a gay man. A reflection of the original actor’s, George Takei’s, own sexuality.
This latest rumor about Captain Kirk comes following a rumor in May that CBS was looking to cast a young James T. Kirk and was in fact in the process of doing so.
The biggest issue with both rumors is the timeline. According to Memory Alpha, James T. Kirk assumed command of the U.S.S. Enterprise in 2265. In fact, he didn’t enter Starfleet Academy until 2252.
Captain Pike took over control of the Enterprise in 2250. Kirk would be a teenager in the decade before Pike commanded the Enterprise. If Kirk is going to show up in the show it more than likely would be when he was still on Tarsus IV.
What do you think of this rumor? Is it possible? If it does turn out true how would feel about seeing CBS retconning Captain Kirk’s sexuality?