Quick Note About ‘ Star Trek’ Ranks

captain.jpg[article contains minor spoilers] Some have noticed and inquired why TrekMovie.com does not use character ranks when discussing the Original Series crew in the new Star Trek film. The reason is simple (and has been stated in the FAQ on the Star Trek 2008 cast page for a year). The characters in the film will be seen at various time frames and therefore at various ranks. This is to be expected in a film that is primarily a prequel and an origin story, but a new story at Screenrant expresses surprise that Pike is a ‘captain’ in the film and Kirk is not.

TrekMovie.com first reported that Captain Pike would be in the film last January, and more recently noted that Pike would have a substantial role in the film. Any Trekkie who knows his history (and certainly loyal readers of TrekMovie.com) know that when we see Spock in his time before TOS he is serving under Captain Pike. And of course during that period of time Kirk has not yet been promoted. So the Pike v Kirk as captains issue should not be surprising, however a trusted source tells TrekMovie.com that Kirk does end the film as a Captain. The Screenrant article also discussed the ‘Spock-centric’ nature of the film and states that Kirk does not show up until later in the film. J.J. Abrams himself stated that the film is ‘Spock-centric,’ and TrekMovie.com sources have stated that Spock does have a bigger role in the film. However, co-writer Roberto Orci also recently noted that both Kirk and McCoy are central to the film.

It has been stated by the makers of the film and the stars that Star Trek is about how the Original Series crew came together. Although “Where No Man Has Gone Before” was technically the TOS pilot, it really just thrust viewers into some point of the ‘5 year mission’ (and it wasn’t even aired first). TOS never had a pilot in the same way that Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager and Enterprise had ‘origin story’ pilots. So in a way, this film is like that pilot the show never had. And therefore the various characters will not all spend the whole film sitting in their usual spots with their ultimate TOS ranks.

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October 25, 2007 10:45 pm


October 25, 2007 10:58 pm

I can’t wait.

South African Dude
October 25, 2007 11:20 pm

I believe I’m addicted.

I don’t want to read every article published about the new movie, because I desperately want to be in the Cinema December 25th and be blown away, even cry when the opening credits come on.

But I can’t help myself.

Do any of you realize just how amazing this all is? Star Trek has been dying for years now and suddenly is to be revived by some of the biggest names in Hollywood. There was no way the idea would die.

I have always felt that my friends missed out on the quality and dept of story telling and entertainment that only Star Trek offered; because they have these preconceived ideas that Star Trek is a science fiction show for a niche group of people with no dates on Friday nights. I hope this film really spreads the word.

October 25, 2007 11:37 pm

which cheif medical officer will be used? philip boyce, mark piper, or leonard mccoy

October 25, 2007 11:43 pm

What about the part that says “none of the film takes place at all at Starfleet Academy?” I thought we were going to see Kirk beat the Kobayashi Maru?

The Dark Knight
October 26, 2007 12:01 am

These tidbits are confusing…

The Dark Knight
October 26, 2007 12:04 am

…but interesting! This movie will rock!

October 26, 2007 1:07 am

If Pike actually has a VERY major role in the movie, I wonder that he wasn’t cast yet.
I thought, the rehearsals have already begun?!

October 26, 2007 1:50 am

This is great to read, it seems canon won’t be messed up after all.

George Armstrong Custer
October 26, 2007 3:36 am

I alway knew this is how it would be. It was always logical the Christopher Pike would be Captain of the ship since we had a young Kirk and Spock. As I stated earlier on another thread that when we saw WNMHGB, Sulu was a astrophyisists and Checkov was probably in training somewhere on the ship, I cant wait to see Pike and the Enerprise battle the Romulans. We will also probably see a hard transition for Spock when his Captain departs the ship and has to adjust to a young Captain Kirk because didn’t we see a episode where Spock said he should have been given a Captaincy for himself but was passed over time and time again. Remember to Lobby for Jim Fitzpatrick for Captain Pike.


Dr. Image
October 26, 2007 3:41 am

I’m a Dr. Boyce fan. Hope they can stick him in somewhere.
(Who wants a warm martini?)

October 26, 2007 4:29 am

Very intriguing and if true then the casting of Captain Pike is probably the most crucial one to the success of this film. Which may explain why the casting of the character is taking so long, or is being kept under wraps.

Really looking forward to exploring the Spock/Pike relationship further!

The Master
October 26, 2007 4:31 am

Interesting and cool, makes me wonder if they are going to splice in some of the Cage footage as well???

October 26, 2007 4:42 am

So, if this movie is truly a “pilot” to TOS, then are we to take this as it being a true-to-continuity story? Does Moriarty’s rumor-laden article from a couple of months ago no longer apply (regarding alternate timelines, etc.)? Is this more of a reboot or a prequel?

I, like The Dark Knight, am a wee bit confused.

October 26, 2007 4:46 am

I have to say, I’m very excited about this film. I do admit at first I was a little worried (i really was a big fan of combining the best characters from TNG, DS9 and VOY for Star Trek XI) but I have complete trust in JJ Abrams and co. I’m a massive fan of Lost and Mission Impossible 3.

I think most of the casting is spot on – though Pegg as Scotty is still a bit of a concern – and I’m confident whoever they cast as Pike will be fantastic.

If Pike is the lead in this movie (or at very least a principal character) I think it will make a pefect transition into the ‘new era’ of Trek. Part of me wishes they’d actually decided to make this a full-on ‘Cage crew’…

And surely if Pike is the Captain – then ‘Number One’ will be in it? (Jennifer Garner anyone?)

I’m guessing Kirk will be a Commander, Spock a Lt. Commander…

Did I mention I was very excited about this film?????! :-)

October 26, 2007 5:21 am

sweet, i’m suckered in, the cage was my fav ep, which occured 13 years before “where no man has gone…) i wonder who’s going to play the mysterious number one? it would have to be doc boyce or piper as the cmo, depending on when this takes place, in the interim 13 years between cap’s. did kirk get command after he served on the farragut? or did he serve on the enterprise under pike? i hope this movie kicks off a new series.

October 26, 2007 5:33 am

Yes, didn’t I say earlier this was about Spock? Kirk will be brought in later probably to “save the day or mankind”. Will we see Kirk’s first heroic action in this film?
Too much information. LA! LA !LA! :::covering ears:::

KevinA Melbourne Australia
October 26, 2007 6:04 am

It’s all starting to come together. I always thought there was a huge story to be told BEFORE Kirk ever got involved.

I really hope Pike is “the” Captain of the Movie. What a fitting homage to Roddenberry’s absolute original idea! And sometime toward the end of the movie, or in a sub-plot line through out movie, we see the rise of James T. Kirk who ultimately takes command of the Enterprise toward the end of the movie…..instant sequel…just add screaming fans and one old but still preserved William Shatner!!!!

Is this why we have MENAGARIE on the big screen? Telling the story of Pike that we know but don’t really know. Abrams has certainly woven an intricate thread…he has us exactly were he wants’ us…I’m sure he will not let us down. God I wish it were October 2008 right now!!

October 26, 2007 6:10 am

If this is accurate, and ‘Pike’ does indeed get more screentime than was originally anticipated, then this particular casting is even more relevant to this Movie now.

Please don’t let it be the Tom Hanks show…

October 26, 2007 6:14 am

#11 George Armstrong Custer

Lobbying won’t do any good I’m afraid.

Look at the ‘Scotty’ we got after the very strong support for Paul out of ‘Stargate’ for instance…

David Sturm
October 26, 2007 6:31 am

Isn’t Kobayashi Maru a test taken by an officer attempting to reach Command level…. an academy graduate rather than a cadet? My impression was that Lt Saavik would be sitting for it to reach Cmdr level…. similar to Deanna Troi’s process in TNG?

Wouldn’t it make sense that Jim Kirk is attempting the KM test one last time? Perhaps Janice Lester is doing it at the same time and fails her last try…. would explain a lot about the last TOS episode…

Trek Nerd Central
October 26, 2007 6:44 am

This is all good news. Yes, #16 — Jennifer Garner would fit perfectly. And you know what just occurred to me? Ben Affleck as Pike.

Don’t gag on your tranya — it could work. He’s a tall, squarely handsome guy, and when I saw him in Hollywoodland I realized he had a vein of sadness to him that I’d never noticed before.

Then again, Matt Damon would be pretty good as Pike, too. . . .

Stop me before I lose my mind. I’m caring too much about every detail, but I’m too excited not to. (And I HAVE A LIFE. I HAVE A LIFE. I REALLY HAVE A LIFE.)

October 26, 2007 6:54 am

‘Origin story’ pilots are known in the biz as ‘premise pilots.’

Chris Roberts
October 26, 2007 6:58 am

The Idea of basiclly doing the pilot of TOS but with the Older Spock and time Traveling Romulans to also add a bit of a Sequel element Is brillent.We will get to see how Kirk earned the Promation to Captain.If Kirk Is serving on another ship that comes to the Enteprise you can have Mccoy,and Uhura serving In postion with him that gives them roles without having to contedict WNMHGB.APart from the first meeting with Kirk,and Spock I am intrigued to learn when the friendship between Kirk and Mccoy begain.You have to admit you can’t say J.J. Abrams and his team don’t know Star Trek and are pissing on It like those who did the reimaging of Galactica.

T Negative
October 26, 2007 7:49 am

Someone pointed out earlier that Pike needs to be an Obi-Wan Kenobi like character. In Star Wars there were no stars in the movie except Alec Guiness. The Pike role is taking so long because they are looking for a BIG actor for that role to carry the film.

That’s what Abrams was talking to Lucas about ;-)

Jim Smith
October 26, 2007 7:53 am

Mad thought: If the Older Spock goes back in time to work with the younger Spock, as rumoured, do you think he’ll pretend to be his cousin Selek?

That would be a ming bogglingly awesome bit of continuity gubbins to play with.

T Negative
October 26, 2007 7:53 am

Further, I believe when the Pike character is announced it will be the biggest casting news for the movie to date.

October 26, 2007 7:57 am

So Pike, Spock and the Enterprise battles Romulans headed by Nero? And we see how Pike became disfigured from radiation?

Captain Hackett
October 26, 2007 7:59 am

If it is true that Captain Pike has a major role in the film, then it has to be played by a ‘A-list’ actor.

October 26, 2007 8:14 am

Maybe McCoy is Chief Medical Officer on the Enterprise just before Kirk is captain or JJ doesn’t do it by the book and changes a few things to make the movie flow better. Like some of Kirk’s future crew might be on the Enterprise with Captain Pike even Kirk could be part of Pike’s crew.
We really don’t know how Kirk got the captain seat or how JJ wants Kirk to become Captain Kirk.

October 26, 2007 8:14 am

#30 Captain Hackett

I just hope it isn’t a strangely distracting and out-of-place one…

October 26, 2007 8:15 am

Couldn’t care less about Pike. A cameo is fine, but a significant role? Not even cast yet?

October 26, 2007 8:25 am
my comments are this: I like the idea of the time travel scenario and the alternate timeline. it’s an age old comic stunt that has worked so well for so many characters. you get to keep the old while you embrace the new. that being said, it must be done right, without some silly made up devise ( this temporal transporter thing??). my suggestion is this – the guardian of forever (could explain Iceland, eh?!). l let’s say the events after NEMESIS have Romulus thinking. what if? let’s say they some how stumble on the city on the edge of forever( and let’s assume it is a research facility like in TAS),disguised with a Vulcan research team, this Nero goes back in time and somehow prevents Kirk from passing the leadership in the academy and his life takes a more mollified turn (like Picard in that one Q episode). let’s say Spock is also part of that team, and when they return, he notices something is wrong. very wrong. once he figures it out, it is now up to him and his past self to make sure Kirk achieves his place in history (kobiashi maru scenario with the help of a bright eyed junior cadet named Chekov, anybody??) is stationed on the Farragut. Let’s say with Nero’s plan now crushed, he sets out to Kill Kirk by commandeering the ENTERPRISE under the command of Christopher pike. he then takes on the Farragut in combat in a hopes of destroying the… Read more »
October 26, 2007 8:27 am

If Older Spock is time traveling I wonder how much time traveling Spock is traveling? If he is time traveling to stop something from happening he could be jumping from time to time trying to stop the Romulans who are time traveling to different times to kill maybe Kirk or Pike or to change different events from happening in time?

October 26, 2007 8:29 am

Orci and Kurtzman better have a better script than Transformers. that was awful and they should feel at least somewhat embarrassed.

they found transfans annoying… if they blow this movie, that’ll be NOTHING. so for their own sakes, I hope they did this right.

October 26, 2007 8:31 am

Re: #27 — that’s a great idea.

Ripped shirt Kirk
October 26, 2007 8:35 am

Is it certain that Nero is a Romulan and that they are involved in ST XI? Because if so that botthers me as is in the Balance of Terror was stated that the Romulans had never been seen before. So how can the Romulans and Nero have a big part in the movie without screwing canon?

October 26, 2007 8:36 am

#34 Don’t do it- let Orci earn his money! ;)

October 26, 2007 8:37 am

“Ben Affleck as Pike.

Don’t gag on your tranya — it could work. He’s a tall, squarely handsome guy, and when I saw him in Hollywoodland I realized he had a vein of sadness to him that I’d never noticed before. ”

Excellent point! In fact, since you mentioned Hollywoodland, if you get the DVD and watch the extras, it mentions that Ben Affleck had an ipod with him, and between takes or on breaks, he would play it, having sound clips of George Reeves to learn from, as far as cadence and tonality.

He certainly would do his homework on the presence of Jeffrey Hunter.

October 26, 2007 8:39 am

What about Gary Mitchell? He was a major part of Kirk’s original Enterprise crew. Are we going to see him in the movie?

October 26, 2007 8:43 am

Affleck would make an excellent Pike.

Thomas Jensen
October 26, 2007 8:52 am

That time travel Nero stuff may be disinformation as well. It would be simpler if they adhered to what’s been established and do the story before the events of the series.

October 26, 2007 8:56 am

38 – Simple, nobody will find out he’s Romulan.

Instead, they take him to be Vulcan, and he gets it in the end in a way that doesn’t leave a biological trace.

The Future spock might know, but would have to keep the past Spock, Kirk etc. in the dark so as to minimize timeline damage.

October 26, 2007 9:09 am

Affleck alone would be a reason to not see this movie.

October 26, 2007 9:14 am

And #34–that sounds like a very nice outline for a Trek film.

October 26, 2007 9:28 am

36 – The Transformers script was fantastic. I don’t know where you’re coming from.

And by the way, Roberto, who wrote Optimus Prime’s opening monologue, you or Kurtzman? Because the whole thing was really well written.

October 26, 2007 9:30 am

#45: “Affleck alone would be a reason to not see this movie.”

You already seem to have found more than enough. Maybe it’s time to stop collecting.

Jon (30)
October 26, 2007 9:33 am

How about Pierce Bronson for Pike? (Older than the rest of the cast maybe,but it would show that some people in the 24th century are older than 29-sometimes it seems they’re casting for “Logan’s Run”ha ha)

October 26, 2007 9:34 am

Ben Affleck is one of the worst actors in Hollywood. Please, no Affleck. Same goes for Tom Cruise.

In the Menagerie, Kirk states that he met Pike “when he was promoted to Fleet Captain.” Continuity, then, would be damaged if the two meet in this movie. Though of course, with a time travel angle, all goes to pot anyway.

I don’t go in for all these fantasies about what would be cool to see in the upcoming film—but one thing that would be nice would be if, somehow, this time traveling thing caused a reversal of Kirk’s death as seen in “Generations.” That was, frankly, the worst “major heroic character death scene” I’ve ever had the displeasure of being subjected to.

If you’re going to kill off a character like Kirk—I mean, it’s literally the same as killing James Bond, or Batman, or Sherlock Holmes, or some character like that—so if you’re going to do it, then it should be astoundingly epic. He shouldn’t simply fall off a cliff. Though frankly, I think characters like this should just be allowed to live forever. They’re too iconic to mess with.