Greenwood Talks Trek and Pike – Lets Slip A Possible Canon Question

One new Star Trek actor we have not heard much from is Bruce Greenwood, who plays Christopher Pike. So far the actor has been careful not to breach his NDA, but in a new interview with UGO, the new Pike let something slip that may put some Trekkies to ‘canon alert.’ [possible minor spoilers below]



Greenwood: I worked with all the kids
The interview was mainly to promote the DVD release of the film Cyber Soldier, but of course the subject of Trek came up. Greenwood told UGO that he had signed a ‘phonebook sized’ non-disclosure agreement, but still ended up talking watching "The Cage," his hairdo (vs. that of Jeffrey Hunter’s) and more. Read the full interview for all of that. But even though he was being careful, he may have let something important slip in the following exchange:

Greenwood: Well, I’m literally sworn to secrecy in many ways. So I can’t give you any story points at all.

UGO: But you did work with Chris Pine on some of the scenes, correct?

Greenwood: Oh, yeah. I worked with all the kids. I think, I don’t know, but it felt to me on set, particularly with the vibe that JJ creates on set, that it’s going to come off really well. I mean Chris is fantastic, Zack [Quinto] is really, really good. I think they made really wise choices in the cast. And JJ, of course, is force of nature. .

Two beeps for ‘violates canon’?
Our friends at UGO (who are big Trek fans) note at the beginning of the interview that Greenwood confirms ‘a possible break with Trek canon.’ So what did he slip? The character of Pike was introduced in the two-part episode "The Menagerie" which re-used footage from the unaired first Star Trek pilot "The Cage" (featuring Jeffrey Hunter as Pike). In "The Menagerie" there is the following exchange between Commodore Mendez and Kirk, Spock and McCoy about Pike:

Mendez: You ever met Chris Pike?
Kirk: We met when he was promoted to fleet captain.
Mendez: About your age. Big handsome man — vital, active.
Kirk: I took over the Enterprise from him. Spock served with him for several years.
Spock: Seven years, four months, five days.

Kirk explains he met Pike when Pike was promoted
(TOS: "The Menagerie" 1966)

TrekMovie has already reported that Greenwood is playing ‘Captain Pike’ in the movie and will be seen commanding the USS Enterprise, and it has been confirmed that in the film Pine (James T. Kirk) and Greenwood do have scenes together. Also in the recent images released, we can clearly see Kirk in the command chair of the USS Enterprise. However, TrekMovie has also confirmed that this is due to Kirk having to take command of the ship at some point during the film (note this could fit with Kirk’s dialog above). In previous statements from "The Supreme Court" they have been clear that the film ‘honors’ Trek canon and that they are supremely aware of anything that can be perceived as a deviation. It is possible that dealing with when Pike and Kirk met maybe one of those cases that they made ‘a ruling’ that appears to bend canon, or this may also all work out in the end (maybe Pike is promoted during the film).

Kirk in command of Pike’s Enterprise
("Star Trek" 2009)

Like the case of ‘the Enterprise being constructed in space (as many imagined) or on Earth (as seen in the teaser trailer)’, there may be many ways to look at these things. How you imagined the ‘gaps to be filled’ may not be how the new movie fills them, but that does not always mean that it is a violation of canon. Star Trek co-writer Bob Orci addressed this issue at the TrekMovie sponsored panel at the Grand Slam convention earlier this year. Bob believes that people’s view of how the film fits within Trek’s canon will be based on how they view canon themselves. Noting the real Supreme Court as an analogy, Orci said "it will depend on if you are a strict constructionist or believe in the spirit of the law."


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It’s hard to tell what any of it all means until we see the movie. It can all get “corrected” in the end or explained in some way.

Sounds interesting. But I hope people aren’t going to nitpick over Greenwood’s use of the word ‘kids’.

I wonder if we will see Captain April i this movie before its all said and done

in this movie…

This doesn’t violate Canon as far as I can see.

Maybe Kirk getting the command of the Enterprise from Pike, while Pike is promoted to Fleet Captain is being portrayed here.

There has already been a HUGE change noting Commodore Mendez’s statement of Pike being “about your age” in reference to Kirk.

Yeah, I don’t see any reason to be worried about that. There are plenty of ways to explain it logically. And it wouldn’t be the first canon-massaging plot element we’ve had to deal with, so I’m not worried at all about that aspect of the film.

3 – Doubt it. Not necessary.

Not really a spoiler. Pretty much common knowledge if you’re a Trek fan.

6 – I could let that one slide.

the entertainment weekly article called captain pike “doomed” which i thought was interesting that no one picked up on. of course that chair thing is doomed but you wouldnt think it happens in the timeline of this movie.

so could it be that spock has already done his 7 years with pike? then what about the enterprise being constructed?

this is all alot to put together. i might just wait for the movie and see if there is anything blatantly out of canon, then decide if i even care.



If Kirk got command (as some sources state) at the age of 31 (approx 2266), and Pike was supposed to be his age at the time of “The Menagerie”. That means that in the events of “The Cage” (approx 2254) Pike would have been 19 – he wouldn’t have even been out of the Academy, never mind in charge of a ship. So, therefore, casting Greenwood makes sense, he would have to be a fair bit older than Kirk.

(Information is from Memory Alpha)

There’s a DC comic about Kirk’s first mission on the Enterprise and him and Gary Mitchell and Spock coming on the ship. What about Number One? Is she gonna be in the movie or on the ship?

It’s good to hear from this guy! I think he’ll make a good Pike.
Speaking of Capt. April…
Wasn’t he only referenced in TAS? It would be nice if he got a nod, though.

I’m glad the “Supreme Court” is willing to be flexible with canon if it’s to the benefit of the story. I’m not a big stickler about these things. I just want to see the best story possible.

As I’ve predicted many times on these boards, The bridge shot from the new movie is Pike’s Enterprise.

Grey turbolift doors, people! It was right there in front of you.

Decloaking . . .

As long as the story works, a few lines of dialog from early in TOS should not be held with Fundamentalist brain-lock.

I started out as a “Strict Constructionist,” but I think Anthony’s interview with Ron D. Moore changed my mind to being closer to “The Spirit of the Canon.”

What we need, above all else, is a great Trek film with gang buster box office to keep Trek alive.

Ultimately, a few different interpretations of Canon really don’t mean that much.

Recloaking . . .

Perhaps when Mendez said “about your age” he meant that Pike was about Kirk’s age when promoted to Fleet Captain.

Anyone who gets their knickers in a twist about a couple of lines of dialogue from an episode needs to get over it.

Nero probably lays siege to the Farragut, Kirk escapes in a pod to a snowy planet and is picked up by the Enterprise.

New thesis: No matter what Nero does in this movie, he finds that he’s only reinforced history as it was supposed to turn out–introducing Kirk to Pike, etc.

See my prophtic(?) STXI plot summary posted here long ago (January) on TrekMovie to learn more…

An exceprt…

Back on the Faragut Kirk executes some amazing fire on the Romulan Ship through flames and debris. He one of two left alive on the bridge and is working many controls and stations. Kirk, and a helmsman, manage to steer thier ship into the thick clouds of a giant gaseous planet, therebye obscuring thier location. The Enterprise drops out of warp and begins scanning for federation ships. The Enterprise is unable to find the enemy Romulan ship, but is seeing the federation secure code beacon but is still unable to communicate with the Farragut.

Pike orders a landing party. Pike, Spock and McCoy beam down to the engineering department to find a wrecked ship and few survivors. They beam over the few left alive and after scanning for more they find life on the bridge and make there way there. Once at the bridge emergency bulkhead, Spock scans to find a rapidly diminishing life support environment. Pike orders Spock to stay with McCoy and ready the Transporters for beamout. Pike enters to save any he can and comes out with the helsman but returns for Kirk. He returns just as the Romulan ship appears on the main screen and fires. Flames and Plasma erupt again thoughout the bridge and Pike is caught inside as the bulkhead slams shut from the distruction. Kirk, Spock and McCoy beam out.

Once on the Enterprise Kirk is revived and Spock tasks to re-energize and save Pike. But alas, he is not soon enough and a badly, badly burned Pike is beamed aboard….


Are actually *certain* that picture is really of the Enterprise bridge??

I’ve heard a lot about how the sets were faithful to the original, and while I realize they’d never make an exact clone of a 1960’s TV set, I don’t quite see how that bridge really meshes with the TOS Enterprise…aside from the big center chair, I suppose….

#11 – It’s likely that the construction of the Enterprise that we saw in the teaser trailer was for the trailer only and will not appear in the atual movie.

If there’s Pike on the Enterprise, there surely will be Number One.

If Pike was promoted when Kirk took command of the Enterprise (obviously in the midst of a crisis) I doubt Mendez would have not known about that, or if Kirk would have described their first meeting that way.

This is a clear violation of canon. Important? Not in itself, but Spock’s 7 years with Pike, and Kirk’s career before the Enterprise are important parts of their history, and if this movie goes from the crews’ graduation to Kirk taking command of the Enterprise as the result of some crisis (and not as part of a regular promotion/assignment) I wonder if they’re going to delete the K&S’s pre- TOS careers.

Anyone who doubts that Abrams & co. will ditch any part of canon (as seen on screen, or that existed for decades as fandom mythos) would also take their word that this isn’t a reboot. And it is.

P.S. for a spacefaring race to construct a ship of that size on Earth would make no sense.

Wasn’t most of the Enteprrse D built on the ground?

The fact that Pike is being featured in the film at all strikes me as a big wet sloppy kiss to canon, so massaging a throwaway line about his meeting with Kirk in order to serve the new story doesn’t strike me as that damaging.

The 0.6 gravity of Mars makes is much easier to build large constructs and launch them into space than from earth. It may not be “canon”, but I remember as a child, my father telling me as we sat and watched TOS together, that Enterprise was built in orbit.

That depiction of the Enterprise D did appear onscreen, but its conception (from what I have read online) was initially intended as a cadet mockup or training ground.

The E’s warp engines could easily and efficiently help the ship achieve neutral boyancy within a planets atmospohere thereby allowing it to achieve orbit.

That is, supposing Utopia Planitia was actually ON Mars and not in orbit… but I seem to remember the holographic version of Utopia Planitia seemed to indicate much of the construction of Enterprise-D was done underground

Let me run this by you all….

I just watched Yesterday’s Enterprise, I have read that this is one of the episodes that inspired the writers and JJ. Check out the Enterpises… that “stand up” station that everyone is so up in arms about is seen in this episode. Since this is about changing the time line.. perhaps a changed time time would change some elements of the bridge design. It’s all possible.

Also… I remember seeing plans from Pike’s bridge.. didn’t it have stand up stations as well? Correct me if I am wrong.. haven’t seen “The Cage” in years.

I have a feeling this movie is going to change the past and change what we know about TOS. That’s fine with me. I love alternate timelines. TOS will always be TOS to me, and these movies will be considered a different timeline. That way I don’t have to get all paranoid about the phasers looking wrong.

I think you would need the Phoenix’s “warp” engines to get out from underground.

I think the hull of the Enterprise D was built on Earth, and then transferred to space..

I would not put it past them to ignore things like Kirk meeting Pike as described previously…
Supposedly we are seeing K&S at the academy at the same time, but as stated above, wouldn’t Spock already be on board with Pike?

And while we might see Number One… I’ll be surprised if Gary Mitchell is even mentioned in passing ( at least that much I would be happy with)

And the thing that continuosly bugs me in the photo above… Why is McCoy’s rank that of Commander (two solid braids) and not Lt. Cmdr (one solid, one broken)?



But Bob Orci’s “immediate recall of all things Trek”must feed a little apprehension when he decides to change something.

Hopefully, Trek XI will sort it out properly, or just be so good that it doesn’t matter.

“D” was built at Utopia Planitia… Mars. I seem to recall Geordi’s holo repro looked to me like the ship outside the lab window was somehow underground. I imagine there is a ground-based shipyard that works in concert with a geo-stationary one. Hence, the “San Francisco Shipyards” being several hundred miles above the Golden Gate

Spock would have graduated years before Kirk ever attended the academy. Spock would have been in space long before Kirk had arrived. Maybe in this timeline, someone else is Pike’s science officer?

It could be the young Kirk “takes command” of Enterprise, as seen in the movie shot, on a strictly de facto basis while Pike’s indisposed. He’s not the ship’s captain yet or a captain at all.

At the end of the main story, when Kirk and his future crewmates have saved the day, they go separate ways. Spock completes his service under Pike. Years later (flash forward at the end of the film) Kirk is given command of the Enterprise and reunites the crew.

Ummm.. question for you guys…

Did I miss something? Has it been mentioned anywhere that Spock was at the academy with Kirk? I don’t think I read that anywhere.. it could be that Kirk first runs into Spock on the Enterprise OR that they do meet at the academy but Spock was already a graduate for the past 7 years.

Why this movie is not canon thus far-

Uniforms (where are the Cage or Where No Man has gone before ones?)

Chekov (the age difference between him and the rest as established)

Bridge (Technology looks more advanced than TNG!)

Pike’s age

Scotty’s hair dew or lack therof!

But, Mccoy does have a De Kelly looking ring on his finger in that picture of him on the bridge!

That’s always been a problem with me. How can Spock be roughly the same age as Kirk and yet have been aboard Enterprise as a bridge officer fully fifteen years before the events of that whole kidnapping of Pike thing?

My friends understand….WE ARE TREK FANS! If there is a viloation of cannon…give us a week we will explain it away! We have done that for 40 years!

Maybe the Talosians will be involved in some way????


Afraid The Menagerie itself contradicted Mendez’s statement, as Pike was shown being older than Kirk over 11 years before in the very same episode.

#25, 27, 28, etc.

The Utopia Planitia shipyards were shown in the episode Parallels, and a Galaxy-class ship’s saucer was indeed shown being constructed on the planet’s surface.

Always liked Bruce Greenwood. Loved him on “Nowhere Man” which ran many years ago on UPN during the early days of VOY.

Never could figure out the canon timeline re: Pike. The Cage was supposed to take place, what? thirteen years before TOS season one? Then Spock says he served with Pike for seven years? What happened then? Did Spock serve on another ship for six (or more) years? Did another captain take over? Kirk? How long had Kirk been captain by “Where No Man etc”? What would that do to the ‘5-year mission’? How old does that make Spock? Kirk? Does any of this really matter? Am I willing to allow any alterations to this confusing timeline?

Ultimately, yes. If it’s a good story I’ll accept it as canon. There have been plenty of ridiculous in-story contradictions over the years (Data saying he graduated ‘class of ’79’ which fits nowhere in later established canon, Kirk telling Khan he’s awakened 400 years in the future instead of half that time, Admiral Morrow calling the 40+-year-old Enterprise ‘twenty years old’, etc) that an actual full-on story contradicting a single line of dialogue tossed off decades ago is not a problem I can’t deal with.

Perhaps the Bridge we see in the publicity shots is just a simulator and not the Enterprise – Perhaps The Kobayashii Maru?

Many don’t consider TAS canon, but in the episode “Counter-Clock Incident”…when referring to the Enterprise Robert April says something to the effect of “I was in San Francisco when her component parts were built.”

Did Spock say he served seven years or eleven years under Pike? I always thought it was eleven but I could be mistaken.


It was 11 years prior, and it’s already been established that Kirk served aboard several ships in that same time period. It doesn’t really provide any continuity issues.

No big deal yet, considering that the show itself created canon that it could not explain.

How can Kirk, the youngest captain in Starfleet history, be roughly the same age as Pike who was already a weary veteran of the captaincy while commanding the Enterprise 13 years earlier?