FanMade: First Look at Clip and Image From Phase II prequel episode “Origins”

The fan series Star Trek Phase II is currently in production on the special prequel episode "Origins". Producer James Cawley is so excited about a scene just completed between the young James Kirk and Captain Pike, that he had to share it. Check out the video below, plus an additional image from the episode and a chat with Matthew Ewald, the young Kirk in "Origins"./p>


First look at "Origins" 

Back in February the Phase II team announced they were putting together their own prequel origin story for James T. Kirk, but this one was to fit inside the prime universe of the original series. Written and directed by veteran Star Trek writer David Gerrold, "Origins" tells the story of young James T. Kirk as he starts his Starfleet career, including his time at the Academy and his first meeting with Mr. Spock. The episode will feature a redressed USS Enterprise, made to match the look of the "Where No Man Has Gone Before" pilot, including goosenecks!

Cawley has provided TrekMovie with an early cut of scene with Cadet Kirk (Matt Ewald of Galidor) getting dressed down by Capt. Pike (Colin Cunningham from Stargate SG-1).

[also on YouTube]

According to Cawley, “Origins” fits into the original Star Trek canon. In “The Menagerie, Part 1” Captain Kirk says he had met Pike “when he was promoted to Fleet Captain” and according to Cawley, the episode “Origins” tells that story.

The new young Kirk Matt Ewald talks to TrekMovie

Speaking to TrekMovie, Matt Ewald says that playing a young Kirk is "a dream come true." The actor has been a fan of Star Trek since his father introduced him to the show as a child. And he was so impressed with the work of Phase II that he contacted James Cawley to offer his services saying he  "just wanted to be a part of it in any capacity." Ewald says he was "shocked and honored" when Cawley asked him if he was interested in playing a young Kirk, even though it meant dying his blond hair black (to match Cawley’s). To prepare for the role, Ewald says he studied both William Shatner’s and James Cawley’s Kirk, as well as read as much as he could about Kirk.

However, Ewald points out "there is a big difference between cadet Kirk and captain Kirk." He and director David Gerrold have worked to create a young Kirk going through some of the "defining moments" that helped shape him, but he is not yet that "calm, collected Kirk we know." According to Ewald, in "Origins" one of the key drivers we will see with this Kirk is "his overwhelming desire to make his dad (George Kirk played by Vic Mignona) proud." And with this obsession over gaining respect "Kirk forgets what it is to be a man, and that is one of the key lessons he learns, that is one of those defining moments that leads him to becoming the Kirk we know."

Matt Ewald as Cadet James T. Kirk with Vic Mignona as George Kirk

Origins coming this year

Cawley tells TrekMovie that he is extremely proud of the work that the cast and crew are doing on "Origins", saying "I think it is the best work we have done." Cawley is so jazzed about "Origins" he wants to try and make sure the episode gets delivered this year. Right now the Phase II schedule calls for "Enemy: Starfleet" to be released online by the first week of July, with "Origins" released some time in the fall, followed by "Kitumba." Cawley expects "The Child" to follow in 2011, with that episode requiring extra post-production in order to integrate the CG character Arex. (see previous TrekMovie article for previews of "Enemy: Starfleet", "Kitumba", "The Child").

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I dunno… I really thought that was pretty bad. Will be waiting for the release though to give it a chance.

Don’t take this the wrong way, but it reminds me a bit of the beginning of the video for “We’re Not Gonna Take It” by Twisted Sister. The dad goes into the boy’s bedroom and shouts at him,
“CLEAN UP THIS AREA! TIE THOSE SHOES! What do you want to do with your life?!”

The kid (in this case, Kirk) strikes a power chord and says “I WANNA ROCK”, sending the father out the bedroom window.

Looks good

But I thought Kirk said he only met Pike once in the prime universe?

I hasten to add though, I have a big fondness for what the Phase II crew have made over the past few years. Opinions vary on the end product but if there’s one thing that should be obvious to anyone, it’s that this stuff is made with love of the original material … appreciate that, at least!

First of all, I love these New Voyage / Phase II episodes. I have tremendous respect and admiration for James Cawley. That being said, I felt that this particular scene went on too long; Pike made his point, and then he kept making it and making it. That’s what editing is for, and I can’t wait to see the finished product. Actually, I can’t wait to see the rest of the episodes too.

#4, in “The Menagerie, Part I” Kirk tells Commodore Mendez, “We met when he was promoted to Fleet Captain.” A bit ambiguous- he may have meant that they last met then, but had met before. Like a lot of stuff in the Trek universe (prime or otherwise), it leaves just enough wiggle room for a new story …

Awesome! Go James! Trek Prime LIVES!!!

#6- Have to agree though- cut that scene down- we get it!

Man, I never thought Pike could ever become SO angry…. Is this really Captain Pike?

Okay, it looks very good (as everything from Phase II so far) and I really looking forward for this episode. I just wonder if there are any references or influences from the new movie? (How Kirk is portrayed as young cadett or how Spock sees Kirk or how Bones and Kirk met first and if Bones’ backstory is the same as in the Abrams-Universe).

PS: Someone should find a better name for the Abrams-Verse. How about Nero-Universe?

Yep I like phase 2 also but like someone said Pike made his point again and again. Cut the scene a little. Great Job.

Why did he have to die his hair black? Admittedly, I haven’t watched Phase II, but William Shatner doesn’t have black hair…

Wow! That’s a dressing down. I’ve been teaching school 17 years and I’ve never seen a dressing down like that. And I’ve dressed down kids. Oh well, guess seeing the whole scene in context will be different.

And James, I’m still interested in doing music for you.

Jeffrey Hunter as Pike was such a good idea. It is a shame he could not stay with the series after it was picked up. Also, it was sad what happened to Jeffrey in real life and how he died.

I like the fact that Cowley respects the original timeline more that the alternte universe of JJ.

#9: I call it the Redmatterverse.

Arghhhhh it won’t play for outside US viewers.
And I was in such a good mood too!

I liked the lip quiver at the end, like he was about to shout KHAAAAAAAAAAN!!!

I get the point, but it’s a bit over the top. Plus, I don’t really see Pike screaming at the top of his lungs.

Looking good so far. I hope Cawley shows the U.S.S Kelvin. One thing that would be kool is to see the Kelvin at the same sector of Space that is was in the New Aternate timeline when the Narada first appeared in J.J Abrams. But nothin happens and we see the Kelvin going on to it next mission. That would be kool. This has a lot of Potentional.


Makes kirks hot head which saves the day, into a reprimand from pike. This is disgracing to shatners memory. I bet bills rolling over in his grave as we speak.

#9–I’m boring. I call it the alternate universe.

Odd layout/framing choices. Between the cuts it goes from Pike looking at Kirk from Kirk’s righthand side (when the camera is looking straight at Kirk), to Kirk’s lefthand side/more straight on (when behind Kirk looking at Pike).

Other than that, and agreeing with other people’s comments of the scene being a bit long, I think it looked good.

Overacting, much? I can’t believe for a minute that Chris Pike (certainly not of the “Prime” timeline) would behave this way, no matter what Cadet Kirk had done. It must be something godawful for him to chew the scenery that way. Also, Cunningham seems to want to play the role more like Greenwood’s Pike — which is fine, except that Pike wouldn’t do that, either. This is WAY off base and, I hope, not indicative of the finished product.

Dear Goddddddd…. if Pike had acted like that in reality, he wouldve been ruled an mentally unstable, power hungry, abusive madman and drummed outta the service or institutionalized!! In fact even in the scene itself he acted like a madman!!! I mean thats what Id imagine the Mirror Universe Pike might act like, but not Prime Universe nor JJverse… he acted more like Captain Bligh than a Starfleet officer!

Not good at all. According to canon, if I recall, Kirk and Pike were simply acquainted. Also, the scrawny emo look just doesn’t cut it for a corn-fed Iowa boy.

Any Starfleet officer with such an abusive, narcissistic attitude (he sounds like he’s drunk as well), like this Pike, probably wouldn’t make it so far within the chain of command.

Excellent scene. Where it follows closely with Star Trek canon or not, the dialog has a good energy to it. It paints the struggle of young Kirk to be better, stronger than than he may have first thought himself to be. I like it. Follows the spirit of the original series with characters that are interesting and well thought out.

James Cawley deserves all the credit he can get. I remember seeing his very first episode and how well it was done for a non-studio production. And now so many years later, the production team is still going strong. Really looking forward to the completed episode. Most fan-made films have such a unique determination to tell good stories. And it is so satisfying to see this one alive. Makes up for the missing Star Trek television shows that so many of us hunger to see.

Truly an amazing effort.

#22- I assume you mean a disgrace to Jeff Hunter’s memory, since Shatner isnt dead, unless you meant a disgrace to the memory of Shatner’s version of KIrk…

DUDE!! Vic Mignona as George Kirk?!?! That’s epically awesome!!!

Hahahahahahahaha! He gets chewed out by Major Davis. Now all we need is to have Col. O’neill come chew him out for letting John DeLance steal the X-303.


I agree that this portrayal of Pike is out of character from Hunter’s. Pike has always been a very in-control type. That’s one of the things Dr. Boyce noted when he was playing barkeep. Pike is driven by a need to be perfect. And that should extend to his self-control.

And Cadet Kirk is a little off, as well. When you consider he’s been described as a “stack of books on legs” I think he would be a little more in control and self-assured than this, especially since he’s been pretty much on his own without a father at home.

Production value is still great, though I agree that the scene’s long and the camera angles don’t quite match.

Of course, this is opinion. And Cawley & Co. are certainly fit to interpret TREK any way they want.

Don’t mean this to be nasty but the young Kirk actor looks exactly like a young Adolf Hitler without the mustache


It’s supposed to be canon but Pike seems utterly unhinged, Kirk a puss … and wouldn’t Pike have been promoted much closer to Kirk actually taking command (and thus years after Kirk graduated the Academy)?

I dunno. I’ll wait to see the whole thing before I pass judgment.

People… This is about characters not how an actor looks or how light or dark his hair is.
We’ve only seen Pike in the pilot episode (No the Menagerie Parts I and II do not count) My point is do not judge one tiny scene from the ‘Origins’ episode.

1. I attended a military academy – this was a light dressing down compared to what I saw and experienced there.
2. Am I the only one who bristles when they are called “cadets”, and not “midshipmen” at Starfleet Academy?

It’s OK, but it badly needs some editing and better direction/camera work. It looks like it could stand to be trimmed by about 1/3. Still… for a fanzine, these are terrific fun. I don’t mean to knock the overall effort. I enjoy them.

Thanks guys.

I’ve been a big fan of James Cawley’s take on classic Trek, but I have the same problem with this scene and its implications that I have with the Abrams’ take on Kirk. Nowhere in the dialog of the original show was it ever implied that Kirk was a clown or a jerk at Starfleet Academy. If anything, that image began with the Kobayashi Maru stuff in TWOK, which I was never terribly comfortable with. (Couldn’t his beating the no-win scenario have been a little more subtle, a little more meritorious than merely hacking the program? I’d like to think so.) The Kirk of TOS was buttoned up at the Academy. “Positively grim.” “A stack of books with legs.” In Lt. Kirk’s class, you either think or sink.

I think the Kirk who is so easily parodied — the gambler, the space cowboy, the womanizer — came later, much of it after the show went off the air frankly. First there was the soldier-scholar. The Milton -reading chess master. That was the foundation to the guy who then had to learn that sometimes you have to close the rule book and fly by the seat of your pants to survive on the frontier of space. Kirk earned the right to bend the rules by knowing them forwards and backwards first.

Scott B. out.

Nice to someone in Starfleet acting like they have a spine for a change…

Since we’re in the Prime Universe, Shore Leave revealed that Kirk was described as grim and serious in the Academy. In Menagerie, he met Pike when he was promoted to Fleet Captain so basically they should’ve met when Kirk would be First Officer at that point just before being promoted as the 3rd Captain of the Enterprise. Cawley may be inspired by the new movie, along with appearing in it as well.

Somwhere along the line James T. Kirk has gone from having light brown/blondish hair to dark brown.

When did that happen??????

If this scene was in Trek09, I would have seen it 12, maybe 20 times. I hated NuKirk so freaking much that seeing this happen to Prime Kirk just makes me like Prime Kirk all the better.

Seriously, I want NuKirk to go out in the most horrible way imaginable. He’s nothing but Kirk’s character at face value.



Very well done, the attention to details is most impressive on these films.

James Cawley does a masterful job of TOS era. Who wouldn’t want to be in one these films just to see the sets and push a button or two. I know I sure would.

If this is supposed to be following cannon, what happened to Lt Kirk serving aboard the USS Farragut, after the academy, as stated in the epoisode “Obsession”? Didn’t Bones comment during that show that Kirk looked up to the Farraguts Capt Garrovick as a hero figure and took Garrovicks death very hard and personally? I suspect as mentioned during Managerie Pt. 1 that Kirk never met Pike until Kirk was promoted by Starfleet to Capt of the Enterprise. I would have thought the David Gerrold would have done better research into the history of the prime Universe.

I hate to join the parade of negativity, but to be honest, I don’t think this is very good. This is obviously just my opinion, but to me the big thing about the 2009 film is that is raised the caliber of acting associated with Star Trek. While this is a fan product, and should therefore be graded on a curve, it still contributed to Star Trek’s image in some fashion. Given the quality of the production values, I’m not sure it reflects all that well.

Still, it is interesting and the passion that the people who carry it out have for it is admirable.

I wonder if in this story, Spock is Kirk’s superior officer as well as in ST09? The reference to Spock makes it sound like it.

I agree with the canon aspects of this episode and if Cawley and his crew don’t slavishly follow canon then what’s the point?? You take what was established and you make things work and fit within that canon, its part of the challenge and the joy as a fan of seeing someone pull it off.

Show me Kirk, Mitchell, a young Carol Marcus and Finnegan (maybe they will) but you don’t have to toss Pike and Spock in at the wrong time to make some neat little package. We CAN have a Kirk story with no Spock! Or McCoy and he doesn’t have to die at the end…

ah, just noticed that I can watch it on YouTube (thanks!).

I actually found that quite powerful. Do we know what young Kirk had done to deserve such a dressing down?
And good to see Colin Cunningham. Always enjoyed his character in SG1.
I’ll reserve full judgement on this until we’ve seen the whole ep. But as always, James C., you’re work creates debate. ;-)

Leaving the canon issues aside, one thing I notice about this scene is something common to many amateur and semi-professional productions, and that’s a problem with pacing. Several others have commented that the scene is too long, but that’s not really the problem. The difficulty is that the scene is inconsistent in its flow.

In major productions, there’s a reason that they photograph the same scene from multiple angles. It gives the director and the film editor a great deal of flexibility in how they actually put the scene together.

Unlike a stage play, with long rehearsal schedules, a film such as this requires the actors to learn a great deal of dialogue in a very short time. As a result, actors sometimes forget the lines for a moment, causing “hiccups” in the flow of the scene. Having five or six angles of the scene gives the director and editor the power to close those gaps (or sometimes lengthen them if needed).

In lower budget productions, there are often fewer shots made of a scene for obvious reasons of film costs and time constraints. That, and the relative skills and temperments of the director and editor can have a strong impact on the outcome of a scene.


46 – Kobayashi Maru, maybe?

I didn’t like the up and down madness of Pike. Get to the point, tell the cadet his error, his expectations, why he is doing this, out of respect for his Dad? Maybe a little insight as to what the bad behavior was to begin with may have let us know why Pike was soooo pissed! Needs recut and more to cannon. I just can’t believe in Pike with his attitude like that. But it IS a first draft, I hope, and will look better when all is done. Go get em cawley!