Kirk’s dad and Carol Marcus in Star Trek XI?

The other day I wondered how Winona Ryder could play Spock’s mother in Star Trek XI when she is only six years older than Zachary Quinto, the actor playing Spock.

Well, now reports that Aussie actor Chris Hemsworth, who is 24, is going to play George Samuel Kirk Sr. — father of Captain James T. Kirk, who is being played in the film by Chris Pine, who is 27.

That’s right, the actor playing the dad is younger than the actor playing the son. What gives? I’m guessing flashbacks. Or maybe the rumoured time-travel premise of this movie is even more complicated than we thought.

I wonder if anybody has been hired to play Kirk’s brother, George Samuel Kirk Jr. — whose corpse, briefly seen in the original series, was played by William Shatner. For that matter, I wonder if we will see Kirk’s sister-in-law, Aurelan Kirk, or his nephew, Peter Kirk, who was played by 12-year-old Craig Hundley in the series and was thus presumably born well before the events of this movie.

The site also reports that Jennifer Morrison of House M.D. has been cast in the film, and that the character Carol Marcus appears in the script, and it speculates that there may be a connection between these two things.

The middle-aged Carol Marcus — the mother of Kirk’s by-then adult son David Marcus — was played in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982; my comments) by Bibi Besch, who was 42 at the time, though it is not clear how old the character was supposed to be. Morrison, who would presumably be playing the younger Carol, is 28.

As a reference point, official Star Trek continuity claims that Kirk and Carol had their fling in 2260, David was born in 2261, the events of the original series took place between 2265 and 2269, and the events of ST2:TWOK took place in 2285 — when David was 24 years old and Kirk was 52.

So if Kirk was 27 when David was conceived, it makes sense that Carol would have been in her late 20s, too. But if the film somehow tries to include both Kirk’s fling with Carol and the early days of Kirk’s captaincy, then that could be a bit of a stretch.

About Peter T. Chattaway

Peter T. Chattaway was the regular film critic for BC Christian News from 1992 to 2011. In addition to his award-winning film column for that paper, his news and opinion pieces have appeared in such publications as Books & Culture, Christianity Today, Bible Review and the Vancouver Sun. He has also contributed essays to the books Re-Viewing The Passion: Mel Gibson’s Film and Its Critics (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), Scandalizing Jesus?: Kazantzakis’s The Last Temptation of Christ Fifty Years on (Continuum, 2005) and The Bible in Motion: A Handbook of the Bible and Its Reception in Film (De Gruyter, 2016).

  • Magnus

    The woman who played Cary Grant’s character’s mother in Nort by Northwest was the same age as Grant himself – and that didn’t work against the film.

  • Betty

    But if the film somehow tries to include both Kirk’s fling with Carol and the early days of Kirk’s captaincy, then that could be a bit of a stretch.

    Like nothing else about this movie is “a bit of a stretch.” :)