James Tiberius "Jim" Kirk is a fictional character in the Star Trek media franchise. Kirk was first played by William Shatner as the principal lead character in the original Star Trek series. Shatner voiced Kirk in the animated Star Trek series and appeared in the first seven Star Trek movies. Chris Pine portrayed a younger version of the character in the 2009 Star Trek film, with Jimmy Bennett playing Kirk as a child. Other actors have played the character in fan-created media, and the character has been the subject of multiple spoofs and satires. Kirk also appears in numerous books, comics, and video games. The character has been praised for his leadership traits, but also criticized for his relationships with women.
James T. Kirk was born and raised in Riverside, Iowa in the year 2233. Diane Carey's novel Best Destiny identifies Kirk's parents as George and Winona Kirk. Best Destiny and Carey's Final Frontier novel describe George Kirk's adventures aboard the USS Enterprise under the command of Captain Robert April. Although born on Earth, Kirk for a time lived on Tarsus IV, where he was one of nine surviving witnesses to the massacre of 4,000 colonists by Kodos the Executioner (Arnold Moss). James Kirk's brother George Samuel Kirk is first mentioned in "What Are Little Girls Made Of?" and introduced and killed in "Operation: Annihilate!", leaving behind three children.
At Starfleet Academy, Kirk became the only student to defeat the Kobayashi Maru test, garnering a commendation for original thinking by reprogramming the computer to make the "no-win scenario" winnable. Kirk was granted a field commission as an ensign and posted to advanced training aboard the USS Republic. He then was promoted to lieutenant junior grade and returned to Starfleet Academy as a student instructor. Students could either "think or sink" in his class, and Kirk himself was "a stack of books with legs". Upon graduating in the top five percent, Kirk was promoted to lieutenant and served aboard the USS Farragut. While assigned to the Farragut, Kirk commanded his first planetary survey and survived a deadly attack that killed a large portion of the Farragut's crew. He received his first command, the equivalent of a destroyer-type spaceship, while still quite young.