5 times Captain Kirk used his fists to save the day (and 5 times he used his brain)


Gene Roddenberry imagined Star trek as a more philosophical spectacle, examining the human condition in a space age format. In keeping with their utopian vision of the future, Starfleet captains would resort to violence only as a last resort, choosing to use diplomacy and ingenuity to resolve conflicts. The network’s executives had a different take on the show, hoping for a more adventure-based series where the heroes would use their fists to solve problems.

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Fortunately, a balance was struck between the two points of view, and the show’s hero, Captain James T. Kirk, used equal parts brains and strength to overcome the obstacles he faced.

10 He used his fists to defeat Gary Mitchell

The pilot episode of Star trek was rejected for being “too cerebral”, as it featured Captain Christopher Pike trying to escape the illusory captivity of the enigmatic Talosians. A second pilot was commissioned, retaining many elements of the original but replacing Pike with Captain James T. Kirk.

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“Where No Man Has Gone Before” revolved around Gary Mitchell, a Starfleet officer who gained near-godlike powers in a nefarious attempt to break through the galactic barrier. The climax of the episode featured Captain Kirk and Mitchell in a bare-knuckle fight on a distant planet. Kirk eventually defeated him by starting a rockslide on Mitchell and killing him.

9 He used his brain to defeat the rogue AI

William Shatner as Captain Kirk and Nomad in Star Trek: The Original Series.

Many Star trek episodes featured the crew of the Company coming into conflict with some rogue artificial intelligence. Much more powerful than humans or even the Company in itself, it took more than strength to defeat these evil machines.

Fortunately, Captain Kirk (and the Star trek writers) discovered an infallible formula to defeat these computers: trick them into self-destructing with some form of artificial logic. This is perhaps most evident in the episode, “The Changeling,” when he convinced Nomad, an artificial intelligence capable of devastating entire star systems, to self-destruct because he mistakenly believed that the good captain was his creator.

8 He used his fists to defeat Captain Tracey

It seems that almost every admiral, commodore or captains (who are not Kirk) that appear in Star trek The episode has some evil ulterior motive at work. This was the case in “The Omega Glory”, when the rogue Captain Ronald Tracey of the USS Exeter try to find the secret of the advanced longevity of the inhabitants of the planet Omega IV.

Kirk, Spock, and Dr. McCoy constantly try to prevent Tracey from violating the Prime Directive, culminating in a trial for combat between Tracey and Kirk. All things being equal, Kirk is very close to defeat, but manages to beat Tracey to submission.

7 He used his brain to defeat an enemy ship

“Journal to Babel” was a notable episode in which it introduced Spock’s parents, Ambassador Sarek and Amanda Grayson, to the Star trek universe. A Vulcan ambassador of the first order, Sarek was one of the many dignitaries traveling aboard the Company to a conference on the planet Babel. There, they would debate the admission of the Coridan system, rich in dilithium crystals, to the Federation.

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Intrigue both onboard and off the ship forced Captain Kirk to deal with a hostile ship with the intention of destroying the Company. Faster than Company, the ship was able to avoid CompanyThe phaser explodes until the Captain shuts down the ship to feign defeat. Once the enemy ship approached, the Company he was able to destroy it.

6 He used his fists to defeat the slaves

One of the parodied episodes of Star trek was “The Triskelion Players”, where Captain Kirk, Lieutenant Uhura and Ensign Chekov were kidnapped by aliens called The Providers to fight in their gladiator-style fights. From the battle music to The Providers betting on the outcome of battles, the episode has become an icon in the annals of pop culture history.

Part of that reverence may come from the climax of the episode, in which Captain Kirk defeated several gladiators (called Thralls) in physical combat. By even subduing his love interest, Shahna, Kirk won his crew’s freedom from the influence of The Providers.

5 He used his brain to defeat an energy vampire

Dove day

If he USS Enterprise He wasn’t busy subjugating rogue supercomputers, most likely they were busy fighting amorphous, space-based energy beings hell-bent on feeding off the crew.

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In “The Day of the Dove”, one of these beings had such an influence on the crew of the Company and a Klingon vessel to perform acts of extreme violence against each other, in order to feed off their negative emotions. The being would even heal all his wounds, to ensure a constant feast. Finally, Captain Kirk discovers the creature’s intention and convinces the Klingon commander of a truce while laughing at the energy vampire outside the ship.

4 He used his fists to defeat the villagers on Planet Neural

A little private war

Star trek he has never strayed from allegory, as the episode “A Little Private War” shows. In a direct parallel to the Cold War, Captain Kirk participated in an arms race among the inhabitants of the planet Neural, after it was discovered that the Klingons had been providing superior weapons to one faction.

Captain Kirk used physical force to equalize weapons among the people of the planet, and also in a fist fight with the villagers who had killed his friend’s wife. Although he won that battle, it was bittersweet, since the peace that characterized the planet had been broken forever.

3 He used his brain to initiate the “Corbomite maneuver”

Balok in Star Trek - The Corbomite Maneuver

First contact encounters are always fraught with potential dangers, considering the clash of cultures and the potential for misunderstandings. In “The Corbomite Maneuver,” a routine mapping mission takes a dangerous turn when the Company Find and destroy a probe. When the mothership responds to the destruction of the probe, it promises retaliation against the Company, depleting the ship’s engines and weapon power.

To combat this dead end scenario, Captain Kirk escapes a destructive countdown, promising that a mysterious item called a corbomite will destroy the enemy ship. This strategy buys the Company long enough to discover the secret of the alien ship and establish peaceful relations.

2 He used his fists to beat Khan Nonsense

Space seed

Captain Kirk fatally met his arch enemy, Khan Noonien Singh, in “Space Seed,” the twenty-second episode of the first season of Star trek. The episode saw the Company stumbling across an abandoned ship full of genetically frozen, cryogenically frozen supermen from Earth’s past. Helping Khan make a full recovery, he paid for Kirk’s hospitality by attempting to steal his ship and assassinate him.

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Constantly boasting of his superior intellect and physical strength, Khan would have seemed more than a match for Captain Kirk, especially after he reduced his phaser to mush with his bare hands. However, Captain Kirk was able to hit Khan senselessly with a metal bar that he “borrowed” from engineering.

one He used his brain to defeat Gorn

Arguably Captain Kirk’s most famous alien battle was against Commander Gorn following the destruction of the Cestus III outpost. Forced to fight one against one and to the death by the Metrons, the loser’s ship would be destroyed at the end of the battle.

Many may mistakenly recall that the battle was strictly a melee, but it was not. After the initial exchange of blows, Captain Kirk realized that he had no chance of defeating the Gorn with his fists. Fortunately, Kirk was able to use his brain and the planet’s resources to create a rudimentary canon, defeating the Gorn and saving the Company in the process.

NEXT: Star Trek: 10 Kirk And Spock Memes That Will Make You Cry And Laugh


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