Paul Wesley gets how important Spock and James Kirk meeting is for Star Trek lore

Celia Rose Gooding as Uhura and Ethan Peck as Spock in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, streaming on Paramount+, 2023. Photo Cr: Kharen Hill/Paramount+
Celia Rose Gooding as Uhura and Ethan Peck as Spock in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, streaming on Paramount+, 2023. Photo Cr: Kharen Hill/Paramount+ /

Paul Wesley of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds knows how important the meeting of James Kirk and Spock truly is.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds has largely become a fill-in show for The Original Series. So many relationship dynamics and lore established in the original series are being further explored or started in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. In one of the most recent episodes, “Lost in Translation”, Paul Wesley appeared as James Kirk for the first in the franchise. Well, that is, the same James Kirk that William Shatner would play in the original series.

It’s ironic that the first time that Wesley played “the real Kirk” would be in the episode where he first meets Nyota Uhura, and later on, Spock. The three are largely seen as three of the four most important characters from the original franchise. The fourth is Leonard “Bones” McCoy, who has yet to show up on Strange New Worlds.

When Spock and Kirk first met at the end of the episode, it was a quiet but focused handshake between the two men that established who these men would be. It was subtle but there was a certain importance there.

It was a moment that Wesley wanted to get right, telling;

"Actually, yeah. It’s funny, and Ethan will say — we had discussed this moment, because I remember we were on set, and Dan, the director was like, “Okay, great. Let’s shoot this.” And I remember we shot the first take, and I was like, “Okay, wait.” And I was like, “Okay, can we just pause forT a moment here?” And I was like, “Dan, this is a really big deal. It’s the first time Kirk and Spock meet. And, we’re creating canon here. And, we want to really emphasize this moment. And maybe we should do this. Maybe we should…”And he’s like, “Dude, no. It’s the exact opposite. They’re just two dudes that are meeting. And, there’s a curiosity, and there’s something that draws them to one another, and there’s the beginning of that friendship, but they don’t know that yet. And so, let’s just not try to milk this for something that it’s not yet. Let’s let it grow.” And I thought it was a smart, understated choice because just think about how forced it could have been. Sometimes, the imagination is more powerful than anything else. And so, let’s imagine what this relationship will be, as opposed to handing it on a platter to the audience."

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds gets the first meeting of James Kirk and Spock just right

The fact that Wesley cared enough about this moment speaks volumes, as it shows he truly cares about getting the lore right for the fans, but it was also a good idea to listen to the director of the episode, Dan Liu, as he understood the assignment; as the kids say.

Liu, who did the excellent Memento Mori episode from season one, really brought his A-game for “Lost in Translation”, which in some of our opinions, has been the best of the season. Liu and Wesley really brought a lot of passion for the franchise in this episode, and it showed.

And it was greatly appreciated.

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