Star Trek

29 Years Later, Star Trek Just Gave Captain Kirk's Death A Grisly Twist

The grave of James T. Kirk isn’t where you think it is.

Originally Published: 
Captain Kirk's death in 'Generations.'

Everyone knows that James T. Kirk was buried under a bunch of rocks on Veridian III in Star Trek Generations, but what Picard Season 3 presupposes is ... maybe he wasn’t. One of the most shocking Easter eggs in the Picard episode “The Bounty,” reveals that Starfleet probably has some future plans for the body of James T. Kirk, and that members of Section 31 are almost certainly grave robbers.

Spoilers ahead.

When Riker, Worf, and Raffi raid Daystrom Station to try and figure out what the Changelings stole from this super-secret facility, we get a lot of back-to-back Easter eggs, including a new version of the Genesis Device, a hungry “Attack Tribble,” and finally, the holographic version of Professor Moriarty. But the most surprising Easter egg of all here is the revelation that Section 31 has the remains of Captain James T. Kirk, locked away in a vault.

Worf, Riker, and Raffi on Daystrom Station


Although we see a screen that depicts Kirk’s skeleton, showrunner Terry Matalas has confirmed that this is more than just Kirk’s bones. “Kirk’s remains aren’t skeletal. Just his remains or … more,” Matalas tells Inverse.

Quick Star Trek history lesson from the 1994 movie Generations: Kirk gets zapped by the Nexus in 2293 on the Enterprise-B. Then after Picard finds him in the Nexus, Kirk emerges in 2371 and helps Picard beats-up Dr. Soren. Then Kirk gets killed when the walkway he’s on rolls over a cliff and crushes him. Picard is with him when he dies, and then buries Kirk under a bunch of rocks.

But now, it seems Section 31, the clandestine spy group within Starfleet, decided to dig up Kirk’s body and take it to their top-secret lab. But why? “The Bounty” reveals that Jean-Luc Picard’s human body (before he became a Synth in Season 1) was also stored at Daystrom Station, meaning Section 31 clearly has a thing for the organic remains of Enterprise captains.

While the theft of Picard’s body is poised to be a huge puzzle piece in the ongoing arc of Season 3, it seems unlikely that the Easter egg about Kirk’s body will be explored further. At least not right now. In canon, the hypothetical motivations Section 31 might have had for stealing Kirk’s remains are numerous.

Kirk and an android duplicate of Kirk in “What Are Little Girls Made Of?”


Kirk was duplicated more than once in The Original Series, sent traveling through time a lot, and even was split into two distinct bodies in “The Enemy Within.” So, when you think about it, donating Kirk’s body to (mad) science makes a lot of sense. Even if Section 31 were up to no good, it still stands to reason they’d want to study the weirdness of Kirk, even a full century after he was engulfed by the Nexus, and three decades after Jean-Luc buried him.

Could a future Star Trek spinoff bring back a zombified Kirk into the 25th century? Will an evil clone of Kirk exist in some future Star Trek spinoff show, and if so, who will play him? Paul Wesley? Chris Pine? A digitally de-aged William Shatner?

Picard Season 3 likely won’t answer any of these questions, but as of now, in the 25th century “present day” of Star Trek canon, Kirk’s body is in a special lab, and it was certainly brought there for a reason.

Star Trek: Picard Season 3 streams on Paramount+.

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