Can James T. Kirk drive?

Over the last two weeks, I have seen a recurring comment by some fans about the opening of the Star Trek movie trailer.

Here is an example from David Torres at Comix 411.

I was just watching the new Star Trek trailer again. As you know, the trailer opens with a young James Kirk driving a car, but if you watch the classic Star Trek episode ‘A Piece of the Action’ Kirk does not know how to drive a car.

While David is right about Kirk’s lack of driving skills in “A Piece of the Action,” there are a couple of more considerations.

A Piece of the ActionOne, in “A Piece of the Action,” Kirk is attempting to drive a quasi-1920s-era vehicle, while in the film trailer he is attempting to drive a 1960s-era Corvette. I have never driven either type of car, but I would imagine a 1920s car is a little pickier when it comes to the clutch than a 1960s one.

Besides, since the Corvette ends up on the wrong side of a cliff, I am not sure we can say that young Kirk’s driving is really any better than it is in “A Piece of the Action.”

“Captain, you are an excellent starship commander but as a taxi driver, you leave much to be desired.” –Spock, Star Trek: “A Piece of the Action”