Star Trek: Top 10 Kirk Romances, Ranked
If one Star Trek character was known for romance, it would be good ol' Captain Kirk. He was seducing and kissing women all across the galaxy, human or otherwise, before many other Star Trek romantics were even born. He explored the universe and its people, perhaps a little too literally.
Romantic or not, Kirk wasn't just a womanizer; some of his relationships were wholesome and even changed the course of history. Every fan deserves to be reminded of the best people he fell for, so here are the top 10 romances that Kirk had, ranked from worst to best.
Miramanee only gets on this list because she genuinely cared about Kirk. When he ended up on her planet without any memories, they genuinely fell in love. Sure, it was pretty awkward that she and her people thought he was some weather god and it's always painful to run into white savior narratives.
Ignoring all that, though, they were sweet and even planned on having a family. This is the least womanizing Kirk has ever been. However, the racial insensitivity of the episode and the fact she was crushed via stoning still makes this a terrible romance by today's standards.
10 Janice Lester
Janice is only one of Kirk's best romances because she had every right to try to take over his life. To have someone you love tell you that women can never be captains because of their gender? Yeah, who wouldn't want to ruin that guy's life. While Janice went about it in a horrible way, no wonder such an ambitious woman tried to prove Kirk wrong.
Before all the mayhem, their relationship was very passionate. Janice deserved better mental health care, better job options, and a better boyfriend. Then again, who can resist James T. Kirk?
Between being beautiful and royalty, Deela is a knockout woman. Even better, she has serious plans for her people, introducing new DNA to repopulate their species. If only she wasn't trying to kidnap Captain Kirk to do that.
Ignoring the whole "baby-making prisoner" thing, every part of Deela and Kirk's relationship was steamy and intense. Admittedly, it has to be a little flattering that she thought he should be the forefather for her people. The most awkward part is that the Enterprise left without knowing if Kirk and Deela's relationship ended in a child. One seriously messy hook-up, right?
8 Rayna Kapec
Kirk can make any woman fall in love with him, and that includes robotic ones. The created companion of a sketchy scientist, Rayna slowly fell in love with Kirk the longer she knew him. Eventually, her loyalty was split between her creator and the captain. Love quite literally broke her brain and the young, beautiful Rayna shut down before the end of their mission.
Despite the fact Kirk has lost other great loves, this one was too painful to remember. He made Spock mind-meld and erase his memories of her. That has to prove his feelings for her were pretty intense, and however short, it was an impactful romance. Of course, he'll never remember it, but whatever.
In looks alone, Shahna is the most memorable lover on this list. Infamously clad in a silver swimsuit and giant green hair, she was Kirk's teacher and battlemaster. Per usual, the Enterprise crew was kidnapped and they had to fight in trials. She was just supposed to train Kirk, but of course they fell in love in another case of Kirk teaching a woman about romance.
Yes, their relationship was short but Shahna was willing to leave everything she knew just to be with him. How romantic! But then Kirk unceremoniously ditched her, which was a serious jerk move.
6 Areel Shaw
What's even better than a steamy Kirk romance? A woman putting him in his place, of course! Much like the Phillipa Louvois and Picard dynamic, Shaw was a Starfleet lawyer and she was ready to condemn Kirk in a court-marshaling situation. While she cared about him, the law came first. An impressive career woman, that one.
The episode did end in Kirk's innocence and a kiss between the two, but the rest of the time she stuck to her morals. Shaw deserves so much credit for being allowed her own personality where so many other Star Trek women are just eye candy. It would've been great to see more of her.
5 Carol Marcus
There was no way a list like this couldn't include Kirk's famous baby momma, Carol Marcus. Despite living the life of a bachelor for decades, Kirk did have a pretty serious romance with Carol. That is, until he ditched the scientist to continue his journeys of course. Carol, who cared more about her research, chose to focus on being a scientist and a mother to their son, David.
However, Kirk and Carol were brought back together in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Khan used David to steal the Genesis project so that he could recreate his own world. The pair shared some sweet moments and bonded over their son. Kirk stuck to his roots, though, because when his son was stabbed he went back to his work and just let Carol go back to hers.
4 Helen Noel
A dark horse of great romances, Helen Noel was a science officer that Kirk once loved deeply. However, when given the choice between his five year journey or her, he ran off into space without hesitation. Helen didn't give up that easily, though. A short time later, she was transferred into the Enterprise's science division and tried to get close to Kirk again. Unfortunately, by that time Kirk had no interest in her anymore.
While heartbroken, Helen was the true hero when they visited a twisted psychology center. The hypnotizing leader convinced Kirk he was still in love with Helen but she pushed off his advances, knowing they weren't real, and helped him find himself again. Once he was healed, she left the Enterprise never to be seen again.
3 Edith Keeler
This fan-favorite romance was devastating to watch fall apart. When the TOS crew fell back in time, Kirk met Edith Keeler, an adorable social worker and soup kitchen volunteer. McCoy was actually the first to meet her, saving her life and accidentally causing the kind woman to live on and be the face of the largest peace movement on Earth. But, that meant the Earth they knew never existed.
Kirk and Spock went back in time and met her. Between her pretty face and irrefutable kindness, Kirk fell for her and had so many adorable, cute moments with her. To save his universe, though, Kirk had to let Edith lose her life in that traffic accident. Yes, the Trekkie tears still fall to this day.
2 The USS Enterprise
Kirk never loved anything or anyone more than his beloved Enterprise. Considering he got himself demoted to keep captaining it, all he wants to do is spend the rest of his life with it. A five year mission never was going to be enough for Kirk. The Enterprise was where he found his greatest friendships and adventures. Much like Picard, space is his true home, exploring every corner of it.
Unlike Picard, though, Kirk never would be satisfied to explore in any fashion. It always would be on his Enterprise. Even if his passing has been deemed ultra-lame, at least he did it in hopes of getting back to his beloved. And when he couldn't, he made sure a great captain could get back to take care of her.
1 Honorable Mention: Spock
Star Trek wouldn't dare admit it on screen, but Kirk and Spock had serious romantic undertones throughout the entire series. Sure, parts of it were just the deep bond of their friendship. Other stuff, though, like massages and intense proclamations of devotion? Those pushed the "platonic" lines quite a bit.
While Spock and Kirk never were an official couple, most fans insist it was there. So, of course, it would be a crime to omit possibly the greatest, most secret romance of Kirk's life. After all, if they were a couple, Spock was easily his longest lasting relationship. Boyfriend or not, Spock and Kirk deserve credit.