Towards the end of Star Trek (2009), Nero threatens James Kirk aboard the Narada:

A life I will deprive you of, just like I did your father.

How exactly does Nero know that Kirk's father was on the Kelvin? Neither Nero nor any of his men speak directly to George Kirk during the Kelvin attack.

  • It's been a while but didn't he introduce himself as usual in Star Trek, i.e. "I'm ... of the ..."? But at the same time there could be more than those two Kirks...
    – Mario
    Feb 14, 2015 at 8:11
  • Pike could have told Nero (The guy I left in charge? He has a real beef with you; are you sure you won't make a deal with me?). James kirk already knows, so he wouldn't be giving Nero any advantage. And JK doing something impulsive and dangerous is a given anyway.
    – Joe L.
    Feb 14, 2015 at 12:47
  • @JoeL. : To me, that's the most plausible explanation.
    – Praxis
    Feb 14, 2015 at 15:39

1 Answer 1


Nero and the Narada come from the future. They are transported (I use the term loosely so as to not be confused with the technology) back in time through the singularity created by Spock using the red matter. Because he comes from the future, it is conceivable the Romulans have the history of Starfleet to the point of their departure from their timeline. It would be easy for them to see who the crew of the USS Kelvin was at the time of its destruction. Putting 2+2 together would place George Kirk as JTK's father.

Nero could have just as easily been listening in on the communication between the Kelvin and the shuttle craft carrying Winona Kirk and baby Kirk as they go through the JTK naming process. When JTK arrives on the scene after the destruction of Vulcan, it is not much of a mental leap for Nero to know who this young Starfleet officer is ... how many James Tiberius Kirks can there be in the universe? Nero is no dummy by any stretch of the imagination ... he's just a little emotionally compromised.

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    Interesting answer. But it's not clear to me that a Romulan mining vessel, even a heavily altered one, should have such precise data entries on historical Starfleet crew rosters. And even if they did, would they bother looking up the crew manifest of the Kelvin after the battle?
    – Praxis
    Feb 14, 2015 at 15:38
  • @Praxis ... Who knows what goes through a Romulan mind, though, remember, they are closely related to Vulcans. While they let emotion govern where the Vulcans do not, they still possess a highly structured and intelligent mind. This in and of itself might not allow Nero to go on without answers. Feb 14, 2015 at 16:57
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    James Kirk had a long, successful career full of amazing adventures. In Generations he was described as a living legend. There would certainly be biographies of his life available, including information about his parents.
    – Kenster
    Feb 14, 2015 at 19:31
  • @Praxis they most likely would have known everything about both kirk and picard at least, because the entire drive of the romulan race is its revenge on the federation/earth specifically after they lost the earth/romulan war a few hundred years before. normal school would have included federation history, much as our normal school includes world war 2, plus its not hard to imagine that these ships that will be out mining for months/years at a time don't have extensive library databases on board.
    – Himarm
    Feb 16, 2015 at 14:19
  • @Himarm : In Nero's education, even if it were fixated on Federation history, I doubt that the name of the ship that Kirk's father served on would be included, especially as the Kelvin was not so critical in Nero's timeline. Think about your own education and pick an immensely famous Earthling of your choice. Off the top of your head, do you know much about his or her father? Likely not. You could look up the information specifically, but why would Nero look up Kirk's father or the crew manifest of the Kelvin?
    – Praxis
    Feb 16, 2015 at 15:52

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