“Lost in Translation” sees James Kirk’s first visit to the Enterprise. The episode features the Kirk brothers arguing—Sam is annoyed that Jim is so ambitious—and Jim meets Uhura (Celia Rose Gooding) and Spock (Ethan Peck) for the first time. Sam and Jim talk a bit about how Jim’s ambitions are a direct result of his Starfleet father, George Samuel Kirk, who once served aboard a ship called the Kelvin.
And with that passing line of dialogue, almost thrown out, George Kirk has been placed firmly in “Star Trek” canon for having served aboard the USS Kelvin. One might see the reference as a blatant need for the core “Trek” timeline to claim the Kelvinverse for itself. Note, however, that Abrams’ “Star Trek” timeline didn’t depart from traditional “Trek” canon until after the Kelvin was destroyed, so George Kirk’s run on board would be canon either way. It’s just that in one timeline he survived and in another he died. In the original timeline, Kirk’s mother Wynona returned to Earth and gave birth to James in Iowa. Here Kirk was born in space.
Of course, Kirk’s father has multiple stories, depending on which “Star Trek” novel you decide to pay attention to. Many non-canon sources have traced careers and personalities around George Kirk. According to the 2015 sourcebook “The Autobiography of James T. Kirk” (the Kelvinverse version of the character), Kirk’s father served aboard a ship called the USS Los Angeles before serving on the USS Kelvin. Perhaps one of the first California-class ships? Like the ones seen in “Star Trek: Lower Decks”?