Americans have spent much of the past 50 years bringing our fictional protagonists down to eye level. Where once we had Captain Ahab and Paul Bunyan and John Henry, now we have Rabbit Angstrom and Jack Bauer and Tony Soprano, characters consumed by their faults or quirks or doubts.Translation: Shatner Kirk, yes. Pine Kirk, not so much.
That makes for great tragedy and great realism but, perhaps, not great myth. And “Star Trek,” as a history of the future we desire, is unrepentantly mythic.
BTW, have you watched The Omega Glory lately? Kirk even gives a "come-hither" look to the American flag! You can't get more iconic than that!