Re: Can Pine's Kirk work as an authority figure?
I could see him mourning the loss of a redshirt in the next movie.
Especially if the dead redshirt's father helped Kirk to get into the academy. If Star Trek Twelve takes place three years after Star Trek Eleven then it might be more believable that Kirk has grown into his Captain's chair. Perhaps they can begin the movie with a fast one minute montage of Kirk's previous few years to show the audience that Kirk is "the man" and not still "the boy."
It's easy to support someones beliefs if they are identical to your own.
Tolerating beliefs that you don't personal embrace, or even fully understand, is harder.