Yes. The idea, at least tentatively, was to gradually phase out the original, aging cast and phase in a "next generation," so to speak, of younger leads. But instead nostalgia won out, every change the movies tried to make was undone within two movies, and the TOS cast was stuck in a rut for the rest of their careers rather than having any kind of plausible career or personal advancement.
I've always wondered what might have been had the Enterprise
been manned by Decker, Saavik, Xon, and others. I could see Kirk sticking around as a recurring character. Maybe he makes an appearance or two in the films. But I'd have liked seeing a younger group of officers undertaking their own missions. The TOS films are great, but as you said, everything more or less resets every few films, as if none of the crew ever advance or take on new assignments.