During a Q&A at a Las Vegas Star Trek convention, original Captain Kirk William Shatner addressed a long-standing rumor that he was supposed to appear in J.J. Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek reboot before plans to insert him into the movie were scrapped. As Shatner told it, he was never made aware of any plans to include him in the movie and was certainly never offered a cameo appearance.
Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek rebooted the iconic franchise by introducing a whole new cast in the roles of James Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Uhura, Scotty and others, forging a bridge to the original TV and movie series by casting Leonard Nimoy as a time-traveling older version of Zachary Quinto’s Spock. Some saw the inclusion of Old Spock as a nice hat-tip to the original cast, while others dismissed the move as silly fan service that weakened the movie’s already flimsy plot.
Rumors have circulated for years that Abrams also wrote a scene for Shatner’s Old Captain Kirk, but Shatner himself has now revealed that he never heard about the scene outside of the rumors and was never offered a cameo in the movie (via Trek Movie). Shatner was asked by a fan about the scene during a Q&A at Star Trek Las Vegas and a funny exchange ensued that began with Shatner lamenting the fact that he was not asked to appear in Abrams’ Star Trek. Shatner then queried the fan as to where he heard about the alleged Old Kirk scene and the fan cited a “reliable source” to which Shatner replied:
Reliable source? That’s fake news!…But seriously I have heard that story, but it has never been in my consciousness. I am not aware of that at all.
The supposed scene would have had Old Spock (Leonard Nimoy) showing the younger incarnation of himself a recording of Shatner’s Old Kirk. After hearing a brief breakdown of the scene from the fan, Shatner gave his brutal assessment of Abrams’ plan:
That is the stupidest scene I have ever heard of! When I saw Leonard [Nimoy] in the first movie that J.J. [Abrams] made and he went back in time, I said to Leonard “You know you are old when you go back in time and you are still old!”… Those are gratuitous scenes! I want to play something – well the question is “How do you put this 50-year-older captain into that thing?”
As Abrams himself explained long ago, the Old Kirk scene was only circulated internally and was quickly deemed not usable, so Shatner was never made aware of its existence. It appears that Abrams’ sense of plot logic overruled his fan service instincts in this case, which is probably a good thing. It’s too bad the same good story sense didn’t kick in when Rick Berman and company were putting together Star Trek: Generations and decided to write in a whole arc for an over-the-hill Kirk that ended with him sacrificing his life in the least-satisfying way imaginable.
Say what you want about Nimoy’s appearance as Old Spock in Star Trek (2009), at least it doesn’t make you cringe in embarrassment. Some bad decisions were made in Abrams’ two Star Trek movies but at least we were spared the silliest and most useless Shatner cameo imaginable. Thus far the reboot movies have altogether resisted the urge to bring in Shatner for a final bow, and though Shatner has expressed interest in appearing in Star Trek: Discovery, there’s been no reported move to bring him onboard for a cameo. At least Shatner still has Twitter.
Source: Trek Movie
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