Even if you’re not a Star Trek fan, I’m wagering that if you saw this summer’s J.J. Abrams reboot you were suitably impressed. Not only was the film a great Star Trek movie (and even the most die-had Trekkers out there would agree it had been a while since we’d had one of those), it was just a good movie. Entertaining, well-crafted, with solid performances and great effects. Throw in Leonard Nimoy and you’ve pretty much got everything a fan could hope for.
Yes, it’s no spoiler to say that the original Captain Kirk, the one and only William Shatner, didn’t make any appearance in the new Star Trek, much to his apparent chagrin. During filming, there was lots of talk about whether J.J. Abrams would be able to fit Shatner in for one more appearance, but this proved problematic considering his character had actually met his end in a previous film (of course, that’s really no excuse – after all, it was Star Trek that taught us all that even in death there are always…possibilities). But that’s how it went. However what was revealed during the film’s initial run in one particular interview was that the screenwriters and Abrams did try to include Shatner as Kirk one last time. They even wrote him into the script, a draft of which has now leaked online (Ain’t It Cool New reported this earlier today). Take a look at it here.
After getting the chance to read how William Shatner could have made one final appearance in one of the defining roles of any generation, I have to admit feeling a little disappointed that the cameo never happened. The way that it was written would have amounted to more than a token appearance, but would actually lend some gravitas to the relationship that Spock Prime (Nimoy) encourages the Young Spock (Zachary Quinto) to establish with Young Kirk (Chris Pine).
Look, I’m aware that I’m heading into uber-geek territory here, but I really did feel genuinely moved reading about what could have been. Does the lack of William Shatner make the new Star Trek any less memorable? Not at all. But would the written but ultimately excised scene added something more to the film. Undoubtedly. However, all that it seems we’re left with is what could have been.
Then again, maybe not. Maybe somehow the illustrious original captain will make one last appearance in the next Star Trek film.
There are always…possibilities.
That’s right, I said it.