William Shatner on Why Kirk had to Die

If you haven’t seen Star Trek: Generations, well, consider this a spoiler warning, I suppose. But, come on, that movie came out in 1994 and you haven’t seen it yet? Alright, well, go see it and come back. At any rate, for those of you who have seen it, you know how Kirk dies in that movie, right?

Well, William Shatner has clarified why that decision was made, and what factors led to Kirk’s final performance in the series. Shatner recently opened up about the production of Generations with Comic Book, an online news site related to all things nerdy.

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Big Budget Decisions

According to the man who play Kirk himself, Paramount was pretty much done with TOS. They’d simply decided that the well had run dry for the original cast, and that it was time to pass the baton. Shatner himself questioned why this couldn’t be done without killing his character off and was told the decision was coming from well above him.

Unfortunately, he was told, Kirk would be dying in the film whether Kirk appeared or not. If he didn’t take the part, the character would simply die off-screen.

Confused Priorities

Certainly, the Next Generation cast led the series into some excellent directions. Jean-Luc Picard is heralded by many as the finest captain the Enterprise has ever had. In fact, Patrick Stewart has been called back in to star in his own Star Trek series. The series is to air on CBS All Access, the online streaming platform operated by Paramount-owned CBS.

However, the question remains: what the heck was Paramount thinking when it killed off Kirk? The original captain of the Enterprise and one of the most enduring sci-fi icons of all time hardly deserved to die in a middling odd-numbered Star Trek movie.

William Shatner on Potential Return

William Shatner, who is 87 years young, has expressed interested in reprising his role as the character. In an interview with the Toronto Star, he expressed his desire to return to the franchise. He stated, “It will have to pass through enormous hurdles including permission from Paramount and then they’ll have to get back to me and see where things are at.”

Shatner clarified that it would have to be a guest appearance at best, as he doesn’t see himself helming a series himself.