In late 2009 TrekMovie exclusively revealed a scene written for William Shatner for JJ Abrams Star Trek movie. In a recent roundtable interview, co-writer Roberto Orci discussed this scene and why JJ Abrams never approved it for the final script. Details below, plus a repost of the scene. We also have a poll asking if you agree that the scene was “fan pandering.”
Orci talks Shatner “Star Trek” scene
In a Hollywood Reporter round-table discussion with other screenwriters of Summer movies, Roberto Orci spoke briefly about the Star Trek (2009) scene written for William Shatner:
THR: Do you guys ever write scenes into the script that you know aren’t going to be in the movie?
Orci: We wrote a scene for William Shatner at the end of the movie where Spock, played by Leonard, gives his young self, played by Zach Quinto, something he’d kept with him. And it was basically a recording of Kirk singing “Happy Birthday” to him for the last time before he went off to die in Star Trek VI. J.J. had determined early on that he felt it might seem like it was, a) too small, and b) pandering to the fans a bit. But we wrote it anyway because as a fan you’re always trying to protect that thing where you want to be able to look fans in the eye and say, “We were ready.”
Here is the full (and lengthy) round table discussion with Orci, along with screenwriters Jonathan Aibel (Kung Fu Panda 2), Greg Berlanti (Green Lantern), Ehren Kruger (Transformers: Dark of the Moon), Christopher Markus (Captain America: The First Avenger), Ashley Edward Miller (Thor & X-Men: First Class).
Repost of TrekMovie Exclusive (11/23/2009)
Putting Shatner into "Star Trek"
TrekMovie received the scene below from one of our trusted sources and it has been verified to be the scene written for Shatner (but never shown to Shatner). The “Alternate Scene B” actually creates alternative versions two scenes from the end of the movie: the moment between Spock Prime (Nimoy) and Spock (Quinto) in the hangar, plus the award ceremony with Kirk (Pine), Pike (Greenwood) and the Commandant (Tyler Perry).
Including Shatner would have made alternatives to these ending scenes
Shatner would have played Kirk, but would have appeared as a recording. The timing of the recording is not stated, but would have have been before Star Trek Generations and therefore not violate the canon that Kirk was killed in Generations. JJ Abrams has often noted that dealing with Kirk’s death was one of the hindrances of including him in the new Star Trek.
Shatner in "Star Trek Generations" (1994), his last time in the chair
Here it is…
ALTERNATE SCENE B
Then I ask that you do yourself a
favor… put away logic, and do what
feels right. The world you’ve inherited
lives in the shadow of incalculable
devastation… but there’s no reason you
must face it alone.
And from around his neck, he removes the PENDANT that
until now, we’ve only caught glimpses of. Places it on
the table beside his younger self. The feeling in his
eyes is profound…
SPOCK PRIME (CONT’D)
This was a gift to me. Representing…
a dream. One we were unable to fulfill.
The way you can now.
And moves to the door. Stops. Offers the VULCAN SALUTE:
SPOCK PRIME (CONT’D)
As my customary farewell would appear
oddly self serving, I will simply say…
Their eyes hold. Spock turns, disappearing into the
corridor. Young Spock stares at the empty doorway a
beat, his mind a jumble of thoughts. Looks to the
pendant… and realizes it’s a HOLO-EMITTER. After
considering a beat, he hits an activation button and a
MOVING HOLOGRAPHIC MESSAGE materializes before him:
CAPTAIN JAMES T. KIRK. WILLIAM SHATNER. As always,
brash, wry, confident — and SINGING:
Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to
I know I know, it’s illogical to
celebrate something you had nothing to do
with, but I haven’t had the chance to
congratulate you on your appointment to
the ambassadorship so I thought I’d seize
the occasion… Bravo, Spock — they tell
me your first mission may take you away
for awhile, so I’ll be the first to wish
you luck… and to say…
I miss you, old friend.
… and we’re PUSHING IN on Young Spock, taking in the
image of Kirk’s future self, the message, but above all —
the clear, unquestionable friendship these two men had…
INT. CORRIDOR – CONTINUOUS
As Spock Prime walks off down the corridor, he passes
right by a man conferring with a nurse — the man pauses,
turns… it’s SAREK. Suddenly overcome by a feeling that
the stranger who’s just passed him is… oddly familiar.
I suppose I’d always imagined us…
outgrowing Starfleet together. Watching
life swing us into our Emeritus years…
INT. STARBASE ONE – HANGAR – ETERNAL NIGHT
MUSIC BUILDING — glass walls reveal THE ENTERPRISE at
dock, UTILITY CRAFTS floating around it, repairing.
Standing at attention in rows, THE ENTERPRISE CREW —
over four hundred of them wearing DRESS UNIFORMS — TRACK
DOWN the faces, all proud:
I look around at the new cadets now and
can’t help thinking… has it really been
so long? Wasn’t it only yesterday we
stepped onto the Enterprise as boys?
That I had to prove to the crew I
deserved command… and their respect?
And we STOP ON YOUNG KIRK. Composed, focused, proud. A
man. And to every fan’s delight, finally wearing his
YELLOW SHIRT. The FEDERATION COMMANDANT stands at a
This assembly calls Captain James
Kirk breaks from formation, pivots, marches down the
hangar — past UHURA… SULU… CHEKOV… SCOTTY. All
Beaming. Notably absent, is Spock. Kirk ascends the
stairs, snaps to attention:
Your inspirational valor and supreme
dedication to your comrades are in
keeping with the highest traditions of
service and reflect utmost credit to
yourself, your crew, and the Federation.
By Starfleet Order 28455, you are hereby
directed to report to Commanding Officer,
USS Enterprise, for duty as his relief.
Kirk turns. Walks to… PIKE. In a wheelchair now,
wearing an ADMIRAL’S UNIFORM. Overnight, his hair’s
turned totally grey — but despite his trauma, his
pride’s overwhelming. They SALUTE each other:
I relieve you, Sir.
… I am relieved.
He opens a BOX in his lap — glorious in repose, a MEDAL:
And as Fleet Admiral, for your… unique
solution to the Kobayashi Maru, it’s my
honor to award you with a commendation
for original thinking.
Pike containing a smirk, pins the medal to Kirk’s
(a touch choked)
Thank you, Sir.
Kirk turns to the crowd. Eyes shining. WILD APPLAUSE.
OUR MUSIC SOARS. Bones leans in to Sulu, rolling his
… Same ship, different day.
As Kirk rejoins his crew for hugs and congratulations, we
go to the BACK of the hangar… SPOCK PRIME. Watching.
Moved beyond words. He turns and leaves them to it… as
I know what you’d say — ‘It’s their turn
now, Jim…’ And of course you’re
right… but it got me thinking:
INT. STARFLEET HOSPITAL – EARTH – DAY
Our montage comes full circle as we END on Kirk’s
Who’s to say we can’t go one more round?
By the last tally, only twenty five
percent of the galaxy’s been chartered…
I’d call that negligent. Criminal even —
an invitation. You once said being a
starship captain was my first, best
destiny… if that’s true, then yours is
to be by my side. If there’s any true
logic to the universe… we’ll end up on
that bridge again someday.
Stops, grins. Because this is the part he needs to say
Admit it, Spock. For people like us, the
journey itself… is home.
Young Spock’s face. Lost in feelings that flood through
POLL: Powerful or Pandering?
So JJ Abrams felt that the above scene was too small and pandering to us the fans, what do you think? Do you want pandering?