Star Trek Generations Director Carson On (Re)Shooting Death Of Kirk | TrekMovie.com
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Star Trek Generations Director Carson On (Re)Shooting Death Of Kirk May 12, 2011

by TrekMovie.com Staff , Filed under: Feature Films (TMP-NEM) , trackback

Director David Carson had the ignoble duty of being the man who had to shoot the death scene James T. Kirk, twice. In a new interview the Star Trek: Generations director talks about how he fought the studio, trying to at least give the icon Kirk the proper send off. Excerpts below.

 

Carson on shooting (and reshooting) the death of Kirk

Speaking to the official Star Trek site, David Carson recalled his thoughts on shooting (and then reshooting) the death of James T. Kirk in Star Trek Generations:

Kirk was to be shot in the back. What was written and what was accepted by the studio and the producers was never acceptable as far as I was concerned. I mean, here’s this great icon. This Captain Kirk is an icon. He means a lot to people. So to have him die in an ignominious way, when you’re shooting in this incredible mountain area… I fought for that not to happen, but lost the battle. And when we were out on the set I remember that Bill and Patrick and I called the studio to say, “Please, can we not do this? Can we do something else? Let’s stay here. Let’s re-write it.” Because we didn’t feel it was going to work. They did it as well as they could, but frankly, shooting somebody in the back on a narrow ledge on a mountainside is not the most dramatic way for someone to die, especially when the baddie, Malcolm McDowell, also got shot. So it was like an antiquated gunfight, if you like.

Of course Carson was right and the ending with Kirk being shot in the back tested poorly and the studio ordered a rewrite and reshoot of the scene. Carson explains the process:

So we shot for another two weeks, which cost a huge amount of money, and it was so disruptive of the final process. Dennis McCarthy, who wrote the score, wrote the score for the whole movie up to that point. He had 10 minutes to add and was waiting, waiting for us to finish editing it. However, I will say that the reshoots were very exciting. The crew loved doing it because it was such an action ending and much more fitting for Kirk. Captain Kirk’s death now meant something. Before, being shot in the back, it meant absolutely nothing. This time he really saved the day. So it was well worthwhile in the end, I think.

For those that haven’t seen it, here is rough video of the original version of the Kirk death scene in Star Trek: Generations.

For more from Carson on his other Star Trek TV see full interview: Part 1 & Part 2.

Comments

1. stephen whelan - May 12, 2011

so glad they changed it…being shot in the back just doesnt seem a fitting end to Kirk

2. captain_neill - May 12, 2011

Having seen this on the DVD deleted scenes, I believe they went with the better one.

I would have been pissed off if they had done the original ending. Being shot in the back is a terrible way to kill a legend such as Kirk

3. GaryP - May 12, 2011

Oh yes. LOOOVE how he fell off of a bridge.

That’s so much more fitting.

Thanks Dave.

Go buy a clue.

4. John from Cincinnati - May 12, 2011

Both versions suck.

5. Christopher Roberts - May 12, 2011

Terrible quality but here’s somebody else who had a bash at recreating the original ending.

http://youtu.be/enBoGjEr2H8

They’ve made some attempt to put the unused score in and add the Nexus & rocket explosion.

6. SoonerDave - May 12, 2011

A sucky ending by any other name…..

7. dmduncan - May 12, 2011

1. Okay, so they went from worse to bad.

2. Apparently, delivering a sound ass kicking to Malcolm McDowell is harder than it looks.

8. BrodyKoss - May 12, 2011

What a waste of a movie. Seriously.

9. Christopher Roberts - May 12, 2011

Something that’s always bugged me, as good as the Blu ray/DVD special editions are… there are yet more Deleted Scenes kicking around the web.

I know most would continue to despise Generations no matter which version, but I’d actually like to see an alternative grim version… to compare with the final theatrical cut, if the day ever comes Paramount can retransfer some of this material. Or at least, cut material that’s not the ropey videotape extracts (with a timecode burnt in) we’ve seen so far.

10. Dee - lvs moon' surface - May 12, 2011

I hated it! … Whatever… :-( :-(

11. SoonerDave - May 12, 2011

This movie, more than anything else, demonstrated how obsessed Berman was with putting his own imprimatur on Trek and doing his best to eliminate any vestige of its legacy. The absolutely pointless killing of Kirk is the single biggest blunder in the entire history of the Trek franchise.

12. Refuge5 - May 12, 2011

Shit….

13. Commodore Mike of the Terran Empire - May 12, 2011

Rick Berman really screwed this Movie up. At least the reshoot of Kirks Death meant soomething. Berman was just trying to kill Kirk to just get rid of him.

14. Alika - May 12, 2011

Both versions are ridiculous.

15. Jas_montreal - May 12, 2011

What’s wrong with Kirk getting shot in the back ? The whole idea of the film was that we can’t escape the sad realities of life, which is death. Getting shot in the back was perhaps the best way to represent that notion. I guess ppl wanted a happy ending, as most of us do. It was a business decision to satisfy the masses, who failed to see the greater idea of the story.

16. The Red Shirt Diaries - May 12, 2011

11-So right!

Rick Berman to Ronald Moore and Brannon Braga: “Well we finally have our own movie, how do we get rid of that stupid sixties show and make people see mine as the only Star Trek?

Braga:…ummmm… we could kill Captain Kirk and therefore kill that legacy.

Berman: YES!!! And we can have Picard “bury” Kirk to symbolically “bury” that stupid old show.

Moore: I think that idea sucks. I know Gene wouldn’t have,,,

Berman interrupting: Gene shmeen. This is my baby, not his. Lets kill that old bastard, and by that I mean both Kirk and that stupid old show. We will put those original series fans, who I remind you we had to placate for 7 years, out to pasture. This franchise will be mine, all mine. By the way Brannon and Ron, did you know that I never even saw one episode of that stupid old show even once? I’m glad you guys had a clue. Anyway, it won’t matter anymore since I will bury that show once and for all!
One more idea. Lets kill that old fat bald bastard, Kirk I mean, in a way that is undignified and has no meaning. YESSS!!! I am a genius!

16 years later…Kirk and the legacy of TOS lives on. Jokes on you Berman!

17. 4 8 15 16 23 42 - May 12, 2011

Hmm… I actually think the original ending is more powerful and, somehow, meaningful. However, I will always contend that killing Kirk in Generations, in any manner, was a mistake.

18. Pensive's Wetness - May 12, 2011

ugh….

19. Captain Karl - May 12, 2011

There were two pointless things in Generations, 1) Killing off Kirk, how the hell did Shat ever consent to this? If I were him, I would have flat out refused being killed off. 2) blowing up the Enterprise-D. Sure it made for a cool crash scene, but why? Was it really that bad of a ship that they had to get rid of it for a more “movie friendly Enterprise?” I really wish we could say this one was non-canon.

20. njdss4 - May 12, 2011

Neither ending was any good, but at least the ending that’s in the official release is the better of the two. Getting shot in the back is a slap in the face to Shatner and all Trek fans.

They should have just had Kirk wind up in the Nexus again. Give a way for Kirk to basically be eternal, and have a way for him to come back at any point in the Trek timeline so that fans could go crazy with their fanfics and not force Shatner to write his own book to bring Kirk back.

21. Talos IV - May 12, 2011

Let be honest here…both endings were a HORRIBLE ending for Captain Kirk. Captain Kirk should NEVER have died falling or being shot in the back. This is the same Captain Kirk that survived a Mugatu bite, fell from Mount Everest, has been in many near death experiences with Klingons, Romulans and Salt Vampires. He survived torture from the Vians. He fought and won on the planet Triskelion. Escaped by a narrow margin being beamed back aboard the Enterprise while the Defiant was being eaten by the Doomsday Machine. Held on to one last breath while he was trapped in innerspace until Spock beamed him back to the Enterprise. And lets not forget his battle with the Gorn who almost killed him. But Kirk’s stamina, determination and intellect won out. IS THIS THE SAME KIRK THAT DIED FALLING FROM THE BRIDGE??!!! KIRK’S LAST WORDS WERE “OH MY”! YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!! I hardly think that was a fitting death scene. REMEMBER when Kirk told Bones, “I’ve always known, I’ll die alone”? When Kirk was sucked out into space when the energy ribbon hit the Enterprise, that was a GOOD death scene. You never saw him die, he was ALONE, he died saving the Enterprise and he was lost in space, the place that he spent his life. They should have left well enough alone!!! I know…I know…I get a little emotional on this!

22. TrekkieJan - May 12, 2011

I waited 15 years to watch this miserable movie – I refused to see it in the theater. And then it was worse than I thought. The Kirkless fan version is better. That was a crummy thing to do to Kirk and Shatner.

23. rm10019 - May 12, 2011

Huge mistake. Both Moore and Braga have said they let too many cooks into the kitchen for the plotting of this movie.

And I still don’t understand the difficulty in bringing him back if anyone really wanted to, there is an Echo of Kirk in the Nexus, just as there was one of Guinan there. Just say that Spock was able to stabalize the echo and bring him back, it’s really just one line of dialogue that no casual fan or lay person would blink at.

24. Ralph F - May 12, 2011

#20

Read the Kirk book of the CRUCIBLE trilogy:
http://www.amazon.com/Star-Trek-Original-Crucible-Wandering/dp/074349170X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1305245685&sr=8-1

25. subspacejock - May 12, 2011

The re-shot death scene of Kirk is almost worse than what they originally put in the can..Because they unbelievably thought they were going out of their way to make Kirk’s death more heroic with that lame reshoot.

“Generations” was terrible on a number of levels. I won’t even waste time listing them. It’s easier and more fun to note when Star Trek does it right.

I’m not a giant fan of Abrams & Company’s take on Star Trek, but at least I don’t have to fear the horrifyingly bad storytelling and direction that Berman, Carson and crew inflicted on Star Trek. The new guys might not have the best writing and directing chops, but they’re awesome when compared to Berman’s boys. Man…17 years since I sat through that lame story and pathetic death scene..I’m still pissed about it.

26. Phil - May 12, 2011

Still think that had Shatner actually said “Kirk dosen’t die” this story would have been shelved. It was a bad concept all the was around, but then, so was Trek III.

27. Dr. Cheis - May 12, 2011

The original version just looks like old people fighting.

I DO think getting shot is a more dramatic ending for Kirk than falling from a bridge, but the problem with the original version was it was just he gets shot after all the fighting is over. Like, oh, and now he dies.

The problem with the bridge scene was that Kirk’s death falling from the bridge was out of his control. He put himself in that situation, true, but once there all he could do was wait for the bridge to fall or not fall. There wasn’t very much drama in a circumstance that he had nothing to do with.

A better way to have done it, and this is drawing from something Shatner said in an interview somewhere, would have been to have him actually get fatally wounded during the fight, or have him do Picard’s job and stop the rocket when he is killed. I believe Shatner said something about Kirk trying to stand back up and simply being unable to do so, stumbling, until his final collapse. Much more dramatic than seeing him lay there.

28. Alec - May 12, 2011

Terrible first version: Kirk is physically beaten-up by Soron; Kirk, our hero, cowers on his knees before Soron, after having been shot in the back, and after making a pithy comment in a death-cliche; too much footage of Picard and his computer screen where nothing’s happening; Soron trying to ‘jump’ into the Nexus….Soron is shot once, after all that fuss….and Kirk dies without saying anything…

Positively awful, I’m afraid.

However, I actually like Generations: the final version. It’s probably my favourite TNG film. It has an interesting story; good cinematography, aided by those beautful model shots; it has a lot of action; it has Kirk AND Picard (to the fans’ delight); it has a big hollywood actor as the villain; etc.

I know the fans like FC. But I can only view that film with regret and sadness when I think what could have been: compare FC with Best of Both Worlds. They should just have made an extended, film version of that episode instead. Moreover, in FC all the characters are acting out of character: Troi gets drunk; Picard, the stoic, explorer-philosopher goes mad and starts destroying/killing….Nemesis had a good story but it lacked originality and the special effects were often poor. Let’s not talk about Insurrection: my least favourite TNG and Trek Film.

I didn’t used to like Gen as much as I do now. I had various problems with it:

1. When Picard is given the choice to go back to reality, instead of going back to arrest Soron in Ten Forward, or getting Kirk or someone to do it on the ENT B, he, very dramatically, choses to go back only a few minutes just before the planet was destoyed.

2. So long as none of the three on the planet die before the Nexus arrives, they can repete the fight ad infinitum: Picard can always choose to go back. Hence, there’s no real danger.

3. An old Bird of Prey, even when clocked, is no match for the Federation Flagship: the battle was exagerated and unrealistic.

4. On a related point, when the D realised that the Klingons had their shield frequency, they should have randomly changed it: as they do every week almost. Yet, they didn’t here: the ship was destroyed, dramatically.

5. Kirk doesn’t die alone. Nor does he die in a way befitting the legend that he is.

6. Some of the footage of the last battle was taken directly from the last battle of the last film: when the Klingon sisters’ ship explodes, it’s the same footage as when Chang’s exploded. Given that this film comes directly after, it seems a little cheap.

I have answers to these issues, though.

A1: Picard can’t alter the time-line; or, he must minimise the impact. Going back too far would create a different history.

A2: they can still die. The danger, then, is that they won’t get a second chance.

A3: the Klingons did heavy damage to the D when they got through the shields: they set off a warp core breach. The D had no way to track the ship initially: no way to target her.

A4. The D was too busy trying to target and destory an invisible ship: perhaps they thought not being able to attack was a bigger problem than not being able to defend.

A5. Kirk’s death is no way near as powerful as Spock’s; however, it’s a much greater sacrifice. Spock died to save his shipmates, perhaps just his friends. Kirk died to save millions of strangers, just to make a difference once more. That was a fitting death. He was burried under a few rocks and left. But there was nothing else on the planet to use. And Kirk was very humble (ironic, I know) he wouldn’t have wanted to be taken back to Earth and given a hero’s burial. That thing about Kirk’s knowing that he would die alone came in TFF; hence, once could argue it’s not a great authority. Besides, how can you know you’ll die alone. Moreover, there were only three on the whole planet; and Kirk was on his own until Picard found him….

A6. They had a shoe-string budget. Not until JJ did they have a proper budget: more than the first six films combined, in fact. Even then, they couldn’t deliver a proper engineering set; whereas, GEN did.

I encourage my fellow Trekkies to re-watch and re-evaluate GEN. It’s not the best, no; but it’s got merit; and it’s fun.

29. fansincesixtynine - May 12, 2011

Awful. Just awful.

30. Give me TOS, or give me death - May 12, 2011

As terrible as Generations is, besides Berman to blame there is always Shatner to blame too. Should of just stay retired Shat.

31. NoRez - May 12, 2011

Both are terrible (and I’ve always felt there was no reason to kill Kirk – there’s no reason to kill off characters central to an epic, you close a door on future imaginations. [Hoban Washburne and Shepherd Book notwithstanding. But I digress...]
Personally though, I actually prefer the unused ending – again, not to say I ‘liked’ it. The great Kirk succombing to something as simple and undramatic seems more ‘epic’ to me; the cinematic pun of Kirk ‘dying on the bridge’ was as comical as it was stupefying.
Plus, there was more hand-to-hand combat, which is always fun to watch. They could have thrown in some karate chops and forward rolls, better fight choreography (Soren waits for Kirk to regain his footing away from the edge of the cliff before making with the fists again? What a polite man!) THAT could have been the great ‘epic’ final Kirk memory.

32. Kev-1 - May 12, 2011

Didn’t like either version. Can’t see any reason to ditch Kirk at all. I thought it might have made financial sense (for them) to get rid of Shatner’s paycheck –now and forever– but they ended up paying Stewart as much or more.

33. Planet Pandro - May 12, 2011

I had a thought that it might have even been better if Kirk’s death was on the 1701-B the way everyone on that ship THOUGHT it was. If they had the entire original cast for the maiden voyage of the Ent-B, and then Kirk running down to deflector control, explosion, and that is the point where he died. the original crew is stunned by the tragic turn of events, say some poetic words, and then flash forward to the rest of the movie. NO meeting of the two captains. I think that was the mistake. It would have been more of a “mystery spanning the generations” via Soran and Guinan’s involvement, Riker’s mention “that was the mission where James Kirk was killed…” etc. In my mind that would be the more elegant way to go.

34. Let Them Eat Plomeek Soup - May 12, 2011

Kirk deserved a better death scene. I remember watching the end of Generations and thinking, “What the hell is this? He’s Captain Kirk! He doesn’t die by falling off a bridge–he’s to awesome for his last words to be ‘It was fun–oh my!’”

If there’s going to be a Kirk death scene, forgive me if I’m being blunt, but I wish they’d just kill him again in a new movie to make up for Generations.

35. Alec - May 12, 2011

23. rm10019 – May 12, 2011
Well, there’s always that posibility: perhaps leaving that imprint was for that reason; Kirk, a time-less Kirk, can be ressurected at any point. Also, this way, Kirk never dies: never truly leaves our universe.

26. Phil – May 12, 2011
I agree that GEN and TSFS were both fan-boy films. But GEN appeals to a larger audience: people who might want to see Kirk and Picard in one film. That will appeal more to the mainstream that simply searching for Spock, when, of course, we all knew he would be found. In fact, Meyer refused to be involved with TSFS for that reason: it wasn’t a true Trek story; it was just a whole film to bring Spock back.

22. TrekkieJan – May 12, 2011
On a repete viewing, it might be better now. There’s no comparison to INS.

11. SoonerDave – May 12, 2011
Kirk was a human character, not just a character who is human. He’s mortal. He has to face death. He realised this in TWOK. He has to die to complete the circle. The other situation is where his story has no end: with either no closure or a rather silly set-up. No closure, because w’ll have a character with no final appearance; a character who maybe hasn’t made a final appearance for years and maybe never will. As soon as the baton was passed, Kirk was history. He might as well die. Rather silly, as he goes on forever. Take James Bond. How many mission has the cinematic Bond been on now: over twenty, with five different actors, I think, to try and keep up. That’s arguably too much for realism. One of these missions might take a decade to plan. We’d have Kirk still saving the galaxy into his eighties…

2. captain_neill – May 12, 2011
If you’ve seen the deleted scenes, you’ll have seen Kirk’s orbital sky dive that was parodied (copied) in Trek 2009….

36. Craiger - May 12, 2011

Kirk should have helped saved the day and beamed to the rescue ship with Picard and Riker from the wrecked Enterprise bridge alive.

37. Phil - May 12, 2011

@30. Been making that point for a while now, that had Shat decided that Kirk needed to live, this stinker of a script would have been dumped. Can’t kill Kirk if Shat’s not in the movie now, can we?

38. trekker 5 - May 12, 2011

#4 there you go! It was awful,when i say awful,i mean BAD!! I don’t know,its just that were talking about Kirks death scene here,he should have had a better death scene than that!!

39. joe - May 12, 2011

I am glad they reshot it. The death scene in the theatrical version was much better. I can swear that Kirk even put up a much better fight in the theatrical version and the interaction between the characters was much better in the theatrical version.
Soran: Who are you?
Picard: He’s James T. Kirk. Don’t you read history?
Soran: As a matter of fact I am familiar with history and if I’m not too much mistaken, aren’t you dead?

Also I am not one that has problems with the death of Kirk no matter how much I liked that character. If I am correct, Paramount was wanting to bring the Original Series to a complete end and Berman felt the only way to really end it would be to kill the captain. And although many of you may disagree with me, I can see his point.

40. 4 8 15 16 23 42 - May 12, 2011

One of the things that bothered me right from the moment I first saw Generations in the theater, was the whole illogical construct of the Nexus. You can’t “fix” a timeline; you only get a new, alternate one. That’s why I like how the story of ST2009 is put together; it is built around the concept of multiverse.

To make this comment directly relevant to this thread, if we buy into the idea of “fixing” a timeline at all, then by frustrating Soran’s plans, at the moment the rocket fires prematurely and fails to alter the course of the Nexus, both Picard and Kirk should simply vanish, a la “Back to the Future”. In other words, the causal chain that led Picard into the Nexus — which is what allowed him to meet Kirk and convince him to return to the moment of Soran’s successful alteration of the Nexus’ course — is broken the moment that Picard and Kirk succeed.

The writers can’t have it both ways: EITHER the ‘Prime’ timeline (to borrow a phrase) was changed irrevocably when Soran succeeds, Veridian III plus the survivors of the Enterprise-D crash are all dead, and Picard & Kirk’s success in foiling Soran are part of an alternate timeline, OR Picard & Kirk’s success in foiling Soran has the effect of restoring the ‘Prime’ timeline, in which case Kirk should vanish back into the Nexus.

Since Generations is clearly written around the notion that the ‘Prime’ timeline is restored, not a ST2009-style multiverse idea, then it would be far preferable that Kirk disappears back into the Nexus, and we let the ‘mystery’ (@33) and ambiguity stand, with the official story that Kirk ‘died’ in the Enterprise-B incident.

41. SoonerDave - May 12, 2011

@35 – Sorry, but I just don’t agree with all the sophistry. The whole point of fiction is that characters don’t have to obey the rules that real people do, and that means that such characters most certainly do *not* have to die. Kirk’s death was pointless and gratuitous, and added exactly *nothing* to the “Generations” storyline (except, perhaps, to demonstrate Picard’s utlimate grafted-in impotence as a character). “Too much for realism?” As opposed to an FTL starship, phasers, transporters, and Vulcans? Think about that for a second.

The Bond analogy is flawed, because primarily the producers ran out of original material, and the manufactured material that followed could never hold up to the Bond ethos. That the series endured through as many actors as it did is a testimony to the writing of those core, original stories. Had there been more original stories, I think Bond would have endured beyond that which it has, presuming its host studio didn’t go through bankruptcy.

The point is that Kirk’s death is a black mark on the storytelling legacy of Trek. Shame on Berman for the ego trip that’s implied for his having conceived it, and shame on Shatner for being convinced to do it. In that vein, he wrote his own “epitaph” as far as his ability to appear in Abrams’ Trek…

42. Driver - May 12, 2011

Kirk’s last words “Oh my.” is now George Takei’s signature line. So that’s where he got it. Mmmmm.

43. Keachick (rose pinenut) - May 12, 2011

I think that falling from the bridge and dying the way Kirk did, after saving those planets, was better than having him shot in the back. However, it did not make sense that Picard buried him there. It would not have been protocol even. It was just nuts.

I’ve already said how I think it should have ended with a very minor change to script. It could have worked even if you had Kirk say those words, “Oh my!” but not dying, just losing consciousness. Picard stays with him until the rescue ships come and both are beamed aboard. We hear that Kirk was just barely alive when rescued and is rushed to the medical bay… It is left unclear as to whether Kirk survives, however he was alive, when Picard was with him.

Come First Contact, and there could be a short scene at the beginning of the movie where audiences find out whether Kirk survives. Hopefully, Shatner and the studio would have come to their senses and have Kirk live! Too late now. DUH!

44. Jason - May 12, 2011

maybe if they make a new star trek movie they can bring back the enterprise-d

45. Keachick (rose pinenut) - May 12, 2011

Yes, Driver, that is where George Takei got the “Oh my!” from. I would love it if somehow if Shatner or Pine/Kirk could take it back, without, obviously, of course, having the alternate Kirk die in order to do so. George Takei seems to be everything but original…Oh dear, perhaps I’m being fair here…oh well.

46. Jorge - May 12, 2011

killing off Kirk was a good decision, even though it could’ve worked without Kirk being in the 24th century and just at the beginning like Chekov and Scotty. Shatnerverse makes no sense. The original ending is too slow with too much fist fighting which looked a little cheesy in places in the final edit too.

47. Keachick (rose pinenut) - May 12, 2011

Edit: “I would love it if somehow Shatner…” (too many if’s – ugh)

Typo or Freudian slip on my part – “perhaps I’m being fair…” I meant to type, “perhaps I’m being unfair…”, on the other hand, was the first version the correct one? Not sure now. You decide.

48. Jack - May 12, 2011

40. I know. I guess the Nexus let Picard go back to his body at that point, bringing Kirk with him and, er, creating an alternate timeline, and unicorns. I know.

Is that scene A LOT longer than the final scene? It seemed like Kirk a lot less screentime in the final version, which I like… but yeah, a line or two would have been nice. I wonder if Soran’s “you… you” (wascally wabbit?) would have been heard in the finished version.

I prefer the shot in the back to the fall, and to the being sucked into space while sticking a bunch of things into slots (which, even though not his real death, lacked drama… at least he could have been in the middle of a lovely intercom conversation with Spock, er, Chekov when it was suddenly cut short… I don’t know, just riffing).

49. Cygnus-X1 - May 12, 2011

I can’t say enough bad things about the travesty known as Generations. It was an awful, awful movie and a great injustice to the franchise.

But I will say that the above scene works better without the background score. Apart from the inappropriateness of Kirk’s demise, I think the scene works much better and is more powerful, bare-bones, without music and with just the sound of the wind, the earth and the people.

If the man shot in the back in the above scene were not James T. Kirk, and it were not a scene from a ridiculous story unworthy of the Star Trek brand, I’d have enjoyed it as an action scene from some unnamed movie.

50. Harry Ballz - May 12, 2011

The death of Kirk in Generations was one of the worst, as in stupid, moments in the history of cinema!

Rick Berman should be horsewhipped for recommending such GARBAGE!

51. sean - May 12, 2011

It’s unfortunate that Generations had so many story problems as it was probably the most beautifully shot of any of the films. I loved the way they lit the thing. And the CGI Ent-D was great.

52. Jorge - May 12, 2011

so many shatner fangirls

53. Harry Ballz - May 12, 2011

51.

Wrong! I, personally, don’t want Shatner back, but Generations WAS an abomination.

This is what happens when you let the lunatics run the asylum!

Rick Berman is a tool!

54. Jack - May 12, 2011

50. Yeah. It looked darned good.

55. Dr. Image - May 12, 2011

#50 The E was the original miniature with a slightly darker (better) paint job.
The decision to kill Kirk was BRAGA’S.
Carson’s direction was so slooow.
The score was tv quality wallpaper.

56. DS9 IN PRIME TIME - May 12, 2011

THEY SHOULD NOT HAVE KILLED HIM OFF IN THE FIRST PLACE!!

57. The Original Spock's Brain - May 12, 2011

Both scenes sux. Period.

58. Scott Hedrick - May 12, 2011

As he lay there dying, “oh my” should have been something like “kobayashi maru indeed” or “I finally lost the Kobayashi Maru”.

59. Harry Ballz - May 12, 2011

58.

Or “let this be my last Trek cheque!”

60. Jonboc - May 12, 2011

..ugh. That scene somehow manages to make an unwatchable film even less watchable.

61. alt-Spock - May 12, 2011

I never liked the way they killed off Kirk, but oh yeah that first take is terrible. I’ve never seen that before, and it makes the way they did release it a thousand times better.

62. Buzz Cagney - May 12, 2011

Generations was a huge missed opportunity. But, for my money, that pretty much sums up the whole of Bermans tenure of the franchise.
Mediocre dross rolled out on a fast running conveyor belt.

63. Amorican - May 12, 2011

Stupid Soran. This is what he should have done . . .

-Hire a shuttle to bring him relatively close to the nexus, but not so close the shuttle gets destroyed.
-Get directly in the path of the nexus.
-Put on a space suit and jump out the nearest airlock.
-The shuttle flies away.
-A short time later, the nexus sweeps him up.
-Soran spends eternity participating in ultra-violence and drinking milk-plus and whatever else he enjoys. And plenty of time for the old “in-out”.

But no, that idiot had to make things difficult on himself. Changing gravitational pulls and blowing up stars, dealing with Romulans and PMSing Klingons, and committing mass genocide. Soran, by way of the writers of this movie, was a complete moron.

64. MJ - May 12, 2011

To those of you who have defended Rick Berman and TNG power trust in the past, well, don’t even try to defend this. This is indefensible, and it a travesty to Start Trek.

65. Thorbury - May 12, 2011

2 bad endings to an even worse movie.

66. cjc960 - May 12, 2011

What kind of pathetic hack writes an ending where an iconic character dies by being shot IN THE BACK?

That’s the most pathetic, amateur approach I’ve seen since the days of USENET fanfics, where every Johnny-Come-Lately had a Kirk story.

It amazes me that a studio actually spent money shooting this.

67. Red Dead Ryan - May 12, 2011

William Shatner, Rick Berman and Paramount are equally responsible for the death of Captain Kirk. That simple. I really don’t understand what went through their heads. I guess Paramount and Rick Berman wanted Kirk out of the way. And William Shatner must have needed the money really bad.

If William Shatner wants a role in the sequel, he should at least step up and take his fair share of the responsibility. Then we can all move on.

Nobody seemed to have learned lessons from “Alien 3″, where Ellen Ripley was pointlessly killed off just to save a bunch of scumbag prisoners.

#50 Harry Ballz

Sadly, I have to agree with you about Rick Berman. He unquestionably did good things for Trek (like co-creating “Deep Space Nine”) but had a habit of staining his own work with ideas like killing Kirk.

68. Canon Schmanon - May 12, 2011

No matter what they did it would have been pathetic. Shatner fought like a girl against Soron, not like Kirk. His age was already showing in his movements. Of course, Patrick Stewart didn’t fare much better. I lost count of how many times he went tumbling down some rocks.

And Soron looked about as dangerous as kelp. I love Malcolm, but he just wasn’t very menacing. Certainly not so menacing as to require Star Fleet’s two greatest captains to defeat him.

69. MJ - May 12, 2011

@67 “If William Shatner wants a role in the sequel, he should at least step up and take his fair share of the responsibility.”

Despite all the hoopla, I have always believe that Shat is at heart a showman who is all about maximizing his market value. Its all about him, not about Kirk. If he cared enough about Kirk, he would have refused to go along with that horrid death scene in Trek 7.

70. MJ - May 12, 2011

“No matter what they did it would have been pathetic.”

Huh, I could come up with a dozen ways he could have went out with a bang, and none of them involve him trying to replicate the younger Shat’s drop-kick.

71. Sid - May 12, 2011

The studio demanded Kirk be killed off. Wasn’t Berman’s choice.

That they did it in such a pathetic way, instead of Jim getting blown up in a massive supernova and saving the entire galaxy, WAS his fault.

72. Felix - May 12, 2011

Generations was a poor film from the start as were most TNG movies!

73. somethoughts - May 13, 2011

Star Trek 2009 George Kirk would have LOL’d at his son’s death scene in Generations.

You can’t top how George Kirk died in Star Trek 2009!

74. somethoughts - May 13, 2011

Kirk imo died on the maiden mission of Enterprise B and the Enterprise D and crew was destroyed after crashing into Viridian 3.

Enterprise E was commissioned led by Sisko who defeated the Borg and cube before it had a chance to time travel!

Both Captain Kirk and Captain Picard are stuck in the Nexus and they just think they got out, the Talosians will explain this in Star Trek 2012 lol

75. Dom - May 13, 2011

Shatner claims Kirk would have been killed off with or without his participation. We’d probably have ended up with the crew of the Enterprise-B and some stock shots of Shatner, followed by an explosion. The movie demonstrates Berman’s contempt for any Star Trek he’s not been involved in. If people consider it uncanonical, then consider it uncanonical! I see Berman’s Trek as a parallel universe anyway, so the Kirk who died in Gen isn’t the one who was in TOS and STVI as far as I’m concerned!

76. MJ - May 13, 2011

@75. You are missing the point. The point is that Shat could have used his influence to insist on a MORE KIRK-LIKE HONORABLE DEATH than that Berman idiot gave him. But he chose not to, and cashed his check…cha-ching! And now that he’s 80 and 300 pounds, now we are supposed to feel sorry for him and want him to be in the next movie. Not on my watch!

77. ChrisH - May 13, 2011

I for one loved Generations, and that’s as a Kirk fan from when I first saw him when I was 7 in 1969. When the film was released I was going through a great deal of scary change in my life – I was alone in a new job in a strange new city – and it’s message of change gave me a lot of comfort . I had no issue around Kirk’s death – even fictional heroes are mortal. A few weeks after seeing Generations I met my partner and we carried each other for the next 10 years until his premature death. Maybe the biggest change ever to hit me. As a result I now find it quite difficult to watch the film thesedays, but I think it has some beautiful moments with a moving score, starting from that very first shot of the chamgagne bottle. I often miss Kirk like hell – nowhere near as much as I miss my partner of course, but I like the fact that Trek can imitate the terrible truths of real life.

78. SPOCKBOY - May 13, 2011

This should make you guys happy.
Kirk is saved from the broken bridge by the 1960′s crew and Doctor Who.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2M47diM41nA

79. chrisfawkes.com - May 13, 2011

Look! they screwed it up any way you look at it. Can’t these clowns just come out and admit it.

Yeah, Captain Kirk dies duking it out two to one in his favor with the guy who escaped from the old peoples home.

What were they saying when they discussed it “hey, the fans are just going to love this”?

80. chrisfawkes.com - May 13, 2011

Sorry if that sounded angry. I just hate incompetence.

81. Kirk Lives! - May 13, 2011

itd have been more of a shock/twist if they HADNT killed Kirk! everyone was expecting him to die – the secret was out of the bag even before they started shooting the movie.

so in that case wouldnt it have been more of a shock for audiences if he hadnt died? like if hed been ‘killed’ in the opening saving the Ent B (like spock was ‘killed’ in the opening of Trek II) but unlike spock he lives at the end.

e.g. they defeat Soran and he goes back with Picard to the Ent D remains then gets beamed up. he wouldnt have had to appear in any of the sequels and itd have meant he could have easily appeared in JJ Abrams movie.

alternaitvly he could have been sucked back into the nexus somehow and would remain in there (and since wed never see the nexus again would be as good as dead anyway). it would’ve also avoided the rather ridiculous Picard carries Kirks dead body up the mountain and buries him thing (ok i know that was due to the original ending of kirk being shot in the back at the top being redone but its still there on screen making no sense) plus itd have been quite cool having Picard know kirk was still alive in the nexus forever…and only told Starfleet top brass and others like Spock – Kirks actual fate wouldve been classified Area 51/Raiders style

of course there is the explanation that Picard and Kirk never actually left the nexus , therefore Sorans defeat and FC, INS and NEM all take place in Picards nexus. but anyway thats a different subject altogether (and the filmmakers certainly didnt intend for it to be like that)

82. Jai - May 13, 2011

“5. Kirk doesn’t die alone. Nor does he die in a way befitting the legend that he is.”

If you think about it, the gut-wrenching, heartbreaking scene in the most recent Trek movie depicting the way Kirk’s father died (both the build-up and the death itself) would have been a far more fitting way for James T. Kirk himself to have died on-screen. Especially if he was simultaneously using the ship’s communicator to speak to an increasingly-shocked McCoy, a grim-faced Spock, a griefstricken Uhura etc in the moments before the end, with his friends located somewhere safe and horribly aware that Kirk was about to die, albeit for a good cause and with no other options available.

So Kirk does “die alone” as predicted, but he still goes out in a blaze of glory and on the bridge of his beloved ship.

I always imagined Kirk being aggressively defiant in his manner when sacrificing his own life this way, like the “alternate” Picard on the bridge at the end of the TNG episode “Yesterday’s Enterprise”, or the “alternate” Janeway on the bridge at the end of the Voyager two-parter “Year of Hell”. Kirk would unflinchingly fight until the bitter end and take his enemy with him.

Quite a missed opportunity for the makers of “Generations”.

83. trekker 5 - May 13, 2011

#56,i agree!!

84. Kirk Lives! - May 13, 2011

@82

the problem with ‘going out in a blaze of glory’ George Kirk style, while seemingly the obvious idea, is its wrong for the character as he was just too experienced a starship commander – hed always cheated his way out of near death situations on the bridge – the most grave being Trek III – turning certain death into a fighting chance to live

his death in Generations while unsatisfactory, was believable insofar as he was out of his element on an unfamiliar planet 100 years in the future…having just come out the twilight zone…

85. Hugh Hoyland - May 13, 2011

Bad, from all around. Bad choice from the producers, writters, Shatner and so on. The subjct of a major Trek character dying was already explored in depth in the previous movies. To me this was a rehash, and a weak one at that, a bit part.

If you had to kill Kirk do it on the Bridge IMO. But how about not killing him at all? lol

86. P Technobabble - May 13, 2011

I found GEN to be a big disappointment, and Kirk’s death even more so. I thought the manner in which he died to be rather mundane, and uninspired. Was this the best the writers could come up with? Certainly, they’d written some fine pieces on TNG, so they obviously had the ability to do something more meaningful, more grand.
Kirk was always a man willing to risk his life for his fellow crewmembers, and Picard would, no doubt, have been considered a comrade. If Kirk had died saving Picard’s life in a more blatant, visual way, I might have accepted it. Having him die from falling off a bridge in a skuffle with Soran was, IMO, pretty lame. Carson may suggest the scene that made it into the film, rather than having Kirk shot in the back, was a fitting end, but I would have to debate him on that. It really wasn’t much better. His “death” while saving the new Enterprise would have been far more appropriate, and it was a bit more shocking.
I think Shatner has expressed his regret over letting Kirk die as he did, and I think he should have put up a major fight with the studio — or followed Nimoy and Kelley’s lead and skipped the film altogether.
Long live Kirk…

87. somethoughts - May 13, 2011

#81

I agree, if Kirk somehow stopped Soran and accidentally got sucked back into the Nexus that would have been a nice fitting end.

I was surprised nobody said, “I don’t think this will work, 3 old guys fighting it out on a mountain doesn’t really scream epic or awesome” rofl

I think they should reboot Generations with a better story and ending.

88. Kirk Lives! - May 13, 2011

@87

exactly! e.g. Soran is defeated/killed and Kirk and Picard are high fiving, think its all over etc then the nexus (which was visible in the sky) sort of swoops down and Picard and Kirk dive for cover in sorans workshop…everything turns orangey…then its over…Picard calls Kirks name…no answer…goes out of where they went for cover and sees the nexus leaving the atmosphere…no sign of Kirk…hes gone
(sort of like the Close Encounters abduction scene where the mother loses her kid)

the explantion could be – as theyd already been in the nexus it was somehow drawn to them so as a result it got closer to the planet than it should have (otherwise Soran had no need to destroy the star in the first place!)

89. somethoughts - May 13, 2011

#88

Picard and Kirk should have been smart and return to their own respective times.

Kirk arriving before the Enterprise B leaving space dock and alerting starfleet of his knowledge and of Sorans future plans.

Picard returning to earth to save his nephew from the horrible fire and finding a nice wife.

90. somethoughts - May 13, 2011

When I imagine 2 iconic captains meeting, I didn’t expect them to be fighting another old guy on a mountain top.

I expected something along the lines of Yesterday’s Enterprise and All Good Things!

Screw You Rick Berman :)

91. captain_neill - May 13, 2011

God it seems I must be one of the few who liked Generations.

Yes, it had many flaws and perhaps it is too sombre and a bit sloww in places but I still enjoyed watching this movie.

But like the new movie it was a flot that required contrived plot points to get a character from A to B and to move the story forward..

I also do love the whimiscal nature of how Picard and Kirk meet in the Nexus.

I gave Generation 3 out of 5. Not the best and certainly not the wrost movie ever.

92. captain_neill - May 13, 2011

Actually 3.5 out of 5

93. Kirk Lives! - May 13, 2011

@90
in hindsight, its a shame they didn’t save Yesterdays Enterprise for TNGs first film and had the NCC 1701-A coming through the rift instead of the Ent C – allowing for both crews and ships to be on screen(the Ent A coming through the rift into the 24th Century on its way back to space dock after the events of Trek VI – and finding the Federation at war with the very race they had just established peace with in the previous film – therefore both crews have to work together to restore the timeline.)

they could have read the script for Yesterdays Ent in 1989/90 and though ‘whoa this would make a great cross over film when we get around to doing it with the original cast – we better keep it on hold for that.’

Alternatively they could have just done what TMP did and used elements of the episode for the film – not doing it verbatim but similar (e.g. TMP – with Doomsday Machine/The Changeling…TVH – Tomorrow is Yesterday/Assignment Earth…TFF – The Way to Eden). they could’ve had the Ent D come back to Kirks time (post VI) – e.g. in trying to save earth from a borg attack the Ent D gets blown back to the 23rd century – ‘Tomorrows’ Enterprise’?

they could have released it in 94 or 1996 – thus allowing abit of time in order to come up with a decent script, build some anticipation for TNG on the big screen and also have given the TNG actors and writers etc a bit of a rest after 7 years to recharge..not thrown them into doing the movie immediately after the last ep. Plus 96 was Treks 30th anniversary – the perfect time for a crossover film. Also they could have got Meyer or Nimoy to direct the film (both had directed time travel movies) – apparently Nimoy was offered directing and appearing in the existing Generations but turned it down due to the script and lack of time.

It could have been an epic 2 hour crossover event movie – Star Trek VII/TNG The Motion Picture

94. Dom - May 13, 2011

76. MJ

No, I get your point, but you have to remember that this was the 1990s and studios’ attitudes towards their franchises was very different. This is the era where Fox gave us Alien Resurrection with its contemptuous attitude towards the franchise, Tim Burton was pushed off Batman, leading to Batman & Robin, Jim Phelps was turned into a villain and scraped all over floor of the Channel Tunnel . . .

TNG was still popular at the time, TOS has spent years being badmouthed in favour of the spinoff show, the head of the official Star Trek Fan Club was quoted as saying Star Trek fans only watched the original show to laugh at the comedy moments. Shatner was routinely slagged off by his former castmates, the press mocked him for his Tek-War novels and the cult-like obsessives who believed all that ‘Gene’s Vision’ cr@p and thought that TNG was some sort of lifestyle guide hadn’t yet sat through Voyager, Enterprise and the final two TNG films.

In an era when TOS was treated with contempt and as yesterday’s news, Shatner probably figured he’d take the money and let the new team screw things up. I mean, Berman refused to allow Scotty and Chekov to call Kirk ‘Jim’ even though the original crew was much more chilled about that sort of thing. Again, it shows how Berman had no knowledge of and interest in the original Star Trek and wanted to bury it. FC succeeded because it was essentially a mainstream zombie movie with TNG characters in it and the final two proved that TNG simply didn’t belong in the cinema.

Generations was a cheap movie, rushed into production and was sewed the seeds of the end of the Star Trek franchise in that form. A nasty, depressing film best forgotten!

95. 4 8 15 16 23 42 - May 13, 2011

@93 — I agree, a Yesterday’s Enterprise type story would have been a real winner.

I’m not trying to justify or apologize for the fisticuffs at the climax of Generations, but I think the writers may have seen a kind of romanticism in James T. Kirk going out that way… after all, he’d done his fair share of throwing down in TOS, and let’s not forget also in Star Trek III (“I … have had … enough of … YOU!” ).

96. ARGTREK - May 13, 2011

the idea of Picard going just to the moment before the esplosion , is just stupid and lazy writing. even barlkey would have returned to a time when he just can arrest Soran in a bar or something

97. Horatio - May 13, 2011

I’d like to know who the Executive of the Month at Paramount was that insisted on killing off Kirk. I can pretty much guess their reasoning…. kill off the last vestiges of the original film series to clear the way for the new TNG film series.

The problem with studio executives is that the more they overthink the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain. Yet despite it all, Star Trek still lives – despite the best efforts of well meaning idiots to screw it up.

98. Kirk Lives! - May 13, 2011

@94

while i dont agree with everything in your post i do remember the ‘contempt’ aimed at the TOS in favour of TNG in the mid 90s by quite a few.

maybe Trek V can be held accountable for some of that, im not sure. plus i remember FC really made it seem like ‘the next generation’ of star trek was here. in the media it was frequently hailed as the best ST movie by far and really showed how dated TOS was (i remember a friend of mine who was a massive TOS fan and thought TWOK was the best film in the universe called me up after seeing FC and was raving about how amazing it was…i asked him if he thought it was better than TWOK and he went “well its a whole new ball game now, you cant really compare it” – as if to say FC made TWOK look like some 50s B movie or something! LOL

funny as now its the other way round! everyone is lovin TOS and its amazing and cool (both the original TV show/movies and the new movie) and TNG is seen as somewhat dated and out of touch

99. Damian - May 13, 2011

91–I liked Generations too. When I first watched the film in the theaters, I didn’t give Kirk’s death any thought really. I already knew he was going to die because of the media coverage at the time, so that part did not phase me. It followed the idea from Star Trek V that he would die alone (I took that mean alone from his two friends, Spock and McCoy), and he died saving a planet of millions (didn’t Kirk always put his life on the line for others). I thought McDowell was great as the villain, and there were many parallels of life and death. That’s not to say it was a perfect movie. Some of the Data emotion chip thing grated on me and I always felt they should have stressed the fact that Kirk’s death saved millions (by the end of the film, I had almost forgotten about Veridian IV). But I’ve got the special edition DVD and will put it in the old player now and again.

Basically, there are those that hate Star Trek: Generations. You are never going to change their opinions about it, and the reverse is true also. I thought it was a decent film, and they will not change my opinion either. But it’s a free country (well, in some places anyway) and people can have whatever opinion they wish. At the end of the day, it held its own at the box office and the reviews were either side of average at the time. I won’t los sleep if people don’t like it.

76, MJ–While I disagree with you about the Berman era Star Trek, I do agree about Shatner not being in the sequel. He went into Generations with his eyes open. He could have vetoed it at any time, but didn’t. This idea that he’s trying to play himself of some sort of victim is laughable. He agreed to have his character die. Kirk-prime is dead, and Shatner has to live with that. I don’t want the sequel to spend lots of quality movie time trying to explain his return.

100. somethoughts - May 13, 2011

#93

Yea, they def missed opportunity, imagine data and kirk scenes and dialogue. Would have been some nice character combinations.

Epic movie about solving mystery and restoring time line, using both crews and ships on screen at the same time would have been awesome.

Ill take that anyday over 3 old guys fist fighting on a mountain over a remote control and missle with some rainbow getting closer.

101. Sam Vimes - May 13, 2011

Pffft. Why does Carson bring up that now?

I remember reading an Interview with him, back whan the movie was released, and he said something like “Directing a movie is similar to directing a TV show.”

That shows how careless he was. Totally the wrong guy to mess about with a subject where the fans feel so strongly about.

Whereas JJ did a MUCH better job! Thanks, man!

If it is done properly (Spock!, TWOK) a death scene can be magnificent and forward the plot.

I’d give real money to see Shatner going once again and maybe dying properly. Which means alone.

Why can’t they (The Powers That Be) give that to the fans? They have “milked” us for so long and now there are some things not done because it would “irritate new viewers”?

Hell, no. Trust the “new” viewers to be turned into new fans and make them interested in what was before (read: Buy DVDs and stuff)

-Sam

102. Kirk Lives! - May 13, 2011

95/100

What if Star Trek VI in 1991 had been part 1 of a two parter leading into TNGs 1st movie in 1994?? – VI ending on a cliff hanger with the supposed destruction of 1701-A and the loss of all hands as Enterprise was blasted into the time distortion as Chang fired a huge final volley at her. The Federation President is therefore assassinated and all hell breaks loose leading to war with the klingons. Last scene of Trek VI could have been Kirk seeing the Ent D on the viewer…’to be continued..’

Then Generations opens with Picard and Co encountering Kirk and Co and the badly damaged Enterprise A in the war-torn alternate time line of the 24th century..(they did something similar to that in fairly recent comics ‘The Last Generation’)

103. somethoughts - May 13, 2011

Worf: They have found a way to penetrate out shields!

Riker should say: Rotate shield modulation and return fire!

Fail.

To keep it interesting at least give those commands and have Data reply, “unable to rotate shields frequency due to…

This way Riker doesnt look like a noob and the writers like dolts and the audience thinking Janeway is smarter than Riker few years later.

104. Dom - May 13, 2011

A Godfather-II type film would have been wonderful with Spock, McCoy and Scotty visiting some world with the Enterprise-D crew and intercutting with the original crew on the Enterprise-A decades earlier.

The biggest issue with killing Kirk is that he was offed in a spinoff of a different TV show. If Kirk’s going to die, it needs to be in a TOS movie in the context of his ‘world.’ You wouldn’t kill off Buffy in an guest shot on Angel, for example.

Kirk died supposedly saving a planet we never see, whose population has no relevance to us bar a random line of dialogue in a classic case of ‘telling, not showing!’ Generations is really shockingly amateurish.

105. Vultan - May 13, 2011

TNG is still my favorite series, but I can’t defend this movie. It was pretty much a bummer all around—Picard’s brother and nephew die, Kirk dies, the Enterprise-D is destroyed, the Enterprise-B captain is a buffoon, Data finally gets emotions and then turns into a buffoon, etc., etc…

It seemed like they were either trying to derail the film series or prove the odd-numbered-Trek-films-aren’t-as-good theory correct.

Well, either way, First Contact was a breath of fresh air… though unfortunately a brief one.

106. Danpaine - May 13, 2011

Either way you slice it, worse…writing…ever. There were about 1,567 better ways to take Kirk out. Shit, having him walk back into the Nexus would have been better.

I was SO let-down in the theater.

Regardless, I do like Generations. Better than nothing. Almost.

107. Danpaine - May 13, 2011

…. even letting the Ent-B incident simply kill him would have been better. Would have been fitting with the theme of the movie, too.

108. SciFiGuy - May 13, 2011

Shitty end for my childhood hero and idol — James T Kirk. Both endings as shot were terrible!!! I agree it would have been better for him to die on the Ent-B or go back to the Nexus with his “Space, the final frontier…” narration in the background…(?) This was no hero’s exit!

But, honestly, this movie was completely unnecessary! I’ll never understand why Shat agreed to be in this film. I thought the signature ending of TUC was the perfect ending for the TOS cast…

109. Jefferies Tuber - May 13, 2011

Jesus, that was tedious. The whole notion of killing Kirk in this movie was misguided.

110. Kirk Lives! - May 13, 2011

better ways fo Kirk to die than shot in the back/falling off a bridge:

#1 After defeating Soran Kirk and picard make tehir way to the crashed Ent D when kirk suddenly slips on a rock and falls hitting his head. he dies in Picards arms..

#2 Kirk and Picard get to the remains of the crashed Ent D and are beamed up to the obiting ships. Unfortuantly Kirks DNA structure dosnt tally with the ships transporters and the computer recognises him as a virus and beams him into open space..

#3 Kirk and Picard defeat Soran, Kirk thinks for a minute b4 picking up sorans gun and shoots Picard in the head and then himself and then awakes back in the nexes…

111. Damian - May 13, 2011

105–I was actually more peeved that they destroyed the Enterprise. The D was my favorite ship. I guess I was prepared for Kirk’s death, I was not ready for the destruction of the Enterprise.

The Crucible-Kirk book did a good job giving a little more background on Captain Harriman and portraying him as a son of an admiral who was using his son to make himself look better. It notes that Captain Harriman was trying to make the best of what he felt was a bad situation too. The book also has an explanation of the “Oh, my” comment and whether there is an echo of Kirk in the Nexus.

Also, the Lost Era book on the Enterprise-B shows a Captain Harriman years later that is much more confident and sure of himself, and a worthy captain of the Enterprise.

112. Paul - May 13, 2011

Both versions were horrible. Berman wanted Kirk dead so it removed the chance of another TOS movie & allowed TNG to takeover the movie series as in 1994 TOS cast could have made another movie or 2 easily!

Shatner only took the part as he knew Berman would sink any further TOS projects so his choice was 1 last adventure or nothing! Shatner then went back to Berman in 1995 about making The Return novel into a Kirk Resurrection movie & was turned down immediately!!

Kirk is still alive in the Nexus though so he could easily appear in ST12 (but I doubt he will as Paramount waited too long a TV movie with surviving TOS cast is the most realistic comeback vehicle but highly unlikely now…….)

113. Mike - May 13, 2011

I don’t think there’s anyway to fix generations. Both endings were bad in my opinion, but not because of how Kirk died, but because the whole plot for the whole movie made no sense at all.

The one logical question that no one every asks is why does Soren even his sun-destroying rocket? The plot says that it’s to get back to the nexus, and that all ships that approach the nexus are destroyed / damaged, but how did he get to the nexus in the first place? In a ship. Does it matter if that ship is destroyed if his only goal is to whisked away to fantasy land? Of course not. Soren would have just stolen a shuttle and the whole movie would have been unnecessary. There’s no logical reason for any of them to be there.

114. Kirk Lives! - May 13, 2011

112
i agree! its a shame they finished making the star trek movies with the original cast when they did. Shatner and nimoy were only in their 60s in the 1990s and they could have easily done a *proper* Trek VII in 1994 – not Generations – something along the lines of Shatners ‘Ashes of Eden’ directed by N Meyer and then done a ‘Generations’ film in 1996 (more like ‘Yesterdays Enterprise’ directed by Meyer or Nimoy….after having giving TNG a much needed rest after 7 years on tv) plus 1996 was the 30th anniversay of Trek – an ideal time to release a crossover movie

then TNG (who wouldve been introduced to the big screen in 1996) could have done their standalone movies. (FC, INS, NEM)

Shatner and Nimoy would have only been 65 if they had been in a final film in 1996. only the same age H Ford was in the last Indy!

115. MJ - May 13, 2011

@84 “the problem with ‘going out in a blaze of glory’ George Kirk style, while seemingly the obvious idea, is its wrong for the character as he was just too experienced a starship commander”

Your right, OK I love him dying on the scaffolding now…it works for me now…thanks for clearing this up.

(note: sarcasm)

116. Dave - May 13, 2011

I personally liked the extended fist fight in this version… and the tie-in to STV with Kirk being able to free-climb the mountain… It goes bad after “the 24th century isn’t so tough.” — and declines from there

shot in the back, burying him on the planet under a pile of rocks…. and Picard never mentions to ANYONE… not even Riker or Guinan that he just met the greatest captain in star fleet history! Terrible

On the business side… we assumed all through TNG that Kirk was already dead… they figured they couldn’t avoid it forever… they just came up with a terrible way of telling it… Shatner agreed because the studio decided no more TOS movies… so it was one more or nothing… and hey, let’s face it… he’s a professional actor who gets PAID to play Kirk. it’s still a job, enjoyable or not. He doesn’t do it for fun.

and I’m sure on some level Shatner was thinking “this is science fiction.. if they want to bring me back, someone will find a way… so it really isn’t over.”

The studio was trying to “force” TOS fans to convert to TNG -it didn’t work. I like all Star Trek, but TOS will always be my favorite. I like the characters better.

117. MJ - May 13, 2011

@105 “I was actually more peeved that they destroyed the Enterprise. The D was my favorite ship. I guess I was prepared for Kirk’s death, I was not ready for the destruction of the Enterprise.”

That was actually my favorite part of the movie. Finally, that fat guppy, the ugliest starship in Federation history, was gone. What was Andy Probert thinking???

118. Sam - May 13, 2011

While both endings stink, I still prefer ‘Bridge on the Captain’ over this crap.

119. CmdrR - May 13, 2011

My eyes were glazing over with boredom at the 3:00 mark. Repetitive and dull. Nevermind that it was a bad idea to kill Kirk in any fashion.

The movie was forced on the fans by the studio suits. They wanted NextGen to carry the franchise, so they figured killing Kirk made sense. They thought a crossover (which Roddenberry didn’t want, then broke his own rule) would make bucks so we got stuck with that. There’s very little creativity in this script. The emotional stakes are plugged in, as with the deaths of Picard’s brother and nephew. WHY was that there? Felt like stomping on a good feeling, did we? Corporations forever look at people and see numbers. $, of course, but also some easy-to-exploit formula. Grunt A will respond to Stimulus B and make me $$$$.

Trek’s better than that. Period.

120. Kirk Lives! - May 13, 2011

115 glad to be of help!

(note: sincere)

121. SciFiGuy - May 13, 2011

Damian — in with ya on the demise of the Ent-D! Taken out by a Bird of Prey?! Please! That ship faced the Borg and survived to tell about it! Generations was just a stupid movie — and, LOL, Mike above is right! All Soran needed was SHUTTLECRAFT!!! HAHAHA!!!

The TNG movies — aside from First Contact — were pointless and completely unnecessary!

122. Damian - May 13, 2011

113–I think the idea was that it was too risky to take a ship in. It is equally likely that the ship would be destroyed with Soran in it. Remember, he had to be touched by the Nexus to get into it. If the ship was destroyed by the gravitation before he was taken into the Nexus, he would have just died. I figure he was so obsessed about getting into it, he was not going to take any chances, no matter how remote, of missing his shot.

123. SciFiGuy - May 13, 2011

Fine — he could have flown out to it in a shuttle, put on a space suit; do an EVA and touch it. Anyway, it’s still a flimsy plot and a lame-o movie across the board!

124. Damian - May 13, 2011

117–I wanted to live in that ship. I mean it had everything. I hate Wesley Crusher because he got to grow up as a teenager on that ship. There’s nothing wrong with the Enterprise-E, but it didn’t have that same city-in-space feel.

I was actually kind of hoping when Picard came out, maybe he would have done it early enough to stop the destruction (though in his defense, he did not yet know the Enterprise had crashed at that point).

125. Damian - May 13, 2011

123–At the end of the day, it was a plot device to advance the story. Even Star Trek (2009) had contrivances up the whazoo to move along the plot (rapid fire promotions and so on). Don’t forget, Soran was insane with his obsession. He had worked out every last detail to get to the Nexus and would leave nothing to chance. Captain Picard even had told Soran they would find another way, and Soran said there is no other way, indicating he had considered flying into it.

126. Someone - May 13, 2011

To all “Kirk’s Death” haters…

Consider all of the following:
1) Kirk was given TWO deaths. He “died” on the Enterprise B, nobly saving the ship, and he “died” again in the 24th century nobly saving an entire planet.
2) After the first death, he went to the closest thing to “heaven” in the purposefully secular Roddenberrian Star Trek universe. Once there, he almost immediately saw through the farce that is the concept of “eternal joy”, and along with Picard he understood that a sense of duty/honor/purpose, is much more important/worthy/fulfilling than spending eternity in bliss.
3) Thus, he died, went to heaven, decided heaven was boring, and RESURRECTED to do one last duty before dying again.
4) And when he died, he died on a bridge. A BRIDGE. Get it? A BRIDGE.

All in all, I think he got a pretty awesome send off from a literary perspective — and displayed once again that he is no common mortal. SO GET OVER IT ALREADY.

127. Ivory - May 13, 2011

To be blunt, both of Kirk’s death scenes sucked. There was no reason for Kirk to be killed. As a matter of fact there was no reason for Kirk to be in the film at all.

Mr. Orci, you are one of the few people on the planet who can truly give Kirk “a fighting chance to live” Give this legendary character the ending he deserves.

128. SciFiGuy - May 13, 2011

“SO GET OVER IT ALREADY”

No. LOL!!!

129. Dunsel Report - May 13, 2011

#82 I agree completely. If we know anything about James T. Kirk, it’s that he doesn’t belong planetside. He belongs, as we heard countless times on TOS, on that ship, up there. So it would have felt more right for a ship to be where he dies.

The ship is where we first met him. It’s his “first, best destiny,” as Spock tells him in II. It’s why men like him, as he told McCoy, don’t have families.

Because the bridge is Kirk’s natural habitat and where he started his journey, it should have been where he ended his journey. In good stories, people go to strange new worlds and come back home. They do not go to weird planets and get crushed by falling architecture.

But the other thing that’s so weird about “Generations” is that the creators seem to have mixed up Shatner, the self-deprecating horse charity MC, with Kirk, the hero. They try for a Tango & Cash buddy-cop thing where Picard is uptight and Kirk is free-wheeling, but it’s just really off.

There’s a line in the Orci/Kurtzman screenplay where they claim that Kirk, Spock and Sulu look at Pike and “they would ****ing die for their Captain.” I didn’t get the feeling on that desert planet with Soran that anyone would want to die for this Kirk.

130. Christopher Roberts - May 13, 2011

And yet, Kirk was always the one who led the landing party. This is what they moved away from with Picard. With Generations and writing Kirk’s death, I wonder if Ron Moore and Brannon Braga basically watched “Arena” on a loop.

131. Lt. Bailey - May 13, 2011

Shot in the back….not the way to go for James T. Kirk but he did die alone. He did not have Spock & McCoy with him as he said in ST V.

At least in the books that Shatner wrote, Kirk lives after he falls helping Picard defeat Dr Sorin. Kirk gets “repaired” by a superior species that could be the Borg or something like that I seem to recall. While not canon to most people, I include books into my Star Trek canon.

132. gingerly - May 13, 2011

I hate both ways it went down. It was just, so empty and ill-conceived.
More meaningless than Tasha Yar’s death and that’s saying something.

I really dislike Generations. Even if it didn’t have that terrible final confrontation, I would still hate it.

Kirk deserved a far better send-off, much like what was given Nimoy in the last Trek film.

133. Colonel West - May 13, 2011

Bridge on the Captain…

134. Robman007 - May 13, 2011

@ 131: Star Trek: The Return. Kirk was brought back by the Borg, whom had an alliance of a sort with a group of Romulan rebels (an idea taken from Picard, who always believed that the Romulans could one day become a productive and worthwhile member of the galactic society). The Borg used a device called the “ark” that was found by the Romulans and belonged to some ancient civilization. The Borg also used Nanites to keep him alive, but the Nanites were slowing killing him as well…he was being used to assassinate Picard (thru a brain washing program the Romulan Commander used to make Kirk believe he was a Human who fought against the tyranny of the Federation).

I consider the Shatner books to be cannon as well. Great series of novels.

Generations I cannot watch. I hate that flick because of how Kirk was treated. His fate should be unknown. Killing him did nothing, and was done in a lame fashion.

135. THX-1138 - May 13, 2011

Two things:

Killing Kirk was the stupidest idea in all of Trek. Absolutely without question. What kind of twit thinks that they will really help out the Trek franchise and please the fanbase by killing off captain Kirk?

And destroying the D was dumb, too.

136. Darryl - May 13, 2011

I like to pretend that there was no Nexus, and that James T. died saving the Enterprise B. Now that was a kick-ass hero ending.

And don’t tell anyone, but sometimes, I put on the Generations soundtrack and pretend I’m Kirk racing down the corriders of B. It’s fun.

137. REM1701 - May 13, 2011

Actually I LIKED this version. The only change that I would’ve made was Soran aiming to shoot Picard and Kirk stepping in front of the phaser blast. Picard arms the missle as he did in the final version and the explosion kills Soran. I envisioned Kirk dying in Picards arms (with some good dialogue). They should’ve kept more of the “fight” scene. It was much more interesting than the final edit

138. thebiggfrogg - May 13, 2011

Yeah Kirk should have been stabbed by 1000 bathleth wielding Klingons and then he should have got up and been shot by 300 massed Romulan disruptors and then he should have got up and been disassembled into atoms by Trelane and then he should have reassembled and then he should have been rammed by a starship run by zombie Khan and then, finally, he dies saying something heroic like, “I do this for all eternity and for the life of my beloved Federation and my dear friends Spock, McCoy, and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise!”

THAT would have been heroic. ; )

The death scene was FINE! He died saving millions of people on Veridian III. His last words expressed a boyish wonder and virve, which was a lot of what Kirk was about. I agree shot in the back would have been a bit of an improper sendoff. Could it have been done better maybe, but I like the fact that characters die. It makes the jeopardy they face more interesting and their deeds more heroic when they face real obstacles. If Kirk is invincible it is ridiculous.

139. MJ - May 13, 2011

@138 LOL You can’t prove a point by taking the alternative point to a ridiculous extreme. That is not how logic works, son.

140. BringBackKirkPrime - May 13, 2011

It was bad enough they felt they had to kill him off at all, but this would have been even worse than the choice they made.

141. SciFiGuy - May 13, 2011

#138 — You are being obtuse. No one said Kirk should be invincible. On the other hand, the character deserved a better sendoff than “dying to save” Veridian III — a planet we never saw, even in the context of this movie! If he had died saving Vulcan or any other Federation planet that had some kind of non-contrived importance then your argument that he died saving sA ing something might carry more weight.

As it was, it was a hollow death for a hollow “rescue” of something nobody gave a shit about — even in the context of the movie.

It was lame.

Could it have been better you say…?

You betcha!!!

142. Let Them Eat Plomeek Soup - May 13, 2011

Only reason why they killed Kirk: to get more viewers. Other than that, they could have kept him around.

143. Charla - May 13, 2011

Generations could have been like Star Trek 09! They were shooting for more drama I guess… The writers should have seriously weighed the consequences to the ending. (glad they did change it- sounds like the others just didn’t get it) Leaving it open for some speculation would have been a good idea imo.

144. Charla - May 13, 2011

#142 yes that is one compelling reason for them to kill Kirk off too- DOH! Can’t believe I left that out!

145. Torchwood68 - May 13, 2011

Th only fitting way for Kirk to die was to be aboard Enterprise, saving the galaxy.

146. Ivory - May 13, 2011

They should re-shoot it for the third time. This time around Kirk gets up and walks away alive and well.

147. Harry Ballz - May 13, 2011

Why don’t we show Shatner counting his money at the bank for an unnecessary comeback?

The fat old Shatner/Kirk is dead. Let him rest. No longer needed. Thank you!

148. Bringbacktrekagain! - May 13, 2011

I can only say bring back Shatner while there’s still time.

149. MJ - May 13, 2011

@147. I COULD NOT AGREE MORE, HARRY. YOU ARE TELLING IT LIKE IT IS MY FRIEND!!!!!

150. sean - May 13, 2011

#55

True, though all the warping effects were CGI. Still the best the Ent-D ever looked, shame they blew her up immediately after.

151. Buzz Cagney - May 13, 2011

The really big question that nobody appears to have ever asked is just how did the powder puff Picard- he who couldn’t even beat up Grampy Soran by himself- manage to grapple the not inconsiderable Captain Kirk’s lifeless body up that bloody mountain to bury him?

Was there some unused footage we could see?
I suppose it was edited out for pacing purposes. Was there three weeks worth of film of Jean-Luc puffing and panting with Jim on his back that was left on the editing suite floor?

We deserve an answer.

152. Harry Ballz - May 14, 2011

Buzz, maybe he made like a BALD eagle and flew him up the mountain!

(runs and hides)

153. Buzz Cagney - May 14, 2011

Nah, I reckon JLP thought stuff that, i’ll just take his StarFIeet badge up there. I’m afraid the Veridian Vultures took care of the rest. It saw them right through the winter!

I will say this Harry, its taken 17 years before I felt able to make light of Kirk’s horrible demise in Generations!

And thats probably only because we have him back now in PineKirk. That’ll do for me!

154. Basement Blogger - May 14, 2011

I liked Generations. I would give it a B as a grade. When I saw it at the theater , the audience applauded the movie. Yeah, I would say they were all serious Trekkers.

Sure Generations had problems. One was how to get out of the Nexus. Tap your magic slippers? And looking at the first footage of Kirk’s death, it’s absolutely ludicrous. Why? It’s the old Indiana Jones trick. Why didn’t Soran just shoot Kirk right away instead of fighting him for ten minutes? And there was no need to kill off Kirk.

But there are some very good moments. The special effects were great. Exploding planets. Enterprise saucer section crash landing. Dennis McCarthy wrote a dynamic and heroic score. Fantastic use of the Alex Courage fanfare. Picard has a great line at the end.

“I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey and reminds us to cherish every moment, because it will never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we’ve lived.”

I love the ending as Picard signals the Farragut, (name of Kirk’s first ship) to transport them out. We see the ships leave orbit to Courage’s fanfare. The film was very much in keepig with the Next Generation’s ethos.

155. On vacation with Landru - May 14, 2011

First of all, I thought Shatner ASKED for Kirk to be killed off. Or am I wrong?

The problem with Kirk’s death is that we already had Spock die in an amazing and poignant way. There was just no way that Kirk’s death could be on the same level. It was ridiculous to have him go out in a battle – at his age, it just looked ridiculous. It didn’t look like the Kirk still had it in him at all. They tried to make him go out with a bang, which I think was completely the wrong approach. He needed to go out with a whisper and ALONE.

156. Red Dead Ryan - May 14, 2011

153.
……

“…it’s taken 17 years before I felt able to make light of Kirk’s horrible demise in Generations!”

Well, I guess Soran was right when he said, “Time is the fire in which we burn!”

155.
……

“First fo all, I thought Shatner ASKED for Kirk to be killed off. Or am I wrong?”

After his performances in “The Final Frontier” and “The Undiscovered Country”, I can see how some might have come to that conclusion! :-D

“He needed to go out with a whisper and ALONE.”

Well, in a way he did die alone, since Picard was no where to be found when he was fighting Soran, and he did mutter “Oh, my…” under his dying breath!

:-D

157. Red Dead Ryan - May 14, 2011

The truth is, “Generations” could have been remembered as a good Trek movie had it not been for Kirk’s death. There were some great moments, like the Enterprise B scenes, Worf’s promotion, the battle sequences, the saucer crash, and Picard dealing with his nephew’s and brother’s deaths.
Soran had some great lines and was well played by Malcolm McDowell.

It was the last part of the movie, when Soran was battling with Picard and Kirk that marred the movie. Kirk dies a lame death and Picard is a weakling. Oh well.

158. Red Dead Ryan - May 14, 2011

156.
……

fo=of

DAMN TYPOS!!!

159. Buzz Cagney - May 14, 2011

#156 i’ve checked all my bodily parts and no sign of any singeing!
Nah, time hasn’t burned me to the horribleness of Kirk’s death in Generations- its having, as i said above, the character back.
But the pressure on them to make Kirk real in the next movie is immense.

160. MJ - May 14, 2011

@157. Generations was OK except for Kirks death. However, I disagree with you on Soran — I did not find him to be that well thought out of a character, and I thought McDowell’s interpretation of him as “an aged Sting” was rather laughable.

Loved the saucer crash though!

161. MJ - May 14, 2011

FYI — Kirk did not die alone nor can we stretch it to say he kind of died alone. Just watched that scene in the movie again here right now to verify it, and Picard was right there. So let’s all please nix this new interpretation that he kind of died alone.

162. Red Dead Ryan - May 14, 2011

161.
……

I was joking about Kirk dying alone. :-)

163. MJ - May 14, 2011

@162. You got me on that one! :-))

164. Mike Thompson - May 15, 2011

In new Trek they could beam him out whilst falling from the bridge….

165. Mike Thompson - May 15, 2011

It was a mistake not to have Leonard in it, like Kirk said in response to Spock “why did you come back for me” in III “you would have done the same for me”.

An Older Spock would have found a way.

166. Damian - May 15, 2011

160–I actually thought McDowell did a pretty good job. Here you have an obsessed character trying to get back into what would best be termed as “Heaven,” at least from his perspective. I guess it’s all a matter of opinion, in any event.

I always interpreted the “I’ll die alone” more or less as alone from Kirk and Spock, his family. He may not have died alone, but he came as close to being alone without being alone literally. I mean, it’s not like he and Picard were bosom buddies. He was a fellow Starfleet officer, but otherwise was a total stranger. But at the end of the day, I’m not going to sweat it.

167. Damian - May 15, 2011

166–crap, forgot to check my typing,

alone from Spock and McCoy, obviously.

168. Baroner - May 15, 2011

Either way, a horrible blight on all of Trek. Damn all those involved in this tragedy.

169. AJ - May 15, 2011

Well, this doesn’t make the final cut good, but it does make it…less bad.

170. Chris_of_ODU - May 16, 2011

I’ve read quite a few of these comments, but I’d like to offer my two cents.

I’m not really a huge fan of either, but when he takes a ride down the mountain? I knew it wouldn’t turn out well (even when I first saw it in the theaters), but expected him to pull through somehow.

Watching Kirk get shot in the back was horrifying. It felt a bit like someone had punched the wind out of me.

If Dennis McCarthy would have been allowed to score the scene properly (the movie is essentially a bland Berman non-score except for the “Overture”), it would have been heart-wrenching…

171. thebiggfrogg - May 16, 2011

@139 Logic, you say? These are Trek fans at Trek movie and don’t the twain shall meet here.

Point well taken though.

172. thebiggfrogg - May 16, 2011

Although there was a “Captain Invincible” side to TOS that I always hated. Whenever there was some effect that would incapacitate the entire crew Kirk was the last affected or remained unscathed. I actually liked the sort of understated ending. It made Kirk human. Heroes are heroes, but they are human too.

It may have been better if we had some inkling of Veridian III and what he saved, but if he had saved Vulcan, for instance, that would have had resonance for fans perhaps, but not the newbies. Thank God he didn’t die saving Earth. That lil’ trope has been done to death.

173. skyjedi - May 19, 2011

To me this movie was when TNG jumped the shark, and putting Shatner in the movie a huge mistake.

The only good TNG movie is First Contact and it is not even a Roddenberry message type piece just a good action film.

174. jyh2 - May 23, 2011

I wish there would’ve been some technobabble about how bringing Kirk out of the Nexus, still keeps him on some type of metaphysical tether, that way if he died in during the fight with Soran, he’d be drawn back into the nexus or something. Personally if they could’ve found a way to slingshot him back to saving the Enterprise-B, and have him get sucked out into space, but knowing that he saved it and being a peace with that, not only would it have kept him in his own timeline, but also fulfilled his own prophecy of dying in space, and doing it in a way more heroic (looking at least) way.

Either way, if it wasn’t for the fact that Shatner was sick of Kirk, needed the money, and seems to do anything for money, it might have been different. I’m sure that if I did some more research into Berman & Braga’s background with Trek I might not be so inclined to disagree with everyone that they almost destroyed Trek (frankly I think that most of the stuff that came out of Trek in the TNG/DS9 years, prior to VOY, was brilliant).

In my opinion at least Berman, Braga, and Moore stuck to what I came to accept as the ideals of Star Trek rather than the crapfest that was Abrahm’s STINO (Star Trek in name, only) of 2009.

175. lolo - May 29, 2011

On the bright side, with any luck, the 2009-started timeline will somehow manage to kill off Soran and none of it will ever have happened.

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