Watch: Malcolm McDowell Says He Did Trekkies A Favor By Killing Kirk |
jump to navigation

Watch: Malcolm McDowell Says He Did Trekkies A Favor By Killing Kirk June 10, 2012

by Staff , Filed under: Feature Films (TMP-NEM),Viral Video/Mashup/Images , trackback

In 1994 actor Malcolm McDowell had the dubious distinction of being the actor to play the man who killed Capt. James T. Kirk in the movie Star Trek: Generations. He has been getting an earful about that from Trekkies for the last two decades, but at a recent event he fought back saying that he did Trekkies a favor. He also had some choice things to say about his Generations co-star Sir Patrick Stewart and opined about JJ Abrams as well. Watch his Trek rant below.


McDowell unleashes on Star Trek

At a 40th anniversary LA Times Hero Complex event celebrating A Clockwork Orange Malcolm McDowell talked about that film and his career. At one point the LA Times’ Geoff Boucher asked the actor about the reaction Star Trek fans had to his killing of James T. Kirk in Star Trek Generations. McDowell took that opportunity to say some very candid (perhaps tongue-in-cheek) things about his views of Star Trek…

The Trekkies, they did get a bit freaked out [about killing Captain Kirk]. I think they have come to realize that actually I did them a favor. Because we have released this whole thing and now JJ Abrams has gone on and made some actually good movies…It is very fun times that they have revived it and I think it has given it new energy. I think it needed that. My god. How many more of these things. Patrick Stewart spouting off for another forty minutes. Jesus! If you find that exciting, hey go watch paint dry!

Tell us how you really feel Malcolm! The veteran British actor soon realized that he was going to get some feedback on this when he he asked "Somebody is photographing? This is going to be on the bloody Internet isn’t it?” He then noted “I keep forgetting about this f–king Internet."

Here is the full video (via LATimes & Nerdist). [Trek bit starts around 8:40]

For a reminder, here is McDowell as Dr. Tolian Soran fighting captains Kirk and Picard in Star Trek: Generations.



1. El Alto - June 10, 2012


2. William - June 10, 2012


3. RobbyB - June 10, 2012

Can somebody, anybody, give me a halfway decent plot reason Kirk was killed? We know the “real reason” but I’ve never heard any storyline reasoning that held up. Not that Kirk needed to be in the next film, or ever heard from again, but the hope/imagination of the Troika (now comically old) in the sterile 24th century is great.

4. Skeptic - June 10, 2012

Sadly, I suspect a lot of the producers at Paramount share this viewpoint, which is why they passed the torch to JJ Abrams, and thereby effectively killed the old era of Star Trek. Given how popular the new movie was with audiences, and how much praise JJ Abrams is receiving from even sites like this one, maybe it is a view shared by a large number of of Trekkies, too.

5. SFC3 - June 10, 2012

Kirk’s death was a terrible scene that could have been loads better.
LOADS. Dying by being crushed by a stupid rusty bridge isn’t even good death, even.

6. CmdrR - June 10, 2012

I’m sure if Sir Patrick is offended, he’ll have some brilliant comeback. Mostly, I just think Malcolm was having fun. Better than what he (Kubrick, really) did to Gene Kelley.

7. Valenti - June 10, 2012

Well played, good sir!

8. V'Ger23 - June 10, 2012


It certainly is a view shared at least by THIS long-time fan. The franchise needed to adapt and change or it never would have survived. It never ceases to amaze me how fans actually believe that producers could have kept churning out the same re-dressed late-80’s inspired stuff for another 20 years and been successful. It amazes me even more that it is what some people WANTED.

Trek had become so bloated, repetitive and uninteresting that nobody cared any longer. It had become more about sustaining it’s own continuity. It was the same approaches and the same style dressed up in new crews and characters. There was nothing NEW there.

Many fans argue that the last Trek, by re-imagining the original characters is not NEW. But, I strongly disagree. It’s not the characters…it’s the approach (the themes, the style, the pacing, etc) that needed a re-work, and thankfully the filmmakers and producers realized that and delivered on it. No more stuffy, bloated, static Trek-in-a-can.

9. Selor Kiith - June 10, 2012

I think he wasn’t actually all that serious in the whole vid ;)

But… I would have been okay if they just had the Nexus kill off Kirk instead of “preserving” him for Soran…

Kirks Time was over… and it was at least better than having just a short text-easter-egg in some movie or series of an article of how the legendary Kirk silently died in his bed…

10. vantheman77 - June 10, 2012

Kirk’s death was not well thought-out in comparison to Spock’s in Star Trek 2. I can see what William Shatner was talking about when he felt that Kirk wasn’t integral to the plot in Generations. There was really no plot reason for Kirk to be killed, it was more like the producers of TNG/ DS9/ VOY/ ENT wanting to bury the original series.

11. AJ - June 10, 2012

Malcolm seems to be channeling his creepy studio exec character from ‘Entourage’ in the interview.

What’s funny is ‘he did us all a favor’ by killing Kirk. I’m sure he was happy to get a paycheck at the time. He’d have done a hula dance at the time if it was in the script. Oh, and nice bit of actor-envy aimed at fellow Shakespearean Sir Patrick.

I enjoy McDowell’s work, but it sounds like he’d had a few tipples when they talked to him.

12. Steve Gennarelli - June 10, 2012

Looking back on “Star Trek” in the early 90’s, I’ve always had the impression that Bill Shatner didn’t mind coming back to do a “death scene” much like how a disenchanted Leonard Nimoy came back to do “Star Trek 2″ with the promise that he’d have a neat death scene to play.
While Shatner may have wanted one last big payday to “feed the horses”, had he known that the next 20 years would see an explosion of new interest in “Star Trek” like tent pole films, I’m sure he would have put the kybosh on his “Generations” demise.
I think Rick Berman selfishly wanted to kill Kirk to once and for all “bury” the original crew so his TNG crew would have the complete spotlight.
I’m still hoping that the 2016 “Star Trek 3- The 50 Year Anniversary Mission” has the Mirror Universe’s Kirk & Spock played by a bearded Nimoy and a bearded Shatner crash into the world of the new crew and reak havoc on the Enterprise.

13. James Cannon - Runcorn Trekkie UK - June 10, 2012

Kirk should have died on the bridge, not UNDER one ….

14. roger - June 10, 2012

@ 8:

“It’s not the characters”

you can say that again

15. Colin - June 10, 2012

I think the producers who wanted to bury TOS were Rick Berman and Brannon Braga. I remember reading a comment made by Ron Moore in which he said in his opinion that these two producers didn’t like the original series.

I have mixed feelings about JJ Abrams. I am thrilled that he revived interest in the franchise, yet I feel that he doesn’t have the same care and passion that was a cornerstone of the previous generations. I am, also, not impressed with Chris Pine. Up to this point, he has convinced me that he is a competent actor; however, he hasn’t sold me on him being Captain James Kirk. Maybe, in the next film, I will buy him as the Captain.

16. Red Dead Ryan - June 10, 2012


“Kirk’s death was not well thought-out in comparison to Spock’s in Star Trek 2. I can see what William Shatner was talking about when he felt that Kirk wasn’t integral to the plot of Generations.”

Here’s the thing about that. Shatner agreed to kill Kirk off, took the money, and gave input into the script (especially the horse-riding and Nexus bits).

So I think it’s totally disengenuous to seperate Shatner from the fiasco that was Kirk’s death. He’s just as responsible for that as the writers are.

17. MJ - June 10, 2012

“The Trekkies, they did get a bit freaked out [about killing Captain Kirk]. I think they have come to realize that actually I did them a favor. Because we have released this whole thing and now JJ Abrams has gone on and made some actually good movies…It is very fun times that they have revived it and I think it has given it new energy. I think it needed that. My god. How many more of these things. Patrick Stewart spouting off for another forty minutes. Jesus! If you find that exciting, hey go watch paint dry!”

Well said, Malcom McDoweell! He tells it like he sees it and I agree!

18. No Khan - June 10, 2012

They killed Kirk to bury TOS. Berman couldn’t wait to push Roddenberry & the old crew out to pasture.

19. Aurore - June 10, 2012

“The Trekkies, they did get a bit freaked out [about killing Captain Kirk]. I think they have come to realize that actually I did them a favor. Because we have released this whole thing…”

I did not mind about their “releasing this whole thing”, at all.
If only “they” could have left James Tiberius Kirk out of it…

Oh, well…It is what it is…

“….and now JJ Abrams has gone on and made some actually good movies…It is very fun times that they have revived it and I think it has given it new energy.”

On that, we can agree.

20. No Khan - June 10, 2012

#13 You hit the nail on the Head. I always felt Shat went for a big payday & Nimoy didn’t. Not whose benefiting the most.

21. rogue_alice - June 10, 2012

James T. Kirk. Survived by a bridge.

22. Karen Brown - June 10, 2012

I had less of a problem with the idea that Kirk died than I did with HOW. So I can agree, partly, with Malcolm. Seriously, the man plays a GREAT villain in so many films, they could’ve had a much more heroic death for Kirk.

23. No Khan - June 10, 2012

My post 20 should be directerd @ 12.

24. boborci - June 10, 2012


25. Lord Garth, Formerly of Izar - June 10, 2012

Orci did you just LOL?

Good lord someone has been hanging out at the Grove again with the 12 year olds outside the True Religion store. I forgot that school was out now


26. Unbel1ever - June 10, 2012

Well, I’d rather see hours of Stewart’s acting in a repeating loop than anything McDowell ever did. I’m looking forward to the second Reboot-Movie. If it can’t be more convincing than the first one, that’ll be it for me. A good start would be a non-generic villain with believable motives. Cumberbatch makes me hope it can happen.

27. MJ - June 10, 2012

@25 Huh ???

28. Shawn - June 10, 2012


What do you think of Kirk’s death in Generations? Was it earned?, Did he really need to be in the film at all? What do you think of Generations as a movie?

29. Ahmed - June 10, 2012

Killing Kirk was a big mistake, even Shatner admitted in his book, “Star Trek Movie Memories” that he regret agreeing on killing Kirk in the movie.

I didn’t care much about Malcolm McDowell rantings, he should take a look at his own movie & TV record.

30. jas_montreal - June 10, 2012

Lol. funny stuff.

31. drum-van - June 10, 2012


you guys have to bring back shatner/kirk prime so that he can get an actual proper death scene. no bridges, no buses, no last minute great vacation deals ;)

32. trekprincess - June 10, 2012

In my opinion I thought Chris Pine did a great job portraying Captain Kirk :):)

33. WillH85 - June 10, 2012

Pretty sure I remember his career being pretty much dead until he came back to do Generations. Then he goes and insults the franchise that gave him that come back? There goes any respect I had for the guy. Sorry that some of us have brains and don’t need constant, strung along action scenes to hold our attention. Sometimes good writing, acting, and directing are enough.

The new Trek came along because, lets face it, the mass audience doesn’t have the same attention span that Trekkies have so they had to infuse it with tons of action. I don’t blame JJ and co for that, they’re doing their jobs to make a fun movie, and they made a fun Trek movie. Just because it reaches out to a mass audience, though, doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with shows like TOS and TNG.

Also funny thing, I don’t see anything about McDowell being knighted. Jealous of superior talent maybe?

34. Ahmed - June 10, 2012

#33. trekprincess
“In my opinion I thought Chris Pine did a great job portraying Captain Kirk :):)”

Agreed, but still I’d love to see Shatner for the last time in the sequel.

Anthony, the site is not “remembering” my name and email address.

35. boborci - June 10, 2012

31. drum-van – June 10, 2012

you guys have to bring back shatner/kirk prime so that he can get an actual proper death scene. no bridges, no buses, no last minute great vacation deals ;)


Bring him back from the dead just to whack him again?! Seems cruel.

36. Paul - June 10, 2012

McDowell needs to get a reality check somewhere sometime. Berman killed Kirk to buy TOS movie series once & for all (or so he thought!).

And celebrating the thing which more than anything else upsets TOS fans is a pretty mean feat.

Bob Orci you know what to do how about you write/produce along with JJ a TV movie which covers the resurrection of Kirk……….think about the ratings/bluray sales for 1 last adventure with the remaining original TOS crew!!

37. George Zip - June 10, 2012

McDowell should have played the bus driver in that commercial.

38. Ahmed - June 10, 2012

#35. boborci – June 10, 2012

“Bring him back from the dead just to whack him again?! Seems cruel.”

Why whack him at all ? Just send him on a journey to the edge of the universe or get him ascended

39. Portney Jones - June 10, 2012

#33: I was wondering how long it would take for someone to completely over-react to Malcolm’s statement and throw a tantrum. Amazingly, it took 33 posts.

40. Craiger - June 10, 2012

I allways thought it would have been better having Kirk either stayed alive and then they had a scene with Kirk, Riker and Picard on the destroyed Enterprise D bridge and have Kirk say “Jean-Luc, what have you done to the Enterprise?” Then Picard look at Riker and said “Don’t look at me I wasn’t in Command.”

Or have Kirk been in command of the Enterprise D so that Riker and crew could have beamed off and then Riker could have helped Picard defeat Soran. Then you could see Kirk going down with ship and saving the a Solar System at the same time.

41. "Check the Circuit!" - June 10, 2012

I’m not a writer or in movies…so take my opinion with a grain of salt, but it never bothered me that Kirk died in Generations but the WAY he died was just so lame. And they had TWO chances to get it right! The first attempt was received poorly by test audiences so they went back and re-wrote and re-shot it. And falling off a bridge/cliff was the best they could do with the second chance? That’s how they send off one of the most iconic heroes in fiction? Really?

Had he willing sacrificed himself in some way it could have been so much more dramatic and satisfying. If he had to manually lock the rocket to keep it from launching and had to remain on the pad to make sure it stayed put…cool. If he had to fly a shuttle into the rocket after it launched to keep it from reaching the sun….wow! But the best the creative team could come up with was something out of a Monty Python sketch? Sad. (And not the good kind of sad.)

42. Planet Pandro - June 10, 2012

I’m pretty sure Malcolm is being a little tongue in cheek here. When I saw Sir Patrick at Creation’s Con in NJ last month, he delighted in telling a story about Malcolm McDowall forgetting his one and only line during his debut w/ the Royal Shakespeare Academy. I’m sure its some good-natured ribbing on both ends.

Also, Malcolm seems to forget they re-shot the original phasered-in the back ending, replacing it with Kirk on the collapsing bridge, and so that in the movie proper Soran didn’t kill Kirk at all!

43. LizardGirl - June 10, 2012

I empathize. Kirk went out with a whimper. No fanfare or grandiose funeral ceremony, in fact his sad death is only known to Picard, who in my opinion spent too much time pressing buttons when he should’ve been helping kick butt. It was a ridiculous way to end a great character.

But, we must move on. Time for regrets (especially on Bill’s side, I partially blame him for the death of Kirk) is over. There’s no use or fairness in holding JJ & CO. responsible for fixing something that happened in the 80s, let alone in an alternate universe. Seeing as this IS an alternate universe, Kirk may not even die. Which should mollify some (me especially).

44. LizardGirl - June 10, 2012

@37: LOL!!!

45. Ahmed - June 10, 2012

#43. LizardGirl – June 10, 2012

“But, we must move on. Time for regrets (especially on Bill’s side, I partially blame him for the death of Kirk) is over. There’s no use or fairness in holding JJ & CO. responsible for fixing something that happened in the 80s, let alone in an alternate universe. Seeing as this IS an alternate universe, Kirk may not even die. Which should mollify some (me especially).”

Star Trek:Generations was released in 1994, not in the 80s. Also, JJ Abrams universe IS the alternate universe, not the prime timeline where Kirk was killed in this dump way.

And I don’t see the problem of bringing Kirk back in the sequel, if they really want to do it, they can come up with million of ways to do it.

46. El Chup - June 10, 2012

PS is like watching paint dry? When you consider that McDowell’s CV for teh best part of the past 30 years has been almost largely garbage, you’d think he’d be a bit more polite!

Maybe he’s jealous about the knighthood – that’s what ya get for defecting to the Americans ;)

47. Vultan - June 10, 2012

What, no Tank Girl sequel?

48. El Chup - June 10, 2012

@ 42 Soran shot down the brudge Kirk was on! ;)

49. Planet Pandro - June 10, 2012

@48 Yes, he did shoot out the bridge, BUT…

Picard saved Kirk from the shot-out bridge. They could have walked away and tried new, winning strategies, but it was Kirk who went back out on a rickety bridge all for the love of the remote control.

Yeah, I’m nitpicking, I know…

50. spock_girl - June 10, 2012

Although I ‘m not happy with Kirk’s death – or any other of my favorite characters death in Star Trek (Data and Jadzia Dax in particular) I agree about the part he says that JJ Abrams brought a breath of fresh air the franchise desperately needed. I loved the new movie and I can’t wait for more

51. Sebastian S. - June 10, 2012

Maybe he was having a bad day when he spoke out against Trekkies (although I partially agree with him about the internet; celebrities can’t fart in peace these days without it winding up on

I met McDowell two years ago at Comic Con, we talked briefly about his work in “Time After Time” and “Clockwork Orange” and I got an autograph and took a pic with him and I.

To me at least, he was a perfect gentleman (maybe because I didn’t mention Star Trek? Who knows…).

52. Sebastian S. - June 10, 2012

# 51. Oops!

Meant to say ‘,’ not TMC. I’ve nothing against The Movie Channel….

53. LizardGirl - June 10, 2012

@Ahmed 45
Whatever, you know what I meant. The 90’s then, smart stuff. That’s still 18 years in the past. Yes JJ’s universe is the alternate universe and yes I know that the original universe is the prime universe. I was just differentiating between one and the other. Either one universe is an alternate of the other.

If JJ and his crew WANTED TO, they could do something to bring original Kirk back, but why bother? They already have a Kirk and HIS story is just beginning. You don’t see the problem because you don’t want to see the problem with bringing him back. What conceivable reason would Prime Kirk (at this point, aged beyond his original time-line life) come back? How would this help the story along?

It would seem forced and would take too much away from the new story we SHOULD be focusing on now.

54. BrF - June 10, 2012

Echoing some others here but, yes, it’s not that it was wrong that Kirk died, it’s just that the death he was given was unworthy of the character.

Having said that, if there’s anyone who should be able to appreciate a theatrical, tongue-in-cheek, rattle-their-chains bit like McDowell’s here, it is William Shatner.

55. Tom - June 10, 2012

Bob had it right with the proposed hologram scene

56. Captain Braxton - June 10, 2012

I sense a new war on our hands McDowell vs Stewart….dum, dum, DUUUUM!


57. Briankantor - June 10, 2012

NIce comments about Sir Patrick’s knighthood. It’s well deserved and the man has real STAR charisma. I have seen him a few times in action as chancellor of the University of Huddersfield (in the north of England).

58. Keachick - rose pinenut - June 10, 2012

As James Kirk said to Sulu in That Which Survives (TOS episode) – “There is no good way to die”, I find the comments about Kirk not dying a proper, heroic death to be silly. Kirk did die heroically, because he helped prevent the destruction of planet known to have 230 million (presumably humanoid like) inhabitants. It doesn’t matter that he and we don’t find out anything about their beings. The fact that they exist was important in itself and their demise worth fighting against.

It is what Picard did afterwards that was so crazy, stupid and wrong. What the f*** was that about? No proper burial etc. Bad.

The best thing they could have done is to have left it open as to whether Kirk survived the bridge collapsing on him, solving many a problem…

59. LizardGirl - June 10, 2012

Now that I really think about it, there aren’t a “million of ways” to bring original Kirk back. In fact, there isn’t one good way or even an excellent way. Any way that brings Prime Kirk back would need explaining in the m.ovie. Trekkers will be like “that’s not right, blah blah blah”. So then they’ll have to explain why he’s there, effectively disrupting the story from THE alternate universe.

This will probably get a lot of flack but the only excellent, no fantastic way I can see Bill Shatner inserted in the new franchise, is if he were a completely different character altogether. It could be a character of importance, one that makes sense to the story line and allows him to make several appearances without being out of place.

I think it would be the best mind trick to see him in a scene, acting opposite of Chris as Kirk, but playing another character. Either way, I believe that (besides in comics or cartoons) Prime Kirk is dead. Accepting that graciously will be a journey, for me as well as others.

60. Richard Daystrom - June 10, 2012

The plot of Generations was one of total disbelief on my part. Out of all the movies this one is the lamest. The Nexus? Get real ! I walked out the theater wondering WTF ?

61. Vultan - June 10, 2012


Kirk’s death was too small (so to speak). A larger than life character requires a larger than life death. And when you don’t get to know the people he saves, there’s a sort of emptiness associated with it.

Spock’s death in TWOK was big and meaningful because he saved everyone on the Enterprise—characters we know and love. Therein lies the difference. A good movie and a… not-so-good movie.

62. agentm31 - June 10, 2012

Wait, so Malcolm McDowell is playing Khan in the next Star Trek movie?

63. Kev-1 - June 10, 2012

I think he’s joking around with this. It’s waaay too early to tell if replacing the prime universe with this new iteration will have any lasting impact at all. For one, the 2009 film concentrated on Star Fleet Academy, not a fully formed crew. We didn’t see the new crew interact in fully realized positions. 2009 Trek might satisfy the accountants and action movie lovers, but lose the fans who buy other stuff. Or not. Too early to know.

64. LavianoTS386 - June 10, 2012

Kirk died reaching for the remote

65. Jonboc - June 10, 2012

I don’t think they had to kill off Jim Kirk, but I’d certainly agree with his assessment of the state of Trek at that time and how JJ has breathed some MUCH needed life into the lifeless (and often dull) franchise that Star Trek had evolved into.

66. Mike Thompson UK - June 10, 2012

Generations was a missed opportunity. They could have got the whole crew back with a wonderful story…..

I don’t blame Shatner for doing it, Berman saw no future.

67. Tom - June 10, 2012

it is hard to undue Generations and spend too much time on exposition on how Kirk came back to life.

That is why the holgram scene worked well. It doesnt bring him back , but just gives us another chance to see Kirk Prime. I think although not essential it was relevant in explaining their friendship.

I always believed they could use it in the sequel since one of the main complaints was how Kirk rose so quickly. I think also at the heart of that scene was to trust that person and you will develop and the friendship will be worthwhile.That is what Spock Prime was trying to inpart on NuSpock with the hologram.

Assuming we are not too far from the first movie I think it would work.

68. Phil - June 10, 2012

@35. Come on, Bob, it could be Star Trek’s version of Groundhog Day. It might have a bit of potential there….

69. ados - June 10, 2012

Nimoy…read the script…and rejected his part in Generations..If the 2 series in this movie would of teamed up to defeat Soran…I’m guessin the whole TOS would of joined this movie….total hindsite tho.

70. Jay Bonnes - June 10, 2012

It may have been because people were finally realizing that Kirk and William are NOT at all alike! Kirk the hero we worshiped and William the arrogant putz that has become a magalamaniac. Bills ego and arrogance in real lif, outstriped his value to continue playing the part of a character with such high ethics and a great role model… people were simply not “buying” it anymore.

71. Bob Mack - June 10, 2012

I have to agree with boborci – why bring Kirk back just to kill him all over again? Not only is it pointless, it becomes baggage for yet another film. I love Kirk and Shatner, but Kirk should be left to rest in peace, or have something real and meaningful to do in a film that benefits from his presence. Kirk did get a poor sendoff, I agree, but it was a sendoff.

72. Red Shirt Diaries - June 10, 2012

Bravo McDowell for not going the politically correct route on this (he refused to go through the “expected” motions of patting Stewart and Shatner on the back like most others in his position would). The truth hurts sometimes, and usually most of the high profile folks in “Hollywood Club” are afraid to voice their opinions.

And remember, McDowell turned down Knighthood in 1995. This guy is not afraid to tell us the truth, even if it is not in his best interests or politically expedient.

Malcolm McDowell, you are both correct and refreshing with your comments here! From one Trek fan, I say: Thank You, sir!

73. Basement Blogger - June 10, 2012

Funny stuff Malcolm. I wish they would make a movie like 2001 again. Smart. Brilliant.. Thought provoking.

74. T'Cal - June 10, 2012

I’m a huge TNG fan and the whole “let’s go to the movies” idea seemed like a good idea at the time but really only FC was worth it. GEN gets worse each time I watch it; watch Confused Matthew for an excellent if scathing review that I totally agree with. INS would’ve made a very good episode and, with Frakes directing and a bit of punching up of the script, NEM could’ve been a great season-ender/season opener. As great as FC was, I wouldn’t have minded that as a pair of episodes, too, if it meant TNG would’ve continued. At that time not only was VOY starting out, but DS9 was really coming into its own and becoming the best written Trek show, IMHO.

As for the killing of Kirk, I wish they hadn’t because Shatner was and is obviously interested in doing more, which would’ve been great. But, here we are.

75. ados - June 10, 2012

Malcolm McDowell….Also claims to be an American yet he has no citizenship as of now…lives in LA…And he was the star of A Clockwork Orangine…he plays villians well imho

76. BrF - June 10, 2012

@58: You wrote “Kirk did die heroically, because he helped prevent the destruction of planet known to have 230 million (presumably humanoid like) inhabitants.”

Respectfully, that’s technically true, but in my opinion the movie completely failed to deliver that information on a dramatic, emotionally compelling level.

As you point out, we don’t know anything about these people (if they are people). How invested can we be in the sacrifice Kirk makes for them?

77. Pauln6 - June 10, 2012

Lol – you’re ‘pretty sure’ he’s being tongue in cheek? It would be even funnier if Patrick Stewart did weigh in and started a bitch fight.

78. Legate Damar - June 10, 2012

I actually liked Generations. It certainly wasn’t the best of the Trek movies, but it wasn’t bad. Kirk’s death scene wasn’t as great as Spock’s, but it was still quite good. People seem to forget that Kirk was not just walking across a nridge that tragically collapsed. The bridge was collapsing before Kirk tried to cross it, but he was willing to risk his life to retrieve that remote and decloak the probe launcher, so that Picard could save millions of lives, including the crew of the Enterprise. Captain Kirk died a heroic death, shortly after getting into a fist fight with the bad guy. I can’t think of a better death for him.

79. MJ - June 10, 2012

@58 @76. Can you imagine if in the Return of the Jedi, Darth Vader died because some scaffolding fell on him?

Kirk should have went out in much more heroic fashion. If the point was to save a whole planet, fine, but make it heroric…aka Bruce WIllis’s character at the end of Armededdon — that is how you have a “balls-up” super-dramatic heroic ending where you sacrifice yourself save a whole planet. Not by having a accident at the Tuscon Home Depot.

80. Allister Gourlay (uk) - June 10, 2012

Kirk should of died like his father did in the 2009 Star Trek – in a blaze of glory going down with his ship – saving his shipmates!

81. Peter Loader - June 10, 2012

Good on you Malcolm!

Generations was a silly movie. The Nexus purely a ploy to bring back Kirk. What?… No Red Shirts available?

Besides, William Shatner wouldn’t have agreed to kill off Kirk if he didn’t want it. It was his way of saying I’m done with Trek, time to move on.

82. Christopher Roberts - June 10, 2012

I see my post was deleted. The original 30.

Anyone care to explain why?

83. DeShonn Steinblatt - June 10, 2012

Hear, hear Malcolm. I thought I was done with Trek. Watching paint dry is exactly what it had become.

84. I'm Dead Jim! - June 10, 2012

@79 “that is how you have a “balls-up” super-dramatic heroic ending where you sacrifice yourself save a whole planet. Not by having a accident at the Tuscon Home Depot.”

LOL! That’s got to be the funniest commentary on Kirk’s death I’ve heard and it is so spot on! Well said!

85. Philip Dunlop - June 10, 2012

I think Kirk needed a definitive ending. I think its coming in Generations was…. over-worked. But I agree with the general sentiment. Had it been done earlier, I think it would’ve given his character more worth. And Chris Pine would’ve had more gravitas, by default, as a result

86. weyoun_9 - June 10, 2012

A) There is no way for the “Generations” folks to have killed Kirk that would have made die-hard Kirk fans happy.

B) While I realize there is a lot of Berman hate on…I imagine its safe to say he didn’t kill Kirk to spite TOS. From everything I remember reading and hearing…in interviews with cast and crew…the whole point of having both captains was to create a scenario where a symbolic torch was passed.

C) I imagine, once they realized the first death didn’t test well, it must have been hard to rewrite that sequence on the fly in a way that didn’t require a rewrite of the whole film. I bet they had to work with what they had.

D) Can we please NOT bring Shatner into the JJ-verse? Please?

87. SuperBat - June 10, 2012

I think it’s pretty clear Malcolm is having some fun here, particularly with the Shat and Sir Patrick. I’d imagine he and Sir Patrick are friends…not sure about Shat, though.

88. Aurore - June 10, 2012

Correction. 19.

I did not mind about their “releasing this whole thing”… = I did not mind their “releasing this whole thing”…


89. MJ - June 10, 2012

@86 “There is no way for the “Generations” folks to have killed Kirk that would have made die-hard Kirk fans happy.”

Sure, but having “go out in Jame’s Kirk style” would have make die-hard Kirk fan LESS UNHAPPY.

90. MJ - June 10, 2012

@84. Thanks!!!

91. SmokieGeezer - June 10, 2012

Why did Generations or the Star Trek Franchise for that matter end up in the hands of Rick Berman and not Nick Meyer or Leonard Nimoy. Can you imagine the Star Trek films they would have made with the TNG Crew or Handling Kirks death? A very large missed opportunity.

92. MJ - June 10, 2012

@91. Agreed. They should have brought in movie people to do TNG movies. Berman, Bragga, Piller and Frakes never could get the movie feel into the TNG movies like we saw with most of TOS movies. Even First Contact, the closest they came, still has phony looking TV-like scenes like the deflector dish battle.

93. LongIslandTrekster - June 10, 2012

#13. Nothing else needed to be said. End of story!

94. navamske - June 10, 2012

I read somewhere that Shatner wanted Kirk’s last line to be “Bridge on the captain.” Seriously.

95. Jeff - June 10, 2012

LOL, that was hilarious. Not terribly sure if he was serious or just being tongue-in-cheek, but it made me laugh.

#94 – I don’t think Shatner seriously meant that to be in the movie; it was a joke.

96. Harry Ballz - June 10, 2012

Wow, I usually like Malcolm McDowell, but he comes off like a crotchety old geezer in this clip!

97. Christopher Roberts - June 10, 2012

94. Yeah, I said that.

In the post that used to be @30, but got deleted for some reason.

98. Sebastian S. - June 10, 2012

I agree with SuperBat (# 87)

I think Patrick was just kidding about Kirk and Patrick Stewart. His tone was sly not mean-spirited. It was a gag.

As for Kirk’s death, while I agree having scaffolding wasn’t quite as heroic as say, surviving a Planet Killer, or challenging Nomad to a logic challenge, etc. But in a weird way, I find his death on a desert planet (not too different from where he fought the Gorn) saving one anonymous planet of strangers he’ll never meet oddly poignant….

It may not have been the best way to go out, granted. But he still saved millions of lives as well as the crew of the Enterprise D (if not the ship).
Kirk’s death wasn’t particularly well shot or written, but the poignancy of his sacrifice was.

I know there’s a lot of hate for “Generations” but I don’t think it’s really quite as bad as “Insurrection” or “Nemesis.” It had some beautiful photography (the 1701-D interiors never looked so good), some nice music cues, and I thought that the movie’s themes of mortality and living a full life vs. living a life of illusion to be strongly reminiscent of TOS’ pilot, “The Cage.”

IMO, it’s not the best ST movie, but not really the worst either…..

99. Shilliam Watner (Click for Trek Ships Poster) - June 10, 2012

I love it. I can’t agree more that Star Trek needed a whole new beginning. It had become like Trek as we knew it has passed away, but hopefully the new versions will take what was most important from the past and firmly secure it at the center of what they choose to build around it.

Personally, though, my problem with Generations isn’t Kirk’s death as much as it is with the whole last half of the film. I hate the way Picard is reduced to just impotently moseying around Soran’s force field until he’s conveniently sucked into the Nexus to meet Kirk.

Soran should have been a villain that Picard could defeat himself. It made him look pretty wimpy. And Shatner’s Kirk, in obviously worse shape than Stewart’s Picard, wasn’t getting around too well. Kirk no longer seemed heroic, and his inclusion was nothing more than a gratuitous ploy to “hand off” the Trek movie series to another generation.

As for Kirk’s death, Shatner could have said no, he knew what he was getting into, and he chose money over keeping Kirk alive. He killed off Jim Kirk as much as the writers did. They couldn’t have done it without his collusion.

I thought the first part of the film was a great start. Kirk’s death at the beginning WAS heroic, and that’s the death they should have somehow returned him to at the end. But Picard’s early scenes, where he deals with the deaths of his brother and nephew are fantastic.

So I really like the first half of Generations. The second half lost its focus, and lost its idea of who Kirk and Picard were. Neither man was written as he should have been in the last half of that movie. I don’t know who those guys were, but that wasn’t Kirk and Picard.

All in all, it was a terrible way to pass the mantle. They did it much better in ST09. It had dignity and some welcome sentiment.

100. Red Dead Ryan - June 10, 2012

On the topic of Kirk’s burial on the mountain (I know I’m going to sound like MJ here) I don’t hold it against Picard for not lugging Shat-Kirk’s body all the way down the mountain and to the Enterprise saucer. At that point, Kirk had gotten to be a chubby fellow and to expect Patrick Stewart to put a two-hundred guy on his back and carry him down a steep mountain would have been unrealistic.

Besides, in the IDW “Spock” comic, Spock went back to Veridian III to pick up Kirk’s body to bring back to Earth. So the mountain burial was probably meant to be temporary. I know the comics aren’t *technically* canon, but I consider them to be since they fill in some of the gaps.

101. Dee - lvs moon' surface - June 10, 2012

“I keep forgetting about this f–king Internet.” …

………….How he gets that? … show me how … is this possible?… LOL

;-) ;-)

102. Will - June 10, 2012

Pardon me if I desire poignant dialogue seasoned with action over lens flares and someone screaming “DO IT, DO IT, DO IT!!!”

103. Red Dead Ryan - June 10, 2012


CORRECTION: “At that point, Kirk had gotten to be a chubby fellow and to expect Captain Picard to put a two-hundred and twenty pound guy on his back and carry him down a steep mountain and risk falling and injuring himself and damaging the body would have been unrealistic.”

104. Sebastian S. - June 10, 2012

#99 Shilliam

Good point about Shatner; he could’ve just said ‘no’ to the GEN script. And in the original version, Kirk was just shot in the back like a redshirt (until test audiences mandated death scene re-shoots). But Shatner agreed to the movie (and the death scene) as it was originally scripted. If Shatner were dissatisfied with Kirk’s death? He could’ve easily said no at the time (but he probably thought it would’ve been a good way to promote his then-newly published ‘ST Memories’ books as well….).

Nimoy said no to the GEN script; as did DeForest Kelley, hence Chekov and Scotty accompanying Kirk on the Enterprise B (ironic, as it were the two actors who routinely and publicly blasted Shatner in the media in those days).

And yes, I agree with McDowell that ST09 was a new lease on life for the franchise which had become stagnant and somewhat self-revered. It was time for a franchise shakeup in the worst way. And judging by ST09’s huge box office (not to mention DVD/BR sales) over previous ST movies, I’d say audiences pretty much agreed….

105. Anthony Thompson - June 10, 2012

Great stuff, oh my droogie! Somebody had to say it. And you did! : D

106. Vultan - June 10, 2012

Ah, I forgot about Kirk saving the Enterprise-D in the process. Hmm, maybe that movie’s not as bad as I thought it was.

Well… it was so-so. A bit too depressing for my tastes. Kirk dies. The Enterprise is destroyed. Picard’s brother and nephew die.

Not a very happy story, was it?

107. Shilliam Watner (Click for Trek Ships Poster) - June 10, 2012

104. Sebastian S. – I agree. Berman and company had squeezed all that they could out of Trek. Say whatever bad things you want about them, it is NOT easy to write over 600 stories for the same series of shows.

First Contact was their last best effort, and it’s like they just lost steam after that. Star Trek was losing audience fast, and they had to do something to breathe life back into it. I don’t agree with everything they did, but I think Abrams, Orci & co. definitely put life back into Star Trek. The next movie will prove whether they can put soul into it. That’s a much harder thing to do.

108. Shilliam Watner (Click for Trek Ships Poster) - June 10, 2012

106. Vultan – Great point about it not being a very happy movie. It certainly wasn’t. And Kirk just didn’t die, he died TWICE!

109. Red Shirt Diaries - June 10, 2012

@98 “I think McDowell was just kidding about Kirk and Patrick Stewart. His tone was sly not mean-spirited. It was a gag.”

Ah, “the Bucky solution” again. If you don’t like the truth, that’s OK guys, it was just a joke.

I will agree that there was some sarcastic humor here, but I do think he fully meant what he said.

110. trekker77 - June 10, 2012

@109. Guess it’s up to Patrick Stewart to decide if McDowell was kidding. Don’t think he meant it fully? What, 85%? 62? Just sayin’. RIP Gene Kelley.

111. Shilliam Watner (Click for Trek Ships Poster) - June 10, 2012

I think McDowell was kidding when he pretended to be ignorant of the Internet. Otherwise I’m sure he was fairly serious. He’s never been one to mince words.

112. Punkspocker - June 10, 2012

Let the man speak, who cares,. Trek is in good hands now. By the way, just saw Frankenstein with Cumberbatch as the creature and holy freakin amazeballs! I think our antagonist is in excellent hands. They could film him watching paint dry and it would be interesting!

113. MJ - June 10, 2012

@112 “By the way, just saw Frankenstein with Cumberbatch”

Cool, I remember some years ago, while on a trip to GB, I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand, walking through the streets of Soho in the rain.

114. DeflectorDishGuy - June 10, 2012

I’m generally a huge malcolm fan… but he really grinds me gears here. Mostly because, at age 27, I’m still not sold on the Abrahamsverse.

115. trekker77 - June 10, 2012

And by Gene Kelley, I mean Gene Kelly. (sigh) I can’t even defend the guy right.

116. MJ - June 10, 2012

@114 “Abrahamsverse”

Is that from the Bible? Like the “KingSolomonverse” or something?


117. drum-van - June 10, 2012

team abrams gave george kirk a far better ending than berman & company gave james t. kirk. i still get a lump in my throat watching that 2009 pre-credit scene and i’ve watched the movie dozens of times. it was able to connect on an emotional level that the soran bridge scene never did. and this was with a new cast and characters that we didn’t really have any emotional connection with (yet).

118. drum-van - June 10, 2012

i guess i should have said 2009 “pre-title scene” in my post. i’m not up on my movie lingo.

119. Vultan - June 10, 2012


Better stay away from him.
He’ll rip your lungs out, Jim!

120. Legate Damar - June 10, 2012

Yeah, George Kirk had a far more emotional death, but part of what made that so sad was that he was leaving behind a wife and baby son. Jim Kirk’s only son died decades ago, and he was never really in a long lasting romantic relationship. There is more that could have been done with Kirk’s death, but it kind of works if you pretend that The Final Frontier happened and you remember what he said about dying alone. Most of his friends were long gone, and his best days were behind him, but he decided to give up his life to make one last difference. Sure, it could have been done better, but it wasn’t bad. I always found his death at the beginning of the movie, when Chekov and Scotty see the hole in the bulkhead, to be much sadder though. Anyway, no matter what they did, it couldn’t possibly have been as awful and pointless as Trip’s death.

121. Montreal_Paul - June 10, 2012

Sounds like he is very bitter. Seems like a washed up actor looking for his last few minutes of fleeting fame.

122. Keachick - rose pinenut - June 10, 2012

#103 – LOL I’m sorry. I forgot that this GEN’s movie did not take place in the 24th century but in the 19th century, long before even helicopters were available to winch people (dead or alive) off mountainsides, let alone transporters, some of which have done the transwarp thingy once or twice (bit dangerous though). Just saying.

123. K-7 - June 10, 2012

Montreal Paul, I recall that it was you who was being very critical a couple weeks back about some posters on this site being similarly critical of a couple Trek actors beyond their prime? I guess such criticism if OK when it is actors that “you choose” to be critical of, right? I see, you give yourself a free pass on this.

124. Captain Karl - June 10, 2012

Spock’s death in TWOK was meaningful and served a purpose (his Kobiyashi Maru, to save his ship and fellow crew over his own life, a heroic sacrifice) and brought a tear to my eye. Kirk’s death in Generations should have been left at his same sacrifice to save the Enterprise B and not as someone trapped in the Nexus to be brought out and then die a meaningless death as he tried to stop the bad guy and failed. Completely against the character to be bested by another overacting ham. His death at the hands of Soren evoked a WTF anger moment and I would have been better had he died sacrificing himself to save a ship than to save a rusty, rickety bridge.

125. Sebastian S. - June 10, 2012

# 112.

I saw it too (Danny Boyle’s “Frankenstein” play). That was amazing, wasn’t it? My wife went to both shows (with the leads switching roles), but I only saw the one with Cumberbatch as the monster. He was incredible. He played it more like “The Elephant Man” than a shambling monster (like most other interpretations). Much more depth and pathos, but no less dangerous. He’ll be brilliant in Star Trek (so glad he’s not playing Khan, either)….

My hopes for the new ST movie went up a bit more (I was already enthused, as I am a fan of Cumberbatch’s from BBC’s “Sherlock” and his amazing performance as Stephen Hawking in the 2004 movie, “Hawking”).

126. Pointing Out The Obvious - June 10, 2012

Did us a favor? HELL YES HE DID!

Kirk as a character, awesome. Shatner on the other hand… The paper bag company called, they’re wondering when he’s going to finally act his way out of it.

127. Shilliam Watner (Click for Trek Ships Poster) - June 10, 2012

117. drum-van/120. Legate Damar – I agree with you about the opening scenes. First, the situation was heart rending, the score was beautiful, and Chris Hemsworth really did a hell of a job. I was hoping for as much emotionality elsewhere in the film, but they never quite made it. That’s why I’m hoping for more of that in the next one. Star Trek was always best to me when it made me feel something.

128. Captain Hackett - June 10, 2012

Kirk should not died in that movie in first place, so he could be brought back in Star Trek 2009.

Damn Berman and Braga!

129. MJ - June 10, 2012

@126 “Kirk as a character, awesome. Shatner on the other hand… The paper bag company called, they’re wondering when he’s going to finally act his way out of it.”

Well said!

130. Trekboi - June 10, 2012

I hope he was joking about Patrick.

131. Trekboi - June 10, 2012

I get chills just thinking about Patrick “spouting off” in “The Measure of a Man”

132. Sebastian S. - June 10, 2012

# 128

Kirk IS still alive in the new timeline; he’s just no longer played by William Shatner, that’s all.

And even though IMO it would be a disastrous move, they could still bring Shatner back from the alternate timeline’s future as an ‘older’ Kirk. That Kirk didn’t necessarily have to die at Veridian 3 like his prime timeline self.

But I agree with a lot of other folks here: Shatner’s Kirk is over, and I for one, am totally OK with that. And I hope none of the other ‘prime universe’ actors drop cameos into the next movie (or two). Nimoy gave ST09 an elegant baton pass, but the new movies belong to the new cast….. ;-)

133. Anthony Thompson - June 10, 2012


Yes, Montreal Paul is a bit hypocritical.

134. MJ - June 10, 2012


“Yeah, tell me something I DON”T know!”

— Dr. McCoy; Trek 2009


135. Montreal_Paul - June 10, 2012

123. – 133 – 134

Actually, there is a difference. I said “it sounds like” & “it seems like…” NOT “he is…”. Big difference there guys. But, nice try.

136. VulcanFilmCritic - June 10, 2012

@12 Steve Gennarelli

THAT’S IT! They are filming their appearances in the THIRD film now. That’s why Nimoy said, “we’re talking.”

I guess at their ages, you have to get something in the can NOW.

God forbid anything happens to Mr. Shatner or Mr. Nimoy between now and the third film, but there is a distinct possibility that one of them may be making a post-humous appearance in a Star Trek film in 2016. Wow.

137. VulcanFilmCritic - June 10, 2012

P.S. Malcom McDowell is still the bomb after all these years. Too bad he lost his looks so young and became such a grade B movie star.
(Don’t worry, he doesn’t know what the internet is; he’ll never read this.)

138. Montreal_Paul - June 10, 2012

I feel it was a mistake for the writers to kill off Kirk the way they did. And I feel that Shatner should have never accepted the way they killed him off. I would have been satisfied if they had left his death the way it happened on the Enterprise B … Died saving the ship and the crew. Very heroic way to die. But then there would have been no link to Picard.

139. Vultan - June 10, 2012

I’d rather they just made the whole thing a TNG movie. Kirk and crew already got a great sendoff with TUC. The “passing of the baton” moment came at the end with a new generation mentioned in Kirk’s log.

Most of Generations seemed like fan fiction, with a long series of convoluted plot devices created only to get two iconic characters in the same room. But then, that’s not the only time Trek has done that. Bad writing happens in all universes.

140. MJ - June 10, 2012

@138. Agreed!

141. La Reyne d'Epee - June 10, 2012

Regardless of how, Old Kirk is dead. Move on.

142. Buzz Cagney - June 10, 2012

#9 Kirk’s time was over? Do you want to break that to Chris Pine or shall I?

143. VZX - June 10, 2012

He will always be Metallo to me.

144. Tom - June 11, 2012

136 VulcanFilmCritic

Always thought it would be a good idea to film something prior to the 50th anniversary with Bill and Leonard. Hope that will happen
I do get the sense that we might see Spock Prime in the sequel.

145. ironhyde - June 11, 2012

First, I want to weigh in on Kirk’s death. I liked it. Kirk was like a hero, a God almost, unbeatable, smarter, better, cooler than anyone in the universe. He was impossible. Star Trek was always about a humanity that we can achieve right? About saying we aren’t so bad, that we can make it through our World Wars and become a peaceful species that looks beyond our own noses and can achieve and think in ways so beautiful and good. If I can’t ever reach that, the message becomes “this is how you SHOULD be” instead of “this is how we CAN be”. I think Kirk’s death was simple, anti-climactic, small. It brought him down to earth for me. After all, whether you’re a King or a peasant, the great equalizer has always been death, hasn’t it? It was a reminder that Kirk, in spite of whatever else he may have been, was still just a man. I loved that.

Wow do I disagree with Mr. McDowell’s obnoxious view of Star Trek. I think intellect and “Patrick Stewart spouting off for another forty minutes” made the best TV in the history of television. I think Star Trek did need bigger budgets and more energy at times, but that doesn’t change that the program still stands up today.

I really hope Mr. McDowell is joking with his insults. But then again, I don’t really think I care what he thinks. He’s being a jerk.

146. P Technobabble - June 11, 2012

Obviously, the majority of Trek fans viewed Kirk’s death unfavorably, and with good reason. No doubt there were a number of reasons why the producers/writers decided to kill him off, but there was no real pay-off. Kirk’s “death” at the beginning of the film would have been a more fitting way for him to go out and it should have been left at that.
As for McDowell’s comments, I’m willing to bet they were said tongue-in-cheek. And if they weren’t, oh well, he can say what he wants.
Most of the TOS films are still considered to be good, and – with the exception of FC – the TNG films were pretty disappointing, especially considering what they accomplished on tv.
And I can’t think of one negative thing to say about Patrick Stewart.

147. Damian - June 11, 2012

79–I do agree with you there. The way they handled Kirk’s death was a blemish on an otherwise good movie. I have no problem with him saving a planet of people he never knew or met. To me that’s a true hero’s death. Willing to give your life not only for people you never met, but from a time not your own. But his sacrifice should have been more in James Kirk fashion.

With that being said, I have no sympathy for Shatner here. He agreed to do it, first of all. He could have walked away. He certainly had the influence. And like another mentioned, he had some say in how his character was written and he was the one that asked for the horses. So let’s not make this some poor Shatner thing.

That is one of the reasons I don’t want to see a Shatner resurrection in the next movie (also the fact that they would have to devote some time explaining his miraculous resurrection).

92–I actually liked the deflector dish scene in First Contact :(. Also Berman did bring in movie folks for Nemesis. Berman and some of the technical people were the only ones from the old guard. That being said, I am one of the 10 people that actually liked Nemesis (I considered it somewhere in the middle of the pack).

148. Captain of the USS Monte Carlo NCC-1986 - June 11, 2012

Basically i wish harriman had been the one to ‘die’ instead of kirk. then this discussion wouldn’t be happening and Kirk would have lived out his days LOL. I love Generations UNTIL that death scene, then the movie sucks for me. good thing that is the end. i was really hoping they’d ‘re-do’ the ending of that film so that he lives and release it as ‘official’….

maybe in 2014 for the 20th anniversary of ST 7 they will…….

149. Buzz Cagney - June 11, 2012

Malcolm has always had fun with this. Lets face it can’t you blame him after some cretins said they wanted to kill him for offing Kirk.
Oh its really beyond discussion now that the way it was done was bad but at least we have Kirk back now in the shape of Chris Pine.

150. Charla - June 11, 2012

The death of Kirk was so awkward to me-here is a great man who just saved the universe and his dying words were “oh my”. Then to not get a proper Starfleet burial on top of that was just wrong imo. Kirk deserved a dignified and memorable exit and instead it felt like a fire cracker that the fuse fizzled out. I do agree with some of the other posters that Shatner probably had input in the scene as well. I think Shatner didn’t get it at the time as to how important it was to the audience to see our hero get an appropriate death scene.

If Bob, Alex and Damon had written it, I think it would have been different and a more poignent scene. Hopefully, Kirk’s death scene won’t be anything that these guys will ever have to write in the distant future! I don’t think that will happen of course, as these guys(the writers) and our favorite Trek characters are just getting warmed up! :D

As for the earlier movies, I would have rather had Kirk and crew just fade away with no one really knowing what happened to the crew of the Enterprise. Like just disappearing into an unknown area of the universe. That way no one dies on screen, the crew goes out dignified, doing what they love doing and each viewer is left to contemplate as to what happened to their favorite characters. It would allow many different ways to bring all of the characters back later or just a few of them if desired.

A drawback by doing something like that would be lack of closure. That would be torturous for some viewers, haha!

I also found McDowell’s remarks difficult to tell if he was like Harry B. said, “crotchety” or if he was tongue in cheek- I hope it was the latter but who knows…

151. psb2009 - June 11, 2012

If message boards had existed 30 years ago- June 5, 1982:
1. Disco Dancer
Glasses? Is this just Roddenberry promoting a tie-in with frame manufacturers? I say enough with the marketing! Stick to stories and character!

2. VanSpockHalen
First! “It was the best of times….” Come on, Dickens? Real Trek has always been about Shakespeare.

3. Steve Austen
Spock! Trek is dead, it can never recover from this. Revenge of The Jedi better be good….

4. Communist at the Gate
Those communicators! gag me with me a spoon. They got bigger after 10 years? They look like legos.

5. The Moving Blood Stain
Other than the plastic chest on Khan, I think it was a great movie. Obviously they’re thinking of bringing in a next generation for a tv series, Kirk’s son playing the lead role. It’ll be great.

6. Basement Dweller
@Steve Austen- Spock will be back- “Remember” McCoy will come up with a way to regenerate Spock by curing radiation illness, like in The Deadly Years.

7. Trek Dies
How can Khan remember Chekov? Did these guys even watch the show? They threw canon out the window!

8. Leorge Ducas
ET opens next week- Star Trek will kill it at the box office. Suck it, Speilberg!

152. MJ - June 11, 2012

@151. What, no response to the other 143 posts?

153. psb2009 - June 11, 2012

@152. Naah, I don’t think there’s much more to add. I do think there was some lens flare in Generations, though. Does that make Kirk’s death more meaningful?

154. Aurore - June 11, 2012

96. Harry Ballz – June 10, 2012
Wow, I usually like Malcolm McDowell, but he comes off like a crotchety old geezer in this clip!

Mmmmm…….”crotchety old geezer” or…just…willing to “entertain” an audience with his tongue-in-cheek sense of humour…or…or….

…You decide :


155. dub - June 11, 2012

sounds like he really wanted to kill Picard, not Kirk!

156. Harry Ballz - June 11, 2012


Aurore, McDowell made an appearance last year on the Joy Behar Show where he was charming, witty and funny. In the clip on this thread, he looks downright PAINED (hungover?) to be there.

157. Red Dead Ryan - June 11, 2012


I think he wanted to kill both! I think Malcom McDowell’s arguement was really about how too comfortable Trek had become, and killing off Kirk (and in his opinion, Picard as well) he thought would shake things up and add some drama.

Anyway, its interesting that we hardly ever hear from Berman anymore…..perhaps his guilty conscience is eating him alive?

As for resurrecting Kirk Prime, its just as likely to be a massive disappointment as it is to be a success. Let’s not forget Ellen Ripley’s “resurrection” as a human with Xenomorph DNA. She wasn’t really the same character as the one who got a poor death scene (sound familiar?) in “Alien 3″. The Ripley clone was merely a facsimile of her former self. They should have left her dead. And you know who suggested the death and resurrection? Sigourney Weaver! Another parallel to Shatner! This is what happens when you hire actors as writers. At least James Cameron had the good sense to turn down Sigourney Weaver’s requests!

158. Red Dead Ryan - June 11, 2012

Actually, Shatner didn’t suggest killing off Kirk, but he agreed to it and gladly took the big paycheck, but you all know what I mean!

159. Damian - June 11, 2012

157–I think Berman is just lying low. The last time he made a comment, some Trekkies all but threatened to blow his head off.

Personally, I don’t think his conscience should be bothering him. If nothing else, he was a producer of a TV show (and some movies). Nothing life or death. In the 90’s he was the king of Trek. His shows were the highest rated syndicated shows at the time. His biggest mistake was not adjusting to the times. Enterprise was starting to come around and was looking more and more current, but by then the ship had sailed.

I liked Abrams movie as well, and by no means should my love of Star Trek during Berman’s reign be taken to mean anything else. I think Star Trek needed new blood. But my only word of caution to the Abrams team is at one time Berman was the one receiving the accolades. One bad move by the new team, and Trekkies will be talking about how Abrams almost killed Trek.

That being said, I think certainly Bob Orci, and others in the new court are aware Trekkies are fickle. I do think we are in for a good ride. And I think there is no danger of over saturation of Abrams trek, since it appears they will likely do a total of 3 movies.

160. Christopher Roberts - June 11, 2012

My choice for recasting Tolian Soran would be…

Bob Orci, time for a rematch perhaps? ;)

161. Desstruxion - June 11, 2012

I cried like a baby leaving the theater on the night I saw Kirk die. My wife just stared in disbelief. To this day I still don’t know if I was crying because they killed Kirk or that the movie sucked so bad and I had just wasted 20 bucks.

162. Ruue - June 11, 2012

Haha…he is hilarious and sooo right!

163. Phil - June 11, 2012

Generations is near the bottom of my list in bad Trek, it would not have saved the movie but just switching places with Picard, and having Kirk die on the missle platform would have been a better option then the industrial accident they used….

164. Daoud - June 11, 2012

What the hell? Kirk saved TWO Enterprises in Generations.
He saved the B with his actual life.
He saved the D with simply the strength of his essence and being.
Two Enterprises saved in one movie. That’s pretty damned good. Maybe if he yelled “Khaaaaaaaaan”, would have helped? (Though, Braga and Moore missed *the* line he should have said with his last breath… “And now to the undiscovered country….”)

165. CJS - June 11, 2012

I don’t think killing or not killing Kirk would have had that big an impact on JJ’s ability to create his version of Star Trek. Yeah, the franchise was pretty worn out by the time they started on Trek 09, but it managed to produce a couple hundred hours of programming after McDowell came and went, so his contribution to the reboot was negligible. The producers of Nemesis and Enterprise contributed much more by killing the franchise elements left and leaving an empty space for Abrams to fill.

166. MJ - June 11, 2012

@161 “I cried like a baby leaving the theater on the night I saw Kirk die. My wife just stared in disbelief. To this day I still don’t know if I was crying because they killed Kirk or that the movie sucked so bad and I had just wasted 20 bucks.”


167. Hankster - June 11, 2012

Well. his work has never done anything for me anyways, so I could care less what he thinks.

168. KHAN 2.0 - June 11, 2012

itd have been more of a shock/twist if they HADNT killed Kirk. (i.e. reshot it and had him live instead of falling off the bridge) everyone was expecting him to die – the secret was out of the bag even before they started shooting the movie. plus everyone knew it was gonna happen anyway as theyd killed spock in Trek II and blown up the enterprise in III – it was time for another big death.

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. film ends with Picard and Kirk (rather than Riker) beaming up together.he wouldnt have had to appear in any of the sequels and itd have meant he could have appeared in the JJ movie.

alternatively he could have been sucked back into the nexus somehow and would remain in there (and since wed never see the nexus agian would be as good as dead anyway)

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!)

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 (which i imagine it was with him being out of the nexus and dead anyway)

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)

169. KHAN 2.0 - June 11, 2012

I also live in my mothers basement.

170. Hankster - June 11, 2012

@ KHAN….

Well I don’t have a girlfriend so I think I beat you….

171. KHAN 2.0 - June 11, 2012

@169 LOL imposter alert! (that wasnt me)

172. dolphinboy - June 11, 2012

ok…kirk died, for better or worse. generations wasn’t the best trek, but still far better than jj’s. for all you berman haters, you forget that it was he that gene roddenberry left trek in the hands of, and im sure each and every one of you like the majority of trek made during his ‘reign’.

as far as mcdowell’s comments, sir patrick and shat – mcdowell is a fine actor but pales in comparison to mr stuart. other than clockwork orange, he has done very little (and that fine work is more thanks to kubrick’s filming of a great book).
prime kirk is an icon, shat is not. kirk is dead, leave it that way, move on. lets hope that jj and co put as much of what trek is really about into the sequel and go easy on the plot holes and lens flares.

oh yes…how is it that chekov is 3 or 4 years younger in this new timeline?

173. MJ - June 11, 2012

@172. I am sure you will enjoy your $80 Blu-Ray set of the the oustanding TNG Season 1.

“Patrick Stewart spouting off for another forty minutes. Jesus! If you find that exciting, hey go watch paint dry!”


174. dolphinboy - June 11, 2012

meant to say older not younger lol

175. Kickle Tor - June 11, 2012

I guess the writer of “The Outer Light” decided not to post here anymore–a new chapter was posted on his blog, but not here.

176. Anthony Thompson - June 11, 2012


WHAT are you talking about??? WTF is “The Outer Light”? LOL.

177. Anthony Thompson - June 11, 2012

172. dolphinboy

Don’t worry, homeboy, Chekov (and the rest of us) will have gained 4 years by the time the sequel is released. ; )

178. Shilliam Watner (Click for Trek Ships Poster) - June 11, 2012

172. dolphinboy – Obviously Nero did something that caused Pavel’s parents to procreate prior to the period in which they previously had procreated ;-)

179. Khan was Framed! - June 11, 2012

Who cares?

He’s an actor doing a job, he doesn’t have to like it.

Do you always like your job?

Besides, I agree that while I want more intellectual content than just shouting exposition over phaser fire, sometimes the TNG movies got a bit slow.

Generations moves at a snails pace compared to ST’09.

Although i still love those movies because I’m a Trekkie, Malcolm is not.

So why would i expect him to look back at work he did years ago that feels slow by today’s standards & claim to like it?

180. I love trek...but - June 11, 2012

New Trek: Imagine a 20 something very talented cadet about to graduate from the Navel Academy save the US from an impending attack from X.

We give him a medal, even a CMH but NOT command of the newest Aircraft carrier.

Sorry, cant get into the new trek that much because it’s just not anywhere near plausable. Space travel, plausable, Federation of alien worlds, plausable. But Kirk getting the Enterprise over all the other other seasoned command officers? Nope.

181. Montreal_Paul - June 11, 2012

180. I love trek…but

Ummm… you do know that it’s a movie? Right? ;) Did you get into Lord of the Rings or Terminator or Star Wars? Because nothing in any of those movies is plausible. How about The Voyage Home? Time Travel… plausible or not?

182. MJ - June 11, 2012

@180. Let’s really do a fair comparison here of your example.

The Chinese employ a new Super-weapon that effectively takes out most of our deployed military in 24 hours, decapitating our leadership, and disabling all of our nuclear weapons, and they level Great Britain with a barrage of nukes.

NORAD, in Colorado is in shambles, with most of the people there dead. A group of AF Academy seniors nearby in Colorado Springs, led by their instructor, journey to NORAD, where they are able to get a secret super-EMP weapon workng, and loaded onto a damaged stealth bomber.

Somehow, against all odds they are able to get the thing airborne. They launch the super-EMP bomb over China, which effectively neutralizes them and their new super-weapon, thereby saving the rest of the world from Chinese domination. The Chinese people then rise up and overthrow their dictatorship.

As a reward for their efforts, the group are all given Captain to Lt. Colonel ranks, and immediately put in the queue for Space Station assignments. The leader is made a full colonel.

I realize this scenario is preposterous, but the point here is to make a fair comparison to those sort of events in Trek 09 mapping to today’s world. So, therefore, looking at how this small group of AF Academy Seniors saved the free world, the ranks awarded don’t seem like much of big deal…they seem relatively minor, actually.

Case closed!

183. Red Dead Ryan - June 11, 2012


“The Outer Light” was an online comic strip. Can’t remember too much about it though, aside from the bad artwork. It was rather…..forgettable.

Obviously this site forgot about it too.

184. I love trek...but - June 11, 2012

#182 You have not served in the military. Medals and Awards are given for heroic acts, rank and grade elevations are given for knowledge and experience.

This coming a from a retired US Army Major.

#181 All the examples do not need to be plausable. However, Luke Skywalker getting to fly a high tech star fighter after being a talented flyboy seems inplausable too.

Dont get me wrong, I like the movie and own the blueray. It just bothers me about the promotion thing.

185. MJ - June 11, 2012

@184. You are missing my point. If an outlandish enough situation like I explained ever really happened (and I give that you that it won’t), or if in the 23rd century, Trek 2009 really happened, then for saving the world / saving the Federation, promotions to command would all off a sudden be no tracking big deal for that small group who basically saved civilization. Standard protocols would be thrown out the window for that special situation.

BTW, thanks for your service — much appreciated !!!

186. MJ - June 11, 2012

@185. Also, remember that the military paradigm of promotion timelines in the rapidly expanding Federation is significantly accelerated versus today’s military. Pike specifically says that a good officer out of the academy “can have your own ship in 8 years.” That is at least half of what it would be today…probably more likely closer to 1/3 than 1/2.

So in that environment, the sudden promotions would not seem nearly as severe as today.

187. 4 8 15 16 23 42 - June 12, 2012

Ha ha! I love Malcolm McDowell and his sense of humor. Generations squandered a great actor by having him play a fairly 2-dimensional Soran.

188. I love Trek....but - June 12, 2012

yes, a LT JG might get to command a small ship if he was very good, and if he saved civilization but not command the most expensive ship we make. There was still an entire “fleet” out in ST09 they were going to meet full of command officers. StarFleet would have promoted an outstanding Captain of a smaller ship (ala Picard) vs give the flagship to a person who was not even commissioned yet.

Just wanted to dose reality here. It would have been a great movie if he had already been posted, maybe in some kind of command track school.

No officer, no matter how talented, would have been given the ship.

Fun discussion.

189. Mark Lynch - June 12, 2012

MMD was really funny in that video. A lot of the comments here show that they didn’t get his very English tongue in cheek comments…

As well as the fact that he and Patrick Stewart have been friends for years, way before Generations.

MMD was taking the p**s in a light manner, nothing more.

190. - June 12, 2012

It wasn’t his fault the story was a dud. He took a paying gig and i don’t blame McDowel.

But the story where Picard has to go and get help because he cannot fight off the geriatric who escaped from the old people home only to have the old man kill the greatest Star Trek hero was so lame a child could have written better.

Sometimes members here contribute story ideas and for the most part they are pretty lame (sorry guys) but every one of them is far better than Generations.

191. Aurore - June 12, 2012

“Sometimes members here contribute story ideas and for the most part they are pretty lame (sorry guys) but every one of them is far better than Generations.”

Beautifully articulated.

However, I must respectfully disagree on one point.

The story ideas I submbit are consistenly superior to any other fan’s suggestions.

Hence Roberto Orci’s presence on this site; he always comes back for more (inspiration from me).


192. - June 12, 2012

Well i was going to point you out and the lone shining star amongst the rubble but thought my point may be lost as those reading would be more overwhelmed with jealousy to see my wisdom.

193. Holger - June 12, 2012

However, Star Trek was good enough for Malcolm to play a part in it and take the money. Is he playing Alex again here?

194. NoSeth - June 12, 2012

Kirk’s death was the absolute dumbest idea in Star Trek history. And worse, was the execution, and failure of Rick Berman to admit his mistake and just bring the character back.

So easy to do, so dumb that it wasn’t done.

195. Aurore - June 12, 2012

“Well i was going to point you out and the lone shining star amongst the rubble but thought my point may be lost as those reading would be more overwhelmed with jealousy to see my wisdom.”

A most tactful decision, oh wise one…


196. Dwayne - June 12, 2012

Malcolm can keep pissing and moaning all he wants , he will never have the career that William and Patrick have .

197. Daoud - June 12, 2012

@184. Thank you also, Major!

I wish they’d just have used one specific throwaway word in the script: “Brevet”. There’s a long tradition of temporary rank promotion in order for chain-of-command issues in the battlefield…. at least it was that way in the Civil War, WWI and WWII. Similar to how some flag officers don’t end up retiring at 4-star and 3-star ranks, but at 2-star for various reasons.

I would note from ST:TMP, Kirk’s line to Decker “… temporary grade reduction to Commander…” which suggests brevet isn’t unusual in both directions.

Only recent anecdote I’ve heard…. is that for a time the very real USS Essex’s marine complement was led by a marine with the rank of Captain, rather than Major, the usual rank held by a marine complement commander. Well, on board the ship, a marine Captain in charge of the marine complement is *not* going to be called Captain, so he was referred to as Major Simon. His actual grade was indeed USMC Captain, but he was called Major.

I like to think that this is the case with nuKirk, that he’s breveted as a Captain, until his time of service aligns with the rank he holds.

There’s also the very real possibility… that from age 16 to age 21 that young James Tiberius Kirk was serving in the Merchant Marine or something similar, that increases his time of service (credit for past service isn’t unusual in today’s branches of the service when it comes to rank?) We could always surmise (since the script gives no clues… yo Boborci… insert a throwaway and fix this!)…. that JTK has been in the Merchant Marine since age 16… and was visiting Riverside, Iowa on leave when the events of Star Trek 2009 begin. This would increase Pike’s interest in having him “transferred” to the Academy.

Net effect…. JTK has been in the service since 2249. So at least with my “backstory”, he has 5 years of service, plus his final 4 at the academy (while still enlisted)… and is aligned with our prime Kirk a bit better. Heck, add that his merchant vessels were called “Farragut’s Stand” and “Banana Republic”, captained by a Garrovick…. etc.. and then nu and prime align in a really quirky way.

And yes, my adult son lives in *my* basement. Heh. And Malcom McDowell is a famous leg-puller who says outrageous things for a laugh. That’s part of why they wanted him for Tolian Soran.

198. Darth Fallacy - June 12, 2012

@169 Maybe. Doesn’t mean he’s wrong though.

199. paul - June 12, 2012

malcolom mcdowell as grea in that movie and patrick stewart is dull dull dull heard rumour in star trek 2 Benedict cumberbach playss a english accent villian called Montagu Fanshaw- Cholmondeley” who has invented device that creates endless mirror universes
thats what trek needs

200. T'cal - June 12, 2012

#62 agentm31 – June 10, 2012
Wait, so Malcolm McDowell is playing Khan in the next Star Trek movie?

I heard that too!

201. Jorg Sacul - June 12, 2012

“No officer, no matter how talented, would have been given the ship. ”

Possibly true… Had Nimoy Spock not gotten to Star Fleet Command and convinced them that any other path would be suicide.

202. Nick Cook - June 12, 2012

Methinks McDowell’s comments are more about poking fun at overly serious fans, than they are about taking potshots at Stewart and Shatner.

YMMV. ;)

203. Damian - June 12, 2012

#182–You forgot, most of the fleet was tied up in the Laurentian system :)

By and large I loved Star Trek (2009), but there were 2 things that bothered me. One was the set design, which I’ve already noted numerous times (engineering, need I say more).

The second was the rapid fire promotions. No matter how you slice it, it’s just inconceivable to me that the flagship of Starfleet (I stress flagship) would be commanded by a group of cadets fresh out of the Academy (save Spock). Maybe one of them, but not the entire bridge command crew.

Here’s what I don’t understand. It would have been very easy to fix that rather large plot hole. The battle of Vulcan with Nero could simply have taken place several years after Kirk graduated the Academy. I know they floated the idea of having some scenes on the Farragut, so it was something they were thinking of. I just don’t get it.

An otherwise great story with such an obvious flaw. Yes, it’s just a movie. But whenever I sit to watch the movie, I just shake my head at the implausibility of an entire command crew of the flagship of the Federation being cadets (some who had not even graduated yet).

204. Ken - June 12, 2012

Kirk’s death was a horrible plot point in Generations. Any character’s death should theoretically be feasible and possible in a dramatic work, but his death made no sense here.

I don’t think another traditional Trek featuring the classic troika of Kirk, Spock and Bones would have happened, but the movie’s plot point of the nexus did feature an elegant way of possibly bringing the Kirk character into the future of the Next Generation. It would have left things open for cameos, or joint film ventures.

The problem wasn’t just Kirk’s meaningless death, but that the film was essentially boring save for the opening scenes of Kirk aboard the enterprise B.

Macdowall is right about one thing …. the Next Generation characters droning on. I LOVE that show, but what the classic movies had and the next generation movies lack is heart.

Kirk’s death was a parmount/Rick Berman way of shifting the focus completely onto Next Gen. It backfired big time, I think.

I think Trek is in much better hands now with JJ…..though I hate the idea of reboots!!!!!

205. LizardGirl - June 12, 2012

This is Kirk we’re talking about. He can pretty much get away with anything. Seeing as he’s the one who saved that new flagship (warned everyone about the Romulans) why not let him keep it? And seeing as he’s a brand spanking new Captain, would it really be above his power to request the same crew that helped save one of the most influential planets in the Federation? They had no help from any other ships, Federation planets, etc. Literally–one ship and one crew, under one acting Captain saved Earth.

Letting Captain Kirk have the Enterprise with his crew makes sense. It’s symbolic. Earth will have to rebuild their fleet anyways(starships, future Starfleet graduates to replace the dead ones). Kirk and his crew have proven themselves. You don’t put someone like that in the background. You put them up front and let everyone see them shine.

206. Red Dead Ryan - June 12, 2012



I can’t believe some people still have a problem with Kirk’s promotion. He saved Earth, and Starfleet, after losing many ships at Vulcan, was in desperate need of captains. Kirk fit the mold and he got promoted.

Of course, the entire “save the earth from the bad guy” was pretty over the top for sure, but that wasn’t the point. The point was Kirk was able to come up with and carry out a plan on his feet while firing a phaser and fighting Nero’s crew on the Narada. He and Spock risked their lives to ensure the destruction of the Narada and safety of Earth. Kirk also rescued Captain Pike.

You have to look at it from a storytelling (not real-life) perspective and it all makes perfect sense to give Kirk command of the Enterprise at the end of the movie.

207. John - June 12, 2012

Not all deaths are heroic. The reality is that most deaths are futile and pointless. Kirk was just a man and died a mans death. Darwin would have been proud.

208. Damian - June 12, 2012

It’s not just Kirk being given command. It’s also the fact that the entire command crew of the flagship of the Federation are cadets (except for Spock). I’m pretty good at suspension of disbelief usually, but this particular plot point just exceeded all credibility for me.

Kirk obviously has that talent (we all know that from the original series). But even as talented as he is, there is something called experience. Raw talent and instinct can only take you so far. Kirk in the prime universe, as good as he was, still had to rise through the ranks. I would say he was a better captain for that, because he had raw talent, a keen instinct and—experience. Knowing when to jump and not when to jump.

In any event, it’s done, it’s canon. I just have to accept it for what it is.

The next movie apparently takes place a few years after the last (at least as far as I heard). He’ll likely have valuable experience.

What will be interesting is if Paramount ever does allow novels to take place in the alternate reality, maybe they could have a novel where Kirk’s inexperience leads to some mistake he makes that he has to correct, and grows into a better captain as a result.

209. LizardGirl - June 12, 2012

Thanks for getting that crucial point! Storytelling! It’s not real life so things operate differently.

Either way Kirk has to be Captain, that much we do know. And would you look at that! He’s Captain in the alternate universe! But of course….that’s not good enough. I think it would’ve been more of a disappointment if he wasn’t promoted. After all he and his crew did.

210. LizardGirl - June 12, 2012

Except for Kirk, weren’t the other cadets automatically graduated and ordered to receive assignments? I think because it was some kind of code red. All of them, except for Ensign Chekov and Kirk, are called Lieutenant or Lt. Commander, not cadet. They didn’t get the ceremony, but they graduated.

211. Damian - June 12, 2012

210–Of course that leads the age old question, what was the entire fleet doing in the Laurentian system?

But in the writers’ defense, how many times in Star Trek of any era has Star Fleet not been there when you needed them most. The fleet is always somewhere else.

212. MJ - June 12, 2012

To “I Love Trek” and others posting on the interesting command promotion debate.

On additional thing occurred to me this morning. What is Spock Prime, without giving away the detailed future, briefed the Federation Council and Starfleet Command in secret and alluded to how important it would be for the next several years for Kirk to be given his own command — how he was the best Captain in Federation history, and how actually the Enterprise was his ship after Pike, who is now severely injured…. etc. etc. etc.

This, and given that in the 23rd Century, you can get your own ship in 8 years, may have what decided the very unusual exception of giving him the Enterprise.

213. Phil - June 12, 2012

The ‘cadet to captain’ thing has been beat to death – it is story telling, so it really doesn’t matter much, except for the people who do enjoy a good backstory. It’s really best to ignore it going forward, because we are stuck with it.

214. Red Shirt Diaries - June 12, 2012

This idea of Spock briefing the Federation Security Council and explaining why Kirk should succeed Pike (based on alluding to future threats in the Federation’s future and Kirk’s historical role in solving them) in command of the Enterprise is a very compelling argument that I have not heard before, and has led me to change my mind of this topic.

Yes, I think that this makes sense now that Kirk was given the unusual promotion to Captain of the Enterprise before his time.

215. Keachick - rose pinenut - June 12, 2012

#208 – “maybe they could have a novel where Kirk’s inexperience leads to some mistake he makes that he has to correct, and grows into a better captain as a result.”

I hope/expect to see a scene of this kind of event take place in this film sequel. Also, because Kirk’s promotion is unusual by even Starfleet standards, I would expect unusual stipulations to be put in place as well. This is why Admiral Pike’s presence is so important, because of the older Pike’s life (inside and outside of Starfleet) experience and due to Pike and Kirk’s mutual trust and confidence they have in each other. Pike needs to be there, in the background mostly, to mentor, advise, and reassure the young captain. Hence the need for Bruce Greenwood to appear at some point in the sequel as Pike.

I do not think that prime Spock should say anything about what he knows of events in the prime universe. This is an alternate universe where life has to unfold as it will surely do and there is no reason to believe that everything will happen exactly as they have in the prime universe and that every good decision made in the prime universe will necessarily be the right one for this alternate universe. (Prime) Spock, if anyone, should know how life can be unpredictable in both big and small ways. By the graces…so we go.

216. stevils smith - June 12, 2012

He seemed to be a bit tipsy, didn’t he?

“Jay Jay Abbra-hams” is what he said and I was like “huh? Is Malcolm drinking a bit?”

Mispronounce the directors name and goodbye guest appearance in any future film Mr. “Mac Doo woah ell”

The pacing of the new films were fine. I just hated the destruction of Vulcan so much that I won’t see it again. Guess they were just too tired of the burden of the years of weight in contradictory Vulcan culture by the writers so they just through it out.

217. stevils smith - June 12, 2012

No edit feature… “Threw it out” Didn’t used to make those homonym mistakes years back… Must be old age.

218. Shilliam Watner (Click for Trek Ships Poster) - June 12, 2012

215. Keachick – I agree. That would be a terrible Deus ex machina, to have Spock Prime jump in and warn them every time there was danger he was familiar with.

But what if Jim Kirk went to Spock Prime for counsel? What would Spock do?

WWSD – a new bumper sticker. Or has somebody already thought of that? Probably.

Anyway, that’s why I think they should just close the door on Spock Prime, maybe mention him sometime, but no more appearances, in spite of how fun it was to have him back last time.

219. K-7 - June 12, 2012

The argument that Spock weighed in to the leaders of Starfleet an alluded to the importance of having Kirk as Captain to succeed the injured Pike has also swayed me here. In that context, the promotion makes more sense now.

220. K-7 - June 12, 2012

Above, I am talking about Spock Prime. And I also agree with Ms. Keachick that he would not need to tell them specifics about the future. But he definitely could tell them in general terms that it will be critical for the future of the Federation for Kirk to take over from the injured Pike.

This now makes sense to on how he got this unprecedented promotion from Academy Grad to Captain of the Enterprise.

221. Woulfe - June 13, 2012

– Trek 2009 –
Do you all really think the Enterprise without any warp cores at all made it back to earth that quickly ?

222. Landru's cousin, Dandru - June 13, 2012

#176: “The Outer Light” is an original comic strip that has been running on this site for the past few months. However, the writer posted the most recent entry on his own blog instead of this site, presumably because of how badly the story was being received here.

223. Landru's cousin, Dandru - June 13, 2012

#194 wrote: “Kirk’s death was the absolute dumbest idea in Star Trek history.”

Hyperbole much?

* The Enterprise crew going to find God
* Paris and Janeway becoming salamaders
* The Enterprise-D becoming an Egyptian temple
* Spock’s brain being removed and then restored
* A giant Spock clone
* The DS9 crew being transported into a boardgame
* Picard on a dune buggy
* Children taking over the Enterprise, led by a friendly angel played by a tort lawyer
* Spending 20 minutes on excruciatingly slow V’Ger flybys
* Mr. Tricorder
* Death by facelift
* Spock flying a thousand feet in the air on rocket boots
* Uhura suddenly having always been in love with Scotty
* Uhura’s naked fan-dance
* Riker and Troi stealing Archer’s finale
* The Ferengi’s spastic, freakish debut
* “You shall have no vacciiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine, and no Lieutenant Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar!”
* Deck 74
* “Mr. Worf, have you noticed your boobs getting firmer?”
* Beverly Crusher has sex with a ghost

And you’re calling Kirk’s death the dumbest moment? There are a hundred that are far worse, and the above is just a tiny percentage.

224. MJ - June 13, 2012

@223. But none of the above resulted in killing off the most important character in Trek history. This HUGE fact is missing from your argument about these other events being more dumb.

225. Landru's cousin, Dandru - June 13, 2012

I don’t honestly believe that the idea of killing Kirk was dumb. The problem was HOW they did it.

226. MJ - June 13, 2012

I agree. I think that is what @194 meant. That is how I interpreted it.

227. Landru's cousin, Dandru - June 13, 2012

You’re probably right. :)

228. Damian - June 14, 2012

223–Yes, Star Trek did have it’s fair share of silliness. It’s interesting every series had it’s dumb moments, not matter how good the overall series was.

229. Phil - June 14, 2012

@220. Actually, that’s reprobate Academy grad. Any if you consider his actions on the bridge, insubordinate and quite possibly mutinous as well. At least Shatner’s Kirk made his way through the ranks, all be it quickly.

230. Phil - June 14, 2012

If the next movie makes any effort to explain, coddle, or justify the cadet to captain promotion the franchise is doomed. Ignore it, and have new Kirk just have command presence. Command isn’t on the job training, you earn it through leadership, dicipline, and training as you move through the ranks. Really, if young Captain Kirk makes a mistake that gets half his crew killed, it should earn him a discharge, not a ‘better luck next time’ slap on the back, and an admonition to be careful. That would be a dumb idea.

231. Phil - June 14, 2012

@180. Yeah, the ‘cadet to captain’ promotion was a major soft spot in the story. You just have to suspend the disbelief and enjoy the story….and pray they don’t make a bad situation worse by trying to explain it in more detail in subsequent movies. It would not have hurt the story one bit if they had just faded to black on Kirk’s Academy days, then picked it back up as a junior officer in the fleet somewhere, prepping to face down Nero. Regardless, it is what it is.

232. MJ - June 14, 2012

I thought we had come to at least a limited consensus above on the idea that the assumption here on the promotion was that obviously Spock Prime briefed Federatation/Starfleet leadership on how important it would be for Kirk to succeed the injured Pike as Captain of the Enterprise. That seems like a no-brainier for me, and solves this lingering question once and for all. Kirk saved the Federation, then Spock recommends to the leadership group (without giving exact details of future history away) how Kirk needs to be Pike’s replacement based on how important Kirk and that crew will be to future events in the Federation, etc.

Cased closed!

233. Phil - June 14, 2012

@232. I saw that, figured a few of you had been out drinking or something. Who’s we, anyway? If that’s your story and you are sticking to it, that’s great, but it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. I’m just going to ignore it moving forward, unless the writers for future movies keep throwing that against the wall, hoping it sticks….

234. MJ - June 14, 2012

@ “Who’s we, anyway?”

Well, obviously you are not we! :-)

235. MJ - June 14, 2012

BTW, Phil, that is fine to disagree with this theory, but to say it makes no sense is not true. Of course the Federation Council and Starfleet Command are going to ask Prime Spock in for discussions, and we seem Prime Spock in two occasions at the end of the movie hanging around Starfleet Headquarters. So saying it makes no sense just makes not sense.

236. nuTrek - June 14, 2012

I’m very happy with the new movie and the new universe. For a long time Star Trek seemed old and tired with the same old storylines recycled over and over again. Now It feels fresh again and new and exciting and fascinating with a sense of familiarity but also unpredictable and unexplored.

237. Phil - June 14, 2012

@235. Well, yeah, it doesn’t make sense. Presumbly Future Spock has already told Starfleet, The Federation Council, The Vulcan Science Academy, and anyone else who will listen that he’s not spilling his guts about his universe. They have also concluded that events in their universe may not unfold in a similar fashion as they did in Future Spocks universe. So, for Future Spock to suddenly be insisting that Kirk needs to be promoted over more qualified, seasoned candidates, without offering up some details, would cause me to question why. I’m going to also ask, the person Future Spock is telling me to award the flagship to was, about 72 hours ago, on the verge of being punished and/or discharged for cheating, was shown to be insubordinate and possibly mutinous on the ships logs, and conspired with Future Spock to seize control of the ship from it’s legtimate commander. The only way this makes sense is for the powers that be in Starfleet to take Future Spocks word on this, whitout asking why. I could never, ever see that happening. It also creates another problem, lets say they do, and at some point down the line something bad happens to Starfleet, say the Klingons hand them their asses in a battle, to a chunk of the fleet gets wiped out by the Doomsday Machine. If I were the Starfleet commander that followed Future Spocks advice, I’d be a bit pissed off knowing Future Spock could have offered up some more intelligence on events that were not so self serving. Pissed off to the point where I might be inclined to send Starfleet Intelligence over to Future Spocks home to beat a few more details out of him…..just saying.

238. MJ - June 14, 2012

@237. Wow, I guess if I had it in for Kirk like you do, I would feel the same way. I really liked Kirk in Trek 2009, and don’t have a problem with what he did or how it played out. But coming from your different view on this, I guess I can see how in your own mind the promotion is unacceptable.

Regardless of all that, I am confident of my opinion that Spock would have urged Starfleet Command and the Federation Council and President to give Kirk the Enterprise.

239. Jack - June 14, 2012

238. It worked out fine for the movie and they needed him to be Captain at the end , so he was — but, really, just because we have a future guy (who shows up and says, hey, I’m a very big deal in the future?) saying a Kirk from a different timeline was Captain of the Enterprise a decade later, well, they’ll go with that? Even if they believe him (note: interesting bit in the Janice Lester episode where a Vulcan mind meld isn’t considered to be factual evidence) and figure out that he believes what he’s saying — well, so what? That’s not this Kirk. Unless the nature vs. nurture argument has been settled in favor of the former by the 23rd century and they decide that innate potential is all that matters.

Kirk was born to be captain of the Enterprise, so he will be — it’s his destiny! Really?

Heck, the poor Kirk from the original timeline didn’t have the luxury of great references from his future first officer, so he had to slum it on the Farragut and elsewhere for 10-15 years or so before getting the Enterprise.

This Kirk does exceptionally well on a few aptitude tests, has a famous father (who’s famous for being killed) and then though a series of coincidences and a bit of bullheadedness gets to be captain? It’s not what you do, the work that you put in or the choices you make that matter, kids, it’s all about who you were born to be!

In another reality, I decided to go to law school instead of getting a journalism degree (In fact, I more or less tossed a coin 15 years ago after doing well on the LSATs) and became a hell of a lawyer, and, say, a justice on the Supreme Court eventually — that doesn’t mean that the me that’s here now is qualified to put on the robes tomorrow morning (or, had I gone to law school, like nukirk went to the academy, the day after graduating)…

240. Phil - June 14, 2012

@238. If I’m going to suggest to others to suspend disbelief, I need to do it myself as well. I don’t have an issue with it as a story, because at the end of the day Kirk needed to be captain. It’s just easier to ignore it as opposed to building convoluted detail around the event that just makes the promotion look even sillier. Bottom line is, it happened, but it’s best not to dwell on it for long.

241. Red Shirt Diaries - June 15, 2012

Re: 239. But Jack, you are conveniently ignoring that it is not just about Prime Spock prodding the Federation/Starfleet leaders to make Kirk Captain. It is also, on top of that, the 20 Trillion people in the Federation that Kirk’s actions saved. It is both of these reasons acting together! You just can’t look at these in isolation and pick each apart separately.

You are the head of the Federation, this wunderkid academy grad who’s father is a starfleet legend just saves every Federation world, some twenty trillion people, and the Federation Vulcan Ambassador from the future that might have been urges you to let Kirk keep command of the Enteprise and keep this crew intact, because that ship and crew was vital to federation history. And then you have Pike requesting the same promotion. And then in this post-Nero version of the Federation, if you are good, it’s only 8 years to get to be a Captain anyway. What is a bean counter Fed president to do under such circumstances? I think it is pretty obvious — you give Kirk the Big E and damn what the paper-pushing admirals in Starfleet HQ think!

242. Phil - June 15, 2012

@241. Again, this illustrates the problem with wanting to fill in a bunch of convoluted details to lend some legitimacy to the situation. This new crew has already figured out, based on Nero’s rantings that events in the new universe have not unfolded as they did in Nero’s (and future old Spock’s) universe, so you could just as easily argue that were it not for a happy set of circumstances maybe nuKirk was destined to be nothing more then a genius level repeat offender. These are two very different Kirks, and it is tough to ignore that nuKirk, save for a barfight, and a really pissed off Romulan, is probably nothing more then a farmhand in an Iowa cornfield somewhere in the future.

243. Red Dead Ryan - June 15, 2012

Kirk, in the new timeline, deserved to be captain. He saved Earth and countless billions of lives. He showed great command abilities while doing so, and happened to rescue Captain Pike in the process.

Spock Prime and Admiral Pike put in good word for Kirk, I’m sure, and Starfleet took that into consideration.

Starfleet, now knowing about the importance of Kirk, and the fact he had proven his abilities to lead when he saved Earth and destroyed Nero and the Narada coupled with the fact that they were now badly shorthanded after losing a fleet of ships at Vulcan, made an exception and made Kirk captain of the Enterprise. So Kirk got command both on merit and the fact that Starfleet couldn’t afford to be picky and simply ignore a guy on the fact that he was “too young”.

So, I think this argument is done. I can’t believe its still going on. Some people really need to let this go.


244. Vultan - June 15, 2012

Abrams’ Trek isn’t trying to be Star Wars. It’s Flash Gordon.

James T. Kirk is without a doubt the Savior of the Universe, and his inevitable rise to President of the Federation will be thoroughly covered in the sequel, followed to his ascension to a God-like being in the third movie, resembling a disembodied head with a very large hairpiece.

Why settle for Captain?

245. MJ - June 15, 2012

@243 “Kirk, in the new timeline, deserved to be captain. He saved Earth and countless billions of lives. He showed great command abilities while doing so, and happened to rescue Captain Pike in the process.Spock Prime and Admiral Pike put in good word for Kirk, I’m sure, and Starfleet took that into consideration.”

Exactly. This sounds completely logical to me. In fact, at the end of the movie, Spock Prime is standing alone in the balcony of the chamber where Kirk has just been promoted — this rather directly infers that he orchestrated the promotion; i.e. he is singularly looking down at the ceremony, and then says, “thrusters on full”, which is his memory of Kirk taking command.

@244. Hey, well at least you went and saw this movie, so I should count that as a step in the right direction for you. Next thing you know, you will b using logic in your arguments. Baby steps, my friend. Baby steps. ;-)

246. Vultan - June 15, 2012


And eventually you may develop something bordering on a pleasant, human personality. Baby steps, MJ, baby steps….

247. Phil - June 15, 2012

Kirk, in any Star Trek universe, has to be captain. Given that this is all fantasy, I would expect a story of his acension to the rank to be plausible, which it was not in Trek 2009. Knowing that the writers strike prevented the writers from going back and fixing problems, I’d assume that if they had the chance, they would, and that this is one of the problems that needed fixing. All we have is hindsite, and for me at least, it’s much more logical (and easier) to accept that more time passed from the end of the Nero incident to Kirks promotion then the movie implied then it is that Future Spock stepped in to influence the decision. All that does is suggest that Starfleet is really, really bad at making important decisions.

248. MJ - June 15, 2012

@246 LOL

249. Vultan - June 15, 2012


“As your continued predilection for irrelevancy demonstrates.”

Cheers. And happy Father’s Day (if you are one).

250. Red Dead Ryan - June 15, 2012


Sorry, Phil, but you’re in the wrong on this one. MJ and I explained why Kirk’s promotion made sense in the last movie. We put out the facts, but you continue to brush them aside as they are inconvenient for your own (false) arguments.

251. Jackie B - June 15, 2012

If you read the TOS books you will find that Kirk is alive and well in the future. His body was retrieved by the Borg, brought back to life.

252. Phil - June 16, 2012

@250. Lighten up, there are no facts for this, just theory and conjecture that happens to fit your conclusion. You guys have your opinion, and others have theirs. Your talking points have been throughly disected, if someone wants to agree with them or not it’s up to the individual.

253. Red Dead Ryan - June 16, 2012


C’mon, we do have facts. They’re in the movie. The biggest fact is Starfleet felt Kirk was deserving of the captaincy of the Enterprise.

End of story.

254. Phil - June 16, 2012

@253. I don’t think anyone suggested that Kirk was not going to get the Enterprise, to that we all agree. The debate was over how.

Nothing more to see here, people, please move along….


255. K-7 - June 16, 2012

#254. You are beating a dead horse. The explanations provided here by several of us make a logical case for the promotion. And the new point made about Spock being above the auditorium chamber, as if he orchestrated the promotion, really seals the deal for me.

Time to move on here given this puzzle has been solved.

256. Red Shirt Diaries - June 16, 2012

Yea, I think we’ve closed this case now. Most of us are comfortable with these explanations here on the promotion. There will always be a few outlier opinions on this of course, but that can’t be helped. nuKirk saved 20 trillion people, and on top of that Spock-P urged on the Fed leaders to give him the E — that is what happened, and that is pretty much covered in the final scene where Spock is in the balcony overseeing the promotion scene that he orchestrated.

257. Jason - June 17, 2012

JJ’s movie and the alternative universe trick was the best thing that happened in the franchise for a long time.

258. MJ - June 18, 2012

Yep all, case closed!

259. Phil - June 18, 2012


260. Red Dead Ryan - June 18, 2012


Wrong. It’s definitely closed. Open your eyes and you’ll know it to be true!

261. lil'Alex - June 21, 2012

Lol, people are going to rip Malcom? A Clockwork Orange alone bests anything Trek, and I like Star Trek. is represented by Gorilla Nation. Please contact Gorilla Nation for ad rates, packages and general advertising information.