Shatner Talks About The Death Of Kirk

In a recent ShatnerVision, The Shat Talks about how it came to be that Kirk died in Generations.

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Shatner comparing the importance and relevance of the death of Kirk to that of the death of JFK.

The man thinks BIG. Very macaroni in the pantalone.

ShatnerVision rocks. and viva trek movie dot com dot org.



Ya gotta love the Shat’s ego, him and his slightly bitter version of why they killed Kirk, actually doesn’t seem too far from the truth, but his ego gets in the way of his point. His comments on Kirk’s death being poor and unfitting were certainly true.

Hi. How does the old Kirk talking with young Kirk fit into the rumors of Trek XI either being how Ensign or Lt. Kirk, would it be Ensign or Lt., became Captain Kirk or Trek XI being Captain Kirk getting command of the 1701? Thanks for any info.

Too bad, indeed… Bill. Can I call ya’ Bill?

The difference between what we are and what we dream, is what we do.

Don’t look it up… it was just a thought. Me… waxing poetic…. 4:00PM in New York City on a Friday… Great edit session… finished off with great wine.

God, I love this business almost as much as I love Star Trek!

He’s really starting to regret taking that paycheck, I’ll bet. I’m thinking he did the job with the feeling “one more paycheck in hand, even with Kirk dead, is better than nothing,” since they were starting up the (ultimately)short-lived TNG film series.

I think they should just ignore it.

Here is an idea….

Do a cartoon or CGI movie of THE RETURN. Release it just before TREK 11 comes out (direct to DVD). Have Shatner and others do the voicework. People would be talking about it all over, and then people would better accept him coming back for 11 without questioning it.

Here’s the problem I’ve got with old Kirk talking with young Kirk. All through TOS we were thrilled by the daring and bravery on the part of Captain Kirk, no matter what the circumstance. We were impressed with how he would charge into the unknown, let the risk be damned! Now, if you have it come out that young Kirk acted with impunity because he knew he would survive all the challenges and perils, having talked with his older self years before, that severely undermines the heroic behaviour of the Captain Kirk we knew all along. It’s easy to behave in a “brave” fashion if YOU KNOW you’re not going to die!!

Well, depsite the obvious ego issues at play in this video, Shatner does make a good point amidst all of this “umms” and “ahhhs” and that is that the EVENT of Kirk’s death was so inconsequential to the movie’s entirety, that it really did seem small.

Spock’s death, while at the end of ST:TWOK, was considered for several minutes onscreen. You had the funeral, the speeches, the talk between Kirk and David, and the coda on the bridge. While relatively brief, the course of those scenes helped the viewer absorb the material. Sure, it was a kick in the mac in the pants (I see you hitch! Can you see me?) but TWOK succeeded in giving Spock’s death the appropriate amount of breathing room.

But Generations (AdCo’s LEAST favorite Star Trek movie evah!) screwed up what was a huge event in Trek history. Screwed up is actually putting it mildly. Kirk’s death was so meaningless to begin with, and that he die in the presence of one man, and is left for the rattlesnakes on Veridian III (or whatever the heck planet it was) was appalling. Kirk deserved a burial on Earth. This was the fleet’s greatest captain, not some used can of soda left in a trashbin at the Grand Canyon. The lack of any real recognition of his passing shortchanged us fans, and (along with the meaningless destruction of the Enterprise-D) qualifies Generations as the most offensive movie in the series. A pox on all houses belonging to those who were repsonsible for making that movie.

#8 Boy, you’ve got that right! Apparently Berman and Braga stayed in Hawaii for the majority of the time they spent writing Generations. I guess we can blame the shitty plot of the script on the “Maui-wowee” weed they smoked while brainstorming the storyline! You’d have to be major-league STONED to come up with that piece of crap premise!!

8 – Adam — Totally agree with you on those points. Generations had the feel of something banged out in a hurry. It had a very good beginning and some fine moments. But, the running theme (joke) of characters being brought in to die stank up the theatre. Lursa and B’etor (sp?), Picard’s brother AND nephew, and then Kirk. Oh, and twice in the same movie. JEEZ. It would have been more meaningful had they left Kirk dead on the B and had Picard salute his grave 78 years later. But, no… gotta have a tumble down an endless series of rocks.
In defense of Generations, I did like: the horses, the Tall Ship Enterprise, and Data’s chip. Beyond that, it was uneven.
What to learn in time for XI? Star Trek is NOT Wagon Train to the Stars. Every death on screen MUST have weight, and not be a throw-away shot from some western.
Fingers crossed.

3 & 7

Young Kirk nor Old Kirk will realize their importance to one another — just good ol’ buddy Spock. Trek XI is alpha and omega.

#8-The movie has always bothered me in a lot of ways that I couldn’t put my finger on. YOU hit the nail on the head-EXACTLY why I have watched it the least of anything Trek (except Voyager).

I used to not mind “Generations” so much but after reading many of the opinions form this site about the film, I have grown to realize that Generations was a piece of garbage and Kirk and his legcay was treated like garbage and complete dis-respect.

I also don’t like the way Kirk was left on some stupid desert planet in the middle of nowhere. The whole thing really pisses me off the more I think about it. Kirk’s death carried no weight and we never saw this planet that Kirk supposedly saved. It meant nothing!!

After watching TOS-R I appreciate Kirk and his legacy in Star Trek. Berman and company Shat on Kirk in that movie (pun intended)

Thanks for the commiseration gang.

One thing to add, I see a lot of Berman and Braga bashing here, which they deserve, but unfortunately you gotta add one more culprit to that list and its a guy I genuinely admire as a writer- Ron Moore. If ANYONE should have known better out of that troika, it was Moore and he failed to do right by Kirk and the fans.

I’ve forgiven Moore, but I shall never forget! ;)

Adam I can see your point about Starfleet not memorializing Kirk after his death of Veridian III – but surely they gave Kirk the full honors after his death saving the Enterprise B (earlier in the same film).

The problem with the film was the need to bridge the Generations at all. Kirk need not have appeared in Generations, and Shatner does not need to appear in XI.

Well, I often have a crush on things other people don’t like and honestly I really enjoyed ST VII. It had some good scenes in it and all in all it was a good farewell to Star Trek: The Next Generation (as a series) and in my opinion that’s what it is and what it was supposed to be.

What I like about Kirk’s death is that it’s not such a big thing. It’s quite fast and on some level over before you really realize it. Yet the impact of it wasn’t hardly seen in the movie and therefore it never really existed in the fandom as well. They mourned longer for the Enterprise D than they did for Kirk and I guess that was a huge mistake. On the other side I wouldn’t want to see Picard’s crew getting all cheesy about the death of a figure from history classes they hardly knew.

Getting back to topic, I don’t get all of the Shat’s point. What is he complaining about? Don’t blame Kirk’s screwed departure on him – it was the greed of the evil studios who probably paid their asses of to get him in the movie? He wasn’t as courageous as Nimoy – he should live with that. (That’s if Nimoy REALLY was that courageous – other things I’ve herad include that the greedy evil studio simply couldn’t afford him in a cameo).

“his gets in the way of his point.”

I so totally have to engrave this sentence into my word pool.

The only good part of Generations is with the old cast on Enterprise B, After that it went down hill from there. The Death of Kirk was the nail in it’s coffin. Lame all the way. Kirk deserved a dynamic and heroic death but killing him off was just plain stupid to start with.

#16 — Agreed, when Nimoy passed Shatner should have wiped the dollar signs out of his eyes and passed as well, he clearly isn’t happy with what happened in Generations. Had both passed Jimmy Doohan and Walter Keonig probably would have passed too.

I find it interesting Shatner recounts that Nimoy found the dialogue written for Spock was poor and out of character and thus passed on it, the dialogue for Scotty is pretty poor too. Anyone get the idea that B&B don’t know squat about the TOS crew? Of course years later we get Berman admitting he had never watched all 79 of the TOS episodes… it all makes a lot more sense now…

#15 You said it- Kirk’s mere presence was pointless with respect to that movie. Personally, I felt the whole thing distracted from the plot (whatever the heck that story was about anyway, i don’t really recall). I mean here you are, trying to figure out Soran’s motives and then BAM! You’re in some Charles Dickens vista and then you see an apparently drugged-up Kirk chopping wood and burning eggs in a frying pan. What the (insert expletive here) were they thinking???

That touches on another point I disliked a lot in Generations- was Kirk high or something? That whole initial exchange in the kitchen, with the Great Dane and the clock, etc. was worthless. It reeked of first-draft writing all the way. And Kirk running from a fight? (INSERT BIG EXPLETIVE HERE) that! No, sir, I don’t like it!

I will concede that the Enterprise-B stuff had its charm, but that was in spite of the silly premise- the fleet’s new flagship launches without torpedoes??? Oy. And Captain Harriman was a wuss. Obviously he had to pale in comparison to James Kirk, but I felt depressed knowing that the E-B was going to continue with the dweeb Cameron sitting center-seat. Scotty and Kirk playing a round of golf at St. Andrews would have made for an infinitely more compelling and enjoyable film!

Nimoy was right, Adam. The script — Berman, Braga, Moore — was truly appalling. Look, the template for a moving death was in Wrath of Kahn. No memorial service, no monument, nothing — this is what Shatner meant, I think, discussing Kennedy. Just a cairn? Unforgiveable.

Whatever else Generations did or did not have going for it, killing off Kirk in a movie that isn’t even really about Kirk was a BAD idea, period. Yet another in a long series of brain-farts from Paramount executives.

Re: #1 – “macaroni in the pantalone” – just when I thought Hitch-speak was getting old, THAT is funny! Or maybe it’s just Friday and it’s been a long week.

Bottom line Shatner should’ve passed on the role if he didn’t like the part.

The best part of Generations were the first 10 minutes. Why couldn’t the whole movie have just been about Kirk, Scotty and Chekov? They really had a good banter going.

Best thing Paramount could do is state that TNG onwards is a separate universe from TOS and its characters.

That way, Generations features characters called Kirk, Scott and Chekov, but they aren’t the same Kirk, Scott and Chekov who appeared in STVI: they’re TNG universe versions! Last time we saw the real Kirk, he was on the bridge of the Enterprise-A.

Also, it’s tragic that a Star Trek animated movie with the original cast wasn’t made in the mid-1990s. What a terrible missed opportunity!

I’m no Shatner apologist, and I think the guy has behaved poorly now and then, and I don’t have any doubt he’s got an unjustifiably oversized ego. But I didn’t think he came off that egotistical in this video clip.

Did he do Generations for the money? Well, sure that must have been a factor, but I take him at his word when he thought the orginal death scene as written would serve as an appropriate heroic end. It sounds like he envisioned getting shot, falling, getting back up through sheer determination, getting shot again, getting back up again…never giving up until his last breath had left him, defying the odds and fighting the good fight to the very end. It sounds like something that conceptually could have worked, but it looks like it just didn’t come together on the film footage they shot, so they went for the falling bridge, which of course didn’t work either.

As far as the unmarked cairn goes–I wouldn’t have had any problem with that if the actual death scene itself had been appropriate for a character of Kirk’s stature. I don’t need some prolonged teary-eyed pageantry and parade sequence, thank you. The reason why Spock’s sendoff in WOK worked is because it was his close friends who were mourning him. Having the TNG weep over a guy they only knew through history books wouldn’t have worked at all.

#24 – Please! Animated movies during that time were all musicals. We’d have gotten Shatner singing Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds again…

I actually enjoy Generations up to the point Picard enters the nexus. Then it falls into lunacy. The nexus is more innocuous than imagined, their is no rhyme or reason or sense of urgency, and plot holes you can drive a truck through.

Up to that point. I rather liked Generations. Very sad indeed for such great potential to be squandered…


tthe death of kirk….was the “death”..of star trek…in a way.!!!

so…..bring back kirk….young and old he was the
…heart…of star trek.

bring back kirk old and young ….

i say!

Shatner’s vanity and avarice aside (we KNOW he has an ego like Ron Jeremy has a babymaker – both are huge, ugly, and not to be scrutinized too closely), it’s the death of James T. Kirk – the icon – that is the issue. We, the filmgoers, got sodomized by ‘Generations’. Kirk taking a header on a rickety scaffold was the equivalent of a redneck’s Famous Last Words, “Hey, y’all hold mah beer and watch THIS!” Suitable for YouTube, maybe. But I want a refund for my time from the moment they faded away from the wrecked deflector control room and into that absurd shot of the Next Gen cast standing around looking like hack understudies from a high school production of H.M.S. Pinafore. It was like watching Roddenberry’s Big Idea go from Taj Mahal to shopping mall.

That’s my opinion. You’re entitled to yours.

I remember at one point killing off characters was not even heard of . You replace them with another actor or just write them off the show. If the actor wanted to leave that was a easy fix. Let them leave with grace…Nowadays If any actor wants out they find some horrible way of doing it and people get ticked off.

From what I remember after seeing “Generations” Kirk’s death and how mad I was the night I saw it. And from what I can obviously see others feel the same way. As I look back its a moment in Trek History. His alternate death scene on the Collectible DVD is no better.

The problem is that Paramount is CHEAP! If they had pony’ed up the $$$ and made a proper passing -tourch movie or 2 movies for that matter with both crews working at a goal, etc. then they would have gotton the “best of both worlds”. That was one of the things that Paramount has done with the Trek movies in general is to make them on the cheap. When you look at the 100 million + budgets on movies that mostly suck its just a shame……

If they try to make a movie with a low budget for this kind of movie then it WILL fail. Story is one thing but a franchise of this kind deserves no less than a major budget and scope……

Darth “Cheap Ass” Ballz

Generations was a piece of crap.

J.J. please fix that film and restore Kirk’s dignity in ST XI

#34 Not. Gonna. Happen.


#32- I agree that Paramount is cheap and that has always put undue pressure on the people making Star Trek for decades. HOWEVER- budget constraints didn’t write that poorly conceived script in which the Nexus becomes some nebulous plot device that conveniently joins Kirk and Picard without any purpose other than to have Kirk die and to smash the Enterprise-D

Kirk’s ideal heaven is cooking eggs in a kitchen.

That alone should have been enough to never film this movie.

I find it quite funny to think Paramount thought the Next Gen cast would do better box office wise than the old cast

Adam, our resident Science Officer, right on as always. Genrations was a lump of poo no matter how you slice it. As I sat there and watched it I thought to myself: they dropped my hero off a rusty(24th century technology??) bridge because Picard couldn’t beat up….. Malcom McDowell????? Kirk’s death was so uninspiring, so underwhelming. Antonia??? Bird of Prey again???? No David Marcus in Kirk’s personal ShangriLa???? Kirk doesn’t take the chair on the E-B and save the day??? No Tractor Beam???? Kirk cooking… Eggs??? A rusty 24th century bridge held together with Iron chains????? Picard doesn’t just go back to where he first met Sauren to stop him????? Kirk doesn’t sneak a phaser when he beams down???? Picard fights like Rupaul???? They kill Kirk and bury him under a rock???? They save Data’s god damned Cat but kill Kirk????? Friggin Whoopie Goldberg??? No Spock???? No McCoy???? No great effort on the part of the producers to get them onboard????? Gord lord was the whole event awful!!! A perfect representation of everything I loathed about the Next Gen experience.

Generations had ONE, one solitary lone redeeming quality.

Shatners ad-libbed “Oh My….” was perfectly fitting for a man who spent his entire life going where no man had gone before.

What’ even cooler is the Shat said “Oh my” because he saw a UFO flying overhead.

I kidd you not.


“The lack of any real recognition of his passing shortchanged us fans, and (along with the meaningless destruction of the Enterprise-D) qualifies Generations as the most offensive movie in the series.”

This TNG and TOS fan is in complete agreement with you here. I personally believe it made no sense to kill the character off at all. Heroes don’t always have to be ‘tragic’, and sometimes its best if our heroes live forever.

Kirk should have had an Arthurianesque’ destiny and his fate should have been carefully and deliberately mystified, so that hope could remain that yes, one day when in the midst of the direst of needs, a hero may yet again return.

Mortality does not a legend or icon make, we live reality, we deal with mortality daily. If you want your fictional hero to transcend time, leave his fate a mystery.

I want to see WilliamShatnerCapt. /Kirk forever in an loop of his horrible …”Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum”… w/Loenard Nimoy/Mr. Spock in that incredble scene…from “PLATO’S STEPCHILDREN”; guest Starring Dr Loveless from the wild wild west SHOW!

Picard…You left my body on Veridain 3.Why did You do that?

A good begining to Trek XI would be Spock collecting Kirk’s body and then recollecting on thier relationship during the voyage back to Earth. That would be a hell of a movie

Hell as in bad?

I will be completely disappointed if Abrams and Co. succumb to a few loud voices that demand this movie “right the wrongs” of Generations and Kirk’s death there. I thought it underwelming, but dam it… that’s NOT what this film should be. This should be a refreshing re-launch (I didn’t say reboot) of Trek for the 21st century and new generations.
Don’t weigh it down with Kirk meeting Kirk or explaining a death a decade ago. That’s fanboy heaven, but not what will fill the seats. Someone can write a novel bringing back Kirk….(oh, Someone did?…imagine that).
As far as I am concerned there need be ONE Kirk in XI. In a gold shirt, sitting in the command chair, his best friends standing flanking him in blue. (not with a gray-haired ghost telling him which way to shoot)
The Shatner ego-train can end here as far I am concerned. He will always be the original, but his continued antics do nothing more than lessen my respect for what work he did wearing the gold shirt.
Kirk died. Shatner did nothing to stop it, he contributed to it because of greed… not out of desire to give a “heroic -end” to Kirk. He had the chance to pass.. instead he said “how much?’

Xai you Shatna hateh!

You bums are the biggest bunch of trolls around because if it isn’t TOS yo guys seem to hate it, while I agree that Voy was trash TNG DS9 and ENT (especially 3rd and 4th seasons) were pure quality!

I’m of the thought that Shatner should have bowed out gracefully after Star VI. After all, he collected another big paycheck and it was his choice to fully participate in the rather lame ending of his famous character…

And if he really wanted to leave open the door to playing Kirk again, why did he agree to let his character die?

Shatner’s Kirk will always be a tremendous part of TOS, but it’s time “the Shat” passed the torch to a new cast and the new Kirk.

Yes I would like to see Shatner and all the original TOS actors in the next movie, but only in small cameo roles. To sell ALL the original cast together one last time on the big screen would be a wonderful send off and a great way to begin a whole new chapter in Trek.

Mike :o