The big news this week has been the revealing of the scene written for William Shatner for the Star Trek movie. Below we have some of the reaction from across the web and here with the Trekkies. Plus we review comments from Orci and Kurtzman and take a look at the technical logistics of putting Shatner into Trek.
What they are saying
The Shatner scene spread across the geekosphere like a wave this week. Many sites justed posted links and excerpts, but some others added commentary, which is about universally positive.
I really like this sequence as scripted… and feels it nicely addresses a nagging, nitpicky issue I had with the film: there’s not enough gravitas when QuintoSpock steps onto the Enterprise bridge at the end of the movie, and asks PineKirk for permission to come aboard. Spock Prime has already tipped off PineKirk and QuintoSpock to the profundity and consequence of their friendship ("a friendship that will define you both" is what Nimoy tells QuintoSpock, for example) – PineKirk simply "granting" QuintoSpock permission to join the crew at the end doesn’t feel quite accentuated enough.
To be honest, it’s pretty damn good. It brought a little tear to my eye, and it would’ve been a pretty powerful way to end the film. However, you can’t dwell on what never was, and the movie turned out great without this scene. Still, it’s hard not to wonder.
All things considered, this might have been a reasonable way to shoehorn Shatner into the film. The hologram device would allow for a certain degree of CGI de-aging to be applied, and it’s a hokey but not altogether unprecedented bridge between the generations. There are already enough glaringly overt nods to classic ideas and character tics throughout the new film, and one more wouldn’t have killed it. If the last of classic Kirk’s dialogue had been toned down a bit so it wasn’t quite so sentimental, I’d have been willing to buy it.
I could have dug that.
I’m not even a Trekkie and I can see the wasted opportunity in this. Hopefully he’ll make an appearance in the second film and finally let us see him in the captain’s chair one last time.
It obviously never made the film but I somewhat wish it had…The scene is very nostalgic but yet logical to the story line. At the same time though, it’s also a classic Hollywood voice over scene and really doesn’t fit with the tone of the whole movie. But I would still like to see it.
I’m of two minds concerning this. It certainly is a well written scene, and does add some poignancy to the end of the film (which was already poignant enough). There definitely would’ve been more of a sense of closure and things coming full circle for the original crew, as well as a new beginning for the Abrams series.
At the same time, as well written as it may be, the scene does feel a bit like a gimmick. I mean, what are the odds that Spock would have had that transmission thingy hanging around his neck at the exact moment that he was thrown through time?
– Latino Review
…read the whole thing, and see if you don’t get slightly choked up at the end
Trekkies in tears – most want the Shat scene
Looking through the hundreds of comments here at TrekMovie.com, like most things, this scene sparked a lot of debate. However, it is clear that lots of Trekkies liked this scene. There are many who even talk about "tearing up" and "crying" when they read the scene. Looking at it more objectively, we held a poll, and a clear majority wish that the scene were in the final film. Here are the results:
What do you think of the Shatner ST09 Scene?
- Should have been in film (64%)
- Good, but better without it (29%)
- Don’t like it (7%)
Orci and Kurtzman on the "Supreme Court" Shatner Decision
As is his custom, Star Trek co-writer Roberto Orci dropped by the comments section here this week, and in the Shatner Scene threated he pointed out that the debate scene here is not unlike the one amongst the Trek team:
You can imagine how the debate raged among the Supreme Court. tough decision, right?
Back in early May, Orci and co-writer Alex Kurtzman spoke to MTV about the scene. We showed this before but you may not have spotted it with so much going on around the release of the film. Regardless, now that you have read the scene, it is worth reviewing what the pair had to say about it, and how the "Supreme Court" (Abrams, Orci, Kurtzman, Lindelof and Burk) debated it. They also go into more detail into how the scene would have fit into the final film.
You can see that debate even going on within the video above. It is clear that Orci’s vote was to pitch the scene to The Shat. From his public statements, it seems Abrams vote was against. The director has noted he felt that putting Shatner into the film would have felt "forced"
But, How do you get Shatner into Star Trek?
There is also a logistical issue of getting Shatner into Star Trek. The plan was to show Captain Kirk at a time previous to Star Trek Generations. Kirk was 60 years old in Generations, and Shatner was 63 when he shot it. William Shatner is now 78 and would be around 80 by the time the next Star Trek movie goes into production.
William Shatner in Generations (1994) and at Madame Tussauds (October 2009)
Any scene with Shatner playing a pre-Generations Kirk would have to de-age the actor by around two decades. The good news is that the technology to do this exists. In fact Shatner was digitally de-aged in 2006 for a Direct TV commercial, which put new shots of the actor into scenes from 1991’s Star Trek VI.
And the technology is improving and would be even better for a big feature film. Recent films like The Curious Case of Benjamin Button extensively use digital aging and de-aging. And in 2009 there was a movie that digitally de-aged a Star Trek captain. [SPOILER ALERT] X-Men Wolverine had a brief cameo from Patrick Stewart at the end of the movie. As the film was set years before the 2000 film X-Men, they had to shave a decade or two off Stewart.
Patrick Stewart in X Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) and at British Academy Film Awards (February 2009)
Also, the above scene was to be done as a holographic recording. The same technique could be done in the sequel as well. There is no reason a portable hologram projector has to be picture perfect, and so the image itself could end up being somewhat distorted. Using an effect like those seen in the Star Wars films could make the de-aging less important.
Bail Organa (Jimmy Smits) as hologram in "Star Wars Episode III"
One thing is for sure. The revelation of this scene will only fuel the debate to put Shatner into the Star Trek sequel. In fact, Orci has already responded to the new calls for that here at TrekMovie.com, with the following comment:
Oh, boy! Here we go again!