The World Reacts To Unfilmed Shatner Star Trek 2009 Scene + Could It Be Done?

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, 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, with the following comment:

Oh, boy! Here we go again!



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good idea

leave it out. Time to move on.

Sounds like a special edition of the DVD at least!

I’m sorry, but I don’t see what the hubbub was all about. Orci & Kurtzman’s writing is glaringly mediocre. The THOUGHT and INTENT behind the scene is nice, but as written, it simply made me roll my eyes.

Their writing and dialogue in TREK ’09 doesn’t even come within a country mile of the intelligence and wit seen in the first 2 seasons of TOS, or in any of the Nick Meyer movies. I’m glad it didn’t make it in.

I like this thread! It’s exciting!

Or at least will be.

Jesus, everyone needs to move on from musty old TOS already… Galloping around the cosmos is a game for the young.

How about a Director’s Edition Blu Ray of the new movie, with all the deleted scenes inserted in, PLUS this alternate Shatner-ific ending? I would pony up for it, that’s for sure. :)

While it’s honestly a nice nod, Prime Kirk had his finale in Star Trek: Generations. which took away from the TNG Crews premier on the big screen… The whole purpose of Prime Spock in the Star Trek (2009) was to Explain the Alternate Reality. Having a Hologram recording is one thing but I’d love to see the new Reality Crew stand up on it’s own, but would do nothing more than add a tiny bit of nostalgia, and take something away from the main story.

I still miss the fact that DS9, Voyager, and Enterprise Crews were all passed over for Feature films. When is Sisko going to leave the prophets? what happened to the crew of Voyager after their return, did the Maquis crewmembers remain, or did they leave starfleet and create a new maquis group – since they were pardonned because of their actions? Star Trek Enterprise could have done something with the Romulan Wars…

either way, We won’t see it and I suppose that is okay, because the JJ version of Star Trek is great.


At first I was against it, but hearing Alex Kurtzmann put it into context, I think I would have shed tears as well. Can you imagine a cinema filled with balling Treknerds?

In any case, I am glad Trek is in these guys’ hands. They know what they’re dealing with on all its levels, and i cannot wait for the next one.

Why are we even dwelling on this? What possible purpose could it serve other than to stir up a pot of shit all over again? Webmasters (here and elsewhere) are not doing anyone any favors by continuing to rev up the Shatner issue, but I guess the thinking is akin to certain cable news network: anything goes as long as you get the traffic (or ratings, as the case may be). Doesn’t matter if you stir people up and cause endless arguments; gotta have those page hits!


The digital de-aging process would not seem to work on the big screen unless more effort were to be put into it. The de-aged Shatner does not look very good in the DirecTV commercial.


Please don’t do this just because the technology exists.
It would have made perfect sense the way it was scripted for the first JJ-Trek. Adding Bill in to later movies will look like a stunt. It will distract from the rest of the movie. Will he be back? Was that really Shatner? Did you see that, it was Shatner? The Klingons are closing in? Who cares; that was Shatner!

As always, I love the original cast and crew. But please, you have made a new universe. Let’s see how she flies.

There’s no reason it can’t end up in the next Trek movie. It may have to be re-molded to fit in the context of the next movie, but it could still work. Since I liked the non-scene, I can just pretend it WAS in the movie.


Martin, I think for a Star Trek site, this is an issue worth discussing. Nimoy was invited back for a $400m film based on an iconic series which we all love. His counterpart in that series is still alive and kicking, and the chemistry between the two, as shown in 79 eps and six films, is actually one of the reasons we all care about it to this day, and a key reason it’s lasted so long.

I don’t think Kirk and Spock should get married or die in each others’ arms, as many here seem to think is appropriate, but a tasteful voiceover is worth considering. Execution is the issue.

Shatner today is definitely not Kirk material. He’s a comedian and a pitchman. The scene most likely would’ve sucked.

It’s a nice ‘what-if’ to ponder, however.

There is no reason to not give this a shot. Love him, hate him, be indifferent about him… the end of the day, Shatner IS Trek. To put it in the terms of the Shat: We……….need …………him, so that we………can revel in our nostalgia………….one…..more time!

DVD/Blu-Ray Director’s Cut

Re-insert/finish most deleted scenes (especially Klingon subplot)
Add Shatner scene

Make it so.



I won’t repeat myself here, but I did put in my two strips’ (of latinum) worth at 424 and 425 of the comments section in the Shatner Scene story. I think that the scene as written is quite well-done but there are countervailing considerations — including whether the mainstream appeal of this film can be maintained. For many, the inclusion of Shatner’s Kirk might be as much of a turn-off as much as it is a turn-on to us, who have loved Star Trek from the beginning.

Recall that the take-away from the commercials was that this is NOT your father’s Star Trek. Including Shatner’s Kirk in the movie would have detracted from that fundamentally, since in a sense, it WOULD be our fathers’ (our) Star Trek, and — for the purposes of new audiences — this would not be a good thing.

We need to remember the central protagonist of Trek as a young, active, and vigorous young man, and not one who is overshadowed by the man he was … in another life.

Nah. “Star Trek 2” (or 12) should be free of ties to the franchise that came before. Spock Prime already passed the baton. It’s time for Pine & Co. to sail on their own.

I meant to write, “We need to remember the central protagonist of Trek as an active, vigorous young man, and not one who is overshadowed by the man he was … in another life.

I hate it when I am redundant. I really do. I really, really, really, really do. I do. Really.

“”” #4: I’m sorry, but I don’t see what the hubbub was all about. Orci & Kurtzman’s writing is glaringly mediocre. The THOUGHT and INTENT behind the scene is nice, but as written, it simply made me roll my eyes.

Their writing and dialogue in TREK ‘09 doesn’t even come within a country mile of the intelligence and wit seen in the first 2 seasons of TOS, or in any of the Nick Meyer movies. I’m glad it didn’t make it in.”””

I’m going to side with #4.

We would all like to have seen this happen but there’s no way on Gods green earth that Shatner would have settled for a 2 min cameo, equal to Nimoy or nothing is what I believe he would have said
now let it rest


I think “Your father’s Star Trek” refers more to TNG and its ilk than to TOS. JJ’s film is a tribute to the “leap without looking” spirit of TOS. TNG spawned the idea of organized conferences and consensus as a way to solve problems over seat-of-the-pants decision making by the top officer(s).

ST09 is very much a tribute to the 1966 original, with fistfights, booze, girls, and the use of instinct in the field over consensus to move the situation forward.

If Shatner is not directly written as a primary role in the sequel then it will never happen. The Shat will want like 10-20 million bucks to be in it. So, for it to happen, Paramount will need to know this when they get the first script. Love the Shat, 20 million is a bargain.



The movie was excellent. The scene would have made it even more excellent. William Shatner plus Bob’s ability to write for Kirk Prime would make a fine addition to a sequel.


“We need to remember the central protagonist of Trek as an active, vigorous young man, and not one who is overshadowed by the man he was … in another life.”

Spot on, Hat Rick. In theory, I’m not opposed at all to the concept of having the Shat make a final appearance to give the new crew a proper send off. Theoretically I can see how that would add an even greater emotional lift to an already satisfying ending. But the scene as written…not so much. Ending the movie on a note of wistful nostalgia, on the final words of a tired old man returning from the grave to remind us once again how tired and old he felt for the last four movies (and having him talk about all the young new recruits just compounds the error, in my opinion)…that kind of goes against the entire point of this film, which is to make Trek feel fresh and new again. I can see the writing team trying to make it work, with talk about how much of the galaxy is still unexplored and all that still waits out there…but looking forward is hard to do while looking backward. I think this is one of those cases where an idea on its own sounds just dandy, but fails in the context of an overall story. Kind of like how you feel about the tragedy of the Klingons and Spock’s birth being cut until you see them on the DVD, and realize how little they add. But maybe I’m wrong.

Obviously the time has passed to do this scene in the sequel, this particular scene I think. I would like them to just bring back old Kirk somehow and put him in with the old Spock but I doubt that will happen as well. This will most likely stand on it’s own, aside of course from plundering the universe for things to redo.

The de-aging effect they did on Patrick Stewart was ATROCIOUSLY TERRIBLE!

Bring Back Kirk Prime at All Costs! Trek will benefit

Have Shat play Chris Pine’s long lost, wacky uncle a la Denny Crane.

But Spock left Vulcan for Romulus around 2368…

24, maybe, but most of the world still thinks of TOS when they think of Trek. (“Beam me up” beats “Make it so,” I think.) And this film isn’t about the TNG crew, it’s about the Classic crew, and young version of it — so why dilute it by bringing in someone who played the Classic crew at its oldest?

28, I’m glad we agree.

It is a terrible fact of life that there’s something about aging that does not do justice to an action movie. Sean Connery’s last Bond movie (albeit not produced by Albert Broccoli) is often seen as a pale version of his earlier ones. His physique no longer lent credibility to the role; he seemed to phone it in, besides. And then, quoth critics, Roger Moore got long the tooth and detracted, for that reason, from his Bond as well.

Clearly, the Supreme Court wants to balance the needs of the old archetype with the new. I think that putting Shatner’s Kirk in would have been putting a thumb on the scales in favor of Trek the Elder, which would have made the entire enterprise a different one from that which was promised. And that, in the end, is perhaps the deciding factor.

Ive been thinking about the Shat scene since the last thread…..the scene is obviously great but perhaps it didnt need to be as long/schmaltzy as that or even include Shatner of today acting it out (plus as mentioned the scene is leaning toward being abit of a gimmick just to have shatner in there wrapping it all up – and it wouldve obviously detracted somewhat from Nimoys involvement)

so it couldve been just a fun blink and you’ll miss it cameo – something similar to the Death Star holo-cameo near the end of Episode II…(plus Spock Primes hologram right at the start of ST09)

e.g. – on the narada in his search for Pike, young Kirk finds Spock Primes holo emmiter thing (nero having taken it- not that wed know that, wed just assume it was neros) activates it and sees Kirk Prime (Shatner from ST movie era – no need for him as today)…watches it briefly (im talking all of about 5-10 seconds) them Wham! – hes set upon by Nero and or his henchman…cue fighting, ‘i know your face’…’ive got your gun’ etc…in the fighting holo thing falls into the abyss…lost

so kirk would catch a fleeting glimpse of his alternate future (he was obviously curious as he asked Spock Prime in the ice cave) – not just Spock 2.0. but cant take it all in before all the fighting starts….then whatever it was is lost…..(kinda like Langdon in Angels & Demons when hes in the Vatican archives and just glimpses stuff that he desperately wants to see but cant look in any detail – or Indy at the end of Raiders and Crystal Skull)

I was hoping the alternate future would play more of a role in the Narada conclusion beyond the ‘I know your face…from earths history..’

anyway just my 2c about how ‘Shatner’ couldve been in the movie….

HA! It makes me happy to see this become an issue, because of all the things they cut, I agree with. But choosing not to do this scene I DON’T agree with.

Art is not a matter of sheer opinion. Plan Nine From Outer Space is NOT one of the greatest SF films ever made. There are reasons why some things work better than others, and this scene fulfills more promises than the ending we got.

Shakespeare revised his work throughout his life. He didn’t set down a piece of writing and say it is done forever. And though it is harder to add new material to a film than a journal, it is also VERY FAR from IMpossible.

They CAN add this scene and re-release the movie and then they can re-release the DVD with an all new special feature on why they redid the ending, and on the fan movement that pushed and pushed and pushed for it.

So let’s push.

Star Trek doesn’t teach us to say BUT THAT’S IMPOSSIBLE, IT CAN’T BE DONE!

Sure it can.

JJ should think about it at least. He should read what people are saying and why, and see if what they say has any merit, if it’s persuasive to him personally. Because if he finds what we are saying personally persuasive, then it becomes his feeling as well.

I love what JJ did for the franchise and I appreciate his talent, but he’s allowed to rethink things and change his mind too.


After being reminded of ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’ just now, I’ve completely changed my mind and think the scene should have been done and included so long as they were going to pay enough attention to detail and do it right, with de-aging Shatner with the help of computer technology of course being paramount in their handling of it. This scene should have been filmed and included in the final cut in my opinion, even if they had to find a reasonable explanation as to why Spock would have deemed it necessary or appropriate to bring the holographic pendant along with him prior to his deciding to give it to young Spock; there’s no reason why they couldn’t have addressed that in a reasonable and believable manner without it taking up much time in the movie.
However, having said that–I think it’s too late to now try and do this for the sequel. They had their chance and they blew it. Trying to do it in the next movie to make up for their not having done it in the first film just won’t carry the same weight and will look forced IMO. Their opportunity for that kind of a poignant scene was here at the end of this film. That time has now passed for good though unfortunately.

Bob was right, JJ was…not so right.

38 – agreed, the next film really has to be a new crew standalone thing – like FC was for TNG

That scene really, really should’ve been in Trek XI. Shatner deserves a proper final Kirk moment.

Get it in! And get him in the next one.. end of!

Enough with the calls for a “Director’s Cut”.

We GOT the Director’s Cut. Right there in the theater and now on Blu-ray/DVD. Abrams (in an article here no less) has said he doesn’t want to recut it, that *he* made the cuts and he stands by them. It’s a little presumptuous for a few fans to second-guess something JJ Abrams is happy with.

am I the one who thinks this Kirk scene seemed very contrived.

It would have been great to see Shatner at the end but it seems to me that it just wouldn’t work.

For the film Spocks Good Luck works fine.

As much as I love the new Trek film I do think it suffered from lazy and contrived writing and to me this is a step in the contrived department.

As much as I like the idea of Kirk Prime being in the first movie somehow, I don’t think the execution would have lived up to it. This was a perfect hand off from the prime universe to the new universe. Let’s go, I want to see what is out there. Let it be something new, no Kirk, no Khan.

I would have loved Shatner to be in the film, he is still the one and only Kirk. I like Pine but to me Shatner is always the Kirk I love

But I honestly felt this scene was forced and just there to shoehorn Shatner into the film, it was not organic to the film.

Yeah! just do it you guys! It’s easy!
(And you KNOW Shat would go for it!!)

The Shatner scene would have been nice but the film did not suffer without it. There are so many tributes to previous Trek characters as it is. Shatner’s scene could actually have been too much. One of my favorites is Scotty’s mention of Admiral Archer’s prized beagle. Very nice.

I’m with those who say Shatner already got his cameo in Generations. Unlike Nimoy, he did not have the intuitive vision to recognize a below-par script, and he did not protect the integrity of his character.

He could’ve done what Nimoy did. He could’ve said ‘This isn’t the right script,’ and declined. If he had, Berman, Moore and Brega -with their studio-mandated shopping list of items to include in the movie- might’ve been forced to realize they really needed to do their homework to make TNG screenworthy (something I don’t think even First Contact properly achieved).

So I can’t help (not) feeling sympathy for Shatner. He got his ST cameo movie. He just didn’t choose the right one.

From Screencrave:

“I’m not even a Trekkie and I can see the wasted opportunity in this.”

Love it. Even the non fans know.