William Shatner Would Change One Thing About Kirk’s Death In Star Trek: Generations

James Kirk was always a man of action. He was there with his people on just about every away mission, and he never turned down an opportunity for ripped-shirt fisticuffs. So, for Shatner, understanding Kirk’s frame of mind upon greeting the ultimate boss battle was essential when crafting his final words. The actor told Screen Rant, “I thought of Kirk as being so courageous in life that when he faced things that he didn’t know about, like the strange, the weird… the entities that the writers thought up, when he faced death, he would face death with a sense of adventure.” Expanding on this thought to Variety, Shatner mused, “Here comes death and he meets it with awe and a sense of discovery.”

Shatner ad-libbed Kirk’s last phrase, hoping to convey that feeling of ultimate wonder. However, according to the actor, he wasn’t able to sync up his intentions with the rest of the crew, even after multiple takes. “I never quite hit it,” he lamented, adding that the others “didn’t understand what I was doing.” Shatner would later say he wished he had a few more takes to try again, and at one point he even petitioned Rick Berman to bring Captain Kirk back from the dead.

But the actor has since come to accept the scene for what it is. And despite Shatner’s fear that most viewers didn’t get what he was trying to get across, most fans of the Star Trek franchise seem to have understood exactly what he was going for. And despite an ill-advised — if only briefly considered — plan to have Captain Archer battle an evil Kirk in “Star Trek: Enterprise,” the franchise seems to have decided to let Shatner’s version of the good captain rest in peace.

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