Monday, November 23, 2009

Shatner's Star Trek "Cameo"

The scenes that Star Trek writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman has been released by and confirmed as accurate. These scenes have been alluded to multiple times during promotion of the movie and the back and forth between JJ Abrams and William Shatner (who remains angry on not being in the movie as seen by his refusal to see it). Now my understanding is the scenes are in an early draft of the movie but once William Shatner declared he "doesn't do cameos", it was removed from the drafts that followed. Equally important (and lays the blame around), I don't think that version of the script was ever shown to Shatner; therefore he was never given an opportunity to change his mind.

The moments would have been a perfect nod to the fans and a good ending for the film but definitely would have a cameo leading me to think Shatner would have refused anyway. Honestly, I think Shatner's refusal to do even a cameo in the film is basically an FU to the fans as he put his ego ahead of the franchise and the fans that essentially gave him the life he has enjoyed these many years.

For perspective, keep in mind that this movie does follow Star Trek canon by having events begin off screen in the Star Trek "Prime" universe with Nero and the Nerada entering the Star Trek 2.0 Universe and attacking the Kelvin with Spock Prime following 25 years later. As a result, that means Shatner's Kirk remains dead as a result of the events in Star Trek Generations movie so any cameo would have to be through other creative means, in this case with holo-emitter and voice over.

The scene:
Then I ask that you do yourself a favor… put away logic, and do what feels right. The world you’ve inherited lives in the shadow of incalculable devastation… but there’s no reason you must face it alone.
And from around his neck, he removes the PENDANT that until now, we’ve only caught glimpses of. Places it on the table beside his younger self. The feeling in his eyes is profound…
This was a gift to me. Representing… a dream. One we were unable to fulfill. (softly) The way you can now.
And moves to the door. Stops. Offers the VULCAN SALUTE:
As my customary farewell would appear oddly self serving, I will simply say… good luck.
Their eyes hold. Spock turns, disappearing into the corridor. Young Spock stares at the empty doorway a beat, his mind a jumble of thoughts. Looks to the pendant… and realizes it’s a HOLO-EMITTER. After considering a beat, he hits an activation button and a MOVING HOLOGRAPHIC MESSAGE materializes before him:

CAPTAIN JAMES T. KIRK. WILLIAM SHATNER. As always, brash, wry, confident — and SINGING:
Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you… (stops, grins) I know I know, it’s illogical to celebrate something you had nothing to do with, but I haven’t had the chance to congratulate you on your appointment to the ambassadorship so I thought I’d seize the occasion… Bravo, Spock — they tell me your first mission may take you away for awhile, so I’ll be the first to wish you luck… and to say… (beat, emotional) I miss you, old friend.
… and we’re PUSHING IN on Young Spock, taking in the image of Kirk’s future self, the message, but above all — the clear, unquestionable friendship these two men had…


As Spock Prime walks off down the corridor, he passes right by a man conferring with a nurse — the man pauses, turns… it’s SAREK. Suddenly overcome by a feeling that the stranger who’s just passed him is… oddly familiar.
I suppose I’d always imagined us… outgrowing Starfleet together. Watching life swing us into our Emeritus years…

MUSIC BUILDING — glass walls reveal THE ENTERPRISE at dock, UTILITY CRAFTS floating around it, repairing. Standing at attention in rows, THE ENTERPRISE CREW — over four hundred of them wearing DRESS UNIFORMS — TRACK DOWN the faces, all proud:
I look around at the new cadets now and can’t help thinking… has it really been so long? Wasn’t it only yesterday we stepped onto the Enterprise as boys? That I had to prove to the crew I deserved command… and their respect?
And we STOP ON YOUNG KIRK. Composed, focused, proud. A man. And to every fan’s delight, finally wearing his YELLOW SHIRT. The FEDERATION COMMANDANT stands at a podium:
This assembly calls Captain James Tiberius Kirk…
Kirk breaks from formation, pivots, marches down the hangar — past UHURA… SULU… CHEKOV… SCOTTY. All Beaming. Notably absent, is Spock. Kirk ascends the stairs, snaps to attention:
Your inspirational valor and supreme dedication to your comrades are in keeping with the highest traditions of service and reflect utmost credit to yourself, your crew, and the Federation. By Starfleet Order 28455, you are hereby directed to report to Commanding Officer, USS Enterprise, for duty as his relief.
Kirk turns. Walks to… PIKE. In a wheelchair now, wearing an ADMIRAL’S UNIFORM. Overnight, his hair’s turned totally grey — but despite his trauma, his pride’s overwhelming. They SALUTE each other:
I relieve you, Sir.

… I am relieved.
He opens a BOX in his lap — glorious in repose, a MEDAL:
And as Fleet Admiral, for your… unique solution to the Kobayashi Maru, it’s my honor to award you with a commendation for original thinking.
Pike containing a smirk, pins the medal to Kirk’s chest…
(a touch choked) Congratulations, Captain.

Thank you, Sir.
Kirk turns to the crowd. Eyes shining. WILD APPLAUSE. OUR MUSIC SOARS. Bones leans in to Sulu, rolling his eyes:
… Same ship, different day.
As Kirk rejoins his crew for hugs and congratulations, we go to the BACK of the hangar… SPOCK PRIME. Watching. Moved beyond words. He turns and leaves them to it… as he goes…
I know what you’d say — ‘It’s their turn now, Jim…’ And of course you’re right… but it got me thinking:

Our montage comes full circle as we END on Kirk’s transmission:
Who’s to say we can’t go one more round? By the last tally, only twenty five percent of the galaxy’s been chartered… I’d call that negligent. Criminal even — an invitation. You once said being a starship captain was my first, best destiny… if that’s true, then yours is to be by my side. If there’s any true logic to the universe… we’ll end up on that bridge again someday.
Stops, grins. Because this is the part he needs to say most…
Admit it, Spock. For people like us, the journey itself… is home.
Young Spock’s face. Lost in feelings that flood through him.

1 comment:

  1. Holy Sh!t. The movie was really good, this would've made it AMAZING. If Shatner never saw this script, shame on the person that kept it from him. If he read it and turned it down, shame on him.

    Gave me chills just reading it, and I'm not what you'd call a Trekkie. Or Trekker.