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William Shatner doesn’t feel he quite nailed Captain Kirk’s death scene in Star Trek: Generations

While it is a big moment in Star Trek: Generations that Captain Kirk passes on, William Shatner feels his own acting kind of spoiled it.

William Shatner doesn’t feel he quite nailed Captain Kirk’s death scene in Star Trek: Generations 1

1991’s Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country saw the last voyage of the original Enterprise crew that graced TV screens in the 60s. Since Star Trek: The Next Generation became the successor to the original series on the Fox Network, so Paramount would have the OG Captain pass the torch to Patrick Stewart’s Jean-Luc Picard with the transitional film Star Trek: Generations. In doing so, the film would seal the fate of Captain Kirk as he dies trying to save Picard’s crew. There is a moment where Picard finds Kirk in his final moments, and now, William Shatner opens up about how he feels that scene didn’t get his best-intended performance.

ScreenRant got to sit down with the legendary actor for his new retrospective documentary You Can Call Me Bill. Shatner spoke about what he sees when he watches that scene and how he’s not satisfied, “The thing an actor can bring to a written word is the interpretation of how to say it. I love you. I love you. I love you. Variations on the words. So if the writer has written I love you, and the actor gets a hold of it and does something totally unthought of, that’s a big deal. The director either gets upset or goes with it. In this case, 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. ‘Oh, what’s going to happen now?’ So I ad libbed, Oh my.’ And I wanted that ‘Oh my’ to be ‘Oh my,’ like, dreading it but, but looking forward to the adventure – somewhere in between, you know, and it would be very obvious to you what he was thinking. And I never quite hit it. I never quite got that nuance that I was looking for. I had another couple of takes, but they they didn’t understand what I was doing.”

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The interviewer for ScreenRant tries to reassure Shatner that there is some of that wonder that he wanted to convey. They would tell Shatner, “I’ve seen that scene so many times. I do feel it. I feel Kirk seeing the great beyond, the great mystery. And I do feel that he meets it with that curiosity…” To which Shatner adds, “…And awe and wonder. Every time he faced an animal, an entity, he didn’t say, ‘Oh my’ [with fear or disdain], he would say, ‘Oh, my look at that. I wonder if it’s going to eat me?’ You know? I think that was his attitude.”

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You Can Call Me Bill is set to release on March 22.

About the Author

E.J. is a News Editor at JoBlo, as well as a Video Editor, Writer, and Narrator for some of the movie retrospectives on our JoBlo Originals YouTube channel, including Reel Action, Revisited and some of the Top 10 lists. He is a graduate of the film program at Missouri Western State University with concentrations in performance, writing, editing and directing.

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