MTV has an interesting article up with Star Trek writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtman. In it, they explain they actually wrote a scene for William Shatner as the ‘classic’ Captain Kirk.
The scene was a modified one where the two Spocks meet for the first time. Old Spock tells new Spock he (N.S.) needed time to see the good in Kirk and to start forming a friendship with him. New Spock would basically call shenanigans whereupon Old Spock would whip out a data disc with Old Kirk’s final goodbye to Old Spock. As the message plays, we’d get a voice over of Shatner saying goodbye to his friend while we see New Kirk get his commendation from Starfleet. As Orci says:
“It was a ‘happy birthday’ message [with Kirk saying], ‘This is the last time I’m going to be able to wish you happy birthday, so I want to tell you how much you’ve meant to me and how amazing it was that we had all these adventures together,’ ” Kurtzman said of the alternate ending, which would have provided the last act with a powerful voice over the film’s final scenes.
“That narrative, that voice-over,” Kurtzman said, “became a link [to be heard] over [scenes of] this new crew coming in … a young Kirk accepting the medal and becoming captain of the Enterprise.”
“The entire ending of the movie, where you’re seeing young Kirk being promoted,” Orci added, “all that was going to be [played out with Shatner’s] voice-over.”
Now to me, that would have been a powerful ending,if done right, to the new movie, but only for the fans. All the movie goers new to Trek would basically see the Priceline guy show up, who wasn’t in the movie at all until the end, and steal the last few minutes of the film and why are all these people sniffling?!. I’m guessing that wouldn’t play well in general, but the fans would have loved it.
It was ultimately decided that there just wasn’t enough reason to justify writing this scene and including Shatner. As disappointing as it may be, I still think this scene would be a good ‘alternate ending’ for a future super deluxe edition of the DVD. Think of Nimoy’s voice over at the end of Wrath of Khan for the emotional impact. That would be good stuff right there.
Here’s a video of this portion of the interview: