William Shatner Says That Captain Kirk Stories Are Played Out In Star Trek


For many people, William Shatner’s Captain Kirk is still the de facto Star Trek captain. This isn’t surprising, either, given that The Original Series is still picking up audiences on streaming networks, the Star Trek movies still drawing crowds whenever they’re shown, and that whenever Star Trek is parodied, it’s a Kirk figure that’s invariably at the ship’s helm. Right now, the character is theoretically set to appear in Star Trek 4, as played by Chris Pine, but the status of that movie appears to be pretty doubtful at the moment.

But, with Star Trek: Picard garnering relatively positive reviews, could Shatner be persuaded to reprise the role for something like Star Trek: Kirk? A fan asked him this very question on Twitter and the actor succinctly responded as so:

“No. I think Kirk’s story is pretty well played out at this point.”

Within the main Trek continuity, James T. Kirk died at the end of Star Trek: Generations, when a bridge fell on him while he was fighting Malcolm McDowell’s villainous Soren. He was buried by Jean-Luc Picard in a simple grave and it might not have been the bombastic death many assumed Kirk would have, but at least he went out like a hero.

Since then, Shatner has resisted the urge to make any Leonard Nimoy style cameos in the Kelvinverse, explaining the following:

“I don’t do cameos. It’s a throwaway part to sell DVDs.”

This doesn’t mean that he’s completely divorcing himself from Star Trek altogether. He’s a regular fixture on the convention circuit, commanding a decent price for his autograph and happy to engage in speaking appearances to answer fans’ questions. He’s now on a European tour as well, introducing screenings of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (though the tour seems to be beset by Coronavirus-related cancellations).

I’m with Shatner on never returning to Kirk, though. He’s 88 years old, let’s let Kirk rest and allow Shatner to enjoy his millions of dollars, beautiful home and vials of horse semen in peace.