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Does William Shatner Have a Role in J.J. Abrams' Star Trek Sequel?

By Rob Payne | Industry | June 21, 2011 |

By Rob Payne | Industry | June 21, 2011 |

Nah. Probably not.

The once-and-almost-certainly-not-future Captain James T. Kirk was asked “the serious” question during a panel at the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo, to which the Canadian thespian responded, “I have become an acquaintance of J.J. as of late, but I’m afraid no. No, I will not be in Star Trek 2, I’m afraid.” (Emphasis mine — and If you go to the source page, you’ll notice that I copy edited their quote a bit here. I couldn’t help myself.)

Apparently, even with such an emphatic statement as “I will not be in Star Trek 2,” there is still a question as to whether or not William Shatner will actually reprise his role in some capacity in the follow-up to the 2009 film. It is technically correct — the best kind of correct — that the future is unknowable, like an undiscovered country. But the question being considered unanswered only serves to keep the story going, to keep the fanboys guessing and the debate raging. To keep page views high (wink, wink). Nothing I’ve read on the story indicates that Shatner hemmed or hawed, but it’s being reported that it’s still a toss-up. Really? I know J.J. Abrams loves hisself some time travel, but he would have to have the genitals of a Gorn to use the same trick in back-to-back Star Trek movies.

True, Shatner was almost in the first one. Also true, the whole Star Trek series goes to the time travel well like George Lucas goes to the epically long drag race. But why would anyone really want Shatner in the new Trek, anyway? Chris Pine made the character his own, while paying tribute to his elder, and the sooner this enterprise abandons its physical ties to the originals on Ceti Alpha 5, while, yes, paying tribute to its elder, the sooner they have a legitimate new franchise. And that is what’s best for everyone.

Of course, I’d still like to see a reinterpretation of “Space Seed” and The Wrath of Khan, mashed-up like a Hitler meme. I’m sure that would just irritate as many people as a new take on “The Trouble with Tribbles,” though. They can’t make every geek happy, which just underscores why they need to do their own thing, to boldly go where no one has go— Okay, I’m done.

Rob Payne writes the indie comic The Unstoppable Force, co-hosts the internet radio show/podcast We’re Not Fanboys, and he could have squeezed a helluvalot more Star Trek references in this but didn’t want anyone to mount an insurrection.

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