[Potential MILD SPOILERS for Star Trek 3 ahead!]
Much like how Leonard Nimoy (Spock Prime) helped bridge the classic Star Trek canon to the new reboot in both the 2009 relaunch and last year’s Star Trek Into Darkness, it looks as if the original James T. Kirk, William Shatner, will be doing the same for Star Trek 3. After debunking rumors of his supposed appearance in Roberto Orci’s directorial debut, Shatner later confirmed that he had indeed been contacted by J.J. Abrams, who is serving as a producer this time around.
While the prospect of Shatner once again stepping into his career-defining role is exciting for longtime Trek enthusiasts, the main topic of discussion surrounding this development has been the nature in which it will happen. The actor himself expressed concern about how he would fit into the proceedings, and it’s something fans have been wondering as well.
Thanks to a new report from Badass Digest, we now have some new details on what Shatner’s cameo may entail. At this point, it would be wise to take it with a grain of salt, but since Badass originally reported that the actor had a part in the film, it would seem they know their stuff.
According to their sources, the scene in question will have the two Kirks – Shatner and Chris Pine – meeting on-screen for the first time. While many would have guessed that the young and old versions of the character would be involved somehow, Badass is also reporting that this scene will also include the two Spocks, Nimoy and Zachary Quinto.
However, Nimoy will not be reprising his part as “Spock Prime” in the third installment. Allegedly, the elder statesmen will be portraying the future versions of the new Kirk and Spock – as opposed to the original timeline versions viewers have become accustomed to seeing in the reimagined series.
Outside of the mind warp that is interacting with their future selves, nothing else is known about how the scene will play out. It’s something that sci-fi moviegoers have seen on a few occasions, including a memorable scene in Looper that featured Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis breaking down the finer points of time travel (and its insignificance).
Since story details for Star Trek 3 are being kept under wraps for now, we don’t even have any clues as for what circumstances bring Shatner and Nimoy into the fold. All we know is that Orci is looking to craft something original, with an emphasis on the Enterprise‘s famous five-year deep space mission as his launching point. Other than that, there’s no information available at this point in time.
We’ve mentioned a few times before that the inclusion of a Shatner cameo – while being a fun nod for fans – could prove to be more of a detriment to the final product than a benefit. While it was well-received both critically and commercially, Into Darkness proved divisive due to its reliance on recreating iconic Trek imagery and was seen by some as more of a rehash than its own entity.
It would seem that Orci is contradicting his goal of injecting the franchise with something fresh with Shatner seemingly on board, but there are two sides to the coin. The director has gone on record saying that he wants to bring the first Kirk back “the right way” and not have it come off as a gimmick to draw attention to the movie – something that could distract viewers from its narrative.
With so little to go on, we would advise viewers to keep Orci’s words in mind when thinking about the multiple possibilities. As someone who has been involved in the creative process for all entries in this trilogy (he co-wrote the first two), he’s obviously dedicated to giving fans the best experience possible. If the rumored scene does appear, and fits into the characters’ arcs naturally, then there won’t be too many complaining about the filmmakers holding on to the past once again. Orci has shown he knows how to fit the classic thespians into his scripts, so for now it’s best to give him the benefit of the doubt.
What would you like to see in the rumored scene? Drop us a line in the comments below!
Star Trek 3 should be in theaters sometime in 2016.
Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisAgar90.