Okay, we’ve all heard J.J. Abrams explain why William Shatner isn’t in the new Star Trek movie. And we’ve all heard Shatner’s much-repeated pissed-offedness about this fact. But, as I mentioned this week on the latest episode of the Starbase 66 podcast, I have a sneaking Starfleet suspicion that all this mucking about with the timeline in the new movie will result in a brief Shatner cameo at the very end … Spock “making things right” with respect to his oldest and best friend.
It probably won’t happen that way. But thinking about Star Trek is currently what I do for a living, more or less, so I do have some strange theories sometimes. So if my Shatner idea doesn’t happen, maybe there will be other ways to get the greatest starship captain of all time into the movie. Here are some I’ve been tossing around:
- Have Shatner play a cameo as an older member of Kirk’s family. Maybe he can be creepy Uncle Bill, the one with the stories; everyone laughs nervously, but they’re secretly glad when he passes out in the recliner.
- For that matter, he could play Kirk’s grandfather. Tangent time: the aborted Star Trek: The Beginning script included the nifty detail that Admiral Forrester, from Enterprise, was Kirk’s maternal great-grandfather. That’s kind of neat.
- Let’s have young Chris Pine get a glimpse of the future, seeing himself (played by Shatner) in old age. Chris Pine can then display his acting chops by wincing convincingly.
- Shatner could play a completely unrelated character, like an admiral or something. He just happens to look like Kirk, nudge nudge, wink wink.
- Put a priceline.com billboard outside Starfleet Academy.
- Hitchcock him into the movie: just have him walk by a window or something.
- How about an audio cameo? An old episode of Buck Rogers (the Gil Gerard version) had a scene where Buck arrived at the spaceport just as Captain Christopher Pike was paged over the intercom. That was fun. Sadly, I was the only kid in Canada who got it.
- Subliminally. Have microsecond-long Shatner faces flash onscreen, tucked away where you don’t notice. That way, when the movie’s over, you’ll have the sudden urge to watch The Original Series again. Then again, you may get that anyway. No, you’d get the sudden urge to buy Boston Legal box sets.
- Slip in a passing reference to serial slasher Michael Myers.
- Hey, they could just have William Shatner playing himself. Maybe Baby Kirk was inspired to steal that car (in the trailer) after watching holographic reruns of T.J. Hooker.