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William Shatner Was “A Pleasure” In Star Trek Generations, Despite Patrick Stewart’s Early “Disappointment”-TGN

Summary

  • William Shatner was initially cold towards TNG, but ended up being a pleasure to work with in Star Trek Generations says Patrick Stewart in his memoir, “Making It So.”
  • Kirk’s presence in the movie initially made Stewart feel like TNG cast wasn’t trusted to carry the film, but Kirk’s death scene was moving and well-received by fans.
  • Star Trek Generations may not be highly regarded, but it’s a must-see for fans as it marks the only time Kirk and Picard team up, with great chemistry on and off-screen.


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William Shatner was “a pleasure” to work with in Star Trek Generations, although Patrick Stewart confesses in his new memoir that he was initially “disappointed” Captain James T. Kirk was part of the first Star Trek: The Next Generation movie. Stewart’s memoir, “Making It So,” delves into the legendary actor’s years playing Captain Jean-Luc Picard. When it came time for TNG to make the leap to feature films, Stewart writes that Star Trek Generations “plays like an extended, expensive episode rather than a feature film.”

In “Making It So: A Memoir,” Sir Patrick Stewart details how working with William Shatner in Star Trek Generations was so enjoyable, that it exceeded his early feeling that Captain Kirk’s presence meant the TNG cast wasn’t trusted by the producers to carry their first movie by themselves. Read the excerpt from Stewart’s autobiography below:

But (Star Trek Generations) does highlight the notable pairing of Jean-Luc Picard and Captain James T. Kirk, who, by some writerly trick of extradimensional logic, is allowed to coexist with his successor in his full brown-haired, middle-aged virility. Up to this point, Bill Shatner had been relatively cold to TNG, professing to the press that he’d barely watched any of it, and I was a little disappointed that the producers and writers had decided to insert Kirk into our first movie – it made me feel that they didn’t trust the TNG cast to carry a film by ourselves.

Yet I ended up eating my words, for Bill was a pleasure to work with, open and generous, and his death scene is moving. In the film, Picard and Kirk team up to foil a plan by the movie’s villain, Tolian Soran, who was played by Malcolm McDowell, a long way from his days as a Royal Shakespeare Company walk-on background actor. Kirk and Picard succeed in locking down Soran’s deadly space probe, but not before Kirk makes the ultimate sacrifice to do so, incurring fatal wounds.

Related: Star Trek Generations Ending & Kirk’s Death Explained


Patrick Stewart Describes Filming Kirk’s Star Trek Generations Death Scene

Picard Kirk Grave

In “Making It So,” Patrick Stewart also describes his point of view of acting opposite William Shatner and watching him perform Captain Kirk’s death scene at the end of Star Trek Generations. Stewart writes:

With me standing over him, Bill gave Kirk a perfect send-off, mustering one last trademark smirk before saying, “It was… fun.” Then his facial features subtly rearranged themselves into a wary middle-distance stare, and he said Kirk’s last words, “Oh my.” Our fans loved that Kirk died virtually in Picard’s arms, even as they grieved for their original captain.

Star Trek Generations isn’t held in the same high regard as the next Star Trek: The Next Generation film, Star Trek: First Contact, but it was a must-see event for Star Trek fans because Captain Kirk and Picard teamed up, and it is forever part of Star Trek history because Kirk dies at the end. Star Trek Generations was the first and only time the two most famous and beloved Captains of the Enterprise teamed up, and it’s heartening for Patrick Stewart to report their camaraderie off camera equaled Kirk and Picard’s chemistry in the film.

Source: “Making It So: A Memoir” by Patrick Stewart

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