The ‘Star Trek’ franchise has been through some highs and lows in its 50-plus years of existence, and there are certain aspects of the storied series’ history that most fans agree are awesome through and through: ‘The Next Generation’ triumphantly bringing the franchise back to the airwaves… the even-numbered original ‘Star Trek’ films… the infamous “wrist nipple” on ‘Star Trek: Enterprise’… the list goes on and on. One of these things, though, wasn’t originally seen as “awesome” by one of the franchise’s biggest stars. (Sorry, wrist nipple, we’re not talking about you… this time.)
In a recent interview, Captain Kirk himself and bane of fanboys everywhere William Shatner spoke a bit about how he originally thought it was a mistake for the creative powers-that-be to make ‘Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan’ focus on the titular enemy that originated in the classic TV series:
“I recall that they began to talk about the second movie, and the talk began to be about what segment of the 79 [TV episodes] that we shot would be useful. And I kept saying, ‘Why do we want to go to a segment? Why don’t we invent something absolutely new?’ And the people in charge were much more aware than I was that the fans would be more sympathetic to… [it] would be a better vibration if it echoed a popular hour from the series, and make that, and then further the story as a film.”
“They were absolutely right that there was a ramification doing it that way, and the fact that the actor [Ricardo Montalban] was able to repeat his role was another singular advantage. It’s a truism, that the more powerful the villain is the more powerful the hero. If the hero can overcome a powerful villain, look how much stronger that makes the hero. So the better the villain, the better the hero.”
As Shatner mentioned, the move obviously worked out well for the franchise, and he’s a big enough man to admit when his opinion wasn’t the correct one. Hey, he should just consider himself lucky he never had to have a wrist nipple, am I right?