William Shatner Feels The New Star Trek Movies Don’t Have Enough Heart

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With the release of Star Trek Into Darkness only six months away, audiences and Trekkies are ready to watch the sequel to the widely popular 2009 summer blockbuster film, Star Trek. Now that J.J. Abrams has two Star Trek films under his belt, it’s safe to say that the 46-year-old director is firmly part of the Star Trek universe. But William Shatner is an even bigger part of that universe, and he feels the newer films don’t have the same emotional punch that the originals do.

Although Shatner says he likes Abrams’ film, the Canadian-born actor thinks the new Star Trek has too much action and not enough character moments or emotional payoffs. “I think it’s wonderful. It’s a great ride, a great opening up of Star Trek to modern audiences. It doesn’t have the story heart that the best of my Star Trek had, but it’s a glorious motion picture,” he told the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.

Is Shatner right? The original Star Trek movies have always built upon the relationships of the Enterprise’s crew, such as between Captain Kirk and Spock. Spock’s death scene at the end of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan was probably the emotional high point between these two characters, and arguably the entire film series. Nothing in J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek even comes close to that, not even the death of Spock’s mother.

Star Trek Into Darkness will not hit theaters until May 2013, but audiences can get a glimpse of the sequel’s first nine minutes at the beginning of IMAX 3D screenings of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey this December. Maybe Star Trek Into Darkness will delve more into the friendships between Kirk and the rest.

Star Trek Into Darkness will open wide in theaters everywhere on May 17, 2013 in IMAX 3D.


  1. Ross Edwards says:

    They kind of said the same thing about the first Star Trek movie, too, and they rebounded big with Wrath of Khan. Maybe the Abrams movies will start to be more character driven, too.

    • Neville Ross says:

      And, when were the original movies ‘character driven’? Please let the rest of us know. This is just nostalgia talking on Shatner’s part.

      At least the 2009 movie and the upcoming movie didn’t give us schoolboy howler plots like a trip to the center of the galaxy, or an explosion that blows up the moon of a planet but doesn’t destroy the planet instantly or kill millions of people due to all of the debris falling down and hitting cities. Also, when Abrams destroyed Vulcan, he destroyed Vulcan, with only a few ten thousand survivors left-no nonsense about the planet being made nasty and unlivable in only a few years with everybody having to evacuate for a while so that it can be cleaned up. That, and other details, is why Abram’s versions of Star Trek is popular, except that people like you won’t admit that.

  2. Irma Puddingpopp says:

    Because the man who counted words in every script didn’t make every character he played hokey.

  3. Zander says:

    I think William Shatner has a very good point but the new movies are just so much different it’s very hard to compare the two. To me the new movies are like an alternate universe with versions of the same characters but yet very much not the same. I guess what I’m trying to say is I look at the two as separate entities and I try not to compare them.

  4. 750Mang says:

    He is absolutely correct.

  5. NextRod says:

    Actually – it is NOT a glorious motion picture: The explosions were big and the stunts were big and the story was small and the characters were not interesting…at all. The editing and continuity were god awful and the plot had holes that you could drive a Mac Truck through. Star Trek 2009 – WASN’T. he’s 100% right about “missing the heart” though.

  6. obgyn says:

    i totally disagree the original star trek movies were sub warfare with 10 min of action an hour if we were lucky
    the new one had more action and more belivable caracters and as for the whole argument about the heart of the crew …they were cadets!!!! fresh out of the acadamy what kind of heart do you expect them to have developed except for bones and uhura none of them had ever met each other before till they warped to vulcan
    add to the fact most trekkies are still emo about changing there whole life around with the new timeline ofcourse there going to agree with kirk to bash the new movie once again

  7. capopoopoo says:

    Well said… I wouldn’t say it was completely devoid of heart, but certainly not on the level of the best of Trek. That said, you have to remember that Shatner’s crew had 3 seasons of television to develop the relationships and Stewart had even longer. Look back to the first few episodes of both shows and you’ll see that they were both pretty stiff. This film was the first in the re-imagining of the franchise and can be expected to not quite yet have the heart of the other films

  8. Jim Sorensen says:

    I agree. There was always so much more to Star Trek than action/adventure. That’s why I don’t care for most science fiction movies and shows.

  9. Skrobiwan says:

    Well according to this article: http://m.theatlanticwire.com/entertainment/2013/05/jj-abrams-may-have-taken-star-wars-because-william-shatner-merchandise/65304/

    Shatner says he has yet to see the movies, so who is lying?

  10. ... says:

    “Spock’s death scene at the end of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan was probably the emotional high point between these two characters, and arguably the entire film series. Nothing in J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek even comes close to that”
    Haha, Into Darkness will change that.

  11. ed says:

    Or He’s saying that because he wasn’t included. I completely disagree. At least in the new one all the actors don’t hate kirk and nobody was raped on the set. Everyone on the set are friends. Star Trek is an excellent movie and even Mr. Nimoy says anyone who doesn’t like it is a dick head.