A fan video of Spock visiting Kirk's grave is so good it should have been in Star Trek: Generations.
The scene Star Trek fans have wanted for nearly 30 years is finally here. As part of the 765874 project, an archival experience dedicated to preserving Gene Roddenberry’s vision and history of Star Trek, the company OTOY released the short film Regeneration, in which Spock travels to Veridian III to visit the grave of Captain James T. Kirk.
The short film opens with detailed nature shots of the Earth-like planet. Then a ship flies over a brook. It passes over the in-progress retrieval of the Enterprise-D, which crash-landed on Veridian III in Star Trek: Generations.
Mr. Spock, Kirk’s first officer and greatest friend, ascends the rocky terrain of Veridian III to find Kirk’s grave, marked by the former captain’s Starfleet badge. Spock holds the badge before removing his hood, revealing a stunning recreation of Leonard Nimoy as the iconic Vulcan character.
Captain Kirk died on Veridian III in the 1994 film Star Trek: Generations. He sacrificed his life to aid Captain Picard, played by Patrick Stewart, in stopping the crazed Dr. Soran from destroying a star system. Kirk’s death was ill-received by many Star Trek fans, in part due to the absence of key characters like Spock from the legend’s somewhat unceremonious sendoff.
Thanks to the 765874 project, Regeneration provides a sense of closure to the events of Kirk’s death 30 years after the fact. Deadline reported about the archival project, which includes immersive experiences like the Memory Wall. Regeneration is one of the Spock memories associated with the Wall.
Regeneration makes Spock part of an experience from which he has been absent for years. Leonard Nimoy was originally meant to be included in Star Trek: Generations, but he declined the role due to perceived issues with the film’s story, particularly with his character’s role.
William Shatner, however, did join the film. Early versions of Star Trek: Generations reportedly had Shatner’s Captain Kirk at war with Stewart’s Captain Picard, but the final version teamed the legendary captains up instead.
Shatner’s return as Kirk would later be echoed by other Star Trek actors. Leonard Nimoy returned as Spock for J.J. Abrams’ 2009 Star Trek film, and Patrick Stewart reprised his role for the series Picard. The third and final season of Picard recently concluded, but before it did, it also gave fans another glimpse of the iconic Enterprise-D.
Star Trek is a franchise with fans like no other. Fans flock to the series in dedicated and passionate droves, and they will argue about what is and isn’t right about Star Trek until they are bluer than Spock’s uniform. Regeneration is a reminder of why.
The death of Kirk may not sit well with some, even all these years later. Regeneration shows the franchise’s willingness to own its mistakes and turn them into something beautiful.
Spock may have vowed to deny himself emotion, but that doesn’t mean we have to. Regeneration is a loving tribute to multiple generations of the Star Trek canon, uniting the good, the bad, the old, and the new under one beautiful vision.