‘Star Trek’: Twitter users give James T. Kirk the death he deserved

June 08, 2011 | 6:01 p.m.

Actor Malcolm McDowell spoke some cosmic truth when he said that James T. Kirk, the lion of Starfleet, deserved a better death than the one he got in “Star Trek: Generations” almost two decades ago.  “It was a paltry screen moment in a situation that called for something dramatic and inspired, something spectacular, even,” said McDowell, who happened to play the on-screen villain who sent William Shatner’s iconic character to his dusty doom. So we opened up the question to you — what sort of death would have been befitting the gold-shirted hero who bested the Kobayashi Maru simulation and also bedded half of the humanoid females in the universe? Through the miracle of Twitter, Facebook and comment board, you gave us the answers we were looking for — and few that we’d rather just forget. (Comic-book fans will recognize the name on that first Tweet  as someone they’ve read about a lot here at Hero Complex.) Do you think you can do better?  Use Twitter, the comments below or Facebook to share your method of sending Kirk beyond the final frontier. We’ll update this post at the end of the week.

— Geoff Boucher and Noelene Clark


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51 Responses to ‘Star Trek’: Twitter users give James T. Kirk the death he deserved

  1. greg says:

    Star Trek Generations was a "B & B" project. The two of them showed little respect for the Trek canon, or the fans. Most any serious fan could have offered a better ending for Kirk.

  2. David says:

    Here's an idea!… The Enterprise finds itself in the middle of a planetary civil war, one of whose races is the same reptile race from the famous "Arena" episode. In fact, the reptile bested by Kirk in that show was their past King, a King whose heir is now on the throne. With Spock taken hostage, and the Enterprise in full space battle, Kirk must go one-on-one with the vengeful son, ala the final duel in "Dune".

  3. Chung-Mau Cheng says:

    Kirk is shot into the sun to reignite our dying star.

    • tbplayer says:

      Kirk is shot in orbit around the sun in order that his massive gravitational field will pull hot gas away from the sun to prevent it from imploding.

  4. Steve says:

    Kirk should die of old age, rock-climbing in the Sierras, years after retiring from Starfleet. No death in action can ever be suitable for a character that has already cheated death that many times. That's exactly why his death fell so flat in that lame movie.

  5. Guest says:

    You morons. Captain Kirk would never die. He would clone a new and better body of himself and take it to that soul-switcheroo machine. Duh.

  6. Traderious says:

    He said it best himself… He will die alone.

  7. Arex says:

    Most fans say Kirk should've died on the bridge of a starship, which is bunk considering Kirk was the action captain, always beaming down into the thick of things. In that respect, his final demise was fitting – he died on the ground while saving millions of lives. To paraphrase Picard, it's not about how Kirk died, but how he lived. Having Kirk shun a quiet, safe paradise in favor of embarking on one last noble mission was true to his character and a better send-off for his character than most fans either realize or care to admit.

    • Jerry says:

      Very true. I know he said "I've always known. I'll die alone". In a sense he did. Picard would not have been born when Kirk was at his age in the film. Kirk died basically in a Alice in Wonderland type scenario. But he did die in a way that should've been respected by fans. As a fan, it was moving. He asked "did we save " & "it was fun". And then…"oh my". We all know William Shatner does what he wants. He portrayed the death of James Tiberius Kirk like he saw it. I thought it was great.

    • AL B says:

      WORD… HE "DIED" alone on the enterprise B and, like you said, he died a heroic death in the end. He denied the fanasy in the Nexus because he could no longer risk his life (jumping horses?), ergo he did die on the ENTERPRISE B. If you compare the nexus to an afterlife, you relize Kirk, even in death, chose to defy convention and go outside the box, for 1 last time…. all GENERATIONS haters are cool cause they made the blu ray box set so cheap, so thanks idiots…

  8. brettghampton says:

    Kirk should have become a slightly eccentric old Admiral suffering from mad space cow disease who kept repeating his name to people. "James T. Kirk." He'd sit on a veranda every night with Spock drinking scotch and smoking cigars.

  9. Jay Leopold says:

    Kirk's story did not end on that mountaintop, in a book published shortly after the film, Kirk's body was picked up and was repaired using nanobots. He then was involved in a very dramatic "battle" with the Borg. That's the last we heard. Malcolm was right, Kirk deserved a bigger finish, but the is StarTrek where even dead isn't what it seems.

  10. Shawn says:

    Folks, watch Generations again. Kirk didn't die. His echo died. The thing about that movie is there are plot holes the size of the grand canyon. Hell, the entire crew of the enterprise-d died in that movie and we're brought back by the end. The idea of the Nexus is the thing that makes that film fall apart. Nothing in that film makes any sense. Hence, Kirk never died in the film. His echo did.

    • ReVeLaTeD says:

      Problem with that theory is that Guinan didn't leave voluntarily. "Pulled…ripped…away. None of us wanted to go."

      In that scenario, it would seem that being taken away not on one's own power might cause the Nexus to create someone both in and out of the Nexus. I believe there was something to this theory with tesseracting – if I remember "A Wrinkle In Time" properly, where Meg at one point feels like she's in two places and being torn apart.

      Kirk left willingly and voluntarily, therefore it would seem that he was whole at the fight point.

      Now the biggest hole of them all is that there's nothing stopping someone else from going back to bring Kirk back since in theory, they could go back to before it ever happened and yank him out again. The ribbon never dissipated and theoretically it's likely still passing through planets.

  11. Jshabazz says:

    Well, there were these THREE Orion slave girls, see…

  12. God says:

    He should not die, he should simply disappear going where no one has gone before. There should be a universe-shattering crisis, a portal, he enters, disappears, and in the process changes his present for the better. The less explained about where he went or how he solved the on-screen crisis, the better. Kirk as the ultimate deus-ex-machina.

    Alternatively, when his time is up he could choose go back in time and die with Edith Keeler. If he couldn't save the only woman he really loved, he could at least die with her.

  13. Mustang 55 says:

    In Abrams' Star Trek, Kirk's father goes the way Kirk should have gone. Kirk belongs on the Enterprise, or another ship when he dies. I would have preferred to have seen him go down with his ship, to ram it another vessel, or to intercept a photon torpedo that was meant for an ally. He can't be on a planet. He can get into a one on one battle on the ship, but then that ship needs to explode. James Tiberius Kirk deserves epic, not "Eh, whatever."

  14. Guest says:

    I thought a fistfight was a perfect way for Kirk to go out!

  15. Brian K. MItchell says:

    Kirk winds up in a box just like Christopher Pike, the victim of a wasting disease that is the intergalactic equivalent of AIDS, brought on by one too many cases of celestial nookie with green hotties from other planets.

  16. bill says:


  17. theLunchMovie says:

    Kirk should have gone out like Tommy Lee Jones in SPACE COWBOYS: comfortable, not afraid, and knowing he had just save the universe.

  18. Mike says:

    Kirk should have died on the Enterprise, hands around a Klingon's throat as the ship self-destructed.

  19. Alex Michaels says:

    Kisk should go out like the man in "The Alternative Factor" fighting an alternate version of himself forever locked in battle in order to save the Universe. It coul be him fighting the Kirk from the Alternative Universe forever and ever and ever

  20. Rick says:

    The Death in Gernations was not fitting for Kirk. I have always chosen to agree with the person who said it was just an "echo" of the real Kirk–that he is basically immortal now in the Nexus, there to be found again if needed. However, given the chance, I'd completely change the story. Kirk's last known actions, however they be choreographed, should be saving either the galaxy–or one unimportant innocent life. Either way would be in keeping with the character. If I were telling the story his actions would save the galaxy–but not cost him his life. After the awesome heroics, I'd have Kirk sacrifice himself at the end to save one small person, perhaps a child. And I think I'd have him go out in a way that his body is never found, that a legend could grow out of his disapearance, something to be told in stories at taverns on every planet in the Federation….

  21. zaracyn says:

    Gene Rodenberry gave the great universe of Star Trek to play around in. It's up to great writers and actors to give the stories and characters a meaningful existence. Thanks to J. J. Abrams we now have the reminder that if we don't like how Kirk dies in the first universe, why not give him a better one in the next? With solid story telling and solid acting, we make alive whatever we wish to make beleive!

  22. Jim says:

    Kirk should face one last "unwinnable" scenario, and win. But he won't live to enjoy his victory, as only his death will enusre that the univese survives.

  23. Mike H says:

    Kirk's death should not have been shown at all. He should've been swallowed once again by the Nexus thing and we should've been left wondering. Legend aren't supposed to die. They are supposed to continue on righting wrongs and doing great deeds in a higher existence.

  24. Lito says:

    "Death" is too small for Kirk. Since ST isn't ST without time travel, we should see the future threatened by an intergalatic war triggered by Kirk's legacy. To save the future, Kirk himself has to travel back in time to prevent himself from existing. Thus, his greatest sacrifice is completely eracing his existance and any memory of his heroism.

  25. IamAdoctor says:

    Alone on the Enterprise, Kirk monitors the last crew members abandon ship just as the Enterprise crosses the event horizon of a giant black hole. The ship and Kirk are frozen in time. Not dead. Not alive. Possibilities remain – forever.

  26. Todd Propst says:

    The death scene of Kirks father in JJ Abrahms Trek movie, would have been more fitting for our good Captain Kirk. That's the most Iconic and heroic scene in the movie. during the height of Trek's popularity in the 90's, the power's that be who owned Star Trek really dropped the ball when it came to honoring the original cast. Trek had so much potential.

  27. Alastor Thornblade says:

    picture a threat to the federation so big even the Romulans are and Klingons are playing nice with the federation just so there will be life the way we know it when all is said and done. All retired starfleet officers, hell anyone with any kind of experience is tapped to stem the tide of the ever encroaching threat — so Kirk is given command of a ship and uses his experience to keep the enemy on their toes, evacuate civilians etc. Que epic battle where Kirk is finally given command of an enterprise, or the ship he was in is re-christened as such, and the ship dives into battle among a fleet of others, in the true realization of the ideals of a federation – where all kinds of races working together for a common goal. the fight rages and the ship sustains heavy damage. then the warp drive loses containment just as enemy warriors transport onto the ship during the battles' – as crewmen everywhere fight valiantly Kirk gives the abandon ship and in a moment of irony, no crew member evacuates but fights to keep the ship in the fight and do as much damage to the enemy as they can. Inspired by his crew Kirk has the ship lock in coordinates for the middle of a large battle cluster. the enemy reaches the bridge where kirk engages them hand to hand distracting them long enough for the ship to make it to the place where it's going – the warp core blows and kirk and crew take out a sizable chunk of the invasion force allowing the new federation to turn the tide. – then memorial service with lots of Orion slave girls crying.

  28. Mark says:

    Kirk plots a trip across the galaxy in his retirement, but – alas – he doesn't use Priceline.com while planning his excursion. As a result, he winds up on an abandoned Klingon vessel set to self-destruct. His fatal mistake. And Klingon vengeance is served cold with a side of fava beans and a nice bottle of Chianti.

  29. Tom M. says:

    Remember the plot of the TNG episode "Yesterday's Enterprise"? That should have been the plot of "Generations."

  30. craig roy says:

    kirk should have been killed while bedding the daughter of an admiral and giving the order to fire the main photon torpedo

  31. Ben K says:

    The current crew of the Enterprise finds a shuttle adrift with no life support, damaged computers, and no identification. While engineering works to reconstruct the damaged data the medical team works to reconstruct dna traces embedded in the shuttle. As data and dna is reconstructed it is clear that the reconstruction requires visiting certain locations.The team is lead on an eerily familiar trek. Each location brings the audience to the belief this is a shuttle from an early enterprise. The reconstruction has led to a few realizations. The process that created the dna traces killed the person the dna was from and the person was Kirk. The problem is that the dna age doesn't match up. Kirk was lost as a much later dna age with many of the problems of old age. A few more detective stops on our trek and we find out it was a copy Kirk in the shuttle. Contemplation amongst the crew how much the fake Kirk did that was attributed to the real Kirk. Another stop and we find the location this happened. The crew learns that the copy process 'damages' the original such that the body is new but the brain is the same. The copy has the original body dna but not the brain. The first twist is the copy dna is frozen at copy but the body still exhibits aging so it can be the assumed real Kirk (who has been the copy for years). The ending twist we find an odd shaped rock portal door with a shimmering field showing the 'new universe' trek. The crew finds out the originals are passed through the one way portal after copy. When we finally get to see the new face of the old Kirk, we see the new face of the new Kirk in the new movies. It is left to the viewer to decide if this is a completely new Trek universe or if it is the same universe as the new Trek movies. Finally Shatner's Kirk is now permanently gone. We're left wondering how far back to question his actions and we're wondering if the new universe is a sort of undiscovered country, just a projection while the original body and mind is vaporized, or a completely real universe.

  32. Mike says:

    Kirk, Spock, and Bones go back in time to stop this terrorist group that are bent on ending humanity by changing the time line. Blasting phasers and tossing weapons from his time, they nearly win the battle but as the tide turns and He and Spock deteonate a phase resonance bomb blowing up the building. Kirks hands on the time traveling, unfeeling, highly intelligent, cyborg, death machine throat, Nitt Romney and the Shepublicans are defeated. Humanity lives and eventually the federation is started and the time line is saved. Kirk's last words ringing out as the building blows up. " Bet you never saw that one coming!"

  33. tapadance says:

    Kirk will die just like Theodore Roosevelt, death will sneak up on him while he sleeps. For had he been awake there would have been a battle.

  34. Guest says:

    The folks at Paramount who wrote "Generations" should have simply allowed Kirk to die saving the Enterprise-B.

  35. jacinto says:

    Note: in star trek ii, bones gives kirk a pair of glasses for his birthday. This is in their century and bones claims them from the 18th century. But he goes back to 20th century earth and pawns them
    Therefore, glasses from the 18th century lose the original timeline traceability because they get reintroduced in the 20th century.

    With that,… kirk is put into a real kobayashi maru, he is alone, and there is no rewiring the computers to defeat the no-win situation. He rescues the crew and a planet population and you see him stare at the viewscreen knowing all are safe… then you see the fire reflect in his eyes and he can't be teleported out…a very brief flash, quick fade to black, and Scotty says I couldn't track him to beam him out…

    And then the crew and planet populace reflect on his life…and as you zoom out from the main focus of the crew, the camera zooms in on the crowd in attendance. You see the back of someone's head, who takes off a pair of glasses… and he holds them in his left hand, they're the same glasses from ST2 and ST4.., then the Starfleet command logo, polished chrome, flashes, then the credits.

  36. Jay says:

    a lonely painful death from an alien STD

  37. kam4850 says:

    I am no trekkie to to say…however, i am so inspired by Capt Kirk…I was not happy he died, I accepted his demise in saving the ship. in the beginning of the movie.
    I was acceptable with that scenario…But to see him die the way he did in the end, saving the world yet again…Nice but was weak compared to the first time.

    long live Capt., Kirk.

    Ps. in Star trek 3 the search for spock….I cried when he blew up the iconic starship Enterprise…
    i am sissy wimp for saying that//But I love the U.S.S. Enterprise…..1701a….

  38. Mike says:

    I have to confess I didn't like Kirk's death, either. I see his death differently. Picard is on the planet's surface dealing with Soran when Lursa and Betor attack the Enterprise. Kirk assumes command and evacuates the Enterprise while fighting the Klingon ships in what has to be an all out battle. He wins but the strain is too much for the ship and the warp core ruptures, showing him just before the explosion, maybe quoting Shakespeare while facing his death that blows the Enterprise D to pieces. An exterior shot shows the Enterprise exploding in a thousand pieces, then Kirk is in a room of white light, is met by God a la Picard and Q's meeting when his heart failed, who welcomes him to his reward and the two walk off together.

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