12:40:27 on November 06
By: Anonymous Coward
Dept: General Star Trek
TrekWeb.com has received the following letter from the organizers of the 'Bring Back Kirk' campaign :
"To Whom It May Concern :
My name is Marc, and I am one of of the officials of the Bring Back Kirk campaing. I am writing to respond to the ridiculous attacks put forth by the writer at Fandom.com who refers to herself as Ariel. In the interest of fairness, I am asking that we get equal time.
When Gene Roddenberry created Star Trek, he created a world which depicted humanity at its finest. The original series crew, led by Kirk, was an example of what happens when humanity throws away its prejudices, and works together. Many things, seemingly impossible things, become possible. James T. Kirk represented these ideals and more. The character grew to become one of the most celebrated fictional heroes in American history. Cheating death was a staple for Kirk. Often he found himself facing incredible odds, and always came out on top. The original series was all about the optimism, and its crew became legends.
In 1991, the original series crew had a classy farewell with The Undiscovered Country. Unfortunately, that was the same year Roddenberry died. While The Next Generation, continued to do well, it soon became clear that the successors to Roddenberry's vision did not share his optimistic point of view of the future.
Generations premiered in 1994, and completely ruined the classy goodbye of the original crew. After all the incredible adventures Kirk had survived, the TNG writers chose to throw him against a mountain in a death that meant absolutely nothing to the plot. There are those who think that Kirk died heroically, but in reality, he died no better than a redshirt. There was no drama like Spock's death in The Wrath of Khan. His death could have been prevented as easily as having Picard choose to come out of the Nexus a few hours earlier. To further add to the problem, there was no funeral, there was no eulogy. Picard dumped a few rocks on him, while the writers made a big onscreen deal of Data fiding his cat.
Kirk's death was wrong, and that's not the way this character, which was enjoyed by so many people, should end. That's why the Bring Back Kirk campaign is here. But the purpose of this letter is not to critique Generations - the purpose is to respond to 'Ariel's' attacks on the Bring Back Kirk Campaing.
Despite Ariel's belief, a lot of fans felt cheated by Kirk's ending in Generations. The Bring Back Kirk campaing was formed to respond to these concerns. The goal is simple - a canon return of James T. Kirk, for one final adventure, with a happy ending. We would appreciate anything from a movie, a guest appearance, a TV movie, or ever having Rick Berman declare Mr. Shatner's books to be canon. Kirk's last impression would be one of 'riding off into the sunset'. It should not be as a bloody pulp on the foot of a mountain.
The first issue we have with the article is in how Ariel titled her diatribe "people who really need a clue'. We were unware of Ariel's infinite wisdow in clues, but clearly all that was demonstrated was a profound ignorance of our campaing and what we are trying to accomplish. We do have a clue. We have since that since Kirk's death, the television ratings have declined over 70 percent, using the numbers provided at TrekNation.com. We have seen Insurrection's movie grosses embarrass the franchise in light of their abnormally high budget. Star Trek fans are divided, and are a fraction of what they once were.
Is all that due to the death of Kirk ? Probably not. But no single event in the Trek history has divided the franchise more. Whether intentional or not, when Kirk was killed off, in a useless manner, it was as if Paramount was telling original series fans that their patronage was no longer required. While that view is likely not the case, one cannot deny the decline of the franchise since Generations premiered. Well, some do, but the numbers don't support them. The return of Kirk may not save the franchise, but it would certainly go a long way to rebuilding a lot of the lost goodwill that occured when the good captain was flung of that bridge.
Ariel writes that Shatner 'has long outlived his usefulness as a star in a Star Trek movie. It was high time, when Generations came out, to pass on the torch. Now, according to rumors, the torch will be passed again to the DS9 crew'. Adjusting for inflations, only one of the TNG movie has grossed more than The Undiscovery Country. The original series charactes have not outlived their usefulness at all. When DS9 aired Trial and Tribblelations, which featured Sisko on Kirk's Enterprise, Paramount was rewarded with a 35 percent increase in ratings above the season average. Every single crossover between the original series and the current Trek counterparts has proven to be a sucess. In addition, William Shatner's own books, which do exactly what we want and restore Kirk after Generations, are among the bestselling Trek fiction books in history. Kirk still sells, and Ariel's wishful thinking can't change that.
We are not trying to center the franchise on Captain Kirk again. That is a myth. All we want is a classy ending for Jim Kirk. The torch was passed, but one can pass the torch without killing the torchbearer.
Ariel then mocks William Shatner's desire to return by saying '[w]hile this may be true, considering Shatner's notorious need not to be upstaged by the other captains at conventions, in a recent interview he seemed quire content with his new projects'. We find it unlikely that Ariel has been let into Mr Shatner's inner circle to the point where she can make determinations as to his inner thinking. Therefore, she is clearly in no position to speak for him. However, the fact that he continues to write post-Generations Kirk books shows how he feels about the character.
When discussing whether Mr Shatner wants to return, Ariel mistakenly concludes that because in one interview he did not mention the idea, that he is content. That is simply untrue. She also notes that 'They even have managed to get a quote from George Takei supporting them (odd that they didn't get a quote from Shatner, considering they think he wants to be in another movie and want him back')
Mr Shatner does not actively campaign like other actors, but he has said in many interviews that he wants to return as Kirk. Additionally, Ariel completely misrepresented the Bring Back Kirk letter campaign when she said that 'these folks have mounted a full-fledged letter writing campaing, even giving out dates to write certain people at Paramount in their weekly newsletter'. The fact is the campaign has indeed given specific dates to write in the weekly newsletter. Perhaps Ariel should read it before criticizing it.
Ariel 'never imagined that anyone was a bit unhappy to see Kirk finally go'. Clearly, Ariel is wrong. Enough people are unhappy that this campaign was organized. Enough people are unhappy that William Shatner's book have been bestsellers. Shatner is as popular as ever, and his fans are out there, appreciating him [...].
A lot of work and effort has gone into the return of James T. Kirk. That effort demands respect, and shouldn't be mocked - specially be someone who has no clue as to what this campaign is about. There are over a dozen websites, flyers in several different languages, and even a 2 minute 14 second trailer that Robert Burnett, the director of Free Enterprise, called 'most impressive'. We encourage all fans to visit www.bringbackkirk.com, and to download the trailer. We guarantee no one will be disappointed.
With the 35th anniversary of the original series coming up, and with both William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy on record as saying that the only thing needed for them to return is a phone call from Paramount, nothing would show more goodwill than the return of Kirk. Anyone who has any questions can contact OFFICIALS@BRINGBACKKIRK.COM.
Thank you for the equal time."