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William Shatner Teases ‘Star Trek’ Return As The U.S.S. Enterprise Gets A Face Lift

In science fiction, rules (and time) can be bent, twisted, and broken. That’s why William Shatner thinks that somehow, the return of Captain Kirk in a future incarnation of the franchise may be possible.

And if a new story can be told, make sense, and be worth telling, Shatner wants to reprise his role. Of course, he’ll be older, wiser, grayer, and a bit softer around the middle.

William spoke about the possibility of a Star Trek return with the Hollywood Reporter in a podcast. The main obstacle to the return of William Shatner’s character is the fact that the last audiences saw Captain Kirk — in 1994’s Star Trek: Generations­ — he died.

One option is a series of movies based on books Shatner wrote about Captain Kirk, which he wrote after wrapping up six Star Trek movies. The novels let William tell his story about the character, pulling stories from his “own life, of life and death and love and loss,” Tech Times explained. “I would have loved to have done them [as movies],” Shatner said.

The novels began back in 1995 with Star Trek: The Ashes of Eden and featured his character brought back to life in the Next Generation era.

If William Shatner reprised the role in any other form, for instance in the new reboot in which Chris Pine has assumed the character, his resurrection would have to be explained.

This may have been what hampered Shatner’s involvement in the latest installment, Star Trek Beyond, which he was rumored to be part of but the opportunity never came to pass.

“How would they handle it, in science-fiction terms? I’m older, I’m heavier, I’m — all the problems of age. So what did Captain Kirk do? Die and age? Doesn’t sound science-fictiony enough. Or maybe you make him really old. I don’t know. It seems to have beggared Abrams’ imagination.”

Over at Cinema Blend, William Shatner’s return has been met with skepticism, because even the rule-breaking genre of science fiction may not be enough to fit him neatly into the new franchise thanks to its time travel element. The late Leonard Nimoy’s Spock returned because he fell through a temporal wormhole into his past, but as Mike Reyes argued, Kirk doesn’t have a similar excuse.

There’s another problem: While William Shatner seems to like the idea of being an older version of character, he doesn’t want to return for a simple, little cameo.

“I would play an old Captain Kirk, absolutely. You would have [to have] an interesting character, not a cameo, like ‘Here I am, aren’t I interesting?’ It’s the ongoing world, it’s the world within science-fiction. Yes, you age within the universe. Time goes on, but time bends, as well. There’s so many things you could do.”

Meanwhile, over at the Smithsonian, the original model of the U.S.S. Enterprise is being spruced up for display at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., just in time for the series’ 50th anniversary in September, Space.com reported.

A team is working to preserve the 11-foot model craft that appeared in all 79 episodes of the original TV series that ran from 1966 to 1969 and last appeared in the episode “Trouble with Tribbles.”

In April, the Enterprise will be painted with the help of photos from the model’s history, some of them taken by fans over the years. Since the model had been repeatedly painted during four generations of filming and four other restorations, they’ll work to match the new layer of paint with one remaining patch of the original shade. The model will also get new LED lights to mimic the original visual effects footage from the series.

“The LED lights can be programmed to match the original VFX [visual effects] footage while eliminating the burnt-out bulbs, extreme heat and motor problems that troubled the original lights,” said museum conservator Ariel O’Connor. “It is a wonderful solution to re-light the nacelles while ensuring the model’s safety and longevity.”

Right now, the Enterprise is in pieces so it can be studied, photographed, and x-rayed in an attempt to establish its current condition.

[Photo By Anton_Ivanov/Shutterstock]