Hardest Article Ever…

How many of you use that Google news update thing for you e-mail? I love it, I get instant up to the minute feeds for all my favorite topics… Unlike some folks, I don’t ask for updates whenever someone pulls a Fargo and exits this mortal plain. (Not that I have anything against that, and God bless Mr. Emerson for doing so, one less news update for yours truly). No, my news updates are a tad more nerdy… See, I have this obsession with keeping up with 2 icons of the pop culture world… Bruce “The Man” Campbell and William “I say sabotage” Shatner… I keep Bruce in there in the vain hope of learning before anyone else when he says “We’re doing Evil Dead 4″… I keep ‘ol Bill on the list because he is Mr. Shatner and every good Star Trek Geek should know what their captain is doing… Plus, it’s the only way to keep up with his ever-changing image within the pop culture world. Think about it… Within 5 years he want from bitter sci-fi actor, to concerned charity worker, to beatnik bongo spokesperson, to self-aware jokester, and finally to Emmy award winning television actor… You find me a one time “Has Been” that can make that claim… You can’t, only the one true Shat can do so… This makes the next sentence even more difficult to write…

Please Bill, quit bitching about your absence from Star Trek XI…


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Okay, before all your hardcore Trekkies jump down my Jefferies Tube, let me explain…

See, there is this concept. We Geeks call it “stuntcasting”…

Stuntcasting (stun’t . ka. sting) – VerbThe casting of an obvious fan favorite to appease both fan and pop culture pundit. The Official Geekspeak Dictionary, 2007.

Okay, so that book doesn’t exist, yet, but that definition basically sums up the concept of stuntcasting. You hire an actor that is both obvious and slightly pandering to ensure your core audience watches your movie or show. I’m not saying this is necessarily a bad thing. On one hand, it is a wink and nod to the Geek crowd. A fun little way for writers and directors to give a little shout-out to their fans. But on the other hand,it rips the viewer from the moment. Every time that character comes on screen, you forget that you’re watching a movie as you revel in the pure Geek joy of watching said actor ham it up. Case in point with the above mentioned Bruce Campbell. I love all his moments in the Spider-Man films, indeed his scene in Spider-Man 3 might have been the film’s highlight. That being said, when he pops on screen I stop watching Spider-Man and just watch Bruce Campbell be Bruce Campbell… Or, at least the wisecracking Bruce we all know and love. (As when given the chance, he can turn in a killer dramatic role that makes one all but forget Ash and those Old Spice commercials).

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Same thing happens whenever Shatner pops on screen.

Look, The Shat will always be Captain Kirk, there is no denying that… However, he has spent so long creating this semi serious and self-aware jokester, that any attempt to return to a non-humorous role won’t work. At least not without spending more years reinventing himself yet again, and as he stated with Henry Rollins “I haven’t got that much time”. For good or bad, ‘ol Bill is locked into this wacky role. I’m glad. I quiet un-ironically love it when Shatner hams it up. The guy has more than paid his dues to darn near everyone. If he wants to dress up like Nick Fury, lay some mad kung-fu kicks, and play the bongo all while pitching low pried airfare… God bless him! Hell, I watch his short Live Videos whenever he and his strangely alluring daughter post them online, without fail. (And no, we are not going to delve into the subconscious issues of finding Shatner’s daughter hot… I know them all and do must best to move on… You. Should. Too.). I own both The Transformed Man and Has Been, before it was wacky and cool to do so. Dammit Jim, I even own Spaced Out! I’ve gotten into drunken arguments when someone dared question my belief that Shatner isn’t as cool as Han Solo. (Come on?! Really… Han cooler than Kirk, hell no… Plus, Shatner would never tap Flockhart’s bony ass, snap)!

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Even with all those qualifiers, I don’t want him in Star Trek XI.

First, I still think J.J. Abrams idea of Star Trek: The Academy Years is friggen stupid. For a myriad of reasons. None of which I will go into here… I’m sure I rambled about it somewhere on this
site… However, it would seem no one can stop Paramount as they continue their quest in trashing one of the biggest pop culture icons of all times (to say nothing of the money making machine Star Trek was, is, and could still be). Fine, we’re going to get an Academy version of Kirk and Spock… I don’t want to see William Shatner in this film. For a couple of reasons.

One, it would look cheap and pathetic. Most people would assume he needed the money. People who follow his career know this is not all at true. Hell, you can’t turn on your television without seeing Shatner in one form or another… Just in the last couple of years he has had two specials, one roast, an Emmy winning role on a prime-time network show, and those hilarious Priceline commercials. The guy is rolling in coin, American coin, not that weak ass Canadian money he was raised on. Two, it would harm a film that I feel is going to need all the help it can get. Just imagine, you’re just starting to get into this new version of Star Trek. Sure, it ain’t classic Trek and it ain’t anything from Picard’s or Sisko’s day (Jane who?), but it still has that Trek feel. Then, bam! In walks William Shatner as some wise-talking Starfleet Academy something or other… It won’t matter what part he plays. All we are going to see is William Shatner hanging out on Paramount’s Star Trek set.

I guess it would feel cheap and pathetic.


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Look, if you didn’t notice by now. I have genuine fanboy love for William Shatner. In the 1960s and 70s as Kirk he personified character traits that we all should strive to reach. In the 1980s and 90s he showed us what happens when you start to take yourself too seriously. In the new millennium, he reminded us that we don’t have a whole lot of time on this world and we better make the best of what fate hands us…and have some fun while doing it. Keep having fun Bill. We don’t need you stepping back into Roddenberrys universe to remind us that you are cool

We already know it.

We’ve known for a long time…

After all, “In this galaxy, there’s a mathematical probability of 3 million Earth-type planets. And in all of the universe, 3 million million galaxies like this. And in all of that, and perhaps more, only one of each of us. Don’t destroy the one named
Kirk“…

Listen to the good doctor…

Oh, and can you tell Leonard that he shouldn’t take a cameo either… Just as lame.

About Aaron

Aaron Duran is founder and head writer of GeekintheCity.com, a website devoted to the latest in movies, comics, tabletop games, digital pastimes, and all things Geek. His fascination with comics, film, music, and obscure trivia has transformed into a lifelong pursuit of pop culture knowledge. A precocious writer who started out by spinning elaborate stories based on his favorite sci-fi and adventure franchises, he befuddled his grade-school teachers, who were convinced that no child could write that well at such a young age. When not hard at work on his plans for world domination, Aaron creates highly acclaimed independent films, freelances in many forms of media, explores the minutiae of pop culture, and shares his love of all things Geek with the world through his writing.
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