Star Trek: Generations: Originally, the film would’ve been Enterprise vs. Enterprise
Star Trek: Generations was the hand-off film that passed the torch from Star Trek: The Original Series to Star Trek: The Next Generation
It’s the movie that makes diehard fans of the original series grimace because it had the audacity of bringing about the death of the original captain of the Enterprise, James T. Kirk. That was unforgiveable in a lot of Star Trek fans’ eyes, and some even pretend it didn’t happen. Well, originally, something a lot different was supposed to happen to both crews from the 23rd and 24th century.
Screenwriter Ron Moore and producers Brannon Braga and Rick Berman initially envisioned a story that would start with the original cast, though not in the entire movie, as they wanted to make it clear this was a passing of the torch to the next series of films that would include only the Star Trek: The Next Generation crew.
Moore and Braga had the idea that the two crews would meet in opposition to one another. Moore mentioned, in William Shatner’s book, Star Trek Movie Memories, that the poster, showing the two Enterprises battling it out against one another would have been the best.
Imagine a scenario with Captain Kirk and Captain Picard on opposite sides. Loyal fans would have been torn between their love for the captains, and it would have been difficult making either side come out looking heroic. That’s exactly why the idea was jettisoned. No matter how many ways they tried to work it, one crew, one captain, was going to have to come off looking like the bad guy in this version of Star Trek: Generations.
The way the movie changed the guard didn’t endear fans, but they would have been a lot less forgiving if Captain Kirk, an honorable man who’d loyally served Starfleet and protected the galaxy, had suddenly morphed into a villain. And since Star Trek: The Next Generation was picking up the film mantle, there was no way Captain Picard would have been given the role of the bad guy.
So as much as we disliked the death of Captain Kirk, we would have despised an abrupt change to his character. And most of us choose to believe that Kirk is still alive and well in the universe anyway