If it were up to me, that quote would be heard in the third Star Trek film in this new continuity (and the thirteenth overall), which will most likely be released in late 2016 in order to capitalise on the 50th Anniversary of the Star Trek franchise. However, I know only too well that it’s not up to me, and that a group of blokes named Abrams, Burk, Kurtzman, Lindelof and Orci will have the final say. What I can say, though, is that if they don’t get William Shatner involved somehow – after all, he still has at least eight years left in him if you ask me, as does Leonard Nimoy, whose involvement is probably locked and loaded already – I’ll consider it a slap in the face not only to long time fans such as myself, but to newer ones brought in by the rebooted films as well.
One idea I’ve read about on this site in recent times is this: it could turn out that the Kirk Prime who assisted Picard against Soran and died in Star Trek Generations was not the original, but a doppelgänger created by the Temporal Nexus, thus meaning that the real Kirk Prime may still be residing on the other side of a certain ribbon of energy. As sound as the idea may be from a pure science fiction perspective, it may prove to be too far fetched for the wider audience that these films are now targeting. And since it was firmly established in Generations that the energy ribbon moves through space, without mentioning any possibility of it travelling through linear time or in and out of other timelines, that could make the notion absurd even for the hardcore sci-fi buffs.
Therefore, I still think that bringing William Shatner’s Kirk Prime into this new timeline as Tiberius of Borg would be the most practical idea, even if it means canonising his “Shatnerverse” novels into the prime timeline and tying up those plot threads by way of a limited series by IDW Publishing. Of course, if he can write said comics himself – albeit with assistance from his long term collaborators Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens – then so be it, and having a member of the Q Continuum as an important character therein would make things really interesting.
That slight digression aside, here’s how a return could happen:
1. Having been found by the Borg on Veridian III in the 24th Century of the prime timeline, brought back from the dead, and assimilated into the Borg Collective, the newly-christened Tiberius of Borg is used as a tool with which to destroy the Federation in the past;
2. The Borg’s temporal vortex technology then malfunctions, leaving them in the intended target year of 2263, but in the “Abramsverse” timeline;
3. A triggering image or event compromises Tiberius, and it causes the Borg to sever their link with Tiberius and try to kill him;
4. The re-individualised Kirk Prime escapes, but crashes his escape ship on a nearby planet, causing him to send a distress signal;
5. The Enterprise investigates, leading to certain discoveries, explanations and comedic moments (such as Bones or Spock saying “Jim?” and both Kirks saying “Yes?” in response ); and
6. Having retained his Borg abilities and knowledge, Kirk Prime uploads all the information needed to defeat the Borg and restore him to full humanity into the Enterprise’s computers, leading to a Federation victory.
I realise that in the opinions of some, much of the above may fly in the face of my rant about rehashing in an earlier post. But as far as I know, a battle between the Borg and the Federation in the 23rd Century has never actually been done before on the big screen, the small screen, or in print.
As for why I’m offering these ideas now, it’s because my viewing of Star Trek Into Darkness yesterday was so enjoyable that it’s made me think of Star Trek’s endless possibilities once more. That said, you can easily guess what I’ll be up to next Tuesday afternoon (i.e., seeing it again, if only to pick up on any small details I may have missed), and it’ll be added to my DVD collection when the time comes.