Star Trek captains--William Shatner's Kirk, Patrick Stewart's Picard, Avery Brooks' Sisko, Kate Mulgrew's Janeway and Scott Bakula's Archer--are beaming aboard Star Trek: Legacy, a new videogame marking the 40th anniversary of the legendary sci-fi franchise.
The game, due out this fall from Bethesda Softworks, will be the first time the five stars from the five TV series will team up for a Star Trek project.
Shatner, who will reprise his career-defining role of Captain James. T. Kirk on the original Star Trek voyage from 1966 to 1969, tells Reuters that he hopes his participation in the game might spark renewed interest in Star Trek. The franchise had been labeled "in decay" by Activision, which previously held the game license, and saw its most recent incarnation, Star Trek: Enterprise, fizzle out with lackluster ratings and uninspired plots. Some fans and industry watchers believed the end was near.
"It's been around a long time, it's a staple of American life and I think we need something new and different," Shatner told the wire service, noting that he just couldn't resist returning to the part that made him a legend. "I couldn't imagine someone else playing Captain Kirk, even in a videogame, so I kind of got a little territorial."
Personally, I welcome this news. I was interviewed for a Cinescape article in 1998 about the problems with the franchise following Star Trek: Insurrection, and I noted that there was no Star Trek youth market anywhere. I loved the show as a kid...but I'm 36 now! (Dammit, Jim..!). A kick-ass, state-of-the-art video game would be a lovely and exciting way to bring in the youth crowd, especially if a new Kirk/Spock/J.J. Abrams movie follows soon. And who can resist a game that includes all five captains? (Only problem, no Christopher Pike!). In addition to being wonderfully entertaining, Star Trek is about terrific morall values (like not interfering in other cultures; like relishing diversity...) and I believe that a new generation would benefit from having the franchise around. I'm not talking about the dull-as-dishwater recent series...but a revived, and electrifying Star Trek that speaks to this time, while not forsaking the history of the property.
Anyway, I guess I'm going to have to buy an X-Box now, huh?