You don’t have to look far to find a Star Trek fan unhappy with the fact that Captain James T. Kirk was killed in the Star Trek: Generations movie. No one wanted him to die, and they especially didn’t want him to die with a bridge falling on top of him. It was, to some fans, considered the worst death scene in all of Star Trek. Malcolm McDowell, who played Soran in the movie, couldn’t agree more. But fans could have seen Captain Kirk die an even worse death—by being shot in the back.
"Pose this one for me (to the powers that be): If you have – which they had – this icon of American television, why the hell didn’t they give him a spectacular death? Why did they give him such a really paltry death? Me shooting the bridge out or some BS whatever it was? They should have sent him off in a glorious fashion, and they didn’t. They missed an opportunity."
That how his death was originally scripted, and after many, many reshoots, the powers that be decided the bridge was the way to end the captain’s life. McDowell said an opportunity was missed because Kirk should have been sent off in glorious fashion. In reality, though, there was absolutely no reason for Kirk to have to die. There was no passing of the torch as Star Trek: The Next Generation had already produced seven seasons, and like the other characters of the Original Series, Kirk could have made appearances in future movies, including the Kelvin timeline movies like Leonard Nimoy did. That was another missed opportunity.
In follow-up novels, Kirk was resurrected by William Shatner, but that hasn’t been added to any movies or series as canon. With all the new series available (and the ones coming soon), there are a multitude of opportunities for Kirk to be involved and to be given a hero’s death if that’s necessary. Much like the way Data died in Star Trek: Nemesis. Being killed by a bridge is not any better than being shot in the back. Kirk was a hero and deserves a hero’s death, a glorious ending to a career spent saving the galaxy.