The Star Trek franchise isn’t opposed to bringing back legacy characters that have graced our screens as far back as 1966.
Recently, Star Trek: Prodigy used animation and voice archives while Dal was attempting to beat the Kobayashi Maru, an unwinnable test for Starfleet Academy cadets. In the episode, “Kobayashi,” Spock, Scotty, Uhura, Odo, and Dr. Beverly Crusher all returned in animated form to help the struggling young captain. Because the original actors, Leonard Nimoy, James Doohan, and Rene Auberjonois had passed away and Nichelle Nichols wasn’t available for recording, voice archives were used for everyone but Gates McFadden’s character. But what if Star Trek wanted to bring more of those characters back to a live-action series?
Star Trek could turn to more CGI. The Roddenberry Archives and the graphics company, OTOY, have already brought back Spock in a two-minute clip, and now there’s also a virtual tourable CGI of all iterations of the Enterprise. So it wouldn’t be a surprise to see even more CGI take place, especially since Akiva Goldsman told SFX Magazine [via Yahoo] that he would consider using the technology to bring back legacy characters.
Star Trek could bring back anyone and basically retcon endings if it so chooses. Right now, there are no plans to use CGI to bring back anyone, but Goldsman said that Star Trek: PIcard showrunner, Terry Matalas isn’t alone in not liking Captain Kirk’s death in Star Trek: Generations. He thinks that’s why Matalas put Kirk’s body at Daystrom Station.
"“My friend Terry Matalas [Picard showrunner] is not alone in feeling frustrated with Kirk’s death in canon. It’s why he put his body at Daystrom Station, right? It’s a really hard thing to figure out how to do, but none of me opposes it. We just don’t have plans for it. There are a few things that I would retcon if I could, and digital performers could help that. I think in theory, yes. Sadly, just practically speaking, we have no plans for it.”"
Retconning canon, though, can be a tricky situation, especially since CGI can only bring back the character and not the voice of that character. A CGI-Spock isn’t Leonard Nimoy, and while there are probably impersonators who could fill in, we would all know that wouldn’t really be Spock. And it would be the same with Captain Kirk.
Maybe for a cameo here and there where no speaking is involved or voice archives are used, it could work, but I think fans would have a lot to say about CGI being utilized to change history. What do you think?