Could James Kirk really have a better set of final words?

William Shatner wishes James Kirk had a better final line of dialogue but what could it have been?
"William Shatner: You Can Call Me Bill" New York Screening
"William Shatner: You Can Call Me Bill" New York Screening / John Lamparski/GettyImages

William Shatner is maybe the most famous Star Trek actor in the history of the franchise, but he hasn't suited up as James T. Kirk in 30 years. He said goodbye to the franchise as an official actor in 1994, with the first film in the Next Generation era of films; Star Trek Generations. It was the film that would pair his character, James T. Kirk, with the lead of the show that came after his, The Next Generation; Patrick Stewart. Stewart of course played Jean-Luc Picard, starting a conversation that lasts to this day about who the better captain was.

For Shatner, the film marked the end of his time with the franchise and gave him the ability to end his run the way he saw most fit. For him, it was his final moment on screen, where he ab-libbed the now infamous "Oh my" line as Kirk quietly dies.

Many thought his death was a cop-out, and others lament how it was handled in the first place, but for Kirk, his biggest issue with the scene was that he felt like he never got it just right. Speaking to ScreenRant, Shatner revealed how he felt about his final scene, saying;

"The thing an actor can bring to a written word is the interpretation of how to say it. I love you. I love you. I love you. Variations on the words. So if the writer has written I love you, and the actor gets a hold of it and does something totally unthought of, that's a big deal. The director either gets upset or goes with it. In this case, I thought of Kirk as being so courageous in life that when he faced things that he didn't know about, like the strange, the weird... the entities that the writers thought up, when he faced death, he would face death with a sense of adventure. 'Oh, what's going to happen now?' So I ad libbed, Oh my.' And I wanted that 'Oh my' to be 'Oh my,' like, dreading it but, but looking forward to the adventure - somewhere in between, you know, and it would be very obvious to you what he was thinking. And I never quite hit it. I never quite got that nuance that I was looking for. I had another couple of takes, but they they didn't understand what I was doing."

While it may not have gone over as well as possible, in the eyes of himself and the fandom, it could've been much worse. It by no means affected the character negatively, and while his whole death wasn't handled well, his final words were neither terrible or glorious.

Though, any number of his iconic catchphrases would be more impressive, from "beam me up", or "to boldly go", something to that effect would have made the scene that much heavier. Especially if it was "To boldly go..." with a wry smile.