The reason for killing off James Kirk in Star Trek Enterprise still makes no sense

Star Trek Generations killed off James Kirk and it still doesn't make any sense.
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Star Trek Generations brought together the franchise's past and present for one unique film outing in 1994. Featuring various members of the original series and the returning crew of the fan-favorite television show, The Next Generation, the writers of the film sought to hand off the baton from the first crew to the next crew. Everything was coming together, with the film serving as not only a seventh film in the original series catalog of movies but also the first film for the Next Generation crew.

Yet, the one hanging issue was what to do with the franchise's two most identifiable captains; James T. Kirk of the USS Enterprise and Jean-Luc Picard of the USS Enterprise-D. Both characters would see their actors, William Shatner and Patrick Stewart, return to the roles, getting Trek fans hyped up. With both actors back to play these crucial characters, the goal was to have them interact somehow in a way that would feel meaningful.

Their interaction was, fine, all things considered, and the film is largely seen as a good, yet shallow Star Trek film. One that should have had much larger possibilities tied to it, yet, came off undercooked. Part of the reason why was the lack of original series characters. The other was how they were all used. None of them did anything of value, not even Kirk.

In fact, the driving force of the film it seemed was to kill off the character that started it all.

Paramount refused any scenario in which Kirk would make it out of the first Next Generation film alive. It was mandated that Kirk die. Shatner told in 2019 that he felt he had no choice but to go along with the idea, saying;

""Well, I didn't think I had any choice in the matter. Paramount had decided that the ceiling that they could reach in our box office had been reached and they thought that by putting in The Next Generation cast, that they would reach a higher box office. That decision had been made. It was either I was going to appear and die, or they were going to say he died. So, I chose the more practical of the two.""

The decision to kill Kirk was the wrong one, as it made no sense. The Next Generation was a hundred-odd years after the events of The Original Series, so it was fair to say Kirk was already dead by the time Picard was doing battle with the Borg. So the need to kill Kirk was done just to distance the franchise from Shatner and his colleagues.

The decision to focus on the Next Generation films wasn't the wrong choice, but you didn't need to disrespect the fanbase by doing so. The death itself felt cheap and unearned. It's arguably one of the worst executed deaths in all of Star Trek history. Kirk does nothing in his final moments and instead is a victim of a malfunctioning walkway, which crashes its way down a mountain to the rocks below.

That's how the icon of science fiction and Star Trek dies. He falls. Star Trek Generations isn't a bad film, but it underwhelms. The death of Shatner's Kirk is part of the reason it does. Had Kirk died in a more noble, thrilling way, perhaps the film would've been remembered more fondly, yet that's not what we got.