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Star Trek fans understand that if a character is wearing a red shirt, they're likely expendable. It has become a running joke among the Trek fanbase for decades that "Red Shirts" are killed, often in large numbers, in the various Trek films and television episodes over the years. And that was supposed to happen to one Star Trek Beyond actor, only, he didn't learn that his death scene had been cut until he watched the full movie at the Comic-Con world premiere.
Jason Matthew Smith has been a part of the rebooted Star Trek saga for the better part of eight years now, having appeared in all three dating back to 2009's relaunch. He's affectionately known by fans as "Cupcake," as that's what Chris Pine's Kirk calls him in one of his scenes (above). And during an exclusive interview at San Diego Comic-Con, I found out that "Cupcake" was supposed to bite the dust in Star Trek Beyond, only when Smith saw the finished film, all of his scenes had been cut.
Thankfully, for him, that included an elaborate death scene. He tells me:
I think it's hilarious that Jason Matthew Smith has found a way to cheat death in the Star Trek universe, not once, but twice. I understand his pain and frustration at thinking he'll be on screen for a movie, and then finding out you are not. But as he tells me, "As long as they don't show me dying, or bring me back from death, then it's all good."
In the day and age of deleted scenes and extended cuts, I asked Jason if he thinks we'll ever see the finished footage of his death scenes in the Trek movies. His answer was unexpected:
But really, they're bringing Chris Hemsworth back for Star Trek 4, and he reportedly died in the 2009 Star Trek. So don't worry, Jason. With Trek, anything is possible.