Who William Shatner Would Want To Play On Star Trek Other Than Captain Kirk

captain kirk with redshirts star trek the original series

As you might imagine, being the captain of a starship is a tough job, but even though William Shatner is a pro at doing just that by now, he does have a pretty great opinion on who else he'd like to play on Star Trek should the opportunity ever arise. When Shatner talked to CinemaBlend's own Adam Holmes to promote his new film, Aliens Ate My Homework, he revealed that a career as none other than one of the oft-doomed Redshirts is actually second on his list of preferred Trek roles, and the reason behind his decision is kinda awesome.

The guys in the red shirts. They die quickly. They're in and out, and you're into another show.

Well, leave it to William Shatner to rank his desire in Star Trek roles by his ability to get in, get out and get himself another job somewhere else. While I'm sure he's hugely appreciative of what playing Captain James T. Kirk in The Original Series and several movies has meant for his career, it sounds like he also wouldn't mind coming back in a one-and-done capacity if he ever comes back to the property at all.

In case you're unaware of Star Trek lore, Redshirts (and, yes, that is one word and not two) were usually chosen to accompany the main crew of the Enterprise on away missions to dangerous planets in order to take readings, suss out new life forms and accomplish other space exploration goals. Unfortunately, being a Redshirt frequently meant that you would not return from said away mission with your life intact, as they were often killed before anyone even fully understood that danger was afoot. And, if you think that staying on board the ship would keep a Redshirt safe, you'd be wrong there, too. If ever there were a choice between killing one of our main characters or making sure a Redshirt wouldn't live to see another day, wherever they were, Star Trek opted for the Redshirt.

Obviously, not all expendable Star Trek characters wore red shirts and, by the same token, not all members of support staff died on the show. Uhura and Scotty wore red and lived long lives, for instance, but something about wearing the color just put a target on the backs of those characters, especially if they went unnamed. Even if they managed to make it out alive by the end of the episode, fans would have spent all of the characters' previous time on screen assuming they were gonna die.

Well, maybe William Shatner will get a chance to die a horrible death as a retired Redshirt if Quentin Tarantino's Star Trek movie gets made soon. For now, you can hear Shatner voice Phil the Plant in Aliens Ate My Homework, which focuses on two kids getting recruited by aliens to help keep the Earth from getting destroyed. That film also stars Jayden Greig, Lauren McNamara, Ty Consiglio, Kirsten Robek, Dan Payne, Tristan Risk, Sean McNamara and Alex Zahara.

For more info on what you can catch in the coming weeks on the small screen, be sure to check out our midseason premiere guide, Netflix premiere guide, superhero show premiere guide and Amazon premiere guide.

Adrienne Jones
Senior Content Creator

Covering The Witcher, Outlander, Virgin River, Sweet Magnolias and a slew of other streaming shows, Adrienne Jones is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend, and started in the fall of 2015. In addition to writing and editing stories on a variety of different topics, she also spends her work days trying to find new ways to write about the many romantic entanglements that fictional characters find themselves in on TV shows. She graduated from Mizzou with a degree in Photojournalism.