Therin of Andor wrote:
Cameos by Kyle (ST II), Rand (STs III and IV) and Chapel aren't "needless insertions" for fans of those characters.
I hadn't heard about the extra Chapel scene - was it written but not filmed? By "needless" I simply meant she was given no dialogue that was meaningful to the story or revealing of her as a character - practically no dialogue at all, for that matter.
The worst for me is the fact Kirk doesn't SEE his son killed. You can justify Kirk's reaction -- but to do so he needs to see it, not hear Saavik have to say the dramatically unplayable "Admiral ... David is dead" line.
Unplayable is right, especially if your character is supposed to be some kind of Vulcan. But as far as seeing him killed, we don't even see that Saavik
sees him at that moment. Was Nimoy reluctant to show the actual killing? Was it scripted to occur offstage? Or was it filmed but edited out later for some reason? I don't recall this being addressed on the TSFS
commentary track (which I enjoyed, for Robin Curtis' contribution among others).
Just a wild theory: Maybe there was some concern about protecting the film's PG rating? Perhaps having David murdered onscreen might have been judged as too intense?
(Note that in Wrath of Khan,
the bit where Khan tortures and slaughters the staff at the space station also occurs offstage. Perhaps for the same reason?)