Greg Cox wrote:
Old Kirk could have appeared during the mind meld in the first movie. It would have been brief but memorable.
The problem is, that would have called attention to the recasting, like including a clip of Sean Connery in Casino Royale.
Or including a clip of Katie Holmes in The Dark Knight.
They got away with including Quinto and Nimoy in the same movie because the age differential was so extreme (Young Spock and Ancient Spock) that you could pretend that they were the same character, separated by a long lifetime of experience. But a shot of Shatner might strain our suspension of disbelief . . . .
I don't like recasting either but I make certain allowances if a different actor plays a much older or much younger version of a character and if the two look alike for the most part. In the case of Shatner and Pine, they're similar enough and the age gap is big enough that I could have accepted seeing them in the same movie.
As for the Connery and Craig scenario you mentioned, that would have been too jarring since the two don't look alike and play significantly different versions of the character in different eras. And if Holmes were to appear in a shot in The Dark Knight
, that would have been even more so because it would constitute blatant recasting and there's no age issue.
Point is, if they did
want to include Shatner in the first movie, I can't think of a better opportunity than that mind meld. Someone else actually brought it up years ago I liked it. I think something like that would have worked a lot better than having an actual scene with an older Kirk.