May 21 2024


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Greenwood: Farewell To Pike

3 min read


Actor Bruce Greenwood is sad to see the end of his participation in the rebooted Star Trek franchise.

The actor shared his thoughts on finding out about the fate of Pike, the reception of Star Trek into Darkness, and his “not-so-secret” wish about his participation in a third Trek movie.

Greenwood found out about Pike’s demise before he read the script that had been sent to him. “The script was delivered and then I got a text from J.J., who wrote, ‘Call me before you read the script. Call me right away.’ I went, ‘Oh, what does that mean? Have they decided they’re going to do a different script? Something that doesn’t have Pike in it at all?’ I didn’t know what was happening. So I called him and he said, ‘I’ve got good news and I’ve got bad news. The good news is that he’s integral part of the show and a lot of the action hinges on what happens to you. The bad news is, well…you don’t survive.’ So that’s how it went down.”

At first, Greenwood was sad about the news. “Oh, I was crushed initially, but that was before I read it,” he said. “Once I read it, I realized it was a good way to go out, and we had a lot of fun doing it.”

Although Star Trek into Darkness did well at the box office, some fans were not happy with the movie. Greenwood dismissed the criticism of this group. “[There was a] disaffection of the ‘hardcore fans,’ and I’m not really sure what the percentage of hardcore fans who wanted something different really is,” he said. “I think people can focus on that, but I think by and large fans of the franchise were happy with it.”

Greenwood certainly was. “I thought it was great,” he said. “I’m so part of it that it’s very difficult for me to be objective. I’m so connected with the people who did it and I know the phenomenal amount of work that into it. So I’m predisposed to liking it…and I do.”

What’s next for Greenwood?  “WildLike is a little movie we shot in Alaska last year, and it’s a beautiful story,” he said. “Endless Love, we had a lot of fun shooting that in Atlanta this summer. Devil’s Knot is at the Toronto Film Festival. A project that I’m incredibly excited about isn’t a film, but a play. It’s actually a musical that I’m about to start rehearsing, and it’s written by Stephen King and John Mellencamp. We’ll be taking it on tour in the Midwest in the middle of October. It’s called Ghost Brothers of Darkland County. It’s about this guy who has a secret that’s torn him apart for, lo, these forty years. He brings his family together to tell them about the secret and he imagines that when he finally reveals this thing that’s tortured him for so long his warring sons will lay off each other. Of course, it doesn’t go according to plan.”

If he could, would Greenwood return to Star Trek for a third movie? “My not-so-secret wish is that somehow there’s a memory lane scene where Pike gets to come back and talk to Kirk in some way,” he said. “I don’t think they can give me a drop of Khan’s blood because that would render my death somewhat meaningless if they could reanimate me. But of course I’m hoping they’ll reach into memory lane and bring me back.”

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74 thoughts on “Greenwood: Farewell To Pike

  1. What growth in new fans? Star Trek Into Darkness made less than 230 million domestically, while Star Trek 2009 made 257, and that’s not accounting for inflation or 3D pricing. The US audience for this is shrinking, not expanding. They made more overseas by spending more and opening in a bigger market.

  2. The merchandising did fail to sell, I didn’t buy any of it because they had 3 sizes of figures and they were all cheap n’ nasty. I was gutted when the Enterprise line was cancelled ’cause I never got to complete that bridge set.

    Trek has never been as strong in the toy area as other franchises… Star Wars…and there were no action figures for TWOK back in the day…There’s a good debate on Star Trek toys here:

  3. Toys are just the tip of the iceberg. Star Trek has simply a ton of licensed products, and per JJ himself, the only way the ones with the new people would sell is if they took the original people’s likenesses away… at which point, CBS concluded that they wouldn’t make as much money, even then, on the new people… So, they told them to shove off, basically, with the idea of removing Shatner’s group from the market… but they didn’t say, “no Pine crap”… no, the group that said that was the paying audience who simply isn’t buying products with Chris Pine’s mug on it.

    You’re fond of pointing out how dead Star Trek was in 2002… But look what you just said. The show you were “gutted” about not completing a toy grouping from was Enterprise… and Enterprise, regardless of the ratings, was on until 2005… And even as dead as Star Trek was at that point or any point before 2009, the simple fact is, its merchandising was more powerful in 2007, right in the middle of the down period, than JJ Abrams’ merchandising has been at the height of ST2009’s popularity.

    By that notion, if Star Trek was dead in 2002 when it had a network television show on the air and was raking in millions upon millions of dollars in licensing, then ST2009 was never born……. If only.

  4. Hmmm, I think that the Enterprise toy line was cancelled due to lack of interest, in the same was that the 09 toy line was. I just dont think that Star Trek toys are very good quality/have mass appeal.

    Also, I question your interpretation of the whole licensing thing. Abrams wanted a unified product lineup for Star Trek in order to avoid confusion amongst people who would see different likenesses with the same character names. CBS obviously didn’t want to loose the revenue that they generate from TOS and so they said ‘no’ to his desire to have a unified looking lineup. There is another really good article here, this one really shows how Star Trek’s loss will probably be Star Wars’ gain:

    I love Star Trek in all its incarnations!

  5. And now, we reach the architect of this sad affair……….. James Tiberius Kirk….

    Seriously… I see the problem: You’re okay with people being added as fans that are so stupid that they don’t know William Shatner was/is Kirk and would be confused by seeing two people as the same character…

    Yeah, because while they were doing the Prequel Trilogy they really stopped selling stuff with the Darth Vader mask because it’d be too confusing………….. Stupid people aren’t worth the time you’re giving them.

  6. I can see how an ill informed mother or father could buy an Enterprise model for her son and then be dissapointed when he said that it was the wrong one. But, like you, I dont think dual toylines would be a big deal for most people. Incidentally, I’m after a decent model of the Enterprise D, but cant afford the incredible QMX replica. Do you know if the Aoshima version is any good?

  7. Unfortunately, I don’t. I haven’t made a Star Trek model since like 1995, sorry.

    Have you bought anything with these people’s likenesses? I haven’t… Hell, I love the hallmark ornaments, I won’t even be getting the downgraded Enterprise of that. Have you bought anything with them?

  8. I haven’t the time, nor talent to make a model – the Aoshima one is prefabricated.

    I tend to stick to the odd Trek novel. I did get the blu-ray of ST09 with the disc that came in the saucer section – that was cool and the model was quite good. Otherwise – no. I purchased a TOS Gorn in Forbidden Planet a couple of years ago that was cool, although I rarely buy figures these days.

    Amazingly, I did receive a great peice of artwork on ebay for $150 – it was a Probert painting from 1979 of a possible future Enterprise (it really looks like a prototype Enterprise D). My wife got it for my 30th birthday present, I was so happy with it!

  9. That’s a sweet painting… really does evoke the Galaxy Class. It looks like it could’ve been an early prototype drawing that merged the Ambassador Class (Enterprise-C) with the Galaxy. Definitely cool.

    Have you read any Trek novels or the comics set in the alternate?

  10. Yeah, I read the countdown comics which led up to the 2009 movie. These really helped fill in some of the plot holes of the first film – like explaining what the hell Nero was doing whilst he waited for Spock. Data is also in the prequel comics and they really explained nicely how Spock was trying to avert disaster for the Romulans. It really did clear up a lot of stuff and enhanced my enjoyment of the movie.

    Its hard to get the comics where I live in England and I haven’t got around to ordering them online. Currently reading Stephen Kings book ‘11.22.63’ – which reminds me of Roddenberys pitch for ST4.

  11. Spoilers for the Cold Equations and some Typhon Pact novels:

    They’re usually better about not contradicting themselves in the novels than this… the Cold Equations series within the Typhon Pact continuity still had B4 running around, but also had Data restored to life via a still alive Doctor Soong… But the reason I asked was because those books just came out about a year ago, which certainly couldn’t have been the predicate for the 2009 movie… so, just wondering.

    However, I am curious, you suggested that those volumes helped explain away some of the apparent contradictions and issues of continuity in ST2009… Like what?

  12. Well, Nero’s motivation is more clearly defined, but there is also small stuff – like why Nero and his crew have tatoos. We also learn why the Narada was so powerful, because it has some Borg tech incorporated into it.

    The Vulcan Council opposes Romulan use of red matter, infuriating Nero; he vows if Romulus is destroyed, he shall hold them accountable. Nero returns to Romulus to discover Hobus has gone supernova and destroyed his home world. Driven mad by his loss, he attacks Federation Olympic class hospital ships that have arrived to give aid, believing they have come
    to claim his people’s territory. He beams surviving Romulan senators onto his ship and kills them for not listening to Spock, and then claims the Praetor’s ancient trident, the Debrune Teral’n, which is the greatest symbol of Romulus. He and his crew then shave their heads and apply tattoos to signify their loss. Nero goes to the Vault, a secretive Romulan base, and has the Narada outfitted with Borg technology to begin a rampage against his enemies.

    The above paragraph was taken from the Wikipedia page here:

    What is your most prized peice of Star Trek memorabilia? and what is your favourite series. Here is my list:

    TOS (the original and the best for my money)

    TNG (consistently great from season 3 onwards – objectively though, I acknowledge that DS9 is better)

    DS9 (love this show – but didn’t grip me until Season 4)

    VOY (pretty good)

    ENT (found this to be a little bland and repetitive, not the break from the TNG/DS9 style that I was hoping for)

  13. Well, if you remember back to that early TNG episode where Picard goes to the holodec and recreates the Paris restaurant where he was supposed to meet that chick? That chick was married to Ira Graves, the guy who surreptitiously attempts to put himself into Data’s body to avert death… who, within the episode itself was revealed to have been a student of Noonien Soong… So, it does actually make some degree of sense that Soong could do that… His less talented protégé could, after all.

  14. Well, see, those are all elements that I don’t really remotely consider holes. I inferred almost all of that, save a few details like the trident and tats… but overall, that wasn’t the hole filler I was hoping to hear.

    As for what series I like and whatnot, you and I appear to be pretty synched when it comes to the first five overall iterations of Star Trek… TOS, the movies, TNG, TNG+, and Enterprise… only in this sixth iteration do we seem to diverge. With that said, I think I enjoyed Voyager less and Enterprise more than you did, but that’s on the margins, I’d wager.

    My most prized Trek stuff? Probably the items I got DeForest Kelley to sign a few years before his death. McCoy’s my favorite character.

  15. DeForest is my favourite Star Trek star as well, I really enjoyed the biography From Sawdust to Stardust. Sad to say that I never got to see the man at a convention, I saw William Shatner in London which was good. He really held the audience’s attention and was pretty funny.

    What plot hole filler were you after?

  16. I’ve never actually seen From Sawdust to Stardust… I wonder if it’s on US Netflix…

    As for the holes… Why does a star going supernova have any impact outside its system? The movie implied a huge swath of space was in danger from it… How and why? There’s no star known that, were it to go supernova, would impact multiple star systems like that. What is red matter? And, if the result of a supernova is a black hole, how, exactly, does red matter creating a black hole offset the effect? Or is it simply that it would create the black hole without the prerequisite explosive force? Either way, what actually sends Nero or Spock back in time? And why does Spock arrive second? And why does it split into a different universe? It shouldn’t. Why are there continuity errors manifest prior to Nero’s incursion? Why doesn’t Spock instantly start work on a means to eliminate this dastardly offshoot the second he realizes what has happened? He can program a time warp slingshot from memory and his best guess for some whales, but his mother and entire species? Nah, let’s just go play house on New Vulcan……. And, even though he wouldn’t do anything to put the timeline right, he also, apparently, won’t share with Starfleet or himself what his reality held, thus avoiding some of the major issues of the day… After all, isn’t the Cetacean Probe only about 2 decades away from showing up again? If Spock isn’t willing to even tell himself about Khan, what else is he leaving out that’s pretty crucial information… and if this is known to be an offshoot reality, spawned solely by the incursion of Nero, there’s no TPD in place to prevent knowledge of the future from being shared…. same as when Picard told his crew about the events of the future in All Good Things…. There is NO reason for Spock not to share…

    A partial list.

  17. From Sawdust to Stardust is a biography book.

    Honestly, I thought Red Matter was like dilithium – a macguffin. However, it seems that I was wrong and that the creators actually used real science as a basis for a large chunk of the plot.

    R-Reverse E-Energy D-Distribution or Red Matter.
    This is String Theory in reverse. Take numerous Zero Points and
    serially align them; you then have changed a one dimensional universe
    into a two demensional universe. Apply energy to the string of zero
    points and the string begins to vibrate, adding a third demension, The
    vibration of the string requires the string to be in multiple locations,
    thus you have a temproal horizon or 4th deminsion. Reverse the applied
    energy distributed to the string of zero points, and the 3rd and 4th
    demensions will colapse. The diminsional colapse of both 3rd and 4th
    deminsions will allow both worm holes and black holes to theroretically
    occure, much like a wirlwind or tornado will arise in the reverse of
    wind direction in a thunderstorm. Although red matter is a great tool
    for the movie Star Trek’s plot, it is also a new discussion in the world
    of quantum physics along with the Higgs Boson.


    Fred Allen Wolf, Parallel Universes; Stephen Hawking’s discussion, String Theory’s affect on Energy and Time.

    As for why Spock didn’t share – I guess he didn’t want to alter the natural flow of events – foreknowledge of an event might lead to inaction or actions that might create undesirable outcomes.

  18. So, it was the RED Matter that also created the divergent timeline?

    Was that his autobiography, or something done by a third party?

  19. Yes, I think so. So the divergent timeline is akin to one the multiple timelines we saw in the TNG episode Parallels, but with a bit of time travel thrown in for good measure.

    Deforest didn’t write his own biography, unlike the others on the Enterprise. But he left his papers and
    memorabilia organized so that somebody else could. Terry Lee Rioux has
    done a commendable job drawing together details from Kelley’s papers and
    interviews with people who worked with him in TV and movies, or were
    his friends during his early years in Long Beach.

    A little bit about the author here:

  20. I really have an issue with that. Those timelines are their own unique and independent universes… For every action available, within the multiverse, each action is actually manifested… each manifestation has its own quantum signature and its own history. Thus, the only way for Spock Prime to arrive therein would be for his trip to have resulted, not only in time travel, but in travel across the dimensional planes of reality, with him and Nero being in a different quantum reality from the one they left the moment they arrived… not because of their actions, but because of the nature of the universe they were now in.

    Admittedly, that makes more sense than how they’ve structured it as an offshoot resulting from the travel itself, which wouldn’t be an alternate as much as an altered timeline, the eradication of all Trek that had come before… It explains why things were different prior to the incursion… And it explains why things that shouldn’t have been impacted are vastly different from the original way we know things happened… it’s not because Nero encountered the Kelvin… it’s because this was never our universe to start with…

    So, what are my problems? Well, I only really have one problem in each timeline that we could create right here… In our first timeline, we conclude that the RED Matter is what caused the whole thing, including throwing Spock outside his quantum signature universe of origin… My issue therein is that these aren’t our people any more than the Mirror Universe characters of the same name are our people. Feeling bad for one of them is like feeling bad for Smiley or Chekov in the agonizer… very little connection with us at all. In our second timeline, we conclude that RED Matter caused the time travel, but the events that Nero and Spock precipitate in the past somehow results in a new timeline… My issue therein is that Star Trek has never really worked that way.

    So, certainly RED Matter as the culprit is less distasteful for me, but it still results in us having no connection with any of these people or their past… Is that as bad as destroying all Trek that came before or not remotely understanding how time travel works in Star Trek? Well, no… not as bad… But in the end, they’re still just as far removed from us as that Riker who gets his throat slashed in Yesterday’s Enterprise. And while we might think to ourselves when that happens, “oh, that’s sucks for this Riker, but he was kind of a douche anyway,” does it really matter to us the second we get back to the main story? Indeed not… and this is all just one long side trip that doesn’t really matter to the main story.

    I just may have to pick up that ebook, looks interesting.

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