Chris Pine has starred in three Star Trek reboot films as Captain James T. Kirk, so it stood to reason his Saturday Night Live appearance would feature some type of reference to what has become one of his signature roles. That moment came in the form of Pine channeling his Star Trek predecessor William Shatner during a sketch that poked fun at some of the staples of Gene Roddenberry’s iconic science fiction series.
The premise of the sketch is a lost episode of Star Trek featuring Spock’s half brother Spocko. Viewers are informed via guest host Neil deGrasse Tyson (played by Kenan Thompson) that in an attempt to appeal to a younger demographic, the show’s fictional producers shoehorned actor and nightclub crooner Sal DeLabate into this “lost episode.”
What followed was the SNL writers spending the better part of five minutes lampooning the best and worst aspects of Star Trek. Pine handled Shatner’s penchant for overacting, while the infamous tension between Kirk and Nyota Uhura turned into full-on sexual harassment courtesy of Spocko.
“Oh, thank you Uhuru,” Spocko said, clearly leering at Uhura. “You know I’m a Vulcan, but I’m very direct sometimes. I gotta say, I wanna take a big, nice bite of that big, juicy butt of yours.”
Random technology, outdated special effects, struggle catchphrases and some Queens stereotypes were all on the table, as SNL’s Bobby Moynahan took the spotlight as Spocko.
And while it wasn’t an outright endorsement, the original Captain Kirk was at least aware of what was going on. Shatner retweeted the SNL promotional clip featuring Pine Saturday night.