I have always felt that Robert and Rene’s deaths being offscreen really cheapens their impact.
My goal with this proof of concept edit would be to create a new opening of the film where it hard opens (no fade in) on a shot of a burning building in a field, and then, without cutting, have a figure run into the building shouting “RENE!!!”. Then the building collapses. THEN it cuts to the shots of the HMS Enterprise on the holodeck.
Fire and water or something.
I would have to find somewhat similar footage to what I am describing from another film and cut it together like Lucas did with the Dam Busters.
I haven’t figured out where to put the Kirk/Enterprise B opening footage though.