The Official Star Trek Convention is going on right now in Las Vegas (August 6-9, 2015), and the show always brings out many familiar Trek stars to interact with the fans all weekend. Saturday afternoon featured the Q&A panel of one of the all-time greats of the “classic” series and films, none other than Captain Kirk himself, William Shatner. Fans in attendance at the panel got way more than they bargain for, though, as Shatner finally decided to break his silence on why he and fellow Trek star George Takei don’t get along so well.
From the fine folks over at Geek Nation comes the firsthand account of what went down. During the fan-question portion of the panel, an attendee rather innocently asks Shat-Daddy if he will ever be able to “bury the hatchet” with Takei. Bill (we’ve met, he and I, so I can call him that… I think), for whatever reason, takes the opportunity to speak at length on the matter. Here is the video of the actual moment, transcribed with about 97% accuracy immediately below:
SHATNER: The hatchet? In George’s head? Let me tell you about that, you know I’ve never expressed myself, I’ve always never answered George Takei’s mean-spirited comments on me for a life time, and I’ll take this opportunity to do that. I’ve never done it before…. I don’t know him. I don’t know him. Fifty years ago there was a young man named George Takei, who would come in… play his part, and left. I hardly knew him. ‘Hello George,’ I’d say, I was too busy reciting lines – I had a lot of work to do, so I was busy doing that and publicity… doing other things that I needed to do, whatever it was. I was an actor with ten pages of dialogue to do that day, and ten pages to learn for tomorrow, and the day after that and the day after that, and so on. I didn’t know him. I literally didn’t know him.
The six movies we made were a couple years apart, again he’d come in, ‘Hello George.’ I had no interaction with him whatsoever. In the last fifty years, the man has blackened my reputation. I am… I pride myself on being a professional actor, I’m there on time, I know my words, I’m amiable to almost anything because what’s important is making the performance and nothing else. I don’t have to be there for the spaceship being brought up uh…. one of the things he used against me was that I wasn’t at the debut of the Enterprise someplace… I was working! So he has demeaned me, really badly, ugly. Every so often I get in touch with him and say, ‘What are you doing? I don’t know. What did I do to you? What happened?’ I have no idea who he is or what he is, or what he wants.
I’ve never answered him, but he has continued to spoil my reputation in one way or another. I thought you know, ‘That’s enough,’ why would one person in this large audience, have a bad opinion of me because of George Takei? It makes me – it upsets me. So I don’t, I’m not burying any hatchet, I don’t have any anger towards him. I do not know, I want you to hear me (to asker), I do not know who George Takei is! What drives him, what makes him, I do not know who he is. He invites me to his wedding, I don’t know him! Why would you invite someone like me to your wedding when you don’t know me? I haven’t spoke to you in twenty years, thirty years, why would you invite me to the wedding? Have you got a thought on that?
FAN (Asker of the original question): I don’t know George…
SHATNER: Well, why would you, since you and I don’t know, why would you invite me?
FAN: Because you’re Captain Kirk.
SHATNER: There you go. It has nothing to do with, ‘I want you to celebrate with me, and be joyous with me at my wedding.’ It has to do with, what you just said. So I don’t have any hatchet to bury. I do not carry that hatchet. I carry a peace sign.
Shatner has never seemed like the kind of person to shy away from speaking his mind; why he stayed quiet on the subject for so long is a mystery, but now it seems that everything is laid out on the table. Takei is a guest at the convention as well, but is only appearing today (Sunday); he does have a Q&A panel scheduled, so for now we have to wait and see if another intrepid fan asks him for a rebuttal to what Shatner said.
Sound off below: are you Team Shatner or Team Takei? Do you think this is really a “feud,” or just a simple miscommunication or misunderstanding? If there are any further updates, we’ll be sure to keep you Bastards posted!
Category: Nerd Culture