When William Shatner and George Takei first appeared on Star Trek, space travel was in its infancy. Compared to the world portrayed by the iconic actors on screen, it still is. Yet from our perspective, the progress humans have made toward the final frontier over the last 50 years is mindboggling. Shatner couldn’t have anticipated that he’d have an opportunity to visit space someday. In the wake of his spaceflight, he called the Blue Origin experience “profound,” but his former co-star wasn’t very impressed.
This story requires a bit of context. William Shatner played the first version of Captain James T. Kirk on the original Star Trek from 1966 to 1969. Alongside him was George Takei playing USS Enterprise helmsman Hikaru Sulu. There has been a longstanding feud between them since the cameras rolled on the first season of the now-expansive franchise.
We won’t take you through every single thing they’ve said about each other, but rest assured, they’re not each other’s biggest fans. Well, George Takei doesn’t like William Shatner very much, at least.
“Canadians have a certain image of being even-tempered and friendly and all that. Well, he is a person who is that way with himself. He is very self-centered,” Takei said of Shatner on an episode of Real Time with Bill Maher in 2014.
Now, to the matter at hand. William Shatner became the oldest person to visit space this week. He did so aboard a Jeff Bezos-led Blue Origin New Shepard flight. What did George Takei think of the feat?
“He’s boldly going where other people have gone before,” the Sulu actor told Page Six. “He’s a guinea pig, 90 years old, and it’s important to find out what happens.”
It’s safe to say Takei was unimpressed by Shatner’s spaceflight.
William Shatner Had Some Deeper Things On His Mind After Returning From Space
As you might’ve guessed, none of us here at Outsider have ever been to space. We won’t pretend to know what that experience does to a person. However, William Shatner tried his best to articulate what he got out of it.
“What you have given me is the most profound experience I can imagine. I’m so filled with emotion about what just happened. It’s extraordinary. I hope I never recover from this,” Shatner told Jeff Bezos shortly after landing.
George Takei may not be impressed, but like it or not, there’s value to William Shatner’s spaceflight beyond the media’s Star Trek references and a self-serving agenda. We’re not taking sides here and not suggesting anything about Shatner’s intentions either. But at least one bonafide astronaut was more than impressed with the feat.
“I’m impressed. I mean, he’s 90 years old and showing that somebody at his age can actually fly to space. Even if it’s, let’s say, just a suborbital flight, I’m highly impressed, and I wish him all the best,” European Space Agency astronaut Matthias Maurer told CBS.