George Takei, William Shatner Can’t Seem to Shake Their Little Beef
For nearly 30 years, Star Trek: The Original Series alumni George Takei and William Shatner have carried on a from-afar petty beef. Sometimes it’s entertaining, often it is inexplicable.
The working theory is Shatner was not a treat to work with on the set of TOS — 55 years ago — so Takei evidently never forgot the malarkey. Over the years, he’s taken the time to take shots like this, albeit most of them playful and not seething. This exchange with Conan O’Brien transpired in 2013.
Well, Shatner was back in the news last week — and rightfully so — as the man who portrayed Captain Kirk for three seasons of Star Trek took flight to outer space aboard Jeff Bezos’ passenger mission Blue Origin. Shatner is currently the oldest man to ever reach the galactical heavens at the age of 90.
Takei wasn’t impressed. To Page Six before the adventure, Takei opined, “He’s a guinea pig, 90 years old and it’s important to find out what happens.” He also called Shanter “unfit.”
The mission was a success despite Takei’s needling. Shatner and a crew flew to space for about 10 minutes, returning to West Texas with a full report of the awe and majesty of space.
Afterward, Shatner received word of Takei’s ribbing and tweeted on Friday, two days after the Blue Origin trek:
Many casual non-Star Trek fans simply assume because Takei and Shatner were pioneers of science fiction television, they must be pals or coexist in harmony.
The two have spent almost three decades dancing around the other with veiled insults or pseudo gamesmanship.
This one was just particularly awkward and peculiar as Shatner was merely effectuating a noteworthy mission to space at the age of 90 — a commendable feat no matter the backstory of strained relations from 55 years ago.
In the end, Takei couldn’t resist.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. His odyssey with Star Trek starts from beginning to finish, watching ‘The Original Series,’ all the way to the present day. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).