Why William Shatner Was Wrong About ‘Star Wars’

Captain Kirk and Darth Vader

Paramount / Disney Captain Kirk and Darth Vader

In the not too distant future, the iconic actor William Shatner will finally do what his most famous character is so well known for — have an adventure in space. Thanks to the riches of Jeff Bezos, Shatner will board a Blue Origin rocket and become the oldest person to ever travel into space. 

The previous record was held by Mercury astronaut John Glenn. He traveled into space aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery at the age of 77. Shatner will shatter that record by a good 13 years. And it makes sense that this man, who thrilled audiences as Captain James T. Kirk, would eventually “boldly go” into space himself. 

Shatner might have difficulty fitting space into his schedule since he’s been on a media blitz throughout 2021. Shatner has been on multiple television programs, including local news showsShark Week, and seems to be popping up in magazine and newspaper interviews worldwide. As the New York Post noted recently, at 90 years old, Shatner is still “working his ass off.”

While Shatner’s incredible energy certainly is something to behold, there must be something that bothers him about that ‘other’ star franchise. Shatner’s Twitter feed is filled with jabs and funny comments about “Star Wars,” many of them playfully mocking Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). 

Shatner on ‘Star Wars’

William Shatner on Star Trek vs Star Wars2016-09-25T00:05:50Z

While Shatner has never appeared in Wars, he certainly has some opinions about the franchise — including a somewhat controversial one. Shatner says that without “Star Wars,” there would be no “Star Trek.”

Shatner spoke about this opinion in a video recorded at the 50th Anniversary Celebration Convention of Star Trek in Las Vegas

“So ‘Star Trek’… the ‘Star Trek’ I was in lasted three years — was canceled,” said Shatner. “It was gone. Either it was … Top 40 popular shows. Every year there was the threat to be canceled. Then the third year, they canceled it. Everybody accepted it.”

“It was on the verge… on the margin every year,” Shatner said on the video. “The third year, the ratings went down a little, and they canceled, and we were history. Six years later… I think it was six or seven … something called ‘Star Wars,’ done by George Lucas, who was a fan of ‘Star Trek,’ comes [and] explodes in the American public.”

“And you could hear the people at Paramount Studios … they were running around, bumping into each other [saying] what have we got? What have we got that can equal ‘Star Wars’ that’s a big thing making billions of dollars?” Shatner remembered. He then said that the brass at Paramount remembered that they had something that got canceled… called “Star Trek.”

“Let’s resurrect that!” Shatner said. He then detailed how the studio decided to make a new movie, and they selected Robert Wise to direct. This, of course, was “Star Trek: The Motion Picture.”

Shatner was a little off with his math — Trek was canceled in 1969, and Wars debuted eight years later in 1977 — he was not wrong that Wars helped bring back Trek.

‘Star Trek’ Was Already Coming Back

Star Trek Phase II the TV show we never sawindiegogo.com/projects/in-search-of-tomorrow/reft/19034290/JonnyBaak Thanks for watching! :-) patreon.com/baak Music from filmmusic.io "The Other Side of the Door" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) License: CC BY (creativecommons.org/licenses/b…)2019-11-06T06:58:20Z

Even before George Lucas changed movies, “Star Trek” was on its way back. Trek creator Gene Roddenberry had been working for years on different projects which would have brought Trek back as a television series, a feature film, or a movie of the week.

In fact, the film “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” was created from pieces and parts of the “Phase II” show and based on a script “In Thy Image,” which was to be one of the episodes for the new series. 

George Lucas on “Star Trek”

George Lucas on influence of Star Trek, and Millennium Falcon vs Enterprise. [Sci-Fi Trivia]Check out the description for more video, mod, info and download link. Subscribe for further updates and future project. → youtube.com/channel/UCt0jtudo9ONlE_Yt4KWiIag?sub_confirmation=1 Clip from "Trek Nation". treknationmovie.com/ Dune Movies – Visual Design Comparison youtu.be/nehkPVz9aXA Reused Prop Cars from BLADE RUNNER youtu.be/4Y1Gr5ytlUE RoboCop – All TV Commercial / Advert youtu.be/PS3e6M8eGKA Highlander 35th Anniversary – Complete Soundtrack youtube.com/watch?v=siRKarRAaUM&list=PLOFSgmJyw570L9BMg14h6sHE01I38aNP5…2021-01-31T06:34:01Z

If one listens to George Lucas, the creator of “Star Wars,” there would have been no Wars without Trek first. In fact, thanks to a video interview conducted by Rod Roddenberry (who is Gene’s son), Lucas shared that he attended Trek conventions in the 1970s. He also mentioned that while he was writing the script for the first film, “Star Trek” was in its re-run Renaissance

“I think the thing I was attracted to the most about ‘Star Trek’ was that it completely got rid of the mundane, boring angle of real space,” Lucas told Roddenberry. “And just said ‘let’s go out where no one else dared to go.’”

“‘Star Trek’ and ‘Star Wars’ are not reality shows,” said Lucas. “They are imagination shows. Gene Roddenberry’s vision in the very beginning was very specific, and it was oriented toward television.” 

Shatner and ‘Star Wars’

William Shatner Sings To George LucasWilliam Shatner opens the 2005 AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to George Lucas with a song performed the way only Shatner can perform it. Complete with backup Stormtrooper dancers and a cameos by Chewbacca! Subscribe to this channel for more exclusive videos from the AFI Archive: bit.ly/SubscribeAFI Follow AFI: facebook.com/AmericanFilmInstitute twitter.com/AmericanFilm instagram.com/americanfilminstitute afi.com2018-09-06T17:10:15Z

While there is clearly sincere admiration between both franchises — Shatner says Lucas is a ”genius” — the rivalry between Wars and Trek does not rise to their level.

Shatner even performed at the American Film Institute’s tribute to Lucas in 2005. The crowd, full of “Star Wars” actors like Harrison Ford, Billy Dee Williams, and the late Carrie Fisher, clearly enjoyed it. 

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