George Takei downplays Star Trek co-star William Shatner’s space flight as feud rages on


George Takei’s nearly 60-year feud with William Shatner rages on as the actor recently shared his thoughts about his Star Trek co-star’s trip to space.

Shatner, 91, boarded a flight with Amazon founder Jeff Bezos‘s aerospace company Blue Origin in October 2021, making him the oldest person to reach space.

But Takei, 85, wasn’t as impressed by Shatner’s historic voyage, telling the Mirror: ‘Well, he wasn’t really in outer space and it wasn’t for very long.’

George Takei's nearly 60-year feud with William Shatner rages on as the actor recently shared his thoughts about his Star Trek co-star's trip to space

George Takei’s nearly 60-year feud with William Shatner rages on as the actor recently shared his thoughts about his Star Trek co-star’s trip to space

He discussed how he achieved a similar experience to Shatner’s during a parabolic flight, which simulates weightlessness without going having to leave the planet.

‘I’ve also been in zero gravity but I did it for longer. I took a parabolic flight and experienced five minutes of weightlessness, whereas William only experienced three minutes,’ Takei explained.

‘So I’ve spent more time in zero gravity than him.’

Despite his dismissive remarks, Takei insists that ‘there’s no animosity’ between himself and Shatner, whom he co-starred with on the hit NBC series for three years.

‘In Star Trek I was blessed by wonderful and lifelong friends, and we all enjoyed each other’s company… except for the prima donna,’ he said, referring to Shatner.

Takei said Shatner is ‘not the easiest guy to work with’ and that he ‘wouldn’t leap at another opportunity.’

Historic: Shatner, 91, boarded a flight with Amazon founder Jeff Bezos's aerospace company Blue Origin in October 2021, making him the oldest person to reach space

Historic: Shatner, 91, boarded a flight with Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’s aerospace company Blue Origin in October 2021, making him the oldest person to reach space

Shatner seen with fellow passengers (L-R) Glen de Vries, Audrey Powers and Chris Boshuizen

Shatner seen with fellow passengers (L-R) Glen de Vries, Audrey Powers and Chris Boshuizen

And he also believes this opinion is shared among other Star Trek cast members.

‘That’s a universal feeling, although the others have a better sense of restraint and discretion. I believe in being honest and forthright.’

When asked if he would be willing to meet Shatner face-to-face and put the feud to rest, Takei replied: ‘We meet up all the time!

‘We do Star Trek conventions. We cross paths and I say, “Hi Bill” and he says, “Hi George”, and we keep on walking.’

Takei had stronger words for Shatner earlier this month during an interview with The Times.

He was responding to comments made by Shatner, where he claimed Takei’s past remarks about him are a ‘sickness’, and claimed: ‘George has never stopped blackening my name.’

Unimpressed: But Takei, 85, wasn't as impressed by Shatner's historic voyage, telling the Mirror : 'Well, he wasn't really in outer space and it wasn't for very long'; pictured in October

Unimpressed: But Takei, 85, wasn’t as impressed by Shatner’s historic voyage, telling the Mirror : ‘Well, he wasn’t really in outer space and it wasn’t for very long’; pictured in October

Takei said: ‘Shatner is a cantankerous old fossil. All of us have had problems with him. Jimmy Doohan, who played Scotty, back when he did conventions used to go on and on about Bill Shatner.

‘There is this fiction that Bill and Leonard [Nimoy, aka Spock] were good friends, but we know better — Leonard privately expressed his irritation with Bill. Bill is an egocentric, self-involved prima donna.’

At the beginning of December, Takei vowed never to talk about his former Star Trek co-star again as he attempted to put their long-running feud to bed.

During the interview, Takei, who played the role of Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu, branded Shatner a ‘cantankerous old man’ and claimed that he used their row as publicity.

While discussing his musical Allegiance, which is based on his childhood experience and family history, Takei was asked by Graham, 59, about his feud with William.

Clearly fed-up with the narrative, he said: ‘You are the last chat show host to be allowed to ask that question as it has become so tiresome to talk about.

Takei had stronger words for Shatner earlier this month during an interview with The Times

Takei had stronger words for Shatner earlier this month during an interview with The Times 

‘When Bill has a book to sell he needs publicity and accuses us of using him. My subject is more substantial and important.’

Takei then went on to add one last jibe before attempting to end the ongoing tensions one and for all.

He added: ‘He is a cantankerous old man and I will not talk about him anymore. I vow that this is the very last time I talk about him.’

And while Takei seemingly wanted to end their quarrel at the time – just days before he couldn’t help but take a swipe at William as he once again called him ‘a cantankerous old man’ in an interview.

The TV personality told The Guardian that he didn’t want to continue engaging with Shatner after he said his ex Star Trek co-stars criticized him in interview for publicity in a barbed interview earlier this month.

‘I know he came to London to promote his book and talked about me wanting publicity by using his name,’ said Takei, who played the role of Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu on Star Trek. ‘So I decided I don’t need his name to get publicity.’

Claims: Responding to Shatner's recent comments, where he claimed Takei's remarks about him are a 'sickness', and claimed: 'George has never stopped blackening my name' (Shatner pictured December 2022)

Claims: Responding to Shatner’s recent comments, where he claimed Takei’s remarks about him are a ‘sickness’, and claimed: ‘George has never stopped blackening my name’ (Shatner pictured December 2022)

Takei, who reprised the role of Sulu for multiple films and shows in the Star Trek franchise, told the outlet that he had ‘much more substantial subject matter’ that he’d sought publicity for.

‘I’m not going to refer to Bill in this interview at all … although I just did. He’s just a cantankerous old man and I’m going to leave him to his devices. I’m not going to play his game.’

When asked if Shatner was ‘cantankerous’ in his younger years, Takei said that Shatner ‘was self-involved,’ ‘enjoyed being the center of attention’ and ‘wanted everyone to kowtow to him.’

Shatner made headlines when he told The Times he feels his former co-stars on the 1960s sci-fi series bashed him to make headlines for themselves.

‘Sixty years after some incident they are still on that track. Don’t you think that’s a little weird? It’s like a sickness,’ said Shatner, ‘I began to understand that they were doing it for publicity.’

Feud: Just days before he couldn't hep but take a swipe at William as he once again called him 'a cantankerous old man' in a new interview (Takei pictured last month)

Speaking out: William hit out at his former Star Trek costars after years of them criticizing his behavior on the 1960s sci-fi set (pictured in July)

Feud: Just days before he couldn’t hep but take a swipe at William as he once again called him ‘a cantankerous old man’ in a new interview. (Takei left pictured in November and Shatner pictured R in July) 

Unhappy: The actor who famously played Captain James T Kirk in the series as well as seven films, says he now realizes they 'do it for publicity' (pictured in the 1991 movie with George)

Unhappy: The actor who famously played Captain James T Kirk in the series as well as seven films, says he now realizes they ‘do it for publicity’ (pictured in the 1991 movie with George)

Even when Shatner recently went into space thanks to billionaire Jeff Bezos, Takei said he was a being sent as a ‘guinea pig’ to assess the impact of space on an ‘unfit’ specimen.

‘George [Takei] has never stopped blackening my name,’ he said. ‘These people are bitter and embittered. I have run out of patience with them. Why give credence to people consumed by envy and hate?’

In his memoir Boldly Go: Reflections on a Life of Awe and Wonder, Shatner said that he was shattered when late costar Nichelle Nichols, who played Lieutenant Uhura, accused him of being ‘cold and arrogant’.

He wrote: ‘I was horrified to learn this, ashamed that I hadn’t realized it.’

Shatner was also close friends with Leonard Nimoy, who played Spock, however their relationship became strained before his death in 2015 – for reasons unbeknown to the Kirk actor.

According to Giant Geek Robot, friction began between the two when William made a 2011 Star Trek Documentary and interviewed many actors who have been apart of the franchise, however failed to include Nimoy.

It comes after William said said seeing Earth from space aboard Jeff Bezo’s Blue Origin rocket was a profoundly sorrowful experience, but one which inspired him to cherish the beauty of our planet.

Shattered: In his memoir Boldly Go: Reflections on a Life of Awe and Wonder the actor writes that he was shattered when late costar Nichelle Nichols, who played lieutenant Ulhura, accused him of being 'cold and arrogant' (pictured together on the show)

Sad: In his memoir Boldly Go: Reflections on a Life of Awe and Wonder the actor writes that he was shattered when late costar Nichelle Nichols, who played lieutenant Ulhura, accused him of being ‘cold and arrogant’ (pictured together on the show) 

In an excerpt from his memoir he writes he was was struck with one of the ‘strongest feelings of grief’ he had ever experienced.

Going on to say that rather than being filled with awe, as he expected to be, the sight of Earth’s warm blue glow surrounded by the cold black of space left him feeling like he was at ‘a funeral.’

The excerpt was published by Variety journalist Marianne Williamson, and offered a deeper insight into Shatner’s reaction to his space flight with Blue Origin than he has previously revealed.

The revelations come a year after Shatner was seen to be visibly moved immediately after stepping out of the Blue Origin capsule in October 2021, when he broke down in tears telling Bezos: ‘Everybody in the world needs to do this.’

William wrote that he never realized how precious life on Earth was until he left it behind.

‘I discovered that the beauty isn’t out there, it’s down here, with all of us,’ he said. ‘Leaving that behind made my connection to our tiny planet even more profound,’ he wrote in his memoir.

He said seeing the Earth so fragile filled him with sorrow to think about how man kind is so flippant about its destruction.

Former friends: William was also close friends with Leonard Nimoy, who played Spock, however their relationship became strained before his death in 2015 - for reasons unbeknown to the Kirk actor

Former friends: William was also close friends with Leonard Nimoy, who played Spock, however their relationship became strained before his death in 2015 – for reasons unbeknown to the Kirk actor



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