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Ultimate Classic Rock

When William Shatner Told ‘Star Trek’ Fans to ‘Get a Life’

On Dec. 20, 1986, William Shatner took a joking swipe at Star Trek fans during his appearance on Saturday Night Live . Unfortunately, few Trekkies found it funny.

The actor was hosting the late-night staple as part of the promotion for Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home . The film seemingly proved a belief held among Star Trek fans that only the even-numbered motion pictures were any good. The first feature, 1979’s The Motion Picture , was a disappointment, 1982’s The Wrath of Khan  delivered, 1984’s The Search for Spock  underperformed but the fourth installment was a hit with its tale of Capt. Kirk and his colleagues traveling back in time to save the world by transporting a pair of humpback whales to the 23rd century.

The stage was set for Shatner, who’d been playing Kirk on TV and in film for 20 years by that time, to host SNL on the night of Dec. 20. Writer Robert Smigel came up with what he felt was a strong sketch idea, and, as he reported later, the key line made Shatner laugh. The six-minute sketch takes place at a Star Trek convention, where the attendees barrage Shatner with questions that prove they know more about Trek and the actor’s private business than he knows himself. Taken aback, he asks for silence and tells them he’s lived through the experience for too long. “Get a life!” he tells them, using a phrase that wasn’t yet the conversational staple it later became.

Fan power based around Trek and other shows was still something that TV networks failed to understand at the time. The constant blitz of support letters from Trekkers saved the original series from cancellation in 1968; the development of fan conventions helped encourage studio bosses to bring back the show as a movie series; and the continuing interest – and merchandise profit – would later lead to the launch of The Next Generation , Deep Space Nine , Voyager and many other shows, movies and products.

Back then, however, studio execs and even many actors regarded Trekkers with some bemusement, unhappy that the consumers had become aware of their own power and adding an additional link in the uncomfortable relationship among producers, artists and advertisers. That’s why Shatner – and SNL writers Smigel, Jon Vitti and George Meyer – thought the sketch would work, and why “Captain Kirk” was seen telling fans, “You know, before I answer any more questions, there’s something I wanted to say. Having received all your letters over the years, and I’ve spoken to many of you, and some of you have traveled, you know, hundreds of miles to be here, I’d just like to say: Get a life, will you people? I mean, for crying out loud, it’s just a TV show! I mean, look at you – look at the way you’re dressed! You’ve turned an enjoyable little job, that I did as a lark for a few years, into a colossal waste of time!”

Smigel recalled that the unusually long script raised laughs at the read-through stage and at rehearsal, but that he had challenged Shatner to raise his game. “[He] was playing it a teeny-weeny bit jokey,” the writer told The Ringer in 2018. “I was pretty fearless back then about talking to actors if I was certain it would help the end result. Life had not yet beaten me down enough to suggest that some fights aren’t worth fighting.” So he asked Shatner to “play it more serious,” and that’s what happened.

It  was all in jest, or at least mainly – in his SNL monologue, Shatner called his fans “truly incredible,” adding, “ I hope they have a sense of humor about the show tonight. Or I’m in deep trouble.” In a later memoir – tellingly titled Get a Life! – he revealed that it was an important moment in his life. “To be brutally, humiliatingly honest, that now-infamous Saturday Night Live sketch was for me, at that time, equal parts comedy and catharsis," the actor admitted. "I was oblivious to the facts. I bought into the ‘Trekkie’ stereotypes. In a nutshell, I was a dope.”

Some fans – who describe themselves as “Trekkies” rather than “Trekkers” – agreed that the actor had indeed been a “dope.” Among the comments stored at FanLore are a depiction of “Get a Life” as an “uneasy mix of hyperbole, inside jokes, some genuine humor and cruelty.” Another claimed that Shatner himself was being parodied, noting, “I do find that too many professional media/celebrity cons fit that SNL parody. And though I believe Shatner's heart was in the right place, I also believe that he should've had his head examined for appearing in it.” Another fan said a few years after the broadcast that it “haunts us,” adding that James Doohan, who played Scottie in Trek , had “expressed his disapproval of the skit” at a convention “and a large number of the audience loudly agreed.”

On the other hand, one Trekkie said that the script “captured the stereotypical convention and fans, and I laughed until my sides ached.” Another didn't feel insulted but said, “I just want to say, I have a life, and Star Trek has enriched it tremendously!” Someone else made the point that the stereotypical male nerd fan, living a single life in his parents’ basement, “is better off with Trek than without it. ... With Trek , he has friends and a shared vision of what life could be at its best. Without Trek , he's just a lonely fellow stuck in the cellar.”

Intriguingly, it’s the kind of multifaceted discussion that a good (or indeed bad) episode of the franchise might be expected to generate. Smigel later called it “maybe the most resonant sketch I ever wrote there,” while Vitti argued that it represented a turning point in the relations between franchises and their fans. “You’re not really picking on the weak anymore,” he observed about modern-day interactions.

Trek creator Gene Rodenberry’s son Rod, who also worked on the franchise, had his own view on the matter. “I never really appreciated that skit,” he told The Hollywood Reporter in 2021. "Because I think it was demeaning to the fans. I think it was disrespectful, especially for a character who was an open-minded, intelligent leader.” He added: “But I don’t condemn it in any way. It’s Saturday Night Live , and it’s all fun.”

In 2009, when Chris Pine took over the role of Kirk for a new series of  Star Trek movies, SNL paid homage to “Get a Life,” bringing in the original Spock, Leonard Nimoy, and the new Spock, Zachary Quinto, to face hard-line Trekkers of the 21st century with a script that unequivocally nodded toward the power switch that occurred between movie studios and “nerds” since Shatner unwittingly took a bigger risk than he had realized 23 years earlier.

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Get a Life! (skit)

Get a Life! was a skit performed on Saturday Night Live by William Shatner .

In it, Star Trek fans are portrayed as immature, nerdish, without social skills, focused on fandom minutia, and objects of disdain. One of Shatner's lines, sick of Star Trek fans asking him what he felt to be inane questions, is to tell them to "Get a life!"

It has become phrase that is now used as a insult to fans, suggesting that fandom is a waste of time and that fans are losers.

Referenced in Textual Poachers

When Star Trek star William Shatner... appeared as a guest host of Saturday Night Live, the program chose this opportunity to satirize the fans of his 1960s television series. The "Trekkies" were depicted as nerdy guys with glasses and rubber Vulcan ears, "I Grok Spock" T-shirts stretched over their bulging stomachs. One man laughs maliciously about a young fan he has just met who doesn't know Yeoman Rand's cabin number, while his friend mumbles about the great buy he got on a DeForest Kelly album. When Shatner arrives, he is bombarded with questions from fans who want to know about minor characters in individual episodes (which they cite by both title and sequence number), who seem to know more about his private life than he does and who demand such trivial information as the combination to Kirk's safe. Finally, in incredulity and frustration, Shatner turns on the crowd: "Get a life, will you people? I mean, I mean, for crying out loud, it's just a TV show!" Shatner urges the fans to move out of their parent's basements and to proceed with adult experiences ("you ever kissed a girl?"), to put their fannish interests behind them. The fans look confused at first, then progressively more hurt and embarrassed. Finally, one desperate fan asks, "Are you saying we should pay more attention to the movies?" Enraged, Shatner storms of the stage, only to be confronted by an equally angry convention organizer. After a shoving match and a forced rereading of his contract, an embarrassed Shatner takes the stage again and tells the much-relieved fans that they have just watched a "recreation of the evil Captain Kirk from episode 27, 'The Enemy Within.' [1]

Comments by Nichelle Nichols

In a 1990 interview, Nichols ( Uhura ) said:

Nichelle also has strong feelings about Star Trek fans. When asked how she felt about fans wearing Star Trek costumes, she replied, “That’s all wonderful because it’s a celebration. But we should understand that when we dress up and do our pointed ears, it’s no different from any other celebration of something we believe in and love and adore. The ‘get-a-life syndrome’ has no place in fandom, no place whatsoever. That’s for those idiots who don’t know where they’re going, who would like to take our technology for whatever short span of life they have here on earth -- the "ME" generation -- [those are] the people who should 'get a life'! "‘Get a life’ should mean care about one another. ‘Get a life’ should mean not only caring about one another, but caring, projecting, and reflecting the future through celebration. If that celebration means putting on Vulcan ears or wanting to get into communications or any of the areas of celebrating the Star Trek cast, then that’s good — that’s important. To begin to denigrate what was beautiful and wonderful and still is, is to eat out our own guts. If we start playing with that nonsense — it’s like an implosive kind of cancer, and I don’t think it’s funny at all.” [2]

From a Blurb About the Book of the Same Name

From William Shatner's 1999 book:

When William Shatner appeared on Saturday Night Live in 1986 and told Jon Lovitz and a convention hall full of absurdly nerdy Star Trek fans to "get a life," it was all in good fun. After all, anyone who’s been to a Trek convention has seen one or two people who bear a resemblance to Dana Carvey’s Spock- okker , but we all knew Bill was just teasing. Wasn’t he? 'That now-infamous sketch,' Shatner reveals, 'was for me, at that time, equal parts comedy and catharsis…. I bought into the Trekkie stereotypes. In a nutshell, I was a dope.' [3]

A Modern Retelling of Sorts

In May 2009, Star Trek XI stars Chris Pine , Zachary Quinto and Leonard Nimoy appeared on Saturday Night Live and preformed a 3 min 24 sec skit, one that focused on the reception with which diehard Trek fans greeted Star Trek (2009) . It was reminiscent of the 1986 skit. [4]

Fan Response

Some fans found the skit funny, some did not.

[1987]: The... sketch on Star Trek convention attendees was somewhat less hilarious, not because of his talent but because of the script, which was a uneasy mix of hyperbole, inside jokes, some genuine humor, and cruelty. [5]
[1987]: I disagree with your critique in I#112 of the convention sketch. I have been addicted to conventions since I discovered them in Atlanta while I was attending college (c. 1982). I thought the characterizations of the convention members were right on mark. There is always at least one question from the audience regarding some obscure beaming coordinates, or a safe combination, or some other minute detail of some episode. The script captured the stereotypical convention and fans, and I laughed until my sides ached. [6]
[1987]: I thought Bill Shatner's skit on SNL was mildly amusing and I was not insulted by it (SNL treats all subjects that way, and Bill is a consummate actor—he'll play ANY role). I just want to say, I HAVE a life, and Star Trek has enriched it tremendously! [7]
[1988]: One thing I've learned from my exposure to a number of fans is that the infamous "get a life" skit from Saturday Night Live haunts us. At the first convention I went to, James Doohan expressed his disapproval of the skit and a large number of the audience loudly agreed. This surprised me because I had thought it was rather funny. Later in the summer, at another con, I gained more insight into the situation. Diane Carey, the author, was quite seriously exhorting her audience to become involved, to adopt a cause (any one would do), in short, to get a life. I have realized that the stereotypical fan is wrapped up in Star Trek to the exclusion of the real world. I resent having such assumptions made about me. I have "got a life." I have a husband and children. I do volunteer work and have opinions on a wide variety of matters, both political and religious. I do shopping, vote in elections, and change diapers. I do live in the real world, with all its tension and stress That is the reason I am a Trekker. A hobby is necessary for mental health. Star Trek helps me to keep from burning out in all the "important" things I do. It helps me relax. It helps me retain my perspective. It is fun. It is not my religion. I already have a perfectly good religion. (Well, I'm Catholic.) And I suspect that the majority of fans are more like me than the stereotype. [8]
Thanks a lot, Bill! You may remember William Shatner's appearance on "Saturday Night Live". He took some pretty hard shots at Trek fans in a skit that parodied conventions. Some of his arrows aimed true—dealers offering overpriced merchandise to folks who snapped it up, and fans knowing more about the details of the stars' lives than they do. But what struck me the hardest was his line about the 30-year-old fan who lived in his parents' basement and had never kissed a girl. According to Shatner, apparently fans are pretty dependent, immature, messed-up people who try to live their lives vicariously through Star Trek. Anyone who thinks that way about fandom has a remarkable lack of compassion, and has missed the most important things about fandom. True it is that many Trek fans have problems—physical, emotional, social, or financial. So do most people, if they tell the truth about themselves. (Even Spock never found a perfect human.) Trek draws many people who, at some time in their lives, have felt deeply dissatisfied, needy, or even hopeless—about themselves, their families and associates, their work, or the way they see their world going. So we immerse ourselves in Trek. Maybe it starts out as escapist fantasy, but it doesn't end there. Trek shows us an imaginary future, where our crew cares more about each other than themselves, where people are valued for what they are and what they can accomplish, and where humans have left behind the ridiculous barriers of race, sex, geography, and other accidents of birth that currently divide us from each other. It is surely a universe in which there is much to value, and much joy. Having seen ourselves in the mirror of Trek, some of us see fandom as a way-station. Some of us, basically isolated, find that we can form solid and enduring friendships. Through fandom, some of us discover or develop talents or abilities that we might have ignored otherwise, such as writing, photography, drawing or painting, computer skills, or even a sense of humor. Some of us feel accepted and embraced for the first time in our lives by the " Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations " ethic that is the best of fandom. ( don't mean to minimize the downside of fandom. If you've been in it for a while, you know the ugliness too. But that is not what Bill Shatner was talking about.) But according to Shatner, some (or most?) fans get stuck in the fantasy, and never find their way out, never take that fantasy inside and make it a part of their growing lives. Well, I don't know whether there really are fans like that; after all, most of us haven't finished living yet. I do know a few fans who, at least for now, seem to fit the description that appealed to our hero. Do they deserve such contempt? I think not. Not everyone has the same ability, inner resources, and luck, and not everyone can change themselves or the circumstances of their lives. Some people can do all that, but they take a lot longer than others might. Even our hypothetical thirty-year old, living in his parents' basement without benefit of girlfriend, is better off with Trek than without it. With Trek, he has friends, and a shared vision of what life could be at its best. Without Trek, he's just a lonely fellow stuck in the cellar. [9]
[1989]: I do believe that ST fans get an unfair amount of criticism from outside their ranks and I believe some of these know-it-alls could learn a few things from us in how we try to raise honest criticisms about each other through gentle-hearted kidding and by showing some real warmth towards the person of the other point of view in our ranks (or at least some of us do). But. yes, I DO find that too many professional media/celebrity cons fit that SNL parody. And though I believe Shatner's heart was in the right place, I also believe that he should've had his head examined for appearing in it. Instead of getting people to view the phenomenon in a more positive light —and by allowing himself to be a part of the skit—Shatner actually reinforced the negative stereotypes outsiders have about us. You see, either people view ST and ST fandom with open minds or they don't. Yes, we should be able to laugh at ourselves and not take ourselves (or the things we're into) TOO seriously, but I don't think that we have to put up with EVERY put-down or EVERY cheap shot at our expense. The convention parody was a cheap shot at our expense in order to get some cheap laughs, and in spite of the 'with it' attitudes of the SNL cast, I'm afraid that the show's writers are coming across like pompous snobs these days. Still, I separate what they were up to with what Shatner was sincerely trying, to say, though he said it in the wrong way. [10]
[1989]: I'm relieved to hear that others found the "get a life" skit from Saturday Night Live somewhat offensive. Everyone I talked to seemed to be regarding it with good-humored tolerance, which is all very nice, but guys, we do not need SNL and William Shatner, of all people, reinforcing the stereotype that some people have of Star Trek fans. Yes, we all have met people like the ones in that skit, but they are vastly outnumbered by the fans in every conceivable type of job, profession, vocation and avocation. Some of it was funny though, I have to admit. [11]
[1993]: So who invented the word Trekkie'? Surely not a fan. I can quite easily imagine a group of hunters prowling around video stores and book shops, calling out "Here Trekkie Trekkie", blowing into a communicator whistle. I once read somewhere that "we" prefer to be called ' Trekkers '. Despite being infinitely more dignified, it still sounds daft - a hike, anyone? So next time you go to say "I'm a Trekker" or "I'm a Trekkie", instead say "I'm a Star Trek fan and I'm proud of it" and see what the response is. My mind takes me back to the Saturday Night Live sketch set at a Trek convention . All of the people there were the stereotypical fan, as described in my first paragraph. Although sometimes we need to laugh at ourselves (some of that sketch was genuinely funny; some sadly true) it was quite unnecessary for William Shatner to appear and make the comments he did. "Get a life", he said. As fans it's us who gave him a life - a damn good one at that. Surely we deserve some respect from him? At least most of the other stars take the time to talk to their fans at conventions - strange we may be, but we pay their bills and they know it. [12]
[2012]: There was backlash, he backpedalled pretty quickly, but now it still gets lobbed by sub-factions of the fandom at one another. I think it might have hurt fandom's perception in the eyes of the general public a bit. They were always a wacky group, but they were kinda just dismissed with a roll of the eyes. Having one of the stars go off so publicly kinda gave the haters a bit of ammunition to go after any type of fan. It might have also strengthened as a bit as we took the criticism at face value and maybe admitted some of us were a little goofy, but we still remain dedicated to our hobby. [13]

External Sources

  • ^ from Textual Poachers
  • ^ from Electronic Male (newsletter) #4 (December 1990)
  • ^ from a 1999 review of the book Get a Life!
  • ^ Star Trek Prop, Costume & Auction Authority , posted May 10, 2009 (this includes a link to both the 2009 skit, as well as the 1986 skit)
  • ^ from Anne B in Interstat #112 (February 1987)
  • ^ from Marcia G. W in Interstat #113 (March 1987)
  • ^ from Shirley J. F in Interstat #116 (June 1987)
  • ^ from Jayne K in Interstat #134 (December 1988)
  • ^ comments by Harriet Cooper in the essay "Thanks a lot, Bill!" printed in Almost Anything Goes #3
  • ^ from Charles T. Jr in Interstat #145 (November 1989)
  • ^ from Interstat #135
  • ^ Martin Eade in Constellation #144
  • ^ Reddit, permalink , comment by pinkiepieismycopilot
  • Perspectives on Fans
  • Star Trek TOS Professional Works

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Get a Life!

What a ‘Saturday Night Live’ sketch from 1986 can teach us about the ongoing battle between superfans and the people behind the TV and movie franchises that they love

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On December 20, 1986 , one month after the release of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home , William Shatner hosted Saturday Night Live . By that point, the actor had been playing Captain Kirk for 20 years. More than anyone else (except maybe Leonard Nimoy), he understood what it was like to live under a discerning subculture’s microscope.

Knowing this, Robert Smigel approached Shatner early in the week with an idea. The writer, who was in the middle of his second season at SNL , pitched a sketch in which the sci-fi icon visits a Star Trek convention. The twist? Instead of warmly greeting the attendees, he’d make fun of them. What sold him on the scenario were three words that Smigel suggested he say to the mostly bespectacled crowd: “Get a life!”

“That’s what made him laugh,” Smigel said. The phrase wasn’t yet the ubiquitous insult lobbed at know-it-alls, but he’d heard it before. Smigel, whose lengthy SNL résumé includes the creation of both the long-running, oft-quoted “Bill Swerski’s Super Fans” and the animated short series TV Funhouse , went as far as calling Shatner’s dork roast “maybe the most resonant sketch I ever wrote there.”

The world never used to care about the opinions of nerds. For decades, fanboys and fangirls weren’t considered important enough to acknowledge, let alone listen to. Then things changed. It’s hard to determine exactly when the flip occurred, but the SNL sketch signaled an impending mainstream shift.

The six-minute segment endures because of what it’s poking: the strange relationship between the diehards and the people behind their favorite television shows and movies. In those days, it was one-sided. Hardcore fans held little sway. Now, emboldened by the internet and their own purchasing power, they’ve gained leverage. As former SNL staffer Jon Vitti , who helped Smigel with the Star Trek sketch, put it: “You’re not really picking on the weak anymore.”

In 2018, fan-spurred conflict has grown exhaustingly intense. Consider: Seven weeks after The Last Jedi premiered to critical acclaim, the Rotten Tomatoes audience score sits at 48 percent. (Alt-right trolls naturally took credit for that dip .) A Change.org petition demanding that Disney “strike Star Wars Episode VIII from the official canon” has more than 95,000 signatures. Several interviews that Mark Hamill gave about his initial dislike of Luke Skywalker’s character arc have been employed to cudgel the blockbuster. And in January, a nauseatingly opportunistic misogynist made and uploaded a “de-feminized” edit of the film to the torrent site The Pirate Bay.

Director Rian Johnson has handled the increasingly toxic backlash with the kind of self-aware openness that only a Star Wars fanatic could possess. While refusing to renounce his vision of the franchise, he’s taken to Twitter to engage detractors. That Johnson is able to stay civil is admirable. But blasters don’t always have to be set for stun . Occasionally, a full-on excoriation can be cathartic.

william shatner snl trek convention

The 1986–87 season of Saturday Night Live was an important one in the history of the show. The year prior, series creator Lorne Michaels had returned after an extended hiatus . Following a disastrous 1985–86 campaign that raised the threat of cancellation, he fired most of the cast. The producer kept Nora Dunn, Jon Lovitz, and Dennis Miller, and brought on new cast members Dana Carvey, Jan Hooks, Phil Hartman, Victoria Jackson, and Kevin Nealon.

With a bunch of all-time-great SNL performers to write for, Smigel found his groove. In late fall, he devised a funny, well-received sketch featuring Hartman as a much-sharper-than-he-looks version of Ronald Reagan . “Mastermind” played off a question that some Americans were then asking : Beneath his charming façade, was their septuagenarian president still competent? William Shatner obviously wasn’t the subject of that kind of speculation, but he, too, had a well-polished public persona. When the actor arrived at 30 Rock to prepare for his hosting gig, Smigel presented him with an idea that scrubbed off his detached, respectful veneer. That cleanse allowed viewers to see what the (only slightly) fictionalized version of the man behind Captain Kirk really thought of his most dedicated fans.

The star liked the pitch, but there was a small problem: Smigel wasn’t much of a Star Trek fan. Luckily, Jon Vitti was. He’d seen every episode of the original series multiple times. Shatner was one of his childhood heroes. “There is no star as big as a star from when you were a kid,” said Vitti. He geeked out over meeting Shatner, just as he did later when Adam West appeared as himself in a Simpsons episode that Vitti wrote.

Smigel and Vitti, both in their 20s at the time, spent the Tuesday night of Shatner’s week in New York working on the sketch. Vitti’s familiarity with the source material came in handy. He offered up obscure Star Trek details and made sure that the convention sign the audience sees read “Welcome Trekkers,” the term devotees prefer over the pejorative “Trekkies.”

“If it happened today,” Vitti said, “Robert probably would have gone on the internet, picked up the references he needed, and written it himself.” Smigel’s goal was to mock fans’ fascination with minutiae rather than ridicule their physical appearance. “I remember actually asking wardrobe to tone it down a little bit,” he said. “A few less pocket protectors, if possible.” Carvey’s character does end up in an “I Grok Spock” T-shirt, Nealon’s wears a Starfleet uniform, and Lovitz sports a pair of Vulcan ears. Smigel conceded that “they probably came off fairly stereotypical.”

The scene built up to Shatner’s rant. “The whole sketch was written around that moment,” Smigel said. When it was time to come up with the tirade, Smigel consulted George Meyer. Before becoming one of the best Simpsons writers ever, he toiled at SNL . Meyer had the rare ability to transform a hilarious idea into something transcendent. “He could drop three lines in the script,” said Vitti, who also became a prolific Simpsons writer, “and those were the three lines people talked about.” A Meyer gem that made it into Shatner’s diatribe: “You’ve turned an enjoyable little job, that I did as a lark for a few years, into a colossal waste of time!”

After a production assistant passed Smigel and Vitti a typed copy of their sketch, they panicked. While writing it longhand on a legal pad, neither realized how long it had run. Short, unfunny sketches were dismissed and quickly forgotten. But if an overdone dud made it to the episode read-through in the writers’ room, Vitti said, “you could feel the hate.” He recalled even asking coordinating producer Audrey Peart Dickman to pull the sketch before that could happen. But, Vitti said, she calmly told him that it was too late.

william shatner snl trek convention

It was a wise decision. The sketch got laughs at the read-through and was scheduled to run in a prime slot: right after the monologue. It went well at dress rehearsal, but Smigel thought Shatner hadn’t fully committed to the resentfulness of his role. “Shatner was playing it a teeny-weeny bit jokey,” Vitti said. So before the live taping, the laid-back Smigel gave Shatner a note.

“I was pretty fearless back then about talking to actors if I was certain it would help the end result,” Smigel said. “Life had not yet beaten me down enough to suggest that some fights aren’t worth fighting.” The writer said he asked Shatner to “play it more serious.” In other words: ratchet up the on-screen vitriol.

It wasn’t an easy task for a man who in real life didn’t want to alienate the fans who adored him. In fact, in his monologue Shatner addressed Star Trek aficionados. “I mean they’re truly incredible,” he said, “and I hope they have a sense of humor about the show tonight. Or I’m in deep trouble.”

Playing a comedic version of yourself isn’t easy, but Shatner pulled it off. He even seemed to take Smigel’s advice. When conventioneers ask him to recite the combination of a safe in a particular Star Trek episode and to confirm the number of saddlebred horses he has on his farm, he stops them.

“Before I answer any more questions, there’s something I wanted to say,” he announces from a podium. “Having received all your letters over the years, and I’ve spoken to many of you, and some of you have traveled, you know, hundreds of miles to be here, I’d just like to say … get a life, will you, people?! I mean, for crying out loud, it’s just a TV show!”

Soon Shatner asks Lovitz’s character if he’s ever kissed a girl and continues, “There’s a whole world out there! When I was your age, I didn’t watch television! I lived! So move out of your parents’ basements” — bloggers may have Smigel to blame for the spread of that dig — “and get your own apartments and grow the hell up! I mean, it’s just a TV show, dammit. It’s just a TV show!”

When he finishes his broadside, Shatner leaves the dais only to be met by Hartman’s angry emcee. The two shove each other, Hartman waves Shatner’s contract in front of him, and then the actor returns to the stage, licks his lips, and says in his unique cadence, “Of course that speech was a re-creation of the Evil Captain Kirk … from … um … Episode … um … 37 … called ‘The Enemy Within.’ So thank you and … live long and prosper.”

The clever ending still throws Vitti. After all, “The Enemy Within” was the fifth episode of Star Trek , not the 37th. Minor error aside, the sketch was a hit. The same night, Shatner opened a Star Trek –themed restaurant in a sketch and for another bit resurrected another old role: T.J. Hooker .

In the late 1990s, the actor wrote a memoir centering on his quest to finally embrace the fans with whom he hadn’t truly ever personally connected. In reality, his turn as nerd-bashing Evil Kirk on SNL wasn’t exactly a put-on.

“Were they sane?” writes Shatner, who through a spokesperson declined to be interviewed for this article. “Were they sober? Did they really need to ‘Get a life’? To be brutally, humiliatingly honest, that now-infamous Saturday Night Live sketch was for me, at that time, equal parts comedy and catharsis. I was oblivious to the facts. I bought into the ‘Trekkie’ stereotypes. In a nutshell, I was a dope.”

Shatner called the book Get a Life! In it, he credits the writers of the sketch that inspired the title: Judd Apatow and Bob Odenkirk. The misattribution still makes Smigel smile. “How,” he said, “could he get it that wrong?”

Smigel wasn’t done playfully messing with nerds. “It’s been a lifelong pursuit,” he deadpanned. In 1993, the self-proclaimed Saturday Night Live nerd became the first head writer of Late Night With Conan O’Brien . Four years later, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, the cigar-chewing, Smigel-voiced puppet, made his show debut. In 2002, the foul-mouthed canine famously sniffed around the premiere of Attack of the Clones . At one point, the pooch looks at the many buttons on someone’s Darth Vader suit and asks, “Which one of these calls your parents to pick you up?”

As it turns out, a bunch of costumed Star Wars fans didn’t mind Triumph berating them. “There’s a big overlap between nerds and comedy nerds,” Smigel said. “This was the first time that I had done Triumph where I was sort of surrounded by people who found Triumph really funny.”

In 2008, Smigel brought Triumph to the San Diego Comic-Con. “Nerds. Dorks. Geeks. Mouth-breathers. Loners. Mama’s boys. Noobs. Droids. Druids. Trekkies,” he began a long panel speech . But after thoroughly ripping the audience, he acknowledged — in the most predictably offensive way possible — the power that geeks now wield. “Move over, Jews, the nerds control the media,” said Triumph, whose owner is indeed a Member of the Tribe. “Praise to the nerds.”

Tasteless joke aside, he was right about nerds. They finally had a say. “The explosion of the media and the internet have definitely empowered the quote-unquote nerd,” said Smigel, who knows this from experience. In the early 2000s he was asked to write a comedic Green Lantern script. Warner Bros. envisioned Jack Black as the star. But when Smigel’s draft leaked online, fans revolted. Then the studio went in a … different direction .

“Advertising and the opinion of your local critic used to basically dictate how people responded to the idea of a movie,” Smigel said. “And now it’s so democratic that everybody’s opinion can be heard fairly equally. You can just go to IMDb and read 1,000 opinions.”

On the surface, that sounds nice. But among those mostly innocuous opinions are extremes. Those tend to be amplified. Just look at the ongoing bickering about The Last Jedi . The nasty trolls making noise now are nothing like the gentle Trekkers in the “Get a life!” sketch, which these days would have much more deserving targets.

Smigel, however, doesn’t think a similar premise would induce nearly as many laughs now as it did originally. “I wouldn’t have even thought to write it,” he said. “Anything that reeks of obsession is still funny but it’s certainly not as foreign as it used to be.”

While Shatner was delivering his cathartic rant back in 1986, Smigel decided to do something that he normally didn’t: He stood right next to Lorne Michaels. When the audience applauded, he made eye contact with his legendarily reserved boss. “I remember us sharing a look,” Smigel said. “Just contained excitement.”

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shatner-snl.jpg

The Son Of ‘Star Trek’ Creator Gene Roddenberry Is Still Not Happy About William Shatner’s Famous ‘SNL’ Sketch

Josh Kurp

William Shatner only hosted SNL once (with musical guest Lone Justice), but it was a memorable episode for what long-time writer Robert Smigel called “maybe the most resonant sketch I ever wrote there.”

In the 1986 sketch, referred to as “16th Annual Star Trek Convention” on the invaluable website SNL Archive , Shatner tells die-hard Star Trek fans at a convention to “get a life” and that “it’s just a TV show. I mean, look at you. Look at the way you’re dressed. You’ve turned an enjoyable little job I did as a lark for a few years into a colossal waste of time.” Shatner turned “get a life” into a book and a documentary and the sketch is a classic (Alan Siegel’s article for The Ringer is a great read ), but even 35 years later, the son of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry does not find it funny.

“I never really appreciated that skit because I think it was demeaning to the fans,” Rod Roddenberry told the Hollywood Reporter . “I think it was disrespectful, especially for a character who was an open-minded, intelligent leader.”

Although now in vogue with enormous mainstream popularity, comic and sci-fi cons were once an easy target to bash nerds (a term now worn as a badge of honor). So Shatner using SNL to poke fun and perhaps further ostracize the group was disheartening, Roddenberry says, adding, “But I don’t condemn it in any way. It’s Saturday Night Live , and it’s all fun.”

Maybe the Futurama parody is more his speed. #JusticeForWelshy

(Via the Hollywood Reporter )

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William Shatner reflects on 55 years of 'Star Trek' — and that controversial 'SNL' sketch

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When Captain James T. Kirk originally set foot on the bridge of the U.S.S. Enterprise , his mission to explore the final frontier was only supposed to last five years. Instead, the Federation starship's pioneering voyage launched a fleet of Star Trek TV shows, movies and ancillary content that has endured for 55 years and counting. Even though William Shatner 's official tour of duty with Starfleet ended in 1994's Star Trek: Generations , he'll forever be connected to the franchise he once commanded alongside creator Gene Roddenberry and beloved crew mates like Leonard Nimoy , George Takei and Nichelle Nichols. (Watch our Star Trek Day video interview above.)

Funnily enough, though, one of Shatner's most famous Trek moments didn't occur in an actual Trek series or movie. Thirty-five years ago, on Stardate 12.20.86, the actor hosted Saturday Night Live and took center stage in a notorious skit penned by Robert Smigel, John Vitti and George Meyer. (Shatner himself credited Bob Odenkirk and Judd Apatow in his 1999 memoir, Get a Life! ) The sketch found Shatner visiting a Star Trek convention and lecturing obsessed fans (played by Jon Lovitz, Dana Carvey and Kevin Nealon) to — say it with us now — " Get a life !"

The dismayed looks on the faces of SNL 's fake fans mirrored the reaction within actual Trek fandom, where that sketch proved as troublesome as a loose Tribble aboard a Constitution-class starship. After all, here was Kirk himself mocking fans over their passion for the very thing that transformed him into a TV icon. While it may not have been the writers' intention, the sketch cemented the idea in the pop culture consciousness that Trekkers were a group to be ridiculed.

Over three decades later, Shatner is keenly aware that his "get a life" gag rubbed Trekkers the wrong way. But he also remains tickled by the jokes that the SNL writers penned for him. "I understood [the controversy], but I also understood that it was so amusing that most people would laugh, which they did," the actor tells Yahoo Entertainment now. "Some people didn't, and I'm sorry. But it was meant in fun. And I advise you to laugh."

One person who has a hard time laughing at the sketch is Roddenberry's son, Eugene "Rod" Roddenberry. In a separate interview, the CEO of Roddenberry Entertainment — who was 12 years old when the episode   aired — says that he has a complicated relationship with Shatner's SNL appearance. "I don't love it," he admits. "But I can also let go and maybe give it a loose chuckle."

Roddenberry adds that he never discussed the sketch at length with his father, but believes the Star Trek creator's deep affinity for the franchise's fans would have made it difficult for him to let go and laugh. "He truly loved the fans," the younger Roddenberry notes. "He always gave them credit and loved them and knew that they were the ones that kept Star Trek on the air. So I don't think he would've appreciated the comment. However, Saturday Night Live is about pushing boundaries and satirizing social situations, so looking at it from that point of view, that is a very valid and funny joke."

"My father and I have a personal connection to the fans," Roddenberry continues. "My experience has been that people have been inspired by Star Trek to do great things. Sure, they wear a Klingon costume on the weekend, but they go on with their lives during the week. They aren't these crazy, lost individuals who didn't know the difference between reality and Star Trek ."

Today, of course, fandom is a force that's celebrated rather than mocked. As a result, Roddenberry feels that Shatner's "get a life" moment has been supplanted by more loving Trek send-ups like the 1999 comedy favorite Galaxy Quest . "I don't think [that sketch] has an impact anymore. That was then. So I'm not upset about it, but if I'm being honest, I don't appreciate that comment. Galaxy Quest is an example of a humorous, beautiful love letter to fans. I love that kind of humor and poking fun at Star Trek and fandom in a loving way. It's just the whole 'get a life' thing."

Shatner's SNL sketch isn't the only notable Trek anniversary happening on this particular Star Trek Day, which celebrates the launch date of the original series, Sept. 8, 1966. We spoke with the former captain-turned-admiral-turned-captain, as well as Roddenberry, about some of the seminal moments in the franchise's long, prosperous history.

Star Trek: The Original Series (Stardate 09.08.66)

Let the Starfleet record show that Shatner wasn't technically the first actor to sit in the Enterprise 's captain's chair. Jeffrey Hunter preceded him in Roddenberry's first pilot episode, "The Cage," which NBC declined to air. (Portions of "The Cage" were later incorporated into the two-part Season 1 episode "The Menagerie," and the pilot was finally released in full in 1986.) After parting ways with his first star, the creator stumbled upon Canadian-born Shatner, who had parlayed his success as a stage actor at his native land's renowned Stratford Festival into a burgeoning TV career in Hollywood.

Captain Kirk took command of the Enterprise in Roddenberry's second pilot, "Where No Man Has Gone Before." While that episode sold NBC on making Star Trek an ongoing series, it wasn't viewers' first encounter with the Enterprise crew. Instead, the show launched on Sept. 8, 1966 with "The Man Trap" — the sixth episode to be filmed and the first to air on network television. Written by George Clayton Johnson, "The Man Trap" finds Kirk and his officers facing off against a space monster that feeds on the salt contained in human bodies.

"We laughed at that one," Shatner says of that supposedly fearsome foe. "Imagine! I was at Stratford and this is a what?! It sucks the salt? OK, it sucks the salt out of your body. Different rules now."

The actor may have found the monster amusing, but sci-fi fans were immediately taken with Star Trek , gifting the show with a small, but devoted viewership that encouraged the network to keep the Enterprise flying for three years. But the secret heroine of Trek 's longevity was none other than comedy legend Lucille Ball, whose production company, Desilu Productions, financed the series and kept the money flowing even as Trek tried and failed to cross over into the mainstream. That connection between I Love Lucy and Star Trek is something that never fails to delight Trekkers.

The legendary actress, comedian, and producer Lucille Ball was born #OTD in 1911. She'll always have a special place in my heart, for without her there would be no #StarTrek pic.twitter.com/OmrSmqupnG — Rocketgirl 🚀 (@Rocket_Grrrl) August 6, 2021
Did you know that without the financing and rigorous support of Lucille Ball, Star Trek would likely not exist? Lucy pushed hard for the network to greenlight Star Trek. The pilot episode was shot at Desilu studios, as was the “2nd Pilot”. — JMBERMAN (@jmbwithcats1) September 6, 2021
I can’t imagine Lucille Ball and Star Trek being related, but you learn something new every day! — Andrew R P (Vax 1 done) (@AndrewRP12) September 3, 2021

For his part, Shatner thinks that Ball's contribution to the franchise's history is limited to production those first three seasons. "[Desilu] put the money behind the beginning of Star Trek , so they were peripherally involved," he says. "But the resurrection of Star Trek was made by other people. I met [Lucille Ball] once, and she was a beautiful woman and a great comic. But I don't think she was quite as functional as you point out." (Ball passed away in 1989.)

Roddenberry, on the other hand, proudly considers Ball to be an honorary Trekker. "When anyone asks me when I would have liked to have been a fly on the wall the most, it would have been the first introduction between my father and her," he remarks. "My father had pitched the show to many of the networks and they all turned him down. She was the one willing to take the risk, and I've got to give her credit for saying: 'We're going to do something different. We're going to give this show a shot and screw anyone who doesn't think it's right for television.' That's my vision of her, and I'ld love to see that dramatized one day onscreen."

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (Stardate: 11.26.86)

The month before his SNL appearance, Shatner led the Enterprise crew on their fourth big-screen mission, The Voyage Home , which remains the franchise's funniest movie. And it would have been even funnier had the filmmakers succeeded in their rumored plan to cast former Not Ready for Primetime Player Eddie Murphy in a major role in the time-traveling adventure. Screenwriter Steve Meerson shared that secret with The Hollywood Reporter ahead of the film's 30th anniversary in 2016, and apparently it was news to Roddenberry and Shatner as well.

"I hadn't heard that about him," confesses Shatner, who later made a cameo in Murphy's 2002 comedy, Showtime . "I don't know whether that was true or not. If it was, I don't remember!" Roddenberry can't corroborate Meerson's account either. "I've heard the same thing, but I can't tell you anything more because I simply don't know," he says. "That was still an incredible movie." ( Star Trek IV is newly available in a just-released 4K box set of the first four Trek movies . )

Fortunately, Shatner does recall one of the film's most laugh-out-loud moments, when Spock uses the Vulcan nerve pinch to quiet down an unruly bus passenger. Asked whether he and Nimoy — who also directed the movie — knew how hilarious that scene was going to be when they shot it, Shatner indicates that they suspected they were onto something. "[The way] it was written, with the proximity of him and [us] and the music we didn't understand, we understood it was meant to be humorous, yes."

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (Stardate: 12.06.91)

The final voyage of the original Enterprise crew premiered in theaters in December 1991, two months after Gene Roddenberry passed away. And his son admits that his family's loss made The Undiscovered Country a difficult watch for many years. "That was an incredibly raw and emotional time, so I didn't pay too much attention to it originally." But the younger Roddenberry adds that he recently revisited the movie, and was pleasantly surprised to discover that its storyline — which finds Kirk having to help the Federation broker peace with the Klingons — resonates well in the present day,.

"Kirk's son was killed by the Klingons, so he has this hatred for them," Roddenberry explains. "Now there's an opportunity for humanity and Klingons to come together, and the challenge of him overcoming that [hatred] is incredibly powerful. And it's incredibly important to have that message today, because we're in such a divisive time. Being empathetic to someone even if you disagree with what they're saying is the backbone of Star Trek ."

For Shatner, the most rewarding part of making The Undiscovered Country was finally getting the chance to act onscreen opposite fellow Canadian and Stratford Festival alum Christopher Plummer, whose Shakespeare-quoting Klingon general tried to undermine the peace effort. The two actors were both born in Montreal a year apart, and rose through the ranks together. (Plummer died in February at the age of 91; Shatner celebrated his 90th birthday in March.) "Chris and I were a double helix," he says now. "I followed him through the channels of theater, radio and live television. We met at Stratford, and I was his understudy for Henry V ."

"We were good friends from a distance, because he was always somewhere else" Shatner continues. "I admired him, and respected him. It was so much fun to finally be associated with him on [ The Undiscovered Country ]. I had a great time."

Shatner officially passed the Star Trek baton to The Next Generation crew in Generations , with Kirk's divisive death capping off the climax of that movie. And while he has yet to reprise the role onscreen, he's open to the idea of revisiting the Enterprise in the same way that Nimoy's Spock became part of the rebooted Trek film franchise launched by J.J. Abrams in 2009. "When I saw that movie, I called [Leonard] and said, 'Leonard, you know you're old when you go back in time and you're still old,'" Shatner remembers. "He didn't laugh!"

Star Trek: The Original Series is currently streaming on Paramount+ and Netflix.

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December 20, 1986 S12E8 #221

Cold opening ballad of the mute marine, sketch 16th annual star trek convention, sketch christmas party sweeney sisters, show t.j. hooker little blue riding hood, musical performance "shelter", weekend update, sketch star trek v: the restaurant enterprise, sketch look at that, miscellaneous christmas memories, sketch it's a wonderful life, musical performance "i found love", film the true life story of frankie toussaint, musical performance "zat you, santa".

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William shatner’s notorious ‘snl’ skit disappointed ‘star trek’ creator gene roddenberry’s family.

It's been nearly 35 years since the James T. Kirk actor told fans to "get a life" in a segment mocking Trekkies.

By Ryan Parker

Ryan Parker

Former Senior Reporter

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Saturday Night Live - William Shatner as himself (far right) during the "16th Annual Star Trek Convention" Saturday Night Live skit on Dec. 20, 1986.

The son of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry did not see the humor when William Shatner told Trekkies to “get a life” while hosting Saturday Night Live in December 1986.

In the infamous skit, Shatner plays a version of himself at a Star Trek convention where the diehard costume-clad fans ask detailed questions about Capt. James T. Kirk and the episodes. “Get a life, will you, people,” an exasperated Shatner said amid the ribbing. “For crying out loud, it’s just a TV show. I mean, look at you. Look at the way you’re dressed. You’ve turned an enjoyable little job I did as a lark for a few years into a colossal waste of time.”

In an interview to celebrate the beloved franchise turning 55 this month (the series premiered on NBC on Sept. 8, 1966), Rod Roddenberry, producer of several Star Trek projects and son of the legendary sci-fi franchise creator, told The Hollywood Reporter that while some found the moment to be hilarious, he found it surprising and, to a degree, mean-spirited.

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“I never really appreciated that skit because I think it was demeaning to the fans,” Roddenberry told THR . “I think it was disrespectful, especially for a character who was an open-minded, intelligent leader.”

Although now in vogue with enormous mainstream popularity, comic and sci-fi cons were once an easy target to bash nerds (a term now worn as a badge of honor). So Shatner using SNL to poke fun and perhaps further ostracize the group was disheartening, Roddenberry says , adding , “ But I don’t condemn it in any way. It’s Saturday Night Live, and it’s all fun.”

The younger Roddenberry does not know what his father thought of the moment, explaining, “Dad passed away when I was 17. I was a young, immature kid who did not have those kinds of conversations with him.”

It was fans who made the creator’s son a fan of Star Trek with their stories of inspiration, he says in admiring how special the group is to the family. “They were my introduction to Star Trek . They’re the ones who came up to me and said, ‘ Star Trek inspired me. And because of Star Trek , I am now a teacher, a doctor, whatever the case is, and I owe that to Star Trek .’ At the time, I was watching Knight Rider — and Knight Rider didn’t do that for me.”

Of course, in the decades that followed, Shatner embraced the fandom with open arms, going so far as to write a book in 1999 titled Get a Life! , which favorably recounted his experiences with fans and conventions. He then in 2012 made a documentary under the same title, which dug further into the deeper meaning of the conventions and Star Trek fandom. For years, Shatner has appeared at several conventions a year spread across the country and globe.

Roddenberry notes his father “went through a lot of struggles with Star Trek, ” with the original 1960s series only running three seasons and the first film in 1979 not being a big as expected. But the creator loved seeing fans at conventions.

“He didn’t go to many, but he would come out onstage and fold his arms and scan the room with a smirk on his face, nod his head and say, ‘Yup. Just the way I planned it.'” Roddenberry says. “He really appreciated the fans. The show was in syndication in the ’70s. And it was like-minded young people in the era of the Vietnam War and social injustice who agreed with his future. So, he always gave them credit for bringing Star Trek back.”

A 4K UHD collection of the first four Star Trek films — Star Trek: The Motion Picture (theatrical edition), Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (theatrical and director’s editions), Star Trek III: The Search for Spock , and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home — will be released by Paramount on Sept. 7.

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FIRST LOOK: Shatner's Get a Life! Documentary

News - William Shatner's latest documentary, Get a Life!, will air on Saturday. StarTrek.com has details and an exclusive clip. Check it out now!

Once upon a time, William Shatner implored Star Trek fans to “Get a life!” That is now the title of his latest documentary, which follows on the heels of last year’s The Captains . Set to air on Saturday, on EPIX, Get a Life! was filmed at last year’s Creation Entertainment Official Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas, with Shatner meeting and conversing with fans and Trek guests alike, trying to understand why fans gather by the thousands at conventions all over the world, and what it is that fascinates them about the franchise and compels them to dress up in costume, meet the shows’ stars, writers, directors, etc. StarTrek.com is pleased to present an exclusive clip from Get a Life! , and be on the lookout for an interview with Shatner later this week. Fans who don't get EPIX can watch Get a Life! by clicking HERE with a 14-day free trial. To get the free trial, click HERE . The free trial will also give you access to the entire EPIX online library of films for two weeks.

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Star Trek: Picard series finale "The Last Generation" Review: A perfect sendoff to an incredible crew

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Star Trek: Strange New Worlds arrives on Blu-ray, 4K UHD and DVD this December

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds arrives on Blu-ray, 4K UHD and DVD this December

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds "Hegemony" Review: An underwhelming end to the series' sophomore season

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds “Hegemony” Review: An underwhelming end to the series’ sophomore season

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season 2 finale "Hegemony" preview + new photos

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season 2 finale “Hegemony” preview + new photos

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds 209 "Subspace Rhapsody" Review

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds 209 “Subspace Rhapsody” Review: All systems stable… but why are we singing?

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds "Subspace Rhapsody" preview + new photos

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds “Subspace Rhapsody” preview + new photos

Star Trek Day 2021 To Celebrate 55th Anniversary Of The Franchise On September 8 With Live Panels And Reveals

Star Trek Day 2021 to Celebrate 55th Anniversary of the Franchise on September 8 with Live Panels and Reveals

Paramount+ Launches With 1-Month Free Trial, Streaming Every Star Trek Episode

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Paramount+ To Launch March 4, Taking Place Of CBS All Access

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STAR TREK: SHORT TREKS Season 2 Now Streaming For Free (in the U.S.)

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[REVIEW] STAR TREK: SHORT TREKS "Children of Mars": All Hands... Battlestations

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Star Trek: Lower Decks – Crew Handbook Review

‘U.S.S. Cerritos Crew Handbook’ Review: A must-read Star Trek: Lower Decks fans

New photos from this week's Star Trek: Lower Decks season 4 finale

New photos from this week’s Star Trek: Lower Decks season 4 finale

Star Trek: Lower Decks "The Inner Fight" Review: Lost stars and hidden battles

Star Trek: Lower Decks “The Inner Fight” Review: Lost stars and hidden battles

New photos from this week's episode of Star Trek: Lower Decks

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Star Trek: Prodigy begins streaming on Netflix on Christmas day

Star Trek: Prodigy begins streaming December 25th on Netflix

Star Trek: Prodigy lands at Netflix, season 2 coming in 2024

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Star Trek: Prodigy Season 2 sneak peek reveals the surprise return of a Voyager castmember

Star Trek: Prodigy Season 2 sneak peek reveals the surprise return of a Voyager castmember

Star Trek: Prodigy canceled, first season to be removed from Paramount+

Star Trek: Prodigy canceled, first season to be removed from Paramount+

Revisiting "Star Trek: Legacies – Captain to Captain" Retro Review

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The Wrath of Khan: The Making of the Classic Film Review: A gem for your Star Trek reference collection

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The events of Star Trek: The Motion Picture to continue in new IDW miniseries "Echoes"

The events of Star Trek: The Motion Picture to continue in new IDW miniseries “Echoes”

Star Trek: The Original Series - Harm's Way Review

Star Trek: The Original Series “Harm’s Way” Book Review

William Shatner's New Book 'Boldly Go: Reflections on a Life of Awe and Wonder' Review: More of a good thing

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Star Trek: Infinite release date + details on Lower Decks­-themed pre-order bonuses

Star Trek: Infinite release date + details on Lower Decks­-themed pre-order bonuses

'Star Trek: Infinite' strategy game revealed, set to be released this fall

‘Star Trek: Infinite’ strategy game revealed, set to be released this fall

Hero Collector Revisits The Classics In New Starfleet Starships "Essentials" Collection

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New Star Trek Docuseries 'The Center Seat' Announced, Coming This Fall

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Star Trek Designing Starships: Deep Space Nine & Beyond Review: A Deep Dive Into Shuttlecraft Of The Gamma Quadrant

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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Illustrated Handbook Review: Terok Nor Deconstructed In Amazing Detail

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Robert Beltran Is Officially Returning To Star Trek As Chakotay On 'Prodigy'

Robert Beltran Is Officially Returning to Star Trek as Chakotay on ‘Prodigy’ + More Casting News

Robert Beltran Says He's Returning To Star Trek In 'Prodigy'

Robert Beltran Says He’s Returning to Star Trek in ‘Prodigy’

John Billingsley Talks Life Since Star Trek: Enterprise, Going To Space And Turning Down Lunch With Shatner And Nimoy

John Billingsley Talks Life Since Star Trek: Enterprise, Going to Space and Turning Down Lunch with Shatner and Nimoy

Star Trek: Enterprise Star John Billingsley Talks Charity Work, Upcoming TREK*Talks Event

Star Trek: Enterprise Star John Billingsley Talks Charity Work, Upcoming TREK*Talks Event

Conventions and Events

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The annual Star Trek-themed convention returns to the Las Vegas Rio with William Shatner, Sonequa Martin-Green, George Takei, Anson Mount, Jeri Ryan & many more.

More than 160 cast and crew members from every iteration of Star Trek are set to warp into Las Vegas later this week for the largest annual convention of its kind — Creation Entertainment’s 57-Year Mission (formerly known as Star Trek Las Vegas ) kicks off this Thursday, August 3rd and runs through Sunday, August 6th. This year, the convention returns to its longtime home at the Rio All-Suites Hotel for four days of Star Trek panels, celebrity signings, and photo ops. Due to the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike, the experience at this year’s event may be a bit different, with union actors and writers having some restrictions regarding the discussion of struck work.

STLV 2023 headliners

This year’s headliners…

This year’s event will be headlined by William Shatner , George Takei, and Walter Koenig from The Original Series , Zachary Quinto from the Kelvin Timeline trilogy of Star Trek films, along with Anson Moun , Ethan Peck, and Paul Wesley from Strange New Worlds , Sonequa Martin-Green and Doug Jones from Discovery , and Jeri Ryan from Voyager and Picard .

Special events

In addition to the celebrity panels and vendors, this year’s convention will include a special Star Trek: The Next Generation reunion with Jonathan Frakes , Brent Spiner , LeVar Burton , Michael Dorn , Marina Sirtis , Gates McFadden , Denise Crosby, and John de Lancie . The TNG Reunion will be a separate ticketed event.

A Saturday Night Gala — featuring Greg Grunberg and Scott Grimes , along with special guests Isa Briones, Todd Stashwick, Anthony Rapp, Chase Masterson, and Tim Russ  will be included for Gold, Captain’s Chair, and Copper ticket packages but will also be available as a separate ticket for other convention guests.

Other events include a Thursday night dinner and comedy show with Rick Overton, Garrett Wang, and Bonnie Gordon, a discussion about the resurrection of the Enterprise-D bridge set for the third season of Star Trek: Picard with Dave Blass and Liz Kloczkowski , a Q&A session with Star Trek: Prodigy creators, Kevin and Dan Hageman , an update on the upcoming Star Trek: Voyager documentary To The Journey with director/producer David Zappone , editor Joe Kornbrodt , producers Lolita Fatjo and Ryan Husk , Thursday night karaoke hosted by Connor Trinneer and Dominic Keating from Enterprise , Friday night karaoke hosted by Robert O’Reilly , a Star Trek art gallery showcasing the work of Kavita Maharaj, and free screenings of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home , Star Trek: First Contact and Galaxy Quest .

William Shatner on stage in 2022

More than 160 Star Trek guests

In addition to the headliners noted above, the 57-Year Mission will also include panels, photo ops and singings with Jonathan Frakes , Brent Spiner , LeVar Burton , Michael Dorn , Marina Sirtis , Gates McFadden , Denise Crosby, and John de Lancie from The Next Generation , Terry Farrell , Nana Visitor , Nicole de Boer , Armin Shimerman , Casey Biggs , Penny Johnson Jerald , Chase Masterson , Cirroc Lofton , Andrew Robinson , Max Grodenchik , Hana Hatae from Deep Space Nine , Robert Beltran , Tim Russ , Robert Picardo , Garrett Wang , John Billingsley from Voyager , Connor Trinneer , Dominic Keating , Linda Park , Anthony Montgomery , and Gary Graham from Enterprise , Doug Jones , Wilson Cruz , Anthony Rapp , Mary Wiseman, and Mary Chieffo from Discovery , Celia Rose Gooding , Jess Bush , Melissa Navia , Bruce Horak from Strange New Worlds , Todd Stashwick , Michelle Hurd , Jonathan Del Arco , Isa Briones , Ed Speleers from Picard , Tawny Newsome from Lower Decks , and more.

We are delighted to welcome to the STLV: 57-Year Mission Convention one of our favorite actors on the scene — Zachary Quinto! Zachary will be appearing at STLV 2023 on Sunday, taking photo ops – including a duo with Ethan Peck! #STLV https://t.co/eJoiATTiUK pic.twitter.com/Qb3b4qmCmh — Creation Entertainment (@CreationEnt) July 28, 2023

Dominic Keating, Garrett Wang and Connor Trinneer on stage in 2022

While Gold and Captain’s Chair tickets are now sold out, Copper, weekend general admission, and single-day tickets are still available. Ticket options are expected to be available at the door as well.

For more information along with a full list of guests, visit CreationEnt.com .

Be sure to follow TrekNews.net on  Twitter ,  Facebook , and  Instagram as we’ll have boots on the ground in Las Vegas and will be bringing you live updates throughout the four-day convention.

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william shatner snl trek convention

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'Star Trek' Creator's Son Calls William Shatner's 'Get a Life' 'SNL' Skit 'Disrespectful' to Trekkies

"Get a life, will you, people," William Shatner told Trekkies (die-hard Star Trek fans) in a now-infamous 1986 Saturday Night Live skit

Glenn Garner is a form writer-reporter who worked heavily with PEOPLE's Movies and TV verticals. He left PEOPLE in 2023.

william shatner snl trek convention

William Shatner will always be known to Trekkies (die-hard Star Trek fans) as Captain James Tiberius Kirk.

But the two-time Emmy Award winner, 90, once made a joke on live television at the beloved sci-fi show's expense that didn't quite land with Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry's family.

Gene's son Rod Roddenberry, who's also produced several projects for the franchise, called out Shatner over a Saturday Night Live skit, in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter .

In the December 1986 SNL episode, the actor took questions at a fan convention. "Get a life, will you, people," he proclaimed in the now-infamous sketch.

"For crying out loud, it's just a TV show. I mean, look at you. Look at the way you're dressed," Shatner continued on the skit. "You've turned an enjoyable little job I did as a lark for a few years into a colossal waste of time."

Although he never knew what his father thought of the skit, as Gene died when his son was only 17, Rod did not like how it portrayed fans.

"I never really appreciated that skit because I think it was demeaning to the fans," Rod told The Hollywood Reporter ahead of the original show's 55th anniversary. "I think it was disrespectful, especially for a character who was an open-minded, intelligent leader."

" But I don't condemn it in any way. It's Saturday Night Live, and it's all fun," Rod added.

He admitted that he wasn't immediately a fan of his father's show himself until he met some devoted Trekkies.

"They were my introduction to Star Trek . They're the ones who came up to me and said, Star Trek inspired me. And because of Star Trek , I am now a teacher, a doctor, whatever the case is, and I owe that to Star Trek .' At the time, I was watching Knight Rider — and Knight Rider didn't do that for me," he told THR .

Shatner, despite the skit, embraces the franchise's many fans. He even used the SNL catchphrase as the title of his 1999 nonfiction book Get a Life! , for which he did research at fan conventions, before exploring the fandom even further with the 2012 documentary of the same name.

The actor did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

RELATED VIDEO: William Shatner Reveals He Has 'Never Watched' an Episode of Star Trek: 'It's All Painful'

The Golden Globe winner revealed on People (the TV Show!) that he's never seen an episode of his star-making series. "I have never watched Star Trek ," he said in March. "There are many episodes I don't know, there are some movies I don't know."

"I directed one of the movies — No. 5 — I had to watch that one," Shatner added of 1989's Star Trek V: The Final Frontier .

"But it's all painful because I don't like the way I look and what I do."

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william shatner snl trek convention

The 'One SNL a Day' Project

A project where I review one SNL episode a day, in chronological order

Tag: William Shatner

December 20, 1986 – william shatner / lone justice (s12 e8).

Segments are rated on a scale of 1-5 stars

COLD OPENING “Ballad Of The Green Berets” variant lauds mute Marine Ollie North (host)

william shatner snl trek convention

— Funny idea, and I love the melody of the song. — I like how the lyrics are explaining all the important details of the Oliver North story, which in hindsight provides full context for any future viewers (like me) who wouldn’t have much familiarity with the story. That ages this cold opening better than some other overly-topical things SNL has done over the years, though as much as I’m enjoying this cold opening, I’m sure it hit even harder with viewers in 1986. — I got a good laugh from the “What a great plan!” lyric. — Good bit with Shatner holding his hand up as if to speak, only to remain mute. STARS: ***½

OPENING MONTAGE — Nice touch with the theme music briefly being interrupted early on with a snippet of “Joy to the World” before the regular theme music continues. — There used to be some SNL fans that claimed comedian Kevin Meaney is credited as a one-episode-only featured player in this episode, but nope. In the live version I’m reviewing of this episode, and in all the rerun versions I’ve seen, he’s credited as a special guest.

MONOLOGUE (no synopsis available)

william shatner snl trek convention

— This was very short before he segued into the related next sketch. The jokes in this monologue weren’t really working for me, so it’s probably a good thing that they transitioned out of this early. STARS: N/A (not a rateable segment)

16TH ANNUAL STAR TREK CONVENTION at a Star Trek convention, host tells loser attendees to “get a life”

william shatner snl trek convention

— Some laughs from Dana and Jon making fun of Kevin for getting a trivia question wrong. — All the little details throughout this are a funny and probably accurate recreation of a Star Trek convention. — And there goes Shatner dropping the legendary “Get a life, will you people?” bomb. — Great cutaway to Jon looking down in disappointment when Shatner asks “Have you ever kissed a girl?” — Shatner’s harsh reality check to the Star Trek fans is a riot. — I like the fight between Phil and Shatner in the background, leading to Shatner playing off his whole “Get a life” speech as a recreation of evil Captain Kirk from a Star Trek episode. — Overall, a true classic. STARS: *****

CHRISTMAS PARTY at a party, Liz & Candy Sweeney sing a Christmas medley about bells

william shatner snl trek convention

— First time a Sweeney Sisters sketch has begun with either of the sisters already present in the scene, instead of both of them being introduced into the sketch by someone. — Nothing much to say about the overall piece, but the medley was fun as usual, had a great Christmas spirit feel, and featured the usual solid interplay between Jan and Nora. STARS: ***½

T.J. HOOKER “Little Blue Riding Hood” features the cop on a car

william shatner snl trek convention

— Fun visual of Shatner on the hood of the driving car. — Shatner’s dialogue sounds strangely muffled so far in this sketch. — Okay, Shatner’s dialogue is now sounding clearer. — Funny bit with him reading the license number with his foot. — I like the way this is escalating, with it now being dusk outside as a still-on-the-hood Shatner is writing a sentimental letter. — Boy, that is one fake-looking snow backdrop. — An overall decent sketch, though I was expecting it to be a little stronger. STARS: ***

MUSICAL PERFORMANCE musical guest performs “Shelter”

william shatner snl trek convention

WEEKEND UPDATE describing Ronald Reagan’s prostate surgery makes ALF uncomfortable

william shatner snl trek convention

— LOL at the audience reaction to the brain tumor joke about CIA director William Casey. — Al Franken makes what I believe is his first appearance of the whole season, despite receiving no credit in the opening montage tonight (nor does he receive one for any other episodes this season). — A lot of laughs from Al wincing, squirming, and making a variety of other uncomfortable sounds and gestures while going into explicit detail about the surgical prostate procedure. STARS: ***½

STAR TREK V: THE RESTAURANT ENTERPRISE Khan (DAC) tries to shut it down

william shatner snl trek convention

— Very funny concept for a Star Trek parody. — I liked Dr. McCoy’s “For god sake, Jim, be careful!” when Captain Kirk is simply heading to a table. — First time I’ve spotted Kevin Meaney tonight, this time in a non-speaking role as a choking victim. — Kirk: “Dr. McCoy, this man needs medical attention.” McCoy: “Dammit, Jim, I’m a doctor, not a– Oh, oh, sure.” — First time Akira Yoshimura has reprised his role as Sulu since SNL’s original Star Trek parody in season 1, starting a decades-long running gag. — Hilarious how so many mundane restaurant issues are being treated so dramatically by the Star Trek crew. — Very memorable part with Captain Kirk pointing out how Sulu has put on weight. — Dana is freakin’ hilarious as Khan. — I like Dana’s Khan stopping in the middle of his rant to also question Sulu’s weight. Also, something about Yoshimura’s monotone delivery of his explanation “We all get older, Khan” always amuses me. — Kevin as Spock: “Would you do me the very great honor of eating my shorts?” STARS: ****½

LOOK AT THAT! narcissistic (host) admires his physique in front of the mirror

william shatner snl trek convention

— Shatner’s really funny in this with his self-admiring in the mirror. — Overall, a simple but fairly charming sketch. STARS: ***

CHRISTMAS MEMORIES KEN relates the dark side to his classic Christmas experiences

william shatner snl trek convention

— Kevin: “Over the river and through the woods… that’s the way my grandmother used to drive.” — I’m loving the increasingly ridiculous things he misses about Christmas. — Not sure the “Save your receipts” joke at the end worked for me — Overall, a solid and a very quintessential Kevin Nealon piece. For some reason, I’ve always kinda considered this a sister sketch to Steve Martin’s Holiday Wish sketch from two episodes earlier, to the degree that I sometimes misremember this Nealon sketch as being performed in front of a dark background while he sits in a chair, like the Steve Martin sketch. STARS: ****

IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE lynch mob attacks Potter (JOL) in lost ending of It’s A Wonderful Life

william shatner snl trek convention

— Good to see Dana’s hilarious Jimmy Stewart back. — Kevin Meaney in another small role, only this time, he gets an actual line. Strange that they would bring him in as a special guest to just play bit roles all night. Why not give him a stand-up segment? — Phil’s voice as Uncle Billy is cracking me up. — Love the dark turn this has taken with the whole town angrily coming after Old Man Potter. — If you listen, Dana can be heard muttering “Why, I oughta pound you” when tipping Old Man Potter out of his wheelchair, which is starting to become a go-to phrase of his in these black-and-white sketches. — LOL at the reveal that Potter’s been faking his crippled state. — This is getting even funnier now with Potter being replaced with an obvious dummy as the beatdown starts to get particularly brutal. — I like the citizens randomly breaking out into “Auld Land Syne” while Potter’s beatdown is still occurring. — Overall, this sketch was freakin’ priceless. A true SNL classic. STARS: *****

MUSICAL PERFORMANCE musical guest performs “I Found Love”

william shatner snl trek convention

THE TRUE LIFE STORY OF FRANKIE TOUSSAINT Frankie Toussaint (Griffin Dunne) pays for others’ job dissatisfaction

william shatner snl trek convention

— Random Griffin Dunne-starring film. — I like Tom Davis as the doctor casually explaining there were things he should’ve done to save Dunne’s friend’s life, but didn’t because he was simply distracted by other ambitions. — I like the way this is quickly escalating, with all the cuts to subsequent scenes. — Overall, a good film and featured a strong performance from Griffin Dunne. I used to joke to myself that SNL cast Dunne in this film as an apology to him for the crappy episode they gave him when he hosted the previous season. Who knows, maybe there’s some truth to that. STARS: ***½

BUSTER POINDEXTER Buster Poindexter [real] performs “Zat You, Santa?”

william shatner snl trek convention

IMMEDIATE POST-SHOW THOUGHTS: — A very strong and memorable episode, and one of my personal favorite Christmas episodes the show has ever done. The quality was very consistent with solid sketches throughout the whole night, two sketches were all-time classics (Star Trek Convention and It’s A Wonderful Life), and William Shatner was a fun and very game host.

HOW THIS EPISODE STACKS UP AGAINST THE PRECEDING ONE (Steve Guttenberg): — a big step up

My full set of screencaps for this episode is here

TOMORROW: We enter 1987, with hosts Joe Montana and Walter Payton

We spoke to William Shatner at the world's biggest Star Trek convention

The world's largest Star Trek convention has come to Birmingham this week, celebrating 50 years since the original show launched. 

Business Insider UK was live talking to Captain Kirk actor, William Shatner.

Trekkies from across the globe have gathered at the National Exhibition Centre to welcome some of the show's most beloved stars.

Shatner will be joined by fellow co-stars — George Takei and Christopher Lloyd.

Related stories

We went live again, touring the various interactive exhibits and speaking to die hard fans.

The first episode of Star Trek debuted on NBC in the US on September 8, 1966— just over 50 years ago.

Destination Star Trek has three stages —  Enterprise Stage, Voyager Stage and Excelsior Stage — meaning there will always be something going on to keep fans interested.

Replica bridges are available for fan photos.

Saturday's event will feature an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for  “The Largest Gathering of People Dressed as Star Trek Characters”— a record which was set by the same event in 2012 when  1,063 fans turned up in costume.

william shatner snl trek convention

Watch: Neil deGrasse Tyson tells us why 'Star Trek' is so much better than 'Star Wars'

william shatner snl trek convention

  • Main content

'Here Comes Captain Kirk!': William Shatner Open to Star Trek Return

William Shatner admits he's open to a Star Trek return and pitches a possible scenario to make it happen.

William Shatner hasn't completely closed the door on returning as James T. Kirk in the Star Trek franchise. He's admitted that he would come back as the character, but it would have to be done in a meaningful way.

Shatner spoke about the possibility of revisiting Kirk in a new interview with the Canadian Press to promote his new documentary, You Can Call Me Bill . He said it intrigued him to think about reprising the role of Kirk, but he wouldn't want to come back for a brief cameo that didn't have a well-written reason behind it. Shatner also commented on how modern technology could de-age him by decades, which would lend to all kinds of possibilities for how a Kirk return could happen. The actor even shared a pitch for how the Kirk character could be resurrected in a Star Trek show .

One of the Most Underrated Star Trek Films Is Far Better Than Fans Remember

“It’s an intriguing idea,” Shatner said. "It’s almost impossible but it was a great role and so well-written and if there were a reason to be there not just to make a cameo appearance, but if there were a genuine reason for the character appearing, I might consider it .”

Shatner added that Otoy, a tech company for which he has signed on to become a spokesperson, could take " years off of your face , so that in a film you can look 10, 20, 30, 50 years younger than you are."

“A company that wants to freeze my body and my brain for the future might be a way of going about it,” the actor also said about how to bring back Kirk. " ‘We’ve got Captain Kirk’s brain frozen here.’ There’s a scenario. ‘Let’s see if we can bring back a little bit of this, a little salt, a little pepper. Oh, look at that. Here comes Captain Kirk!’”

A 57-Year-Old Star Trek Mystery Has Finally Been Solved

William shatner's last appearance in star trek was in 1994.

Shatner last played the role of Kirk in the 1994 film Star Trek Generations . In the movie --- SPOILER ALERT --- Kirk dies in the end and is buried by Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart). Shatner has recently shared his regrets about the way he portrayed his characters's final moments in the death scene. That regret could be one reason why he's feeling open to returning to Star Trek , possibly to give him a send-off that he feels happier with.

Shatner's new documentary, You Can Call Me Bill , drops digitally and on VOD on Tuesday.

Source: Canadian Press

The Star Trek universe encompasses multiple series, each offering a unique lens through which to experience the wonders and perils of space travel. Join Captain Kirk and his crew on the Original Series' voyages of discovery, encounter the utopian vision of the Federation in The Next Generation, or delve into the darker corners of galactic politics in Deep Space Nine. No matter your preference, there's a Star Trek adventure waiting to ignite your imagination.

Screen Rant

Walter koenig says william shatner was “funny” & “made us all laugh” on star trek: the original series.

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Star Trek: The Original Series Cast & Character Guide

Walter keonig reveals missing chekov & kirk moment in star trek’s mirror universe episode, emily fornell's surprising ncis death explained.

  • Walter Koenig praises William Shatner's humor on set, emphasizing his gratitude for the opportunity to work on Star Trek.
  • Koenig highlights Shatner's ability to make everyone laugh, showcasing a more congenial and lighthearted side to the actor.
  • Koenig shares a funny moment where Shatner repeatedly blew a line on set and recalling the camaraderie among the cast.

Walter Koenig recalls William Shatner as being funny on the set of Star Trek: The Original Series . Keonig joined Star Trek as Ensign Pavel Chekov in season 2, continued in Star Trek: The Original Series season 3, and Walter reprised Chekov in seven Star Trek movies. Koenig now reviews his episodes of Star Trek on The 7th Rule podcas t with hosts Cirroc Lofton and Ryan T. Husk, where his "I was there" insight is illuminating and invaluable.

Reviewing Star Trek: The Original Series season 2, episode 4, "Mirror, Mirror," on The 7th Rule , Cirroc Lofton enjoyed a moment in "Mirror, Mirror" where the Mirror Chekov wanted to kill Captain James T. Kirk . Lofton joked to Koenig that he "felt the joy" of Walter getting a chance to attempt to kill Kirk, nodding to Koenig's well-documented issues with William Shatner. However, Koenig set the record straight about how he felt about Shatner while filming Star Trek: The Original Series . Read his quote and watch The 7th Rule video below:

Just for the record, guys, when I was doing the series, I was so grateful to be working… that I did not take umbrage with Bill’s behavior. For one thing, he was funny. He made us all laugh. He was funny frequently, I mean, on purpose. If he blew a line, he dealt with it in a funny way. And, after all, I had just come aboard, and I was the new kid. And I was just grateful that most weeks, they found a few speeches for me to say.

The 7th Rule host Ryan T. Husk asked Walter Koenig about a time William Shatner made him laugh on set, and here's what Walter said:

Bill was fun. He was really the source of a lot of humor on the TV series. He didn’t have to take himself so seriously because everyone bought into it. He didn’t have to fight to be the principal performer. Everyone just knew it, and when you’re comfortable with your position, and when you know the world is bowing to you as you walk by, then I think your temperament is probably more congenial. We all blew lines. Everybody blew lines. It’s what happens. And Bill had a moment when he blew his line, and he blew it literally ten times in a row. It was hysterical. He kept saying the wrong word… The word was something like - this is not it - but it was something like ‘Paris’, and he kept saying ‘Parrish’ time after time. And we were all hysterical. We were all falling on the floor, including Bill. He thought it was funny as well.

Star Trek: The Original Series features some of the most iconic characters in all of science fiction with the crew of the original USS Enterprise.

Walter Koenig's Problems With William Shatner Started In The Star Trek Movies

Koenig had a different attitude when shooting the star trek tv series.

On The 7th Rule , Walter Koenig also clarified that he didn't develop problems with William Shatner until they started filming the Star Trek movies . Koenig wished Chekov could have received greater character development in the feature films , but he felt lucky to be part of Star Trek when they were filming The Original Series . Read Koenig's quote below:

I didn’t really start getting distressed until we started making the movies, I don’t think. Maybe in retrospect, after the series ended, I was wondering, ‘Gee, wouldn’t it have been nice if I’d had the opportunity to do more?’ I certainly felt like I could do more. There was no bitterness in my perception of things. I was just glad to be there. And if Mr. Shatner chose to ignore me, that was okay. I accepted that as the game plan, as the way things were. I didn’t take it personally.

At the time of Star Trek: The Original Series season 2, Koenig was happy to have a supporting role in an NBC television series . In the Star Trek movies, when the emphasis was placed on the main trio of Kirk, Spock (Leonard Nimoy), and Dr. Leonard McCoy (DeForest Kelley), it left supporting actors like Walter Koenig, George Takei, and the late James Doohan feeling underutilized and personally slighted by William Shatner. But in Star Trek: The Original Series , Walter Koenig fondly remembers William Shatner cracking the cast up on set.

Source: The 7th Rule

Star Trek: The Original Series is available to stream on Paramount+

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William Shatner says he would consider ‘Star Trek’ return

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At 93, William Shatner would entertain boldly going where no man has gone before — again.

william shatner snl trek convention

The Montreal-born actor, famed for his portrayal of Captain Kirk in “Star Trek,” says he is open to reprising the iconic role in the sci-fi franchise as long as the storytelling is stellar.

“It’s an intriguing idea,” Shatner says on a video call while promoting his new documentary “You Can Call Me Bill,” which drops digitally and on video-on-demand Tuesday.

“It’s almost impossible but it was a great role and so well-written and if there were a reason to be there not just to make a cameo appearance, but if there were a genuine reason for the character appearing, I might consider it.”

Shatner’s last appearance in the franchise was in the 1994 film “Star Trek Generations,” where Captain Kirk is killed off. He suggests he could play a younger version of the Starship Enterprise captain as he’s recently signed on to be the spokesperson for Otoy, a company specializing in technology that “takes years off of your face, so that in a film you can look 10, 20, 30, 50 years younger than you are.”

He muses on a scenario where Kirk is resurrected.

“A company that wants to freeze my body and my brain for the future might be a way of going about it,” he says in a recent call from Los Angeles.

“‘We’ve got Captain Kirk’s brain frozen here.’ There’s a scenario. ‘Let’s see if we can bring back a little bit of this, a little salt, a little pepper. Oh, look at that. Here comes Captain Kirk!’”

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“You Can Call Me Bill,” directed by Alexandre O. Phillippe, offers a look back at Shatner’s body of work — from his “Star Trek” TV show and films to TV series including “Boston Legal” and “T.J. Hooker” — and follows his trip to outer space aboard Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin shuttle in 2021. It also features the actor’s musings on life, death and nature.

“Over the years, people have come to me and said, ‘Let’s make a biographical film,” Shatner says.

“I’d say, ‘Oh no, I don’t want to do that.’ A biographical film sort of signifies the end. Cut! And then you die.”

But Shatner says he was sold on the idea when the doc’s producers Legion M approached him with the idea of crowdfunding the film.

The self-described “fan-owned” company allows fans to own a financial share in the film and any profits it generates. “You Can Call Me Bill” raised US$750,000 in four days.

The actor also wanted to “leave some part of a truth” about him for his children and grandchildren after he dies.

Shatner says he learned a great deal about himself while making the film but on the other hand, “I don’t know what ‘know thyself’ means.”

Even at 93, he says he doesn’t believe he has much wisdom to offer.

“That’s a mystique that has no basis in truth: as you get older, you get wiser. If you’re dumb as a young man, you’re dumb as an old man. You’re a dumb old man is what you are. It doesn’t necessarily mean time foists wisdom on you. What it does put upon you is how quickly life is over. That’s for certain.”

Well aware of his fleeting mortality, Shatner is making the most of the time he has left. He’s releasing a children’s album, “Where Will The Animals Sleep? Songs For Kids & Other Living Things” later this month and will join a cruise to Antarctica with astronaut Scott Kelly and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson in December.

He’s also joined several “companies of the future,” as a spokesperson for some and in the background for others, including one that develops “technology like the medical device on ‘Star Trek,’ so it’s the size of a pack of cards and can tell you whether you have a disease or not,” and one “that will take your DNA, make an artificial gem out of it and give you two: one that you keep and one that goes into a box that will be released on the moon.”

“Life is so short, you’ve got to do something now. Go to that place, know that person, read that book now!” he says.

“That’s what I think old age (teaches you). But then, by the time you learn that, you’re dying. You don’t have any time. That’s right. You’re dead.”

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William Shatner Calls Return To Star Trek “Intriguing Idea,” Suggests Digital De-Aging To Play Kirk Again

william shatner snl trek convention

| May 6, 2024 | By: TrekMovie.com Staff 60 comments so far

The star of the original Star Trek series (and several Star Trek movies) turned 93 in March, and William Shatner still sees the possibility of returning to the role of James T. Kirk.

Kirk still intrigues Shatner

William Shatner is promoting his new documentary You Can Call Me Bill , which has recently been released on Video on Demand . While out promoting, of course he’s been asked questions about Trek, including one he has been getting for decades: Would you play Kirk again? In a new interview with Canadian Press , Shatner said:

“It’s an intriguing idea… It’s almost impossible but it was a great role and so well-written and if there were a reason to be there not just to make a cameo appearance, but if there were a genuine reason for the character appearing, I might consider it.”

william shatner snl trek convention

William Shatner as Kirk in Star Trek Generations

Shatner last played Kirk 30 years ago in the 1994 film Star Trek Generations , which featured the death of Kirk. The actor has an idea of for way to bring him back as Kirk. From the Canadian Press interview:

He suggests he could play a younger version of the Starship Enterprise captain as he’s recently signed on to be the spokesperson for OTOY, a company specializing in technology that “takes years off of your face, so that in a film you can look 10, 20, 30, 50 years younger than you are.”

Earlier this year Shatner said he was open to the idea of an AI-generated performance of him as a younger Kirk, but only after he had passed away (and after his family was paid, naturally). But in this case, Shatner is suggesting using technology for his own performance. De-aging has become more common in films today. Perhaps the most extensive use of this was for last year’s Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny , which shaved around four decades off of Harrison Ford . Star Trek has used digital de-aging before, most extensively in Star Trek: Picard which used it to de-age Brent Spiner as Data, as well as Patrick Stewart as Picard and Jonathan Frakes as Riker.

william shatner snl trek convention

De-aged Patrick Stewart as Picard and Jonathan Frakes as Riker in “Seventeen Seconds”

Going to the expense of bringing back William Shatner as James T. Kirk and digitally de-aging him would require a specific reason. The franchise has already recast the role twice with younger actors, Chris Pine for the last three feature films and Paul Wesley on the Strange New Worlds television series.

Of course, it’s always hard to tell how serious Shatner is with these comments. In the same interview, he joked about how Kirk could be brought back after his body and brain were frozen:

“‘We’ve got Captain Kirk’s brain frozen here.’ There’s a scenario. ‘Let’s see if we can bring back a little bit of this, a little salt, a little pepper. Oh, look at that. Here comes Captain Kirk!’”

You can hear much more from Shatner, including his regrets about Kirk’s death scene in Generations , in the new documentary You Can Call Me Bill .

Keep with all the Trek celebrity news at TrekMovie .

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Well his body is at Daystrom Station and we did hear the biomedical beep…

Did we just find Legacy’s villain?

A couple of episodes of Discovery back I think Stamets said that this founder of life species could ‘eventually bring them (people) back’.

Could certainly be a way to get characters back from dead.

Not sure how he made the jump from “can encode information in DNA to direct evolution towards a general body plan” to “can reanimate a corpse”, but as good a way as any to bring him back I suppose.

That was a fun ‘cameo’ I wonder how Shatner felt about it ?

I wonder if he’s actually aware that it happened.

It’d be great if they could figure out some way to use that, if, for no other reason than to give Kirk a better send off than the one in Generations. I just saw that film again recently. I used to give it extra points for having Shatner’s last performance as Kirk and the great Picard Kirk chemistry and having Malcolm McDowell as the villain. That’s all great, to be sure. But there is no getting around the clumsy and contrived screenplay. Both Brannon Braga and Ronald Moore have both said they blew it. Malcolm McDowell says GEN was terrible. IIRC, Shatner said a while back that he felt that he just didn’t make Kirk’s death work.

For all those reasons, GEN might be the worst of the TNG films.

I’d be onboard with him playing an older Kirk and there just being no explanation for it. I’d be onboard with voicing Kirk in an animated Trek movie. I’ve got zero interest in seeing him voice some de-aged CGI monstrosity. I’ve got less than zero interest in that; we gotta get negative numbers involved to express how little I’d like for that to happen.

Agreed about the CGI. No thanks. But you make good points as to an animated production, his voice is still strong.

his voice is strong when paired with his age visually, but if you put his 90-year-old voice with a 50-year-old Kirk, you’d bump on it.

The Indiana Jones Dial of Destiny de-aging looked pretty fantastic, but Ford’s voice was, well…weak in comparison. You could just tell it was 80 year old Ford

And Ford was noticeably pitching his voice differently there than for the rest of the movie, too. So you had an actor in better health than most 79 year-olds managing to convince in terms of how he moved, but not quite in how he sounded. I can’t imagine Shatner being able to pull that off, even if they de-aged him back to his 60s. It would need some scripting to not tax him too much physically, and then if any digital tricks were done to his voice… I’d say why bother? It’s such a huge expense – Dial of Destiny cost (and lost) a fortune in part because of the de-aging budget. The Irishman, The Mandalorian and Star Trek: Picard’s big budgets and top talents didn’t hold to convincingly de-aging Robert DeNiro, Mark Hamill and Brent Spiner, respectively.

Find a way to include Shatner as he is now.

or just move to high-quality animation and then you don’t have to worry about aging out

It’d be great, if the fourth Kelvin movie actually gets sorted out, to figure out a way to include Shatner. People have suggested the Nexus, say, Kelvin Kirk meeting Prime Kirk’s image there, but then you have to bring back the whole Nexus thing and figure out a way to put that in.

Maybe use the Guardian of Forever to bring back a deaged Shatner, say, right before the Enterprise B ride? Something like that?

Or, just the cameo thing that Orci wrote with a message to Spock Prime from Kirk Prime that Kelvin Spock shares with Kelvin Kirk. But that’s just a cameo.

There’s definitely a way of doing it. The question is, again, can you do it in a way that services the plot and not as a gimmick or cameo, or something completely contrived as Generations largely was?

Animated and standalone TOS movie-era Kirk movie – that would be interesting. On an adventure with Chekov and Sulu? Certainly a great reason to keep my subscription…

How to rectify that horrendous death scene in Gen/1994, and what credible script can be written for it, the first two things that jump to mind. I’m an old-time Shatner Kirk fan, he’s my favorite Trek character, but I feel this particular ship has sailed. Makes me sad to say so, too. That being said, if it happened I’d be thrilled and all over it.

His body was claimed by Section 31 in something called Project Phoenix, and the wording there is that he was critically injured. There’s a way for a writer to do it.

I can dig that, I’m with you, but we need really GOOD writers.

I keep beating this drum. Trek has really good writers – dozens of them. They *really* need to leverage the novel authors like Ward, Bennett, Mack

I always thought about reworking the rules of the Nexus that could somehow undo Kirk leaving to fight Soran and leave him alive in there.

Alternate timelines are a dime-a-dozen in the franchise. Surely some ship in some series can wander into one where an aged Kirk is still alive…

I wish we could bring back Bill for a proper swan song. I would watch it with no hesitation. Supposedly, Tarantino’s script would have brought back Shstner’s Kirk. Such a wasted opportunity…..it would have been glorious….

Really? Where did you read that?

I heard rumours Shatner might’ve been involved in the supposed ‘Piece of the Action’ style QT film (the script writer saying it had abit of time travel), but i think it was just speculation (id imagine QT wouldve wanted him in there even if just a cameo and I very much doubt Shatner would’ve turned him down)

I don’t care for any of the new stuff. Bring back William Shatner as James T. Kirk along with actually good writers who know Star Trek prior to 2009. Even though TNG and Voyager were the series of my generation and childhood, for me William Shatner IS and forever will be both James T. Kirk and Star Trek. Kirk was a manly man, something surely lacking in today’s culture. Any “Star Trek” poster for the franchise as a whole that lacks Shatner or relegates him to a diminished status or stature in the background is NOT Star Trek. Star Trek, just like Star Wars, needs a major course correction. Cancel all the new stuff, which only a tiny minority of people are even watching and instead Bring back George Lucas to helm Star Wars and William Shatner to star in Star Trek. William Shatner IS the Star of STAR Trek period.

Disagree with me if you wish, because in the United States you are free to be wrong.

I don’t think one in five Paramount+ subscribers is an especially tiny amount.

How about no.

I don’t mind at all, to be honest. Though I’m onboard with Bill Shatner *voicing* Jim Kirk in an animated Star Trek show or movie.

Bill sure knows how to get headlines.

I would love to see him return

i’d like to see him and chris pine do a few scenes together. but its not necessary let shatner move on from the character

Just throwing this out there for free for anybody to use: we all wanted Kirk to go out aboard the Enterprise. Kirk probably wanted that too. So …

You take the unused concept for GENERATIONS (the Hurley script) where they bring Kirk back on the holodeck to help solve a problem only he can. But in the course of the discussion, it is revealed Kirk died on some backwater world. HoloKirk seems a little saddened by this, probably even angry about it, a kind of Danny Glover-esque ‘that ain’t right’ moment (Glover uses that in more than one film, I think, sort o like how he uses ‘all we really got is each other’ in more than one film, at least as I recall, but that’s a digression.)

Later in the film, when all seems lost, HoloKirk winds up piloting an evacuated Enterprise (who cares what letter it is!) into the principal antagonist, thus saving the day once more while also fulfilling his preference (going out on the ship) and his prophecy (dying alone.)

For me, this would pay off the way Kirk should have gone out in the first place, piloting an abandoned smoldering-wreck Enterprise-A into a taken-over spacedock to wipe out Fed/Kling/Rom conspirators who all want an endless and thus endlessly profitable war at the end of a TUC-variant movie. (got the idea from an unused — and mostly godawful — Sean Connery Bond script that had SPECTRE take over the Statue of Liberty, which is then attacked by helicopters, and climaxes with blood dripping out of the statue’s ‘eye.’) Even could have a moment of DOOMSDAYMACHINE-esque humor, as Kirk’s E hurtles toward spacedock, where the dock voice does an echo of ST III with ‘warning, space doors are closed, warning, space doors are closed,’ and Kirk grins wryly and responds, ‘Sorry, I am not programmed to respond in that area,’ a very in-joke ref to I, MUDD. (okay the last bit is probably too much, but when I get goin … )

There, maybe I’ve gotten that out of my system for good now.

BTW, you folks should watch the Bill Mahar from a couple weeks ago with Shat … he was ‘on’ in an unbelievably impressive way, sharper than I can remember seeing him in decades, which is saying a lot. It’s almost like he has settled into a delivery that calls back to ‘here it comes’ from TWOK, very with-it and knowing.

It would be amazing to have him back, he is still so smart and hard spoken. At least there would be none of the current constant emotions sharing bs that had plague the last seasons of Discovery.

Can they digitally remove his ham acting?

I think you … keep … missing .. the … picture here.

I’ve said it for years; just let Shatner play a klingon commander and chew the scenery like a madman. It would be so much fun to watch! :)

I think Shatner and Lower Decks could be fun.

I like that idea.

I never liked the way Kirk was killed in Star Trek Generations. Yes, 30 years have passed. This screams ‘Short Trek’ for me — Kirk is back from Veridean III and still helping the federation in the 25th century.

Yes, it’s been 30 years but the character did NOT a proper send off.

Also — Lower Decks could have him back and explain why Kirk’s return is still a secret — and just have a great episode where Shatner voices a Returned Kirk

There is always the clone option open to future Trek writers. Shinzon was a clone of Picard from some skin cells so in theory any alien race that ever came into contact with Kirk and got some of his DNA could have cloned Kirk.

How do we know there isn’t a clone of James T Kirk out there in the galaxy somewhere in the 23rd/24th Century?

It would be Kirk but would not have had Kirk’s life experiences, maybe too deep and complex for a movie appearance but just putting it out there.

I know many people would love to see Shatner play Kirk again, but for me I have never really felt the same way. Sure if they could find a good story or reason to bring him back I would certainly be curious, but I think most of fandom have moved on long long ago.

It would just feel like unnecessary fan service to me at this point for a character who has literally been dead for 30 years now.

Same time though I also admit Shatner will probably forever remain the only real James Kirk for me since I’m not overly fond of the new actors who has replaced him since.

I would love to see a Kirk final appearance as great as Nimoy’s final full performance as Spock was in 2009 (his 2013 cameo was fine, but unremarkable). It seems very likely that Shatner will not live long enough for that ever to happen in a movie. Also he let them kill off his Kirk, so that has always been a big problem for a return appearance (although apparently there is an unused hologram scene written for him from 2009).

Unless Shatner were willing to do a Short Trek, logistics alone probably mean he will never be Kirk again.

Ya know if they had just left Kirk well enough alone with his fantastic goodbye in ST VI I would totally agree. I wouldn’t need more. But man that Generations death is SUCH a travesty I’ve never been able to drop it (pun intended)

I want to see a de-aged Shatner back as TJ Hooker.

Well the Fall Guy has bombed so that means another 15y until another 80s series getting the big screen treatment (last was A-Team in 2010 which bombed and put pay to the TJ Hooker movie that was in development which would’ve co starred Shatner)

We got a 5 minute return of Hooker with the movie Showtime (DeNiro/Eddie Murphy)

I’ve always loved Shatner ..and I always will…

I’ll never be able to forgive Paramount for cancelling Orcis/Shatners ST3 for Pegg/Lins Guardians/Furious inspired Beyond ..

Damn you Paramount, you crushed my dreams.. Orcis’ dreams, and Shatners dreams..

I would have liked to have seen that movie too, but didn’t Nimoy die before it would have happened anyway?

Yes but it could’ve obviously been incorporated into the film (as it was in Beyond) , the plot seemed more ‘Kirk Prime’-centric anyway (from what I understand)

There are so many variables though with that one and a lot of missing information. Did Orci’s script ever get leaked? All I’ve ever seen are rumors about time travel, a comment from Pegg that Paramount thought it was -too- Star Trek, and then Orci’s mad rants. That’s not much to go on, and all that on top of the idea of entrusting a $100 million+ budget to a first-time director? It could have delighted us or been an even bigger disaster. We don’t have enough information, all we know is Beyond disappointed at the box office, was marketed poorly, and perhaps did not quite unite fandom the way the 2009 film seemed to.

I do think Beyond’s plot wouldn’t have been out of place as a two-parter on any of the shows, but with enough big budget spectacle to make that a good thing (as opposed to Insurrection, when the lack of scope and ambition was a big criticism). They destroyed the Enterprise but it wasn’t much of a shock, gave Kirk some worthwhile misgivings to work through, split up the characters cannily, gave us a good new crew member (Jaylah) and another undercooked villain. A mixed bag, but I enjoyed it more than STID, and I am not confident Orci would have delivered the goods in time without way more help.

No leaked script, just Orci hinting what it was about in tweets and on TM comments (villain wanting to change the kelvin timeline back to prime timeline via some ancient device , Kirk Prime somehow returns and assists new kirk & spock in the dilemma to save the timeline or not. Bryan Cranston potential villain, Shatner CG deaged, Alice Eve. not titled ‘Beyond’) which to me sounds like a natural progression from the first film (once certain factions find out about Nero altering the timeline they might want to try reverse things/restore vulcan, or kidnap Spock Prime for info on the future ), Orci was set to direct yes but they could’ve got someone else and just used his script (Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish and Rupert Wyatt were rumoured at various points, of course had JJ not jumped ship to SW maybe he’d have used the Orci script?) of course Paramount then decided Trek needed to be more Guardians of the Galaxy and Orcis script was ‘too star trek’ so in came Pegg/Jung/Lin to do Beyond (which felt like such a non event, similar to Insurrection in certain ways)

btw, 15years today since ST09!!

(and over half that time waiting on ST4)

Woof. That’s the time it took to make the entire run of TOS films and Generations.

everything was going ok until Beyond and then all the ST4 fiascos (Hemsworth/Pine pay disputes, Hawley, Tarantino, and more), there couldve easily been another 2 movies from around 2018 to now

Cracks started to form with STID. They spent too much, fan opinion was divided. They had to tread more carefully the next time out. Can’t argue they bungled it a bit for Beyond, but nothing I’ve read convinces me Roberto Orci’s script was the answer.

Even if the next big screen crew is configured with all-new characters, a storyline which somehow enables a last hurrah for Bill Shatner could be lively fun, and a huge publicity boost for the movie.

But I agree with those who’d rather see him perform as he is now, with no CGI ‘de-aging’ malarkey whatsoever.

Perhaps the storyline could somehow involve ‘multi-verse/alternate universe’ shenanigans, where the Captain and crew end up incredibly encountering….an elderly, but still vital ‘alternate Admiral Kirk’…

….but due to the ship’s current Captain being incapacitated at some point, this highly experienced nonagenarian has to take temporary command of the ‘Captain’s chair’ aboard the starship in this particular universe….to save the crew from whatever anomaly caused their meeting in the first place….so that he can somehow return to the arms of his elderly ‘alternate universe’ wife and son….and save the day for them all.

He’s in Daystrom Station – just get him out of there for a Star Trek Streaming Film and let him play Kirk (without de-aging).

The side by side profile of a Shatner from his TOS movie days shows how much and how little his face have has changed in some areas

With the upcoming 60th Anniversary it would seem to be a good time for this. Unfortunately given the state of Paramount it is difficult to know what will be produced . The 50th was a missed opportunity. Perhaps there is hope to do something special for the 60th. Having Shatner come back as Kirk would be special. I understand some fans do not want anymore nostalgia but I think this would be worth it. Hopefully if it were to happen it would be done effectively.

I’m honestly surprised Terry didn’t make Star Trek the Return canon. Seeing the easter egg in Picard season 3.

Imagine if they make Star Trek Legacy an adaptation on Shatners The Return (obviously no Spock or Bones now but still with Kirk/Shatner)

william shatner snl trek convention

William Shatner says doing more ‘Star Trek’ an ‘intriguing idea’

William Shatner would board the Enterprise one more time as Captain Kirk, if he could.

While promoting his new documentary, "You Can Call Me Bill," Shatner told The Canadian Press, "It’s an intriguing idea."

He continued, "It’s almost impossible but it was a great role and so well-written and if there were a reason to be there not just to make a cameo appearance, but if there were a genuine reason for the character appearing, I might consider it."

The chances of Captain Kirk appearing again are slim for good reason (spoiler alert ahead).

WILLIAM SHATNER REVEALS WHY HE WON’T RETURN TO SPACE: IT WOULD BE LIKE 'REVISITING A LOVE AFFAIR'

In his last appearance in the 1994 film "Star Trek: Generations," Shatner’s iconic character was killed off.

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But Shatner had a pitch for a way to bring Kirk back.

"A company that wants to freeze my body and my brain for the future might be a way of going about it," he suggested. "‘We’ve got Captain Kirk’s brain frozen here.’ There’s a scenario. ‘Let’s see if we can bring back a little bit of this, a little salt, a little pepper. Oh, look at that. Here comes Captain Kirk!’"

The Canadian-born actor also mentioned he could play a younger version of the character, thanks to a company he’s become a spokesperson for, Otoy.

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According to Shatner, the company has technology that "takes years off of your face, so that in a film you can look 10, 20, 30, 50 years younger than you are."

Earlier this year, while celebrating his 93rd birthday, Shatner offered some insight into how he’s maintained his youthful demeanor all these years.

"Just staying engaged in life, to stay curious. But the luck has a lot to do with it in your health," he told People.

He continued, "Your life's energy, the soul energy of your body is a product of health," he told People. "If you're sick, you can't be energetic. You're dying. So my luck has been, I've been healthy all my life."

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And though he maintains an overall love for the franchise that made him famous, Shatner also recently admitted it's responsible for his biggest career regret.

Speaking candidly with The Hollywood Reporter, Shatner said the 1989 film "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier," which he directed and starred in, was practically doomed from the start.

"When I’m asked, ‘What do you regret the most?’ I regret not being equipped emotionally to deal with a large motion picture. So in the absence of my power, the power vacuum filled with people that didn’t make the decisions I would’ve made," he said.

"It is on me," he continued, giving an example of mismanaging his $30 million budget. "[In the final scene] I wanted granite [rock creatures] to explode out of the mountain. The special effects guy said, ‘I can build you a suit that’s on fire and smoke comes out.’ I said, ‘Great, how much will that cost?’ They said, ‘$250,000 a suit.’ ‘Can you make 10 suits?’ He said, ‘Yeah.’" 

Original article source: William Shatner says doing more ‘Star Trek’ an ‘intriguing idea’

William Shatner told The Canadian Press returning to the role of Captain Kirk is "an intriguing idea." Getty Images

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93-Year-Old William Shatner ‘Might Consider’ Returning as Captain Kirk in New ‘Star Trek’ Project Through De-Aging: ‘It Takes Years Off of Your Face’

By Zack Sharf

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William Shatner recently told Canadian Press that he wouldn’t rule out returning as Captain Kirk in a new “ Star Trek ” project if the script impressed him. While the actor’s age might pose an issue as Shatner turned 93 years old in March, that’s nothing a bit of de-aging technology couldn’t fix.

“It’s an intriguing idea,” Shatner said about returning as Kirk. “It’s almost impossible. But if was a great role and so well-written and if there were a reason to be there not just to make a cameo appearance, but if there were a genuine reason for the character appearing, I might consider it.”

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“[It] takes years off of your face, so that in a film you can look 10, 20, 30, 50 years younger than you are,” Shatner said.

Another issue around Shatner’s “Star Trek” return is Kirk’s death in the 1994 film “Star Trek Generations,” which is the last time Shatner appeared in the iconic franchise. He’s already brainstormed a plot device that could serve as a workaround and have his version of Kirk come back to life.

“A company that wants to freeze my body and my brain for the future might be a way of going about it,” Shatner said. “‘We’ve got Captain Kirk’s brain frozen here.’ There’s a scenario. ‘Let’s see if we can bring back a little bit of this, a little salt, a little pepper. Oh, look at that. Here comes Captain Kirk!’”

Variety exclusively reported in March that Steve Yockey, creator of the Max series “The Flight Attendant,” had signed on to write the script for “Star Trek 4.” The movie is being designed as the final installment for Pine and the cast. Several attempts to get a fourth “Star Trek” movie off the ground with this cast have failed over the years. One version of the project was to be directed by Matt Shakman (“WandaVision”) and written by Lindsey Beer (“Sierra Burgess Is a Loser”) and Geneva Robertson-Dworet (“Captain Marvel”). Shakman left the project to direct Marvel’s “The Fantastic Four” instead.

Other “Star Trek” projects remain in development at Paramount as well. The studio is working with screenwriter Seth Grahame-Smith (“Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter”) and director by Toby Haynes (“Black Mirror: USS Callister”) on an origin story movie, while a project with screenwriter Kalinda Vazquez (“Fear the Walking Dead”) that was first announced in 2021 also remains in development.

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IMAGES

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  3. Rod Roddenberry Found Star Trek William Shatner ‘SNL’ Skit “Demeaning

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  4. Chris Pine channels William Shatner for classic 'Star Trek' skit on 'SNL'

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  5. ‘Star Trek’ Conventions: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About ‘Trek’ Fan

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  6. William Shatner at the 2016 Star Trek Convention

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COMMENTS

  1. Star Trek Convention

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  2. Why William Shatner's SNL "Get A Life" Sketch Was So Controversial To

    William Shatner's 1986 Saturday Night Live sketch, known as the "Get a Life" skit, recently resurfaced as the source of some controversy among Star Trek fans. Shatner is known for his role on Star Trek: The Original Series as Captain James T. Kirk. In the sketch, Shatner plays a version of himself attending a Star Trek convention and hosting a Q&A for a crowd of dedicated Trekkies.

  3. When William Shatner Told 'Star Trek' Fans to 'Get a Life'

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  4. Get a Life! (skit)

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  5. Get A Life!

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  6. The 'SNL' Sketch That Predicted Our Nerd Overlords

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  8. The Controversy Over William Shatner's Old 'SNL' 'Star Trek' Sketch

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    William Shatner as himself during the "16th Annual Star Trek Convention" skit on the December 20, 1986 of Saturday Night Live. (Photo by: Alan Singer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank)

  10. SNL Archives

    William Shatner: Sketch: Christmas Party. Sweeney Sisters. William Shatner... Roger Show: T.J. Hooker. Little Blue Riding Hood. William Shatner... T.J. Hooker ... 16th Annual Star Trek Convention. Victoria Jackson... Julie Cobb: Sketch: It's A Wonderful Life. Dana Carvey... Jimmy Stewart / George Bailey Cold Opening: Ballad Of The Mute Marine.

  11. Rod Roddenberry Found Star Trek William Shatner 'SNL' Skit "Demeaning"

    William Shatner as himself (far right) during the "16th Annual Star Trek Convention" Saturday Night Live skit on Dec. 20, 1986. Alan Singer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/GettyImages Share this article on ...

  12. William Shatner Defends 1986 "Get A Life" SNL Skit After Criticism From

    1986: Shatner, SNL and "Get a Life" In December 1986—one month after the release of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home—William Shatner hosted an 8th season episode of NBC's Saturday Night ...

  13. Shatner's SNL Skit Is Demeaning To Star Trek Fans Says Creator's Son

    The son of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry didn't appreciate William Shatner's infamous SNL convention sketch. Shatner helped bring Roddenberry's original vision to life by playing Captain James T. Kirk on Star Trek: The Original Series. He would later go on to appear in six Star Trek movies.But while his co-star Leonard Nimoy made cameos in the rebooted films, Shatner has firmly stayed ...

  14. Star Trek V: The Restaurant Enterprise

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  15. FIRST LOOK: Shatner's Get a Life! Documentary

    Once upon a time, William Shatner implored Star Trek fans to "Get a life!" That is now the title of his latest documentary, which follows on the heels of last year's The Captains.Set to air on Saturday, on EPIX, Get a Life! was filmed at last year's Creation Entertainment Official Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas, with Shatner meeting and conversing with fans and Trek guests alike ...

  16. William Shatner / Lone Justice (S12 E8)

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  17. TREKNEWS.NET

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