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Star Trek: The Original Series was monumental for numerous reasons. It showed what science fiction television could accomplish. It launched the careers of William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy and more. It broke racial barriers with a famous interracial kiss. It spawned a beloved franchise that is still going strong today. It also set up the legendarily frosty relationship between William Shatner and George Takei, a relationship that Shatner recently addressed in some letters that are going up for auction. According to William Shatner, he may be at fault for some of the problems in his relationship with Takei, but that isn't the whole story. Here's what William Shatner has to say:
I had never really got to know him. He would come in every so often during the week while we were shooting Star Trek. I was busy learning lines and dealing with my life, so I really can't remember a meaningful conversation---I'm sure that would be my fault... my lack of attention.
While there was never an outright feud between William Shatner and George Takei, it's been clear for years that the two Star Trek co-workers did not have the best relationship while filming Star Trek. Although Shatner has appeared at conventions with members of the Star Trek team he was notably left off of the guest list when George Takei was married in 2008. Takei isn't the only person Shatner reportedly had problems with. Shatner has also revealed Leonard Nimoy had stopped speaking to him in the final years of his life thanks to a reported miscommunication over a documentary Shatner was filming. That didn't stop William Shatner from saying nice things about Leonard Nimoy when he found out the Star Trek actor had died, but it does make their relationship a bit murkier, as well.
Per Newsweek, a slew of handwritten notes composed by William Shatner are being auctioned off this week on Thursday. Some of these notes are Shatner's recollections of his time on the series, but at least one addresses his relationship with George Takei. It's clear that William Shatner takes some responsibility for what happened between himself and his co-star, but it's also clear that he really has no idea what actually happened to muck things up. He also penned this:
Nevertheless, when we all wrapped that last day of shooting it was all meaningful for all of us---Star Trek was cancelled. Until this moment in his apartment we had not spoken. Not so long after that very friendly time he began to say very mean things about me. Why?
At this point, it's hard to tell exactly what happened between the two actors, and George Takei isn't exactly penning the same sorts of letters. Still, I think the clash between two Star Trek greats will always be a topic of interest to fans, and if if William Shatner really is stubborn or maybe just clueless enough to not understand where things went wrong, at least he's still willing to look back and think about what actually happened.