William Shatner Explains Why Star Trek Is Still So Popular

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If it wasn't evident by the scores of shows in development, Star Trek is still pretty popular amongst audiences. In an era when there's no shortage of content for fans to enjoy, it may cause some not in on the fun to ask, why? Why, after decades in pop culture do people continue to come back to this franchise for new adventures?

Well, there are few better people to ask than the man who played a big part in Star Trek's popularity, William Shatner. The Captain Kirk actor is never short on opinions on things related to Star Trek, so when he was asked why people continue to enjoy the sci-fi franchise, he had a thoughtful answer.

Star Trek is science-fiction, and science-fiction, to a large group of people, is part of the awe and wonder of the universe. We speculate about what’s out there, and since we have no way of knowing, anyone’s speculation is as valid as anybody else’s. But it is of interest to people who look at the stars at night and wonder what’s out there and whether little green men are flying this way. Could we possibly see life? That brings up the question of death and all the stuff that we have no answers for. Science-fiction speculates an answer, and that, I think, is the fascination.

Star Trek examines space travel and science in a unique way, and tells a story that is somehow both unbelievable and believable at the same time. As William Shatner told Parade, he believes the key is our lack of knowledge regarding space, and how Star Trek presents a populated world of multiple species that could exist the same way they do in various shows and films.

So by William Shatner's reckoning, Star Trek's popularity will continue provided audiences still don't know with absolute certainty that intelligent life isn't floating around somewhere beyond our planet. Considering how vast space is and how little of it humanity has explored, one would reckon Star Trek could have a pretty long shelf life if Shatner's thoughts on why the series is so popular is accurate.

Despite his opinions and love of the franchise, William Shatner has made it clear he's not willing to pop back in it for his own sequel series like Patrick Stewart is doing with Star Trek: Picard. That's mainly because he doesn't think he can handle the time commitment of headlining a series in his advanced age, so there's still a chance he could pop back in some other role. He's teased that a couple times, but will it actually happen soon?

Ranking All The Star Trek Movies, Including Star Trek Beyond

The next major Star Trek series, Star Trek: Picard, is set to premiere sometime before the end of 2019. Stick with CinemaBlend for more updates on that in the meantime, and continue to stay with us for the latest news in television and movies.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick Joest is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend with his hand in an eclectic mix of television goodness. Star Trek is his main jam, but he also regularly reports on happenings in the world of Star Trek, WWE, Doctor Who, 90 Day Fiancé, Quantum Leap, and Big Brother. He graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Radio and Television. He's great at hosting panels and appearing on podcasts if given the chance as well.