Of Course, Star Trek’s George Takei Threw A Little Shade At William Shatner’s Space Flight

William Shatner’s recent trip to space inspired and impressed many worldwide, especially Star Trek fans. While many franchise fans were quick to congratulate, tweet, and marvel at the 90-year-old actor’s achievement, others couldn’t help but snark at the situation. Namely, his former colleague George Takei took some time to acknowledge the achievement, albeit in a slightly shady way. 

George Takei spoke to audiences at his new play, called Thoughts of a Colored Man, and talked to Page Six about William Shatner’s space flight with Blue Origin. Takei shared his opinion of Shatner’s flight, and never one to mince words, he broke down how he felt about it.

He’s boldly going where other people have gone before. He’s a guinea pig, 90 years old, and it’s important to find out what happens. So 90 years old is going to show a great deal more on the wear and tear on the human body, so he’ll be a good specimen to study. Although he’s not the fittest specimen of 90 years old, so he’ll be a specimen that’s unfit!

The tone can certainly be read as jokey, though given that it’s coming from George Takei, it’s hard not to see a bit of shade in the statement. Takei made a valid point about the importance of seeing how space travel impacts an older body, but there were more diplomatic ways to share that opinion. Calling a person “unfit,” even at age 90, isn’t generally considered kind, so one could certainly interpret this as mean-spirited. 

Of course, it’s also noteworthy that there’s been a feud between William Shatner and George Takei for years now. The two used to co-star on Star Trek and, as far back as the 1960s, have had tense moments along the way. Both men share negative stories about the other, and the disdain they have for each other seemingly rises each year. So, while Takei could’ve been joking in his latest comments about Shatner’s space flight, it’s more on brand that he said it to take a shot at his former co-star. 

William Shatner hasn’t responded to George Takei’s comments, as he’s probably still preoccupied with the experience of his once-in-a-lifetime space flight. After all, it’s not often someone becomes the oldest person to travel in space. It has to be especially surreal for Shatner, who is best known for portraying a fictional space captain. Takei’s comments might sting Shatner a bit, though given the unique experience the actor just went through, it’s also possible he’ll just ignore it completely. That seems to be the best play here because what can anyone say to bring down a guy who’s been in space? 

Star Trek fans can binge all of William Shatner’s greatest moments as Captain Kirk on Paramount+. For more on the franchise, check out the new Ferengi design in Star Trek: Discovery, which certainly raises some interesting questions.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick contains multitudes and balances his time reporting on big happenings in the world of Star Trek, the WWE, reality television, and other sci-fi shows.