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Star Trek’s Wil Wheaton Shares Hilarious Story Of How Wesley-Hating Tech Writer Got Back At Him On The Next Generation

Wil Wheaton on Star Trek The Next Generation
(Image credit: Paramount+)

Today, Wil Wheaton is a beloved member of the Star Trek family, but that wasn’t always the case. Wheaton’s time as Wesley Crusher on The Next Generation drew a lot of scrutiny from the fandom during the show’s run. Whether it was William Shatner being mean to him or fans, the actor always seemed to get guff from somebody. Wheaton isn’t shy about sharing these types of stories and recently revealed a hilarious tale about how a Wesley-hating tech writer for the show got back at him for playing the character. 

CinemaBlend was present at Star Trek: Mission Chicago, where Wil Wheaton answered a question about a time he struggled to get a piece of dialogue down. Wheaton shared that the phrase came from The Next Generation episode “The Vengence Factor” (stream it now with a Paramount+ subscription), in which Gatherer Brull bugs Wesley about what he’s working on. After setting the scene, Wheaton talked about how the show brought on people from the science community to help write the technological jargon for the show and how one grad student saw that as the ultimate chance to take some revenge on Wesley:

Wesley’s like, ‘Yo, this is a K-fold contravariant Riemannian tensor field, and you can’t possibly understand it.’. . .That was impossible for me to remember. One, it doesn’t exist, it’s a thing that somebody made up. It always confused me back then. If it’s a thing that’s made up, and it doesn’t exist, why does it matter if I say Ryemannian instead of Riemannian? It should not matter. . .Well, if you’re me, you’ll find out years later that there was a guy that was a grad student at Cal Tech. He was doing some work for Next Generation he was kind of writing technical dialogue. . .This kid was working with the science advisor. He found out he was going to get to write a technobabble line for Wesley. This guy, as most men in 1990, was like, ‘I don’t like Wesley.’ So he deliberately wrote the most difficult, complicated, nonsensical thing he could come up with to force me to say.

“Shut up, Wesley” became a meme for a reason. There was no shortage of people who took issue with Wil Wheaton’s character. Apparently, this student helping out The Next Generation took it so personally that he decided to make Wheaton’s work on set even tougher by giving him an extremely complicated technical term to remember. 

So far, it might be a little hard to find the humor in the story, as this is just another case of an angry fan badgering The Wesley Crusher actor. With that said, the hilarity comes in years later, when the star had an encounter with the man responsible for the line. And apparently, he wanted to apologize for what he’d done:

This dude tracked me down in the late 2000s and said, ‘You probably don’t remember this, but I’m so sorry.’ I was like, ‘Buddy, I’ve been telling this story since the day it happened. This is a thing I absolutely remember!

Wil Wheaton’s story delighted the crowd and, given his tone, it seems as though it’s more of a funny story to him now than anything else. That’s no doubt thanks to the warm embrace he’s received from the Star Trek community and others actively involved in the franchise in recent years. Hopefully, he’ll be a surprise guest star alongside the Star Trek: The Next Generation vets returning for Season 3 of Picard. Wheaton did mention at one point he was totally down to join Picard but was doubtful it’d happen. It would be great to see him return, especially considering the impact Patrick Stewart had on him as an actor. 

Star Trek: The Next Generation and Wesley’s intricate and difficult-to-remember technobabble is available to check out on Paramount+. Fans can also watch Wil Wheaton’s The Ready Room on the service, which keeps fans up on what’s happening on Trek shows streaming in 2022 and beyond

Mick Joest
Mick Joest

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.