William Shatner's Response To Wil Wheaton's Renewed Complaints About Their First Meeting Is On Brand

William Shatner is one of Star Trek’s most iconic actors, but it’s well-documented that he has had his issues with co-stars in the past. Shatner’s feud with George Takei (which reignited not long after Shatner’s space flight) is a frequently mentioned one, but fewer fans may know about his past exchange with actor Wil Wheaton. Now it seems like old wounds might be torn open again, given Shatner’s on-brand comments regarding Wheaton’s renewed complaints about their first meeting.

Wil Wheaton’s past uncomfortable encounter with William Shatner while filming Star Trek: The Next Generation is back in the news, as the New York Post shared an excerpt from Wheaton’s upcoming book, Still Just a Geek: An Annotated Memoir. The book, which releases on Tuesday, April 12, recalls a litany of rude things that Shatner reportedly said to a young Wheaton when the latter approached the icon to introduce himself. Here’s a brief rundown of some of the things Shatner allegedly said via Wheaton. 

  • "So you’re the kid on that show?"
  • "What is that, your spacesuit?"
  • "Well, I’d never let a kid come onto my bridge"

The moment doesn’t put William Shatner in the best light, especially considering he was the grown adult celebrity in the situation. The moment clearly impacted Wil Wheaton for it to remain with him decades later and appear in his book, but that doesn’t mean Shatner is pleased to hear it. The actor saw the excerpt and directly addressed it on his Twitter account. 

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William Shatner’s tweet feels justified, even if it’s on-brand with what he’s said about co-stars using his name in the past. Wil Wheaton’s excerpt goes on to say that Gene Roddenberry phoned Shatner personally and requested that he apologize to Wheaton, and that he doesn't think that Shatner would have done so had the creator of Star Trek not intervened. Additionally, there's no mention that Shatner doesn’t remember the event and has since apologized more times for it happening. 

It’s unclear at this time if Still Just a Geek: An Annotated Memoir makes that distinction, and given that this excerpt is part of a larger story, it might be in there. It’s worth noting that Wil Wheaton (who had many struggles in his younger years) has a telling of this story on his personal website, and after recounting the tale, he does note he’s had pleasant exchanges with William Shatner over the years (including their roles on The Big Bang Theory).

In 2002, Bill and I played together on a special Star Trek edition of the game show Weakest Link. He was friendly and warm toward me the entire time. Several months later, I asked him on Slashdot, 'Are we cool, or what? I mean, I always thought you didn’t like me, but I had a good time with you at Weakest Link watching the World Series. So are we cool, or was that just pre-game strategy?' He replied: 'We are so cool, we’re beyond cool. We are in orbit man. I don’t do pre-game strategy. I look forward to some personal time with you.'

Based on that, I think it’s possible that Wil Wheaton also included that information in his book. I guess we’ll have to wait for the release and any further comments that William Shatner might have about the book. Wheaton and William Shatner are both slated to appear at the upcoming Star Trek: Mission Chicago convention, which runs from Friday, April 8 to Sunday, April 10. 

Be sure to snag a Paramount+ subscription before then to compare their greatest Trek performances (and maybe even check out the new shows out there), and wait for any further comments that might surface during the First Contact Day celebration.

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.