Grumpy Old Spacemen: George Takei Mocks William Shatner Over Space Flight
George Takei didn’t let a little thing like interstellar travel dampen his long-fiery feud with his former Star Trek co-star William Shatner. The actor who portrayed Sulu on the series mocked Captain Kirk over the latter’s trip to space Wednesday aboard a Blue Origin craft.
Speaking to Page Six after Shatner’s brief-but-historic “profound experience,” Takei referred to Shatner as a 90-year-old “guinea pig” to see space’s impact on an “unfit” specimen.
“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,” Takei said, “Although he’s not the fittest specimen of 90-years-old, so he’ll be a specimen that’s unfit!”
Takei also paraphrased a popular Star Trek motto when he quipped of Shatner’s 10-minute journey: “He’s boldly going where other people have gone before.”
Despite being two of the four surviving cast members of the original Sixties TV series, Shatner and the 84-year-old Takei have long held a vendetta toward each other, a beef that dates back to their time on set together, when Takei felt slighted by Shatner.
The two also exchanged jabs in their respective memoirs, and while Takei happily participated in a Comedy Central roast celebrating Shatner in 2006, the beef has continued to simmer well into each actor’s golden years. (During a 2018 Q&A, Shatner was asked if he wished Takei had died instead of Leonard Nimoy. “What a terrible question,” Shatner said, before adding, “Yes.”)
In response to Takei’s latest remarks, Shatner told Page Six, “There’s a psychosis there. … There must be something else inside George that is festering, and it makes him unhappy that he takes it out on me. … Why would he go out of his way to denigrate me? It’s sad, I feel nothing but pity for him.”