George Takei Calls William Shatner A Liar Over Star Trek Star’s Biggest Accomplishment

George Takei once more fires off a volley in his long feud with William Shatner, saying that his former Star Trek castmate didn't "really" go to space.

By Michileen Martin | Published

george takei william shatner
George Takei and William Shatner in 1984’s Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

If you’re holding your breath for the decades-long feud between Star Trek‘s George Takei and William Shatner to end, you might want to take a break before you turn as blue as an Andorian. Takei spoke with the UK tabloid Mirror this week and took a swipe at Shatner’s 2021 flight aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket, saying his former TV captain “wasn’t really in outer space and it wasn’t for very long.”

George Takei not only did his best to minimize what William Shatner accomplished aboard New Shepard, but also did his best to one-up him.

“I’ve also been in zero gravity but I did it for longer. I took a parabolic flight and experienced five minutes of weightlessness, whereas William only experienced three minutes. So I’ve spent more time in zero gravity than him.”

-George Takei

The actor’s comment isn’t without merit. The Blue Origin flight took Shatner and his fellow passengers to an altitude of 66.5 miles, which is technically at the very beginning of what we call “space,” but it wasn’t even far enough to achieve orbit of the Earth.

Still, in spite of George Takei’s slight, it’s probably fair to say that when the then 90-year-old William Shatner boarded New Shepard on October 13, 2021, he was doing a whole lot more than most of us on a Wednesday morning.

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George Takei and William Shatner in Star Trek: The Original Series

Regardless of whether Shatner went to space, to Cleveland, or to the bathroom, Takei would likely be the last Trek cast member to ever honor him with any kind of acknowledgment. The feud between the two become public knowledge in 2008 when it was reported Takei invited all of the surviving members of the Star Trek cast to his wedding except for Shatner.

Asked about why the two have been at odds for so long, Takei responded:

“Let’s just say he’s not the easiest guy to work with and I wouldn’t leap at another opportunity. That’s a universal feeling, although the others have a better sense of restraint and discretion. I believe in being honest and forthright.”

-George Takei

When the interviewer broached the possibility of a “meet up” between George Takei and William Shatner to bury the hatchet, Takei corrected him:

“We meet up all the time. We do Star Trek conventions. We cross paths and I say, ‘Hi Bill’ and he says, ‘Hi George’ and we keep on walking.”

-George Takei

What’s George Takei’s beef with William Shatner? The more specific details we know about include Takei regularly referring to Shatner as a “prima donna,” that the Star Trek lead ignored Takei on the set of the series, and that Shatner changed the script of 1989’s Star Trek V so that Takei’s character Sulu wouldn’t take command of a starship.

For his part, only a couple of months ago Shatner said Takei was “bitter and embittered,” and accused the latter of going after him for the sake of publicity.

With the passing last July of Nichelle Nichols, George Takei and William Shatner are two of the only three remaining surviving lead cast members (with Walter Koenig) of the iconic Star Trek: The Original Series along with the franchise’s first six films. If you think that will stop the two from their pubic sparring, we again urge you to rethink any breath-holding responses.