William Shatner Has Harsh Words About New Star Trek Shows

It isn't just Khan he wants to shoot.

By Douglas Helm | Updated

william shatner star trek wrath of khan

You can always rely on San Diego Comic-Con to provide some entertainment, and so far this year’s Con isn’t disappointing. Star Trek fans were specially treated last night, with a full hourlong panel where director/writer/noted fan of all things nerd Kevin Smith chatted with William Shatner about his life and career. As you might expect from the outspoken Shatner, he had some interesting things to say, especially about the current state of Star Trek. When asked about some of the newer shows Shatner said “I got to know [creator] Gene Roddenberry in three years fairly well,” adding “he’d be turning in his grave at some of this stuff.”

That’s a pretty definitive take on what William Shatner thinks about Star Trek shows like Picard, Discovery, Strange New Worlds, Prodigy, and the animated Lower Decks. While Shatner didn’t call out any of these shows by name, it seems like his opinion on the new school of Trek is not too favorable. Of course, many fans might disagree, as these newer shows all have pretty good reviews, both from critics and audiences. Shatner is entitled to his opinion of course, after playing Captain James T. Kirk in Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Animated Series, and various Star Trek movies. As for the Star Trek movies where Chris Pine plays the role Shatner made famous, Shatner has previously expressed his admiration for Pine as a leading man, so it seems like the shows are the only properties he has a problem with. It is disappointing that we might not see Shatner suit up as Kirk alongside Pine. In Star Trek (2009) we got Leonard Nimoy making a cameo as Spock Prime. Fans were hoping Kirk Prime would make an appearance at some point as well, but that doesn’t seem to be in the cards.

James T. Kirk
Paul Wesley as James T. Kirk on Star Trek: Strange New Worlds

Of course, the recent Star Trek shows weren’t the only major sci-fi projects that faced William Shatner’s ire. When asked about Star Wars, Shatner joked “fuck Star Wars…. But not Mark Hamill.” It’s no surprise that the biggest sci-fi rival for Star Trek isn’t Shatner’s favorite franchise out there, but it is funny that Mark Hamill was able to escape his distaste for it. It is pretty hard to hate Luke Skywalker himself, so this isn’t too surprising.

Overall, William Shatner’s panel was extremely entertaining, and he even talked about the brief trip he took to space last year on Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin. Of all the actors to go to space, it seems fitting that the man who explored new frontiers for years on the USS Enterprise should go see the real thing. Shatner talked about how he really soaked in the trip, but that our planet is where we truly belong. The panel ended with a perfect juxtaposition of drama and humor. First, fans got a brief look at the upcoming documentary of Shatner’s life from Legion M and Exhibit A Pictures. The documentary clip featured an emotional story of Shatner finding his dog dead when he was 10 years old, changing his perspective on life. To finish things on a lighter note, Kevin Smith and William Shatner had a spirited “curse-off.”

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