William Shatner Returning To Star Trek?

By Kevin C. Neece | Published

Fans quizzing William Shatner on social media recently about whether he will return to Star Trek have been treated to the less-than-charming side of the star’s personality. And when it comes to the franchise, it seems like William Shatner knows where he stands.

William Shatner Responds

His response seems to indicate that he does not believe Paramount wants him to return to Star Trek, seemingly expressing the sentiment that the company has blackballed him for some reason. The actor appears to have felt slighted specifically by the graphics department of Paramount+, which left him out of a couple of promotional images but included Leonard Nimoy’s Spock.

Huge Oversight?

It does seem like an oversight not to include William Shatner’s Kirk when the captains of all the other Star Trek series (with the exception of Lower Decks) are present in the graphic.

And this is one of at least a couple of times this has happened. Still, from the beginning of the Original Series, Spock has always been the more popular character, but it seems that Shatner has taken the graphics rather personally.

Taking It Personally

william shatner

According to decades of stories from his Star Trek co-stars, William Shatner is not exactly a stranger to taking things personally where focus on his character is concerned.

Calling Paramount+ execs a “bunch of self-righteous strangers” who think they are “sending a message by erasing the past” in a related post, the 92-year-old Star Trek veteran seems to express a belief that Paramount+ is trying to scrub him from the franchise’s history.

This is even though his Kirk has been featured on multiple similar graphics produced by the streamer and features him as the most prominent figure on graphics for the series and films in which he appears.

Too Much Ego?

william shatner

William Shatner also seems to believe this perceived Star Trek slight has something to do with political or philosophical differences.

He mockingly referred to Paramount Plus as “‘enlightened’ (or whatever they think they are)” and claimed they are somehow “threatened” by the character of Kirk.

He must be only referring to his version of the character, as Paramount+ featured Kirk (played by Paul Wesley) in the first two seasons of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. Whatever the case, this online exchange has shown Shatner’s infamous ego to be once again bruised.

Erased From The Franchise?

Many fans have agreed with William Shatner that his absence from some Star Trek graphics is a travesty and represents a concerted effort to erase him and his character.

Further, some seem to think that any Star Trek without Kirk—and specifically William Shatner’s Kirk—is simply not Star Trek, going so far as to equate the star himself with the franchise.

While it’s fine to have a favorite character, these fans and Shatner himself seem to have missed out on the central idea of Star Trek being built on an ensemble and including a variety of characters, not just focusing on one.

Get Over It

william shatner

It is understandable for William Shatner to wonder why he was left out of some Star Trek graphics. But the idea that the character of Kirk and the series’ history are being erased seems a bit ridiculous when the newest Star Trek series constantly references the original and includes several of its characters.

Despite his protestations to the contrary, Shatner seems to be the one who is feeling threatened. To that, we can only quote the actor’s words (and poor punctuation) in this social media exchange back to him: “It’s a character from a 1960’s TV show- get over it.”