William Shatner Explains What Will Bring Him Back To Star Trek

What could make William Shatner return to Star Trek? He recently game the answer away.

By Tyler Pisapia | Published

This article is more than 2 years old

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William Shatner is in the news thanks to his recent flight to space with Blue Origin. At 90 years old, the trip officially made him the oldest person to go to space. Now, people are wondering if his newfound fame and interest in aerospace travel has made him yearn to get back in the captain’s chair on Star Trek. Unfortunately for fans of the hit science-fiction franchise, the actor, filmmaker and equestrian has said in the past that he believes his days as Captain James T. Kirk are thoroughly behind him. Speaking to Inverse as recently as February, William Shatner noted that he’s far too busy with other things in his life (like literally traveling to space) to think about reprising his role as Captain Kirk ever again. Now, he has something new to say.

Never one to shy away from an opportunity nor the unknown, he left the door open for a potential cameo similar to the one Mark Hamill did in the recent three Star Wars films. William Shatner noted, though, that he would only be interested if someone were to write an interesting enough role that would bring him back into the fold — that would also require that writer to account for the 55-year gap in time. Fortunately, that glimmer of hope is somewhat realistic. Currently, CBS and Paramount+ are doubling down on their Star Trek content. With shows like Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek: Picard, Star Trek: Lower Decks, and more new content plans regularly announced, there may be enough monkeys on typewriters to produce Shakespeare, so to speak. 

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After all, Kate Mulgrew recently announced that she’s reprising her role as Captain Janeway in the animated series Star Trek: Prodigy. How hard would it be for someone to think of a reason that allows William Shatner to use his iconic voice to reprise an animated version of Captain Kirk?

Unfortunately, there’s a chance that returning to space by way of show business won’t be enough for the 90-year-old actor now that he’s been given a chance to experience the real thing. William Shatner was clearly moved by the experience as he fought back tears upon returning to Earth while he told Jeff Bezos what a profound experience it was. After Bezos stopped spraying champagne everywhere, that is. 

In the middle of the Texas desert where the Blue Origin Capsule touched ground, William Shatner spoke about seeing life and death juxtaposed with the “little blue orb” that is Earth and everything he knows and loves against the utter black vastness of space that lay before him.

It can’t be understated how much William Shatner has been able to accomplish with both his career and life in the five and a half decades since Star Trek originally aired. However, it seems that he is a man, like Captain Kirk, who looks forward to the next adventure and therefore isn’t very interested in going backward, no matter how much it would delight fans. All people can really do now is hope that whatever adventure awaits William Shatner in his 90s, it can somehow top going to outer space.