William Shatner Reveals Why Star Trek Fans Know More Than Him

William Shatner's appearance as James T. Kirk in Star Trek: Generations saw his iconic portrayal of the science-fiction icon comes to a fatal end.

By Dan Lawrence | Updated

william shatner

These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise. Those words have resonated with Star Trek fans for decades as they have boldly gone where no one has gone before following the beloved franchise. For Trekkies, asking questions of the show’s stars is a euphoric experience. However, on some occasions, fans may be left with more questions than answers. This comes off the back of a report from MovieWeb stating that the original Captain of the Starship Enterprise William Shatner, often doesn’t know what fans are asking him. This is due to the fact that the star has watched fewer than half of the episodes of his own show.

It’s been so long—(the audience) remembers far more than I do. Many of them have seen episodes all these years old just recently that I may not have seen at all because I don’t like to look at myself on-screen. Of the 70-something hours I did (as Captain Kirk) I may have seen half or less.

William Shatner told The Keene Sentinel

That’s right, original lead of the Star Trek series in its run from 1966 to 1969 William Shatner effectively said that fans have watched more Star Trek content than him, and thus he often doesn’t know the answers to their questions. This should come as no surprise. The actor, forever tied to his role of Captain James T. Kirk, is almost 91, and his run in Star Trek came long ago. Perhaps he can be forgiven for letting some episodes slip his mind over the years. 

william shatner

Of course, not only did Shatner appear as Captain James T. Kirk in the TV series Star Trek, but he appeared in the role on the big screen as well. This all kicked off with Star Trek: The Motion Picture in 1979. Shatner would appear in another six Star Trek movies, culminating in 1994’s Star Trek: Generations. Generations pulled off a fan-serving crossover event long before the Marvel Cinematic Universe was even a thought. The film saw William Shatner’s James T.Kirk share the screen with Patrick Stewart’s Captain Jean-Luc Picard. The Picard character was of course made famous from the Star Trek: The Next Generation series. 

William Shatner’s appearance as James T. Kirk in Star Trek: Generations saw his iconic portrayal of the science-fiction icon comes to a fatal end. He bows out in a heroic fashion. Fast forward to the 21st Century and the baton of Captain James T. Kirk was passed on to Chris Pine, as he took on the iconic character in JJ Abrams’ cinematic revival of the original cast of Star Trek characters in Star Trek (2009) and Star Trek Into Darkness. It was thought that Kirk and company would not be seen again after the underrated Star Trek Beyond, but in a surprise to many, including the cast, a fourth Star Trek film has been announced by Paramount. 

The world of Star Trek is a busy place. Not only is the cinema franchise seeing some unexpected longevity, but the saga also lives on the small screen as well. Star Trek: Picard returns soon for a second season on Amazon Prime, and Star Trek: Discovery is currently in its fourth season. William Shatner isn’t showing signs of slowing down either. Last year he became the oldest man in space at the age of ninety. The space exploration aboard Jeff Bezos’ rocket has been documented in the Amazon Orignal, Shatner in Space and serves as proof, that even just shy of ninety-one years of age, William Shatner will boldly go for many years to come.

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