Shatner to Takei: “Drop Dead”

Posted: January 10, 2012 by J. Marcus in Celebrities, News
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OK, so that headline was about as irresponsible as the one I cribbed it from, but the sentiment still stands as the Shatfish debacle just got serious.

In a video released on Monday, William Shatner responds to George Takei’s plea for peace in the Shatfish wars!  To recap the story thus far:

On September 15th, William Shatner claimed that Star Trek was better than Star Wars:

Which got Carrie Fisher to respond thusly:

And so William Shatner fired back:

Which led to George Takei’s appeal for peace in December.  George felt that Star Wars and Star Trek fans alike should band together to stop a true threat to science fiction… Twilight.  It was a bold plea that could have worked until yesterday when William Shatner dropped this particular bomb on the proceedings:

Clearly what Shatner is referring to is the long-standing feud between himself and George Takei.  The feud, in summary, is nothing more than a he said-he said over the course of their respective careers.  It should come as no surprise to anyone that William Shatner was difficult to deal with on the set of Star Trek.  If anecdotal evidence is to be believed:

1) He was the star of the show

2) His stardom was threatened by his co-star (Leonard Nimoy’s Spock was arguably more popular than Kirk)

3) He ran around in a tight-fitting shirt kissing green-skinned women (not every week, I know, but you get the point)

4) He was the star of a show that took place in a genre that, at the time, was not taken terribly seriously

CBS Home Entertainment

Compared to a lot of other actors of the time, his situation was probably less-than-ideal.  For a while, he made no bones about the fact that he saw it as just a job (a far cry from the romanticism that most fans have for the show).  I’m sure the decade of type-casting and relative obscurity that followed didn’t help his demeanor.  And then, of all things, he is forced to make his living off that damned TV show again, this time with a little more money.  It would still be many years before Shatner could catch a break with something that did not have him on the bridge of a starship.

The breaks came first with a long stint on Rescue 911, and later with his Priceline commercials (you could try to argue TJ Hooker, but the relative success of that show was a pittance compared to his later works).  With these two under his belt, Shatner started to parlay his success into something greater.  That and his work with horses (and age) gave him a clarity over Star Trek and, I believe, a mental freedom.  I think he’s old enough and mature enough to put those ghosts behind him.  But the idea that he would be bitter and a bit standoffish along the way is hardly difficult to believe.

Then we’ve got George.  An amicable-seeming guy through the years, George Takei, we would later find, had a secret that was probably difficult to keep.  Moreover, he had a bit part on a popular TV show for three years.  He was certainly famous because of it, despite the fact that, on average, he was relegated to lines like “course laid in, Captain!”.  He got an episode here or there, but for the most part it probably wasn’t terribly fulfilling from a career standpoint—not to mention being lorded over by the star of the show, who was probably trying to horn in on his lines (or just trying to make the best of the bad situation).

And this is probably something else that happened as the years went by.  As the two of them were brought back to Star Trek over and over, Takei (and the writers) felt the need to expand his part.  After all, how can you stay an ensign through your whole career.  At the same time, Shatner (who we’ve established was probably feeling a bit tired of having to revisit this stupid TV show over and over again) was probably trying to keep things worth his while.  Therefore, as the star of a major motion picture, he should have the most lines.  The best lines.  The best moments.

This is ultimately conjecture, but let’s be honest: given the evidence of our own eyes, it’s probably pretty likely.

Once these two didn’t have to work together anymore, there was no need to even pretend to have any kind of friendship.  Unfortunately, the fans have been rooting for these two to get back together.  Mainly it’s because you don’t like to watch your friends fight.  The problem is that too much time has passed and too many things have been said for this feud to end quickly.  Shatner has cited his not being invited to Takei’s wedding as a sore spot.  Takei took a pretty big swing at Shatner at his Comedy Central Roast (it was almost painful to watch).  It’s gotten so far out of hand that it’s hard to tell who really started it (or at least who brought in the big guns).

The fact remains that now their laundry has been aired in the Shatfish wars.  And so now we can point our fingers at Mr. Shatner for taking it, once again, farther than it need be.  Life is short, boys.  Someone needs to bury the hatchet really soon.  And whoever does, needs help from the other.  You don’t have to kiss and make up, but for God’s sake… try to grow up just a little?

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