A little over a month ago, George Takei appeared on The Graham Norton Show and made a shocking declaration. Takei explained that he would no longer publicly discuss his feud with former Star Trek co-star William Shatner and seemingly put a cap on it by calling him a "cantankerous old man." After a period of silence, Takei has broken his vow by speaking ill of Shatner and his much-publicized space flight.
George Takei spoke to Mirror recently, and weighed in about William Shatner's flight with Jeff Bezos to share his thoughts on the achievement. Takei picked apart Shatner's space flight and contested that he might actually have more experience in one specific element of the experience than the former Star Trek star did:
Well, he wasn’t really in outer space, and it wasn’t for very long. I’ve also been in zero gravity, but I did it for longer. I took a parabolic flight and experienced five minutes of weightlessness, whereas William only experienced three minutes. So I’ve spent more time in zero gravity than him.
George Takei didn't miss an opportunity to take a shot at William Shatner, and this isn't the first time he's done so about the aforementioned space flight. Takei noted in 2021 that Shatner was an "unfit" candidate for space flight. For his part at the time, Shatner fired back at Takei's criticism as he's done in years past, so I wouldn't be surprised if he responds to this latest comment in the coming weeks.
After making the disparaging remark, George Takei was asked what the source was behind his decades-long feud with William Shatner. Takei denied he had any animosity but shared his views on Shatner without directly referring to his former Star Trek co-star by name:
Oh, there’s no animosity. In Star Trek, I was blessed by wonderful and lifelong friends, and we all enjoyed each other’s company… except for the prima donna. Let’s just say he’s not the easiest guy to work with and I wouldn’t leap at another opportunity. That’s a universal feeling, although the others have a better sense of restraint and discretion. I believe in being honest and forthright.
George Takei would not be the first person to speak ill of their time with William Shatner. Actor Wil Wheaton mentioned an unpleasant encounter he had with the actor while working on The Next Generation, which led to a response from Shatner, who believed he'd worked the situation out with Wheaton previously.
William Shatner has previously fired back at George Takei and others and suggested they did it mainly for publicity. Shatner has sometimes caused a stir with his bold takes about the state of the Star Trek franchise, including the idea that the modern shows would have creator Gene Roddenberry turning in his grave. Some actors associated with those shows didn't take kindly to that comment and responded to the actor.
Whether or not William Shatner will respond to Takei's latest comments remains to be seen, as well as whether any others in the Star Trek franchise have thoughts to publicly share. One thing that is a safe bet is that we shouldn't expect Takei and Shatner to get their own upcoming Trek series together, though that would undoubtedly be very entertaining if it happened.
Anyone interested can watch William Shatner and George Takei act together on Star Trek if they have a Paramount+ subscription. I'm sure this won't be the last word in their ongoing public feud, but maybe we'll be surprised by the end of this year.