William Shatner Fights an Old ‘Star Trek’ Enemy Again
William Shatner vs. the Gorn: Then and Now (Photo: Paramount Pictures)
82-year-old William Shatner is boldly going where he's gone once before.
Over four decades after they first tussled on a far-off planet, Shatner -- the original Captain Kirk -- finds himself locked in mortal combat with his old enemy: the reptilian creature called the Gorn.
Picking up where their battle in the classic 1967 "Star Trek" episode "Arena" left off, Shatner and the Gorn trade the show's rocky desert setting for a comfortable living room and toss pillows instead of stones. But that doesn't make the combat any less intense. Watch the exclusive video of this epic rematch, and keep reading to find out how this brawl for the ages came together.
Watch William Shatner fight the Gorn in this exclusive video:
Shatner got into it with his old adversary again to promote Star Trek: The Video Game, which pits Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock against a new and radically redesigned race of Gorns (meaning, they can actually open and close their mouths). So it was the ideal occasion to re-create one of the most memorable moments from the original "Star Trek."
With a stuntman in a replica Gorn costume -- most of the original was destroyed, and the head sold at auction for $27,500 in 2006 -- Shatner once again throws down some of Kirk's signature moves: double fists to the back, judo chop to the neck, and the paralyzing ear clap. Though this time the octogenarian doesn't do Kirk's iconic flying drop kick.
In the original episode, Kirk and the Gorn are plucked from their respective spaceships by omnipresent beings called Metrons, who force the two to do battle on a desolate planet. Kirk is no physical match for the towering reptile, but he realizes he can use the minerals present on the planet to create gunpowder and fashion a crude cannon to fire diamonds at the creature. ("Mythbusters" later tried this out and found that even if Kirk were successful at creating black powder, the explosion would have injured him far more than the Gorn.)
It's one of the most fondly remembered episodes of the series, so reviving the Gorn for the new game was a natural fit. In Star Trek: The Video Game, though, Kirk has the likeness and voice of actor Chris Pine, who took over the role of the young captain in J.J. Abrams's reboot in 2009. But the video shows that in the game, Kirk still uses the old ear smack on his scaly foes.