Beam him down, Scotty: George Takei isn’t impressed by William Shatner’s space trip

A man in a dress shirt smiles and poses with his hands on his hips
“Star Trek” actor George Takei didn’t mince words about William Shatner’s Blue Origin space flight.
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

William Shatner’s brief trip to outer space this week wasn’t the final frontier in his grudge match with former co-star George Takei. If anything, it blazed a new interstellar trail in the stars’ rivalry.

Takei, who played Hikaru Sulu to Shatner’s Capt. James T. Kirk in the iconic TV series and films, fired the latest blast in the pair’s decades-long feud Wednesday. This time, he criticized the 90-year-old’s Wednesday flight aboard Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space capsule, which gave Shatner the honor of being the oldest person to launch into space.

So while he may have felt some weightlessness in space, Takei was sure to bring him down to Earth.


“He’s boldly going where other people have gone before,” Takei, 84, quipped to Page Six at a play opening Wednesday night, riffing on the series’ catchphrase (and a number of headlines about Shatner’s 10-minute voyage.)

At 90, William Shatner set the record for the oldest person to go to space after 10-minute flight aboard Blue Origin. “I am overwhelmed,” he said upon return.

Oct. 13, 2021

Upon returning to Earth Wednesday, Shatner was moved to tears over the “profound experience” Bezos gave him and was surveying “the enormity and the quickness and the suddenness of life and death.”

Takei put it more bluntly: “He’s a guinea pig,” he said.

The outspoken actor and prolific Twitter user then threw even more shade at Shatner’s physical fitness and age.

“Ninety years old and it’s important to find out what happens,” he added, noting that Shatner’s advanced years will “show a great deal more on the wear and tear on the human body” and that “he’ll be a good specimen to study” — a specimen “that’s unfit.”

William Shatner’s trip to space at age 90 reawakens dreams for older folks, and young ones too, about venturing toward the final frontier.

Oct. 13, 2021

Takei has previously accused Shatner of being “very self-centered” and has publicly bickered with his former co-star for years. In his 1994 biography, “To the Stars,” Takei accused Shatner of ignoring him on the “Star Trek” set and changing the script for “Star Trek V” so his character wouldn’t take command of a spaceship. There was also a very public disagreement over whether Shatner was invited to Takei’s 2008 wedding.

Shatner has said he pities Takei and has claimed that “there’s a psychosis there” when it comes to Takei and that there’s something “festering” in the actor. In his 2011 memoir, “Shatner Rules,” he said that their discord was a result of Takei’s unwillingness to play second fiddle on the show.


Seems like neither Trekkie is living up to the show’s live-long-and-prosper credo.