The fact that William Shatner has an enormous ego is no shock to any Star Trek fan. This is practically common knowledge at this point. Over the years, William Shatner has not only ripped into his old co-stars but into Star Wars as well. It got so bad at one point that he and Carrie Fisher were stuck in a feud. He even referred to J.J. Abrams once as a “Pig” for directing both Star Trek and Star Wars films.
However, much like Captain Kirk in The Wrath Of Khan, it seems that even he can learn some humility. While speaking at a Star Trek convention in Las Vegas, Shatner shocked many fans with the following statement;
“Star Wars created Star Trek. You know that?”
Yes, you heard that. William Shatner is crediting Star Wars for the existence of Star Trek. Bet you never thought you’d see the day, did ya? Now, some of you may be wondering what he’s even talking about. I mean, Star Trek did come first, did it not? Yes, Star Trek did come first and was sadly cancelled after three seasons. Other than an animated series that lasted for two more seasons, Star Trek was dead for all intents and purposes.
“Every year, there was the threat to be canceled. The third year, we were canceled, and everybody accepted it,”
Shatner went on to say that the introduction of Star Wars got people into Science Fiction again. This is what ultimately got the heads at Paramount talking.
“At Paramount Studios, they were running around bumping into each other. ‘What do we got?! What do we got to equal Star Wars?’ There was this thing that we canceled, under another management, it was called Star Trek? Let’s resurrect that!”
Due to the success of Star Wars, Paramount resurrected Star Trek. As a result, this led to the creation of Star Wars: The Motion Picture. While the film wasn’t exactly well received, that didn’t stop Paramount from making twelve more films and five more shows in a franchise that is still going strong to this day. The thirteenth film, Star Trek Beyond, is currently playing in theaters and a new show, Star Trek: Discovery is in development at CBS. They’re even been fan-films made by past Star Trek cast members. About what separates the two franchise, Shatner had this to say;
“Star Trek, at its best, tells human stories. Star Wars was grand, like opera. It was huge with great special effects. It was a marvelously entertaining film, but it wasn’t specifically about people the way those Star Treks were.”
On the whole, William Shatner is correct. While most Star Trek & Star Wars fans have seen themselves as rivals for so long, they rarely take into account that both are polar opposites. They are both great franchises but for different reasons. Star Wars delves more into a fantasy based world while Star Trek thrives on real world ideas and human emotions. There’s nothing wrong with either side and I personally love both franchises. Shatner, you may have an ego but you have my respect.
Thank You, Captain Kirk.
Star Trek Beyond is currently playing in theaters worldwide.
A graduate of Full Sail University with a Bachelors Degree in Creative Writing, Adam is a Writer and Film Critic, looking to make his mark on the world. When he isn’t at the movies, writing for The Nerd Stash, playing Duck Hunt (respect the classics) or delivering pizzas to his neighbors, he is back at school earning his Masters Degree in Film Production.