The 91-years-young star of the original Star Trek series has criticised newer additions (see here, here and here) to the sci-fi universe, declaring, Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, would be “turning in his grave.”
Shatner made the comments at this year’s Comic-Con International held in San Deigo over the weekend.
The Hollywood Reporter recalled how the actor – whose Hollywood C.V. includes decades of work in TV and cinema – closed out the first night’ of the pop-culture conference, telling Trekkies:
“I got to know Gene Roddenberry in three years fairly well, he’d be turning in his grave at some of this stuff.”
When Shatner was asked if the new arrivals beat the original series, he answered, “none of them.”
Although not specified in reports, the basis for Shatner’s criticism is both political and artistic.
The actor has long been an opponent of wokeism, ripping into cancel culture’s rewriting of the past (deconstructionism), and its erasure of history, such as the mass destruction of historical monuments.
In one 2019 example, Shatner wrote: “[Wokeism] got adopted and reworked to be the joke it is today. To be woke is to be uniformed which is exactly the opposite of what it stands for.”
In an example from 2021, after climate change catastrophisers took issue with his Blue Origin trip into space, Shatner fired back:
“What about the Android phone you are tweeting on, Sporto? I’m sure that the manufacturing of that was Carbon negative. The moronic ridiculousness of the woke set who go to extremes to condemn others while sitting in Carbon squalor is hysterical.”
There’s a lot more. When feuding fellow Trek cast member, George Takei, jumped on that bandwagon by calling Shatner an ‘unfit Guinea pig, boldly going where other people have gone before,’ Shatner retorted:
“Don’t hate George. The only time he gets press is when he talks bad about me. He claims 50+ years ago I took away a camera angle that denied him 30 more seconds of prime-time TV. I’m giving it back to him now by letting him spew his hatred for the world to see!”
Shatner’s criticisms are also linked to creative direction.
Comments about Roddenberry from Next Generation’s Jonathon Frakes (Commander Will Riker) appear to lend more context to Shatner’s criticisms.
When discussing Frake’s role in directing an emotionally intense episode of Amazon’s Star Trek: Picard, the Next Gen star said, “We never could have done [a scene like] this on our show.”
The reason, according to The Hollywood Reporter, is Roddenberry’s Star Trek lore. He wanted no dark drama between the crew of NCC-1701 (The USS Enterprise).
This is presumably because The Enterprise’s mission was to solve dysfunction in the Universe, not enable it.
Apart from being a main event, Shatner used his presence at this year’s Comic-Con to promote his up-and-coming, untitled, Legion M documentary. He then participated in the handprint ceremony, “immortalising” him in cement.
Then, as if the Star Trek Captain couldn’t get any more impressive in real life, there’s the bit where Shatner clashed with Comic-Con’s “strict” COVID-19 mask mandate.
The Hollywood Reporter recounted how Shatner commanded a fan to remove his mask ‘several times’, in order to hear the fan more clearly.
Shatner argued, “Not only did I not understand what he’s talking about, but I don’t understand who he’s talking to!”
Contrary to Woketocracy apologists, Star Trek’s woke trajectory is not an extension of Gene Roddenberry’s boundary-challenging narratives and characters.
At its core, Roddenberry’s Star Trek maintained the concept of family, faith, and freedom. His world is a far cry from the “woke” alienation of healthy traditions, and the “burn it all down” social justice warriorism of deconstructionism.
Even the most “progressive” Trekkie would have to admit that the moral fabric of Star Trek lore involves the balance between emotion and reason.
It is a world firmly planted in respect for science, faith, life, and facts over feelings, fanaticism, and death.