If you’re a die-hard Star Trek fan, you’ll love William Shatner’s performance as Captain Kirk in the original television series and films. His performance was impeccable and he’s one of the main reasons why we still love watching the original series created by Gene Rodenberry.
But how did William Shatner feel about Captain Kirk and the Star Trek franchise? The unsettling truth for die-hard fans is that he claims to have never watched an episode of Star Trek in its entirety!
In fact, he’s stated that he finds it ‘painful’ to watch and that he doesn’t like how he looks or his performance in the television series or in the original films.
Let’s have a look at how William Shatner felt about Captain Kirk and what he thinks of the whole Star Trek franchise…
Earlier in 2021, William Shatner revealed that he had never managed to watch an entire episode of the Star Trek television show. He stated that he cannot recall certain episodes at all. He even stated that he hadn’t watched any of the original Star Trek films.
The one exception was Star Trek V: The Final Frontier – but that was only because he directed the film!
It isn’t uncommon for actors and actresses to not want to look back at their work. Many of them feel embarrassed at how they look and often aren’t too happy with their performances.
This is how the now 90-year-old actor feels about his performance as Captain Kirk. Nevertheless, he isn’t bitter about his experience with the character or the franchise at all. In fact, he seems to have an affinity for the character and the franchise.
He clearly understands Captain Kirk in a way that most of us can’t. He also understands why Star Trek became a popular franchise and why it will continue to remain popular…
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The original Star Trek series was created by Gene Roddenberry and lasted for 3 seasons from 1966 to 1969.
This series also spawned six films including Star Trek: The Motion Picture, The Wrath of Khan, The Search for Spock, The Final Frontier, and The Undiscovered Country. William Shatner appeared as Captain Kirk in each of these six films. He also re-appeared as Captain Kirk in Star Trek Generations, though many of the original cast members didn’t appear in this film.
Of course, since then, we’ve seen more reboots of the television series as well as newer films. But no matter what, we’ll always love William Shatner as Captain Kirk.
Yet, though he hates watching his most famous role in both film and television he is grateful for his work on Star Trek. He also realizes the importance of the Star Trek franchise.
He stated, “We are on the verge of extinction. We are poisoning ourselves out of life, and the Earth will survive and this little cancer, mankind, that’s growing all around her will die off the way a body gets a temperature and kills the germs off. Mother Earth will get rid of us because we’re a pestilence. But we don’t have to be. And we can join with the rest of life that makes it here on Earth with equanimity.”
He states that the reason for the Star Trek universe being set in a distant future was to give a sense of hope for humans and their future in the universe.
Despite him not liking to watch his work in Star Trek, he’s happy to discuss the franchise and he realizes how important it is to generations of fans.
In fact, he’s so introspective on Star Trek, that he recently cleared up a long-standing rumor about Captain Kirk. In the original television series, Captain Kirk was depicted as a womanizer. Yet his close relationship with Mr. Spock raised a few eyebrows from discerning fans. It’s rumored that Captain Kirk was bisexual and that he loved Mr. Spock and perhaps other men.
William Shatner has dispelled these rumors by requesting that newer generations of fans consider the context of the original series. The original Star Trek series aired during the 1960s.
He stated that while the end of the 1960s launched the gay rights movement, as with the Stonewall Riots, the very notion of homosexuality was taboo during much of the decade. He knew that if Captain Kirk was depicted as explicitly bisexual – the show wouldn’t have lasted. He felt that it wouldn’t have spawned films and it would not have made Gene Roddenberry’s career.
He stated that he couldn’t care less if future depictions of Captain Kirk portray the character as being bisexual. But he has dispelled rumors that the original Captain Kirk was bisexual. To him, it would have been suicidal for the success of the franchise – given the time period that it was produced.
While William Shatner has moved on to different roles in films and television series, it seems that we’ll always remember him as Captain Kirk. While Star Trek will continue to see new iterations, no actor can ever replace the legend that is William Shatner!
In fact, there has even been discussion about William Shatner reprising the role in a new Star Trek film. At his age, he could perhaps play Captain Kirk in the future – as an older and wiser man.
He states that he isn’t 100% against this but he feels that it likely won’t happen. For him, acting in Star Trek is in his past and he likely doesn’t want to reprise the role. Nevertheless, he’s happy to discuss Star Trek in interviews, press conferences, and at Star Trek-related events.
So, what else has William Shatner been doing with his life and career?
On April 6, 2021, he was inducted into the World Wrestling Entertainment’s Hall of Fame. While not a wrestler himself, he had hosted WWE shows before and was always a welcome presence. He loved hosting WWE shows and stated that he enjoyed the interaction from the fans.
He felt that their enthusiasm was similar to that of the most diehard Star Trek fans. The actor was inducted into the celebrity wing of the WWE Hall of Fame. This section of the Hall of Fame also includes other major celebrities such as Donald Trump, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kid Rock, Mr. T, Drew Carey, and Snoop Dogg.
Apart from Star Trek, William Shatner has had a long career in both film and television. He began his career in the 1950s when he was in his twenties. He spent much of his career playing bit parts in television shows. He also appeared in a few independent films such as The Explosive Generation, Judgment at Nuremberg, and The Intruder.
While he continued to work throughout the 1950s and 1960s, his career consisted mostly of bit parts in TV shows and occasional work in film. He was a recognized face, but he wasn’t a household name. Looking back, no one could predict that he’d become an icon of television at any time in his career.
Then in the mid-1960s he won the role of a lifetime as Captain Kirk in the Star Trek television show. This launched him to stardom and his career has been uphill ever since. Now in his 90s, he still is one of the most cherished actors in the entertainment industry – loved by his peers, critics, and fans alike.
With the success of Star Trek, he continued to land roles in some of the most popular TV shows of the time. These included The Six Million Dollar Man, Ironside, and Kung Fu.
Later he would also find success in shows such as T.J. Hooker, TekWar, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Boston Legal, and The Indian Detective.
He also acted in major films such as Miss Congeniality, Devil’s Revenge, and most recently, Senior Moment.
Not only were his characters famous – but he was famous. Since Star Trek’s popularity, William Shatner has often appeared as himself in shows such as The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Futurama, The Big Bang Theory, and many more!
He’s one of those rare actors who is as legendary as the characters he plays. In his 90s, he doesn’t seem to have any desire to slow down, and we can expect to see him work in film and television for at least a few more years. For those of us who are Star Trek fans, we hope that at least once more we can see him reprise the role of Captain James T. Kirk.
As of now, we should look back at his incredible work in one of the greatest franchises of all time. Next time you watch Captain Kirk in the original Star Trek series and films, make sure you educate yourself and your friends on the remarkable actor behind the portrayal.
We thank William Shatner for his incredible work. Perhaps he’ll break his rule and catch an episode of two of Star Trek in the near future! Even if he doesn’t like watching his performances, we know that we always will!
Are you a fan of the Star Trek show and films?
What do you think about William Shatner’s thoughts on Captain Kirk?
Do you agree with his views on the character? Or do you have sharp disagreements with him?
Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments.
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