George Takei has appeared to throw some shade at fellow Star Trek actor William Shatner’s widely covered trip to the edge of space on Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin rocket.
Shatner, 90, and three others were the passengers on the craft’s second commercial flight on Wednesday.
Upon safely landing, Shatner was visibly moved by the experience and said, “’I’m so filled with emotion with what just happened. I hope I never recover from this.”
Takei, 84, was asked what he thought about Shatner’s space adventure during a Q&A on Broadway that same evening. Takei appeared at the opening of Thoughts of a Colored Man at the John Golden Theatre.
Page Six reports Takei snarkily responding, “He’s boldly going where other people have gone before.”
Takei went on to add, “He’s a guinea pig, 90 years old and it’s important to find out what happens. So 90 years old is going to show a great deal more on the wear and tear on the human body, so he’ll be a good specimen to study. Although he’s not the fittest specimen of 90 years old, so he’ll be a specimen that’s unfit!”
Takei and Shatner have exchanged several barbs with one another over the years. According to Takei, the two men were not close at all during the filming of Star Trek in the 1960s, and no friendship was forged during the filming of subsequent movies.
Shatner has said he “barely knew the man” during the filming of the Star Trek show or movies.
Takei alleges Shatner ignored him during the filming of the original Star Trek series and told a podcast last year the atmosphere on set was, “William Shatner versus the rest of the world”.
He also claims Shatner changed the script of the 1989 movie Star Trek V to ensure Takei’s character, Hikaru Sulu, did not temporarily take command of a starship.
Takei has also said Shatner was insecure around co-star Leonard Nimoy (who played Spock), as he got more fan mail.
Shatner responded to this claim on Twitter, saying, “George needs a new hobby. Now he’s making things up. We never saw fan letters. That’s why there’s so many secretary-signed photos.
“We barely saw George. He was in once a week at most – how would he know anything? The only person with jealousy is George.”
In 2008, Takei did not invite Shatner to his wedding to husband, Brad, but did invite other surviving cast members. Asked about this during an interview, Shatner expressed sympathy for Takei, “Poor man. There’s such a sickness there. It’s so patently obvious that there is a psychosis there. I don’t know what his original thing about me was. I have no idea.”
And here’s Takei on Shatner in 2013.