William Shatner, best known for his role as Captain James Tiberius Kirk of the Starship Enterprise from television and film, has recently been quoted as giving his long-time rival franchise, Star Wars, credit, for the success of Star Trek…
CNN has reported that actor William Shatner — Captain James Kirk of the Starship Enterprise — has told fans attending a Star Trek convention in Las Vegas, that Star Wars deserves credit for the success of Star Trek. CNN describes the reaction of the thousands of fans in attendance as, “surprised.”
“First of all, Star Wars created Star Trek. You know that?”
As CNN points out, the original Star Trek television series aired from 1966 to 1969, while Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, didn’t debut in theaters, until 1977.
However, the Shat clarified himself, and when onto to say that the huge success of George Lucas’ Star Wars film brought Star Trek back to life, therefore, it owing it’s success to that film, in a galaxy, far, far away.
"“Every year there was the threat to be canceled. The third year, we were canceled, and everybody accepted it.”"
Then, A New Hope made a whopping $775 million at the box office, and all the sudden, Star Trek had a new lease on life. There was plenty of room in the universe for two fantasy/science-fiction genre films. Shatner recalled the excitement at Paramount:
"“At Paramount Studios they were running around bumping into each other: ‘What do we got?! What do we got to equal ‘Star Wars?’ This is a big thing! There was this thing that we canceled, under another management, it was called Star …Trek? Let’s resurrect that!”"
Sadly for Paramount and Shatner, the movie was a flop — compared to the high-paced, fast-action Star Wars: A New Hope. Shatner says he ripped into Paramount for what he perceived as the company rushing the product to the big-screen.
"“Star Trek was done so hastily… there were no time to edit the special effects, and so the movie was flawed and didn’t make as much money.”"
“Shatner ended his answer by defining the two vastly
different science fiction universes.”
"“Star Trek at its best tells human stories. It’s philosophical. There’s humanity. There’s a principle involved. And it’s well done. It’s about people.”"
I don’t necessarily agree with Shatner on this point. You can’t say that Star Wars isn’t about human stories, when the basis for the entire Star Wars saga is the Skywalker lineage and those who surround them.
Next, the religion of the Force is the very definition of philosophical. The Jedi and the Sith. The Empire’s views versus the Republic. These are all superbly done as well. Shatner continued:
"“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.”"
Again, Shatner is way off-base here. Star Wars is all about the people, places, and planets of the known galaxy. One need only look at Star Wars: The Force Awakens to see how much fans care about Rey (Daisy Ridley), and her lineage. And, if you want to go all the way back to the Original Trilogy: Characters like Luke, Leia, Han and Chewie, were wildly popular character driven stories.
We wanted to know what Luke was abandoned on Tatooine, and who was this old man in a brown hooded cloak call Old Ben Kenobi. What was that laser sword? Was Luke’s father really a Jedi? And, what the heck was a Jedi Knight?
These are the “human stories” that drove Star Wars into the super-juggernaut of popularity that it became, and still is today. It just sounds like Mr. Shatner hasn’t watched an actual Star Wars film…and if he has, then maybe he’s still bitter his franchise is still playing second fiddle to “an opera with great special effects.”