When a young Star Trek fan who wanted to wear a Starfleet uniform to school got in a fight and knocked out, William Shatner came to him in a dream and told him to stop dressing like a geek. But when the kid reveals the real reason why he started the fight was because someone said Han Solo was cooler than Capt. Kirk, Shatner responded dryly: “Kick the little fucker’s ass.”
That was 13 years ago in the independent film “Free Enterprise” (which starred a pre-“Will & Grace” Eric McCormack). But it looks like Shatner, now 80, isn’t ready to let the debate end there.
The former Capt. Kirk told an interviewer this past week that not only was Star Trek better than Star Wars, but that Star Wars was actually a derivative of the Gene Roddenberry creation.
“Star Wars did have one thing Star Trek was lacking … special effects,” Shatner said, according to the Daily Mail. “But even in that respect, Star Trek now has Star Wars beaten.”
That respect happens to be the 2009 “Star Trek” directed by J.J. Abrams, who Shatner said piled on the special effects. “I would say that there is a resurgence of Star Trek in the big movie frame that supersedes Star Wars. On every level now.”
Shatner left out the fact that Abrams is actually a fan of Star Wars more than Star Trek, and used the storytelling methods and action sequences popularly used by George Lucas rather than those elements championed by Roddenberry. So one might say that if Star Wars success was derivative of Star Trek, the success of Star Trek today is now derivative of Star Wars.
It’s confusing enough to make temporal mechanics look interesting.
If special effects weren’t enough, Shatner even attacked the beauty of the women on Star Wars, saying that even in that category, Star Trek was a big winner.
“Princess Leia, as beautiful as she was and as wonderful an actress as [Carrie Fisher] is, can’t compare to the marvelous heroines we had on Star Trek,” Shatner said. “The pretty girls were prettier than the girls in Star Wars.”
At the same time, however, Shatner said Kirk and Leia getting married in some cross-universe union would be “perfect.”
Shatner’s humor is so dry at time that it’s difficult to get a read on when he’s being serious, or when he’s simply saying things to get some attention. Shatner ruffled some feathers back in 2008 when he said former “Star Trek” co-star George Takei was obsessed with him, and that Takei did not invite the actor to his wedding with Brad Altman.
Shatner has a little extra time on his hands now that his sitcom “$#*! My Dad Says” was cancelled by CBS after one season. He recently released his “The Captains” documentary, which featured all the captains in Star Trek.