George Takei lashed out at fellow Star Trek alumnus William Shatner for taking a historic space trip at age 90 — rekindling a decades-long feud that began on the set of the 1960s sci-fi show.
Asked about his thoughts on William Shatner’s journey 100 miles above the Earth’s surface on Wednesday, Takei said, “He boldly goes where other people have gone,” mocking Shatner’s popular phrase as Captain Kirk.
“He’s a guinea pig, 90 years old, and it’s important to find out what’s happening,” Takei added during Wednesday night’s Broadway opening of Thoughts of a Colored Man, according to Page Six.
“So 90 years old will show a lot more about the wear and tear of the human body, so it will be a good specimen to study.” Although he is not the strongest specimen of 90 years old, he will therefore be an unsuitable specimen!’
Shatner and new astronauts Chris Boshuizen, Glen de Vries and Audrey Powers spent three minutes weightless aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket earlier that day.
George Takei, 84, criticized his former co-star William Shatner as a ‘specimen unsuitable’
Shatner, 90, (second from left) on Wednesday became the oldest person in space after three minutes of weightlessness aboard a Blue Origin rocket
Shatner became the oldest person in space, surpassing Wally Funk’s previous record, 82, on a similar foray on a Jeff Bezos spaceship in July, by eight years.
Takei, 84, has had a hit with Shatner before.
Their feud apparently started during the filming of the 79-episode show, with Takei accusing Shatner of ignoring him on set.
He also accused him of changing the script of the 1989 film Star Trek V so that Takei’s character, Hikaru Sulu, would not be given command of a spaceship, Page Six said.
The pair starred in the iconic TV show and in six theatrical releases, ending with Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country in 1991.
Shatner (center) and Takei (right) appeared together in 79 Star Trek episodes and six movies
Takei described Star Trek sets as “William Shatner vs. the Rest of the World” in an interview on David Tennant’s celebrity podcast last year.
He said Shatner was insecure because co-star Leonard Nimoy, who played Spock, got more letters from fans than he did.
Shatner took to Twitter to say, “George needs a new hobby. Now he makes things up. We never saw any letters from fans. That’s why there are so many secretary autographed photos.
“We’ve barely seen George. He was there once a week at most – how would he know? The only person with jealousy is George.”
In 2008, Shatner went after Takei’s mental health after he was expelled from Takei’s wedding guest list.
“I’m so emotional about what just happened,” Shatner said to Bezos on the floor and burst into tears. “I hope I never recover from this,” he added.
“Poor man,” Shatner said in a YouTube interview on his official page.
‘There is such a disease there. It is so obvious that there is psychosis. I don’t know what his original thing about me was. I have no idea.’
Shatner felt a very different range of emotions on Wednesday, as he broke down in tears after landing back on Earth.
“I am so full of emotion with what just happened. I hope I never recover from this,” he told Bezos, the Amazon founder who owns Blue Origin.
“It’s so much bigger than me and life, and it has nothing to do with the green hand or the blue ball.”
“Everyone in the world should do this,” he said. “To watch the blue flash by and now you’re staring into the black, that’s it.
The blue cover, this scabbard, this blanket, this blue quilt that we’ve got around it, we say, “Oh, that’s blue sky.” And then you suddenly shoot through it and you look into the darkness, into the black ugliness.’
“If you look down, you see your blue one down there with the black one up there. There is Mother Earth and comfort and there is – is there death? I do not know. Is that the way death is?’