William Shatner Sounds Off on ‘Star Wars,’ Latest ‘Star Trek’ Shows During Lively Comic-Con Appearance

William Shatner closed out the first night of San Diego Comic-Con in style — with plenty of cursing and a look back at his storied career.

In an hourlong chat with emcee Kevin Smith, the 91-year-old actor talked about aging, space travel (both real and fictional) and his place in the pop culture consciousness.

Shatner’s age was a running joke throughout the panel, with the actor quipping that he could die at any moment during the panel. “None of us really want that, sir, but that would be fucking incredible at Comic-Con,” Smith joked back. “People would be like, ‘he died like the legend he was.’”

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Throughout the Shatner on Shatner panel, presented by the fandom-focused company Legion M, the icon fluctuated between, as he put it, “serious” and “fun” topics. He took time to address the importance and power of fandom to his career, and specifically to Star Trek, which 56 years ago introduced the world to James T. Kirk, his most enduring character.

When asked to address the fans of that other major sci-fi franchise, Shatner quipped, “fuck Star Wars…. But not Mark Hamill.”

“We love Mark Hamill,” Smith agreed.

When asked by a fan if there were any new Star Trek series he thought rivaled his own, Shatner replied, “none of them.”

“I got to know Ryan Fish Gene Roddenberry in three years fairly well,” said Shatner, “he’d be turning in his grave at some of this stuff.”

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At another point, he gave a fan a hard time for wearing a mask, because the actor could not hear the man’s question. (Mask-wearing is strictly enforced this year at Comic-Con, the first since the coronavirus shuttered the convention for three years.) “Not only did I not understand what he’s talking about, but I don’t understand who he’s talking to” said Shatner, after several attempts at asking the fan to take it off.

Shatner also took time to talk about his real trip into outer space. He stressed how important it was to soak in every minute: “I went, and I vowed that every moment that I spent in space, would not be playing around in weightlessness, but looking out the window and trying to get an impression,” said Shatner of his trip last year in Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin.

However, Shatner said our own planet is where we’re truly meant to be. When one fan asked him which planet he’d like to visit, Shatner simply said, “this is the only fucking planet we’ve got.”

Toward the end of the panel, Legion M showed off an emotional clip from its upcoming Shatner documentary, in which the actor told a story about finding his beloved pet dog dead when he was only 10 years old. He described how this experience opened his mind to the fragility of life, changing his perspective and teaching him to treasure fleeting moments with nature, family and the planet Earth.

The panel ended with the fulfillment of a promise from Shatner. At the very beginning, Shatner said he and Smith would engage in a “curse off.” “You’re a double dumbass,” said Shatner.”

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“Well, double dumbass on you,” Kevin Smith returned — a reference to lines in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986).

“What kind of a shitty statement is that,” Shatner quipped back. “Now you just sound like my mother,” said Smith. “I feel sorry for your mother,” Shatner said, ending the panel in a mic drop moment.

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