Star Trek: How George Takei & William Shatner Can Squash Their Beef
As much popcorn fodder as it gets sometimes when two over-the-top Internet personalities can get at it, you have to wonder sometimes just how much legit "heat" exists because two of Star Trek's biggest icons, George Takei (Sulu) and William Shatner (Kirk)- who haven't stopped bickering in public whenever one is asked about the other. Most recently, Takei has been looking to take the high road, scoffing at the idea that his former captain's claims that any hate from former castmates for publicity purposes is utter nonsense. In fact, Takei doubles down on the idea that everyone else in the Trek cast got along and all shared a mutual despise for the Kirk actor. So here are some of my suggestions on how we can put this feud to some kind of resolution since no other Star Trek cast seems to have the problems that The Original Series reportedly has with Shatner. So to take a page from FXX's It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, here are some ideas on how the two can squash their beef:
Reality TV Special with Takei and Shatner for Paramount+
If Ryan Murphy doesn't dedicate a season of Feud to Shatner and Takei, then perhaps Paramount+ should take the initiative and host a special where both put their chips on the table. The two still show they can co-exist on camera, given Shatner's 2006 roast on Comedy Central. There couldn't be that much new beef that happened in the 16 years since, as Shatner was okay with everyone from friends and former castmates ripping on his ego and personality on television. If Takei, Nichelle Nichols, Walter Koenig, and Leonard Nimoy truly loathed their former captain, then why would they have bothered attending Shatner's Roast? At the very least, perhaps the lingering beef will have a context or will be played up like a professional wrestling storyline. The perfect moderator would be The View's Whoopi Goldberg, who's probably already used to doing it as Guinan on Star Trek: The Next Generation. If not her, then radio legend and provocateur Howard Stern, who's had a history with both.
Grumpy Old Men Remake
I've addressed it before that the two old men would be ideal, playing off their animosity for one another, creating comedy gold. They could probably surpass Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau in a way the Grumpy Old Men films never had before. Then again, having the 91-year-old Shatner physically tangle with an 85-year-old Takei probably is better reserved for stuntmen while keeping their actual barbs to vocal ones. Doing an actual comedy together while using any legit beef as fodder could provide a therapeutic affair, not to mention adding other contemporary actors in the mix as the original films did.
Star Trek Audio Drama: Takei & Shatner… Sulu & Kirk… One Last Time
One advantage of audio drama or anything in animation is that the voices allow characters to be timeless, as Takei's appearance on Lower Decks shows. One prime opportunity could be a Sulu adventure on why he left to accept the job as captain of the U.S.S. Excelsior. It could be for a variety of reasons aside from the obvious promotion, but it could dive into both actors' legit animosity bleeding over to the art. Obviously, it would be a charitable act if either ever wants to co-exist on a project which is predicated on all the ideas mentioned here. It just seems that as entertaining as this feud gets for the social media world to see, it's also its own tragedy in that both remain so bitter to one another in their final years. Perhaps, it's wishful thinking, and at the same time, it's plausible both are pulling the long con as professional wrestlers do on camera, only to share a beer when no one is looking.
The fact is both are right about the other. Takei is likely right about the TOS cast having anti-Shatner understanding and bond, but any time one mentions the other (often for negative reasons), there will always be attention for "publicity purposes," as Shatner says. Also, the fact that the TOS cast continued to make public appearances with Shatner when no one forced them to means they still clearly can stomach him, and some level of civility exists. If people truly hated the other, then the more likely scenario is that nothing would ever be said again, which neither Shatner nor Takei can ever stop doing. So dunno, do maybe they SHOULD actually do something together and stop bitching over the same nonsense before either dies.