Star Trek has remained silent about the feud between William Shatner and George Takei.
This post contains spoilers for Star Trek: Lower Decks Season 3, Episode 8 – “Crisis Point 2: Paradoxus.”
The online sparring matches between William Shatner and George Takei show no signs of slowing down. The Star Trek franchise has remained silent, leaving the dissenssion to the two actors to resolve, which probably isn’t going to happen at this stage of the game. But Screenrant recently shared a post declaring that the franchise has finally chosen a side between the pair because of a recent Star Trek: Lower Decks episode.
When Brad Boimler visits Captain James T. Kirk’s Idaho ranch in his dream, he encounters Captain Sulu (Takei) instead of Kirk and exclaims “Oh my gosh, Captain Sulu. Even better!” In Screenrant’s post, this is meant to prove that Trek is now firmly in Takei’s corner, but that might be taking things a bit too far as there are plenty of reasons why George Takei appeared in the animated series and not William Shatner.
Star Trek would do well not to choose sides between William Shatner and George Takei.
We don’t even have to mention the odds of Shatner costing a lot more money to cast than Takei. Ergo, it makes financial sense to ask Takei to return to his character. In addition, Shatner’s schedule includes the recent release of a book, To Boldly Go, a recent appearance on The Masked Singer, appearances at various conventions, The Wrath of Khan screenings, and so much more. It’s possible that it was simply easier to work around Takei’s schedule than Shatner’s.
And, of course, there’s always the possibility that Shatner wasn’t interested in returning to the character of Captain Kirk even in voice. So one can’t assume that by having Boimler exclaim “even better” upon seeing Sulu that the franchise has effectively chosen a side between the two actors. In fact, it makes better sense if Star Trek remains neutral.
This is a decades-long disagreement that has been blown out of proportion over the years, and there is no upside for Paramount+ or anyone associated with Trek to claim allegiance to one or the other actors. Star Trek: Lower Decks is a comedy so it’s possible, entirely probable, that Boimler’s explanation was used for comedic effect and not to establish a position.