Star Trek legend William Shatner knows he’s on borrowed time.
It’s hard to see icons of a franchise pass on. We’ve seen greats like Leonard Nimoy, Nichelle Nichols and even more tragically Anton Yelchin all leave us over the last few years. They haven’t been the only Star Trek veterans (and youngsters in Yelchin’s case) to pass on, just a few of the more notable ones.
Their passings hurt, but Star Trek fans have been spoiled for a long time. William Shatner is in his 90s and still acting, while George Takei is 85 and still acting. Then you have Walter Koening, 86 and still doing his thing as well. Not to mention that the entire core crew of The Next Generation (and Picard) are still kicking around, with everyone in their late 60s and early 70s at least. Voyager, Enterprise, Deep Space Nine, just about all of them are still alive.
Star Trek fans have been very fortunate in that regard, but the end comes for all of us, and eventually, we’ll have to say goodbye to our favorites. Sadly, Shatner is well aware of this fact and made a note that he’s well aware that his time is coming to an end.
Shatner has a new documentary coming out called You Can Call Me Bill, and in the press for it, he’s made it very clear that he’s aware he doesn’t have long to live (via NME.com)
"I’ve turned down a lot of offers to do documentaries before. But I don’t have long to live"
Now, maybe Shatner just realizes at 91 he’s closer to the end than the beginning, or maybe he knows something we don’t, who is to say?
William Shatner’s death will be a huge blow to the franchise
Star Trek is the biggest it’s ever been in its history currently. Its fandom is more supportive and active than ever before. While there have been comparable names to pass over the years; Gene Roddenberry and Leonard Nimoy to name two, none of their passings will have the impact that Shatner’s will have.
Shatner has been the biggest name attached to the franchise for 60 years. He is Star Trek in the eyes of many and even at 91, fans are still fantasy-booking his return to the role of James Kirk. His passing will resonate with far more people than maybe anyone the franchise has ever brought in, including Roddenberry and Nimoy.
It will be a sad day for the franchise, and one we hope is a long way’s off from happening.