George Takei has made it very clear that he doesn’t think much of William Shatner
Over the course of the last fifty-plus years, George Takei has had a lot to say about William Shatner. From calling him a “cantankerous old man” to saying Shatner wanted everyone to “kowtow to him,” Takei has been extremely vocal about his dislike.
Takei’s first appearance on Star Trek: The Original Series was in “Where No Man Has Gone Before.” He went on to appear in a total of fifty-two episodes out of the seventy-nine that were filmed. Only three actors received top billing, William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, and DeForest Kelley, but Takei took issue with Shatner being the star of the show. So it’s rare to hear the actor say anything good about the former Captain Kirk, but surprisingly, he did so in his 1994 autobiography, To The Stars, per thesearethevoyagesbooiks.com.
In words bound to astound fans who’ve witnessed George Takei’s displeasure with William Shatner, Takei actually offers positive, even glowing commentary.
"“What commanded all eyes and pulled them like some gravitational force to the blazingly lit center of the set was the single most compelling presence there, the unmistakable star of the production, William Shatner. Everything seemed to revolve around him. The camera crew, the light crew, the sound crew were all converged on him. And Shatner fully occupied the epicenter. He commanded the hub of all activity on the set. He radiated energy and a boundless joy in his position. He shouted his opinions out to the director; he sprang up, demonstrating his ideas; he laughed and joked and bounced his wit off the crew. He beamed out an infectious expansively joyous life force.”"
Takei acknowledged that Shatner was the single most compelling presence there as well as his place as the star of the series. Yet, in later years, he’s been critical of Shatner, saying he wasn’t a team player and was focused on drawing all the attention to himself.
It certainly doesn’t sound like Shatner had to draw the attention as, in Takei’s own words, Shatner was the unmistakable star of the production. Stars of a series tend to get most of the focus while characters who aren’t are there to help propel the plot along. So if Takei had so much positivity when talking about Shatner in 1994, which was after the last movie aired, what changed? A man with an “infectious expansively joyous life force,” can’t be all that bad.