SDCC 11: A conversation with William Shatner


William Shatner recently created a documentary called The Captains, in which he interviews several previous Star Trek captains about the impact of the show on their lives and what they’ve been doing since. William Shatner is not exactly one to allow the spotlight to stray from himself, of course, so you can imagine what happens when he makes a documentary about other people. The movie premieres on Monday, and you can look forward to my review that morning.

Fear not, Shatner fans! I am at Comic Con right now listening to Will talk about himself, so you will have plenty to tide you over until Monday. He’s joined by Avery Brooks and moderator Kevin Smith. Hit the jump to read highlights of Shatner’s thoughts on his masturbatory movie.

-Kevin Smith is, for whatever reason, moderating this panel. This doesn’t have a lot to do with the panel itself, but it’s worth noting. He just said, “Set phasers to fun.” Really.

-The trailer makes this seem like a funny, heartwarming chat with everyone’s favorite captains. There will be a lot of disappointment after that one!

-Avery Brooks looks like the unhappiest man in the universe. There’s a part in the movie where he laughs in Shatner’s face, so maybe his bitterness up there is just him giving up. He keeps allowing Shatner to talk instead of him. It’s hard to tell if he’s very hungover or just hates life. 

-Brooks is much fonder of Deep Space Nine now than he was at the time. Shatner, on the other hand, was enthralled with the series from the beginning, apparently because he was getting a ton of action. I am fairly certain that’s the main reason.

-Kevin Smith referred to Shatner as an “OG.” Brooks had to explain the term.

-There is a large section of the movie in which Avery Brooks is playing the piano while Shatner is talking to him. The music makes up the score of the movie, but it was not planned out that way; Brooks was just more comfortable at the piano, and Shatner thought it might work if he scored the entire film. Brooks was hoping for an emotional connection to the movie with his improvisation, more than just something in the background, which is probably why the score sounds way more melodramatic than is entirely necessary.

-Scott Backula “drifts in like a cloud. He’s very shy, very meek and very mild.” When Shatner says you’re weird, there’s an issue.

-Shatner had never met Backula before, so their meeting in the movie is absolutely genuine. Both were fans of the other, and they did seem to have a bit more chemistry than some of the others in the film.

-“The one thing about science fiction is…they developed this wonderful poster with all of us on it…and the overlay is stars, and it’s an actual picture from the Hubble telescope…there could be anything between us and them…Anything you write in science fiction can be right, because we know nothing!”

-When asked about the accessibility from fans with social media, Brooks admitted that he’s a bit technophobic, and Shatner said he’s interested but has no idea how to use an of them new-fangled gadgets. 

-Shatner forgot what Star Trek: Generations is. He was in it. 

-A fan asked, “Kevin, if you were in a Star Trek movie, which alien would you be?” Shatner’s thought was, “Who cares?” Smith replied, “I would never be in Star Trek because I couldn’t get up to space…because they’d make me buy two seats.”

-Shatner is developing a show about fans at conventions talking about conventions. If it’s anything like The Captains, I imagine he talks over the fans while they try to tell him how important he was in their lives.

-Final count of “My voyage let me discover things about myself”: 2. Surprisingly tame, Mr. Shatner!