William Shatner Hosts a Panel To End the Star Trek: Mission NY Celebrations. After a three-day event here at Star Trek: Mission NY at the Jacob Javits Center, there was one more panel, which perfectly wrapped up the convention. The original captain himself, William Shatner, hosted the event where he had a one-on-one conversation with the audience about the role that launched his career and his overall experience at the three-day convention.
During the beginning of the panel, William Shatner spoke about his start in theater and working on Broadway shows like The World of Suzie Wong and The Music Box. Shatner shared his story about his first visit to the Big Apple when he was just a teenager, where he and his friends ended up canoeing from his native Montreal to New York City. THe actor also gave the story of how he ended up moving to California to nab the role of Captain James Kirk in Star Trek. He added the fact that the role changed his life in a span of two decades. He also mentioned his return to theater where he did his one-man show called Shatner’s World, where he ended up moving from California to New York to do his show.
The actor had a chance to do some Q&A with the audience as they asked him about his career and the things he’s been doing since he left the character. Shatner offered some advice on being an actor, saying that, “It’s a tough job, you have to want it more than anything.” The former captain also started promoting his new book Zero G, which comes out in two weeks. Shatner talked about the plot of the book involving the FBI in the future and involves outer space. The actor went on to talk about his experience writing the book with author Jeff Rovin and the research that was done for the book.
William Shatner got to talk about working on his upcoming special The Truth is in Our Stars, where he mentioned his conversation with famed astrophysicist Stephen Hawking. He spoke about his three-day trip to Cambridge to meet the scientist and his engaging conversation with him. After they finished, Hawking asked Shatner a question about what his favorite episodes were. “When somebody asks me a question like that…if I want to give an honest answer I’ll say, you know I don’t remember a lot of them, but the popular ones, like ‘The Trouble with Tribbles’ and ‘City On The Edge Of Forever’. When Shatner asked Hawkings what his favorite episode was, the man simply said the ones that talked about black holes.
The headliner of the convention went on to talk about his love of science and how astrophysicists have the same type of thinking as the Star Trek writers. Shatner spoke about the Prime Directive and his thoughts on that, saying that one shouldn’t interfere with another civilization, “unless you have a TV show, then interfere.” He mentioned his documentary Chaos on the Bridge where he talked about the Prime Directive and it’s effects on Star Trek: The Next Generation. He shared his thoughts on how there was a lot of chaos in the first two years of the show, and how creator Gene Roddenbery managed to create a show with no enmity.
Shatner had a chat about his other documentary called The Captains, where he spoke with other cast members from the Star Trek series. When it came down to his own show, the actor said that people still come up to him and say how much the show has meant to them. “A lot of people come up to me, even here today, tears in their eyes, talking about how Star Trek influenced their lives, and I’ve seen that time and time again and I’m in awe of the effect.”
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