William Shatner takes Syracuse Trekkies on a voyage through his career

Shatner joins Syracuse Trekkies for film, talk

The actor opens up about life as Captain Kirk following a screening of "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" at the Oncenter.
Published: January 18, 2020 | Updated: January 20th, 2020 at 10:26 am
William Shatner live in Syracuse on Jan. 18 at the Oncenter for a screening of
TV and flim actor William Shatner discusses his storied career with Syracuse fans at the Oncenter on Saturday.

On a snowy Saturday evening, a horde of enthusiastic Trekkies and sci-fi enthusiasts bombarded the Crouse-Hinds Oncenter Theater to see the original Captain Kirk in the flesh.

Actor William Shatner visited Syracuse to host a screening of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Shatner was the first actor to portray the iconic role of Captain Kirk of the USS Enterprise when the original series launched in 1966. After the series’s cancellation, Shatner reprised his role in a string of Star Trek movies from 1979 to 1994.

After the film played — for what seems like not the first time for most in attendance — Shatner sat down for a discussion and took the devoted fans through a backstage look at some of his most proud and funny career moments.

Shatner didn’t shy away from any topic, first opening up by talking about noticing how out of the loop he and the series are in modern pop culture.

Shatner recalled a time where a mother pointed him out to her son and the child had no idea where to look, or who to look for.

“Over here kid!” he screamed.

After getting the crowd laughing, Shatner then began telling the story of how the hit film came about.

Shatner mentioned how most actors in the franchise thought it was over after the TV series was canceled.

However, Paramount Pictures was looking for a sci-fi film to capitalize on the success of George Lucas’ Star Wars. After some negotiation after a failed first film, they decided to give the script to the television department to make a second film for much less money.

On a budget of $10 million, Nicholas Meyer and the Paramount team finally had their big break with Wrath of Khan, and the Star Trek universe took off.

Shatner continued to discuss some of his best moments, both with co-stars and without. The actor was asked about his late co-star Leonard Nimoy, saying that throughout their career on set, they did not interact all that much, due to Nimoy being very invested in his character. However, further down the line, on red carpets and Comic-Con events, they grew to understand each other better, recognizing they had a lot in common.

Shatner said that they created a great friendship in their later years, and he will forever be like a brother to him.

Later, Shatner was asked about his craziest behind-the-scenes memory from his time on TV’s Boston Legal, in which he talked about having a kidney stone during shooting.

Shatner described a moment where he felt severe pain, and as he threw himself around the set, eventually it was shown that he suffered a kidney stone.

Interestingly enough, Shatner eventually was approached by a casino that offered him $25,000 for his actual stone, which he somehow bargained enough to make it a $75,000 deal. The actor put that money into the Habitat for Humanity, which purchases and build houses in low-income areas around the world.

Shatner concluded the event by announcing that he has a jazz album that he intends on releasing at some point in the summer. In the meantime, he plans to continue with his efforts to improve global warning awareness and activism, as well as continuing to be outspoken about political unrest in our country.

Shatner will be appearing at Galaxy Con in Richmond, Virginia, on Feb. 28 and 29.

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is a contributor to The NewsHouse, Syracuse University junior focusing on film and digital media., plus avid sports fan.