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George Takei reignites feud with William Shatner calling him an ‘unfit guinea pig’ after spaceflight

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George Takei hit out at his fellow Star Trek alum William Shatner for taking a historic space journey at the age of 90 – reigniting a decades-long feud that began on the set of the 1960s sci-fi show.

Asked about his thoughts on William Shatner’s trip 62 miles above the surface of the Earth on Wednesday, Takei said: ‘He’s boldly going where other people have gone before,’ mocking Shatner’s popular phrase as Captain Kirk.

‘He’s a guinea pig, 90 years old and it’s important to find out what happens,’ Takei added during the Broadway opening of Thoughts of a Colored Man on Wednesday night, according to Page Six.

‘So 90 years old is going to show a great deal more on the wear and tear on the human body, so he’ll be a good specimen to study. Although he’s not the fittest specimen of 90 years old, so he’ll be a specimen that’s unfit!’

Shatner and newly minted astronauts Chris Boshuizen, Glen de Vries and Audrey Powers spent three minutes in weightlessness aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket earlier that day.

George Takei, 84, criticized his former co-star William Shatner as a 'specimen that's unfit'

George Takei, 84, criticized his former co-star William Shatner as a ‘specimen that’s unfit’

Shatner, 90, (second from left) became the oldest person in space after three minutes of weightlessness aboard a Blue Origin rocket on Wednesday

Shatner, 90, (second from left) became the oldest person in space after three minutes of weightlessness aboard a Blue Origin rocket on Wednesday

Shatner became the oldest person in space, eclipsing the previous record set by Wally Funk, 82, on a similar jaunt on a Jeff Bezos-owned spaceship in July, by eight years. 

Takei, 84, has hit out at Shatner before.

Their feud apparently began during filming of the 79-episode show, with Takei accusing Shatner of ignoring him on set. 

He also accused him of changing the script of the 1989 film Star Trek V so that Takei’s character, Hikaru Sulu, would not receive command of a spaceship, according to Page Six.

The pair have co-starred in the iconic TV show as well as six theatrical releases, ending with Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country in 1991. 

Shatner (center) and Takei (right) appeared in 79 Star Trek episodes and six movies together

Shatner (center) and Takei (right) appeared in 79 Star Trek episodes and six movies together

Takei described Star Trek sets as feeling like ‘William Shatner versus the rest of the world’ in an interview on David Tennant’s celebrity podcast last year.

He said Shatner was insecure because co-star Leonard Nimoy, who played Spock, got more fan letters than him. 

Shatner responded on Twitter, saying, ‘George needs a new hobby. Now he’s making things up. We never saw fan letters. That’s why there’s so many secretary signed photos.

‘We barely saw George. He was in once a week at most – how would he know anything? The only person with jealousy is George.’

In 2008, Shatner went after Takei’s mental health after he was snubbed from Takei’s wedding guest list.

'I'm so filled with emotion with what just happened,' Shatner said to Bezos on the ground, breaking into tears

Shatner, who is now the oldest person to visit the space, was the second to step out of the craft and instantly wrapped his arms around Bezos in gratitude and excitement

‘I’m so filled with emotion with what just happened,’ Shatner said to Bezos on the ground, breaking into tears. ‘I hope I never recover from this,’ he added.

‘Poor man,’ Shatner said in YouTube interview posted to his official page. 

‘There’s such a sickness there. It’s so patently obvious that there is a psychosis there. I don’t know what his original thing about me was. I have no idea.’ 

Shatner felt a whole different set of emotions on Wednesday, when he broke into tears after landing back on Earth.

‘I’m so filled with emotion with what just happened. I hope I never recover from this,’ he told Bezos, the Amazon founder who owns Blue Origin.

‘It’s so much larger than me and life, and it hasn’t got anything to do with the little green hand or the little blue orb.’ 

‘Everybody in the world needs to do this,’ he said. ‘To see the blue color whip by and now you’re staring into blackness, that’s the thing.

The covering of blue, this sheath, this blanket, this comforter of blue that we have around, we say, “Oh, that’s blue sky.” And then suddenly you shoot through it all, and you’re looking into blackness, into black ugliness.’

‘As you look down, there’s your blue down there with the black up there. There is Mother Earth and comfort and there is – is there death? I don’t know. Is that the way death is?’



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