Shatner: Trek, Khan, Twitter And Virtual Reality

In a recent interview promoting his appearances at special Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan screenings, William Shatner spoke about the lasting influence of Star Trek on science fiction culture, what he took away from The Wrath of Khan, Twitter, and how a Shatner Kirk could return to Star Trek.

Star Trek still resonates today and Shatner explained why he thought that was the case. “Star Trek the series and many of the movies were good science fiction stories,” he said. “The concept that you need a good story to make a good sci-fi movie became prevalent. I read a lot of sci-fi before I became connected with Star Trek and I got to meet some of the wonderful science fiction writers, who I don’t think are alive today. Science fiction before Star Trek and after Star Trek, I think science fiction propelled Star Trek into being and Star Trek enhanced science fiction from then on.”

One of the things Shatner took away from The Wrath of Khan was a new friend. “I think Ricardo Montalbán, who was in the original segment in Star Trek and did the movie, was magnificent,” he said. “I had seen him years before, but I didn’t quite know him more than to nod in his direction. But I got to know him after making the movie. He became a wonderful acquaintance of mine. I was with him close to the end. I wasn’t there when he died but close to it. He was a wonderful dancer in his earlier years and a wonderful actor and leading man. On top of all of that he was a wonderful guy. I appreciated Ricardo Montalbán more than anybody.”

Shatner is highly-active on Twitter, and how does he feel it is useful? “Twitter…is a whole game-changer in publicizing something or getting something out there,” he said. “I run a charity called the Hollywood Charity Horse Show. [Twitter helps with] raising funds by getting people to contribute items for silent auction or actually contributing funds for children and veterans. It’s a wonderful way to get awareness.

“In addition to that, in defiance of all of the ugliness that we see on Twitter, I believe that there’s a really large number of people who have goodwill and can be reached through Twitter…I’m using Twitter as a means of helping people. That’s basically the reason why I’m out there tweeting as I do.”

A new venture for Shatner is his relationship with a virtual reality company, called Ziva. Could this mean a return of Shatner’s Kirk one day? “I think it’s one of the big entertainment forces of the future,” he said. “So, one day they photographed me with two hundred-and-fifty cameras and spent the day getting my virtual image electronically down. And now they can make me look, do, sound and act in any way they want. Contractually I have control of that. They can make me look a lot younger. I believe I said one way to get back into Star Trek is to do this virtual reality youthful program. But it’s a half-joke.”

Source: Milwaukee Magazine

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