Watch Shatner’s SDCC Online Q&A + Captains Panel Report & Photos + Comic Khaaaan Yell [UPDATED]

At SDCC Friday William Shatner did an online Q&A where he got questions on the 2009 Star Trek movie (hasn’t seen it), the ST2009 scene written for him (hasn’t read it), other Star Treks TV shows (hasn’t seen those), favorite episodes (isn’t sure), favorite Trek costumes (the ones showing boobs), and more. Watch the full video, plus a report and pictures and video from his The Captains panel with guests Avery Brooks and Scott Bakula, including audience Khaaan" yell.  [UPDATED: Full panel video]


Shatner Q&A: Hasn’t seen St09 + Wishes Kirk was never killed + more

Here is the video playback for the live online Q&A with William Shatner which was held today at San Diego Comic Con.

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Some highlights:

  • Q&A started with TrekMovie submitted question on if Shatner has read the un-used scene written for him for the 2009 Star Trek movie, Shatner says "that catches me really off guard, because there was no scene that I ever read, so I never expected to in that film"
  • Later Shatner also revealed he has still not seen the 2009 Star Trek movie, but he did see a clip from the film with Leonard Nimoy and Chris Pine.
  • Says from what he saw, he thinks Pine is "wonderful" and makes a "terrific Captain Kirk"
  • When asked what Star Trek character besides Kirk he would play he noted that he didn’t know Star Trek well enough to say, noting "I only want to play Kirk"
  • Later noted "I have never seen the other Star Treks, I have barely seen the Star Trek I have been in"
  • Unsure on favorite Star Trek episodes but noted fans seem to like "City on the Edge of Forever" and "Trouble with Tribbles"
  • Named "Star Trek V" (the one he directed) as favorite film
  • Favorite Star Trek costumes seen at conventions are those "with great cleavage"
  • Says that Star Trek "launched" his career and likely led to future success including Boston Legal
  • When asked if he will be doing more Star Trek novels he replied" "They stopped asking me to write new Star Trek novels"
  • On if he could change anything anything about Captain Kirk, Shatner emphatically said: "that he would still be breathing!", noting he "it might have been fun" to continue playing Kirk and "follow his aging process"

UPDATE: Full Captains Panel video

Here now is the full video from The Captains Comic Con panel (via Gamespot).

Captains panel & press: Shatner, Brooks & Bakula Talk Trek endurance

Before the Q&A Shatner did a panel at San Diego Comic Con on The Captains. Bill was joined by fellow Trek captains Avery Brooks and Scott Bakula (who joined half way through) and it was moderated by director Kevin Smith. They showed clips from The Captains and mixed questions from Smith and from the audience in a very relaxed and fun atmosphere with a lot of joking around. Brooks did get serious a bit, speaking about the challenge of writing the music for The Captains, trying to find a tone that complimented (without overpowering) the interview dialogue without receding too much into the background. Bill noted that how excited he was to meet and get to konw most of his fellow captains for the first time, discovering experiences were both different and similar to his own, calling it a process of fun "self discovery" and said it was a lot of fun. Bakula also conveyed how much fun he had meeting Shatner and working on The Captains.

William Shatner at "The Captains" panel at San Diego Comic Con

When asked what they thought each of their show’s greatest gift to the world was, Shatner answered that it was the fans and the way they have been inspired by the show.. Bakula answered simply- "hope." And when asked what makes Star Trek endure to this day Shatner noted the franchise "is an adventure – something we all have in common." Bakula added "Star Trek is not going anywhere anytime soon….there is a passion and a pureness to the franchise that can be reinvented so it is timeless. There’s a lot of space out there to be explored." And Brooks summed it up by saying: "It’s been 44 years and counting. It is often duplicated, but never the same. It’s not going anywhere."

Avery Brooks at "The Captains" panel at San Diego Comic Con

At a press event following the panel (and before the online Q&A) Shatner was asked about his career and Shatner actually said he didn’t consider himself a success, noting "It’s always eluded me trying to find success." Bakula later complimented Shatner for keeping his ego in check during the making of The Captains, saying "He wasn’t trying to be the star of this…just doing an interview."

William Shatner at "The Captains" panel at San Diego Comic Con

Shatner also talked about the similarities and differences he discovered while making The Captains, noting that the newest captain (Chris Pine) is unique in coming from a family of actors, but that otherwise all the captains shared "discipline, theater, drive, sorrow, pain."  Bakula also noted that The Captains was a learning experience for him as well I got the joy of discovering him, and hearing the other guys talk—that was the epiphany for me. It was really revealing.” And Brooks agreed, especially about being interviewed by the original Star Trek captain, saying It’s very moving to me,”

Khaaaaaaan yell at Comic Con

The panel concluded with Shatner leading the crowd in a giant Comic Con "Khaaaaan" yell.

William Shatner leads the crowd in a massive "Khaaaaaan" yell  San Diego Comic Con

Watch the yell on video.

Special thanks to Maddie, Owen, and Jennifer with help for this article. Photos by WireImage.

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Oh man, what a great panel that was! Love the look, Avery!

And let the righteous indignation and fury about Shat not having seen the movie be unleashed. Again….

Although, it is obvious that the guy interviewing Shat doesn’t know a damn thing about Star Trek.

Shatner’s only interested in his Trek.

I still consider Shatner’s Kirk to be alive. I never accepted that movie or that scene.

I love the Shat.

The Khan yell….awesome!

Come on Bill. You haven’t seen Star Trek (2009) yet? You don’t have to like it. Just go see it. And it looks like you regret Kirk’s death in “Generations.” So do I. It wasn’t needed. Anyway it’s great to see a Star Trek presence at SDCC.

And Avery Brooks looks marvelous. Seeing Scott Bakula reminds me to catch up on “Enterprise.” Hey it was on a low powered TV station here in Cincinnati. Thanks TrekMovie for the report and of course the Khaaaaan yell or should I say, Comic “Coooooooon” yell.

So what if Shatner didn’t watch the movie?

I believe that neither did Chris Pine watch the whole 79 episodes nor the 7 movies Shatner was in, same goes for the other spin-offs Captains, except maybe for Scott Bakula.

I guess it’s okay to get mad at Shatner but god forbid not the other actors!

Why do you think Trek 5 is the Shat’s favorite? Hummmm…… :) I love the Khan yell!! :)

I believe that Chris Pine has now seen the entire TOS series and in fact, on one occasion, actually quoted a scene from an episode from the third season he had seen, when he said he had only watched the first season of TOS. That always gives me the giggles. Good one, Chris!

As far as I know, the only actor who went and saw Star Trek 09 was Patrick Stewart. He was heard saying how great Chris Pine was as the new Captain Kirk. He also said he loved the movie…As for the rest, they are not much different from William Shatner – not into much more than what they did themselves and closed off about anything else to do with the Star Trek franchise. Very sad really. Honestly.

Hey Anthony,

Just thought I would say I liked your question and the interviewer was a little disrespect-able towards you. I think we might of got a better answer if there was an interviewer that did some homework. I know they can’t know everything but to shoot down a fan like that was a little uncalled for in my opinion. Especially, when your facts are indeed right.

Would be cool to see what he would of thought of it thou if he ever read it.

Keep up the good work!

“Very sad really. Honestly.”

Not really. While many actors dream of having the financial security that comes with being associated with a hit, very few would choose the fate of TOS’ secondary players, who will be beloved and remembered for their relatively minor roles on a 1960s space opera, and nothing else. It’s enough that millions of fans find lots of stuff in the ST universe to keep track of and obsess over. . . no reason the actors should feel compelled to as well.

#12 Nobody is saying that they should keep up and watch everything about Star Trek. I don’t/can’t. Nobody is saying that they should obsess over anything either. However, even people who would not classify themselves as fans and have had nothing to do with the making of any part of Star Trek, appear to have seen more than these actors.

These actors appear at Trek events and get paid for it, give speeches, do interviews and yet they seem not to know much about anything other what they did. It seems somewhat myopic. They are part of a franchise, for goodness sake. What happened to the concept of doing a little research, even if all that research requires is that you catch a damned episode from another series or a movie once in a while?

@ 12

Those secondary actors of TOS had for decades a nice income thanks to conventions and other Star Trek related things. All this thanks to minor roles in a three seasons series and a couple movies. There is absolutely no reason to pity them.

A lot of other actors didn’t have so much luck. Some actors, who had leading roles in series in the 1960s, were later incapable to live from acting and are completely forgotten now.

Must admit I think it’s a bit odd that with all the hoo-hah over the new movie The Shat hasn’t seen it yet, even taking into account that he’s a very busy man. I just think that if it was me getting asked so many questions about whether I liked it and whether I’d like to be in the next one, etc, I would’ve been made curious enough by all that to take the time to watch it and find out what the big deal is.

No big deal if he hasn’t, though.

Looks like a really fun Q&A. Jealous of the people who got to be there in person. :)

So Rod Roddenberry announces he is producing a documentary about his father and is called an opportunist.

While this buffoon called Bill Shatner produces a documentary about ST series he never cared seeing, and everybody seem to be ok… I mean, I doubt he even remembers the ST episodes and movies he worked on, how could he possibly know who the captains for the other series were, much less the actors who played them? From the interview he sounds like “I don’t give a s*** about this ST thing… except when I can make some easy money from it”.

Fascinating how some people here worship Mr. Shatner as a god. Personally I liked him more back when he tried to stay away from ST as much as he could. That surely sounded more authentic.

“The Captains” was fantastic.

I wonder if they only included Avery Brooks at the piano for interview footage to make contrasts.

Regardless, Shatner did a superb job, had Patrick Steward at his most vulnerable..
And Shatner’s epiphany during that conversation- real dramatic stuff.

Best ‘Trek’ documentary official or otherwise to date.



“Personally I liked him more back when he tried to stay away from ST as much as he could.”

So, you didn’t like him when he was Captain Kirk? Not a fan of “The Original Series” either?

“That surely sounded more authentic”.

Yeah, much more authentic then you’ll ever be with posts like yours!

Look, William Shatner is a great man and actor. But like the rest of us, including other greats, he has his flaws. He may have a big ego, but while that ego has gotten him into conflicts with some of his former TOS castmates and allowed him to agree to killing off Kirk, it has also been his source of energy and drive that has allowed him to continue to work as an actor in Holllywood at an age when most of his peers have retired and even passed on.

Yeah, I would have loved for him to have watched some episodes of the other shows, and sat down with J.J Abrams to watch the new movie, but its not that big of a deal. Now, maybe he can explain why he’s not interested which would settle this arguement, but perhaps he’s really sensitive about it.

From what I gather though, Shatner doesn’t like to watch television. He prefers to be on it. It’s what keeps him going. Watching the other Trek shows would probably remind him too much of how he misses the comeraderie of the TOS production, and in particular of working with Leonard Nimoy and DeForrest Kelley and sitting in the captain’s chair.

I really think people forget that “actors” are still just looking at what they do as making a living….therefore, when you come home from “work”, the last thing you really want to do is turn the TV on and be immersed in stuff that reminds you of it…

So Shatner, and many of the other Trek actors not being obsessed about each episode they made isn’t a surprising thing to me… Do people who work at a pizza shop want to come home and eat Pizza on their days off? Not usually haha, it’s for the people that aren’t in that environment to enjoy…

Just my 2 cents… oh, and Avery Brooks had a lot of interesting stuff to say about life but you had to really dissect and pay attention to his words and demeanor to “get” where he was coming from… But, I can see why most deemed it as “out there”….

I agree that actors want to take time off from seeing acting being done either by themselves or others, but that does not mean opting out of seeing anything of another series. What – so none of these actors could learn anything of value by seeing another actor’s take on a character, style or whatever? I don’t think Shatner is the only one with EGO! Whoa!

How hard was it for any of these older “captains” to go and see the latest Star Trek movie or easier still to watch it on blu-ray/DVD on a big plasma screen in the privacy of their own homes? Part of the reason there is the interest in the Captains documentary and in various conventions where TOS and other actors have made paid appearances, is because of the success of the new movie and every single one of these people, whether they had leading parts or not in other movies and/or series, are cashing in on the renewed interest in Star Trek generated by the Bad Robot production of Star Trek.

I believe that Patrick Stewart went to his local cinema with his son and saw it, along with joe public in England. I know some things are easier in England than the US, but really, honestly… At least Patrick Stewart does appear to have some interest, understanding and respect for the franchise that has made him a well-off man and a household name, especially in his home country. I suspect that Captain Picard is probably almost as well known as the name of Captain Kirk.

I’m happy that he’s finally talking seriously about the ‘put me in Trek’ schtick.

ps. MJ, you’re showing admirable restraint on this thread. Man, Roger Ebert must have also had a hard time today not, er, talking about Amy Winehouse on Twitter (not my joke).

On the other hand, nobody HAS to do anything, including watch anything that anyone else does or has done. I guess I figure it would be nicer if they did, but they don’t have to – not at all necessary.

I think that the fact that Shatner hasn’t seen the film means that there is something more then lack of time….but the man is human, let him be…please.

That was a lot of fun. Here’s the Khan clip from up close. I waited hours for this and it was fun!

I have not voted in the poll giving opinion of the Captains Documentary because I have not seen it. This means I cannot see what the overall opinion so far of those who watched the documentary and have voted.

Perhaps, Anthony Pascale could update those who cannot see this on the overall impression via the votes so far.

11- Agree completely. When you look at all the cast interviews over the years on T.V., DVD special features, etc., it seems like they always find an interviewer who barely understands the difference between Star Trek and Star Wars (let alone someone who bothers to do some basic research and conduct a compelling interview).

Does anyone know of a really good interview of one of the cast members over the years? Most of them seem like such wasted opportunities.

Amen, bro! :)

I’ve only read the article here rather than watched the clips, so may not have properly picked up nuiance, but I am disappointed that Shat doesn’t appear to know much about his subject. How much better could The Captains have been if the Director studied up on the subject.
If he’s not all that interested in Trek then why keep revisiting it?
And he really needs to watch ’09 and stop this strange little dance around it.

There you go MJ and Harry- that is genuine frustration with the man!

If Shatner was doing a documentary about the “Captains of Star Trek”, the least he could have done is some research like watching the other Trek TV shows and the latest movie. But, no, he is SO self-absorbed he thinks he can just chat with the people involved and ad-lib his way through the discussion. Pure arrogance.

What a megalomaniac dweeb!

Put him out to pasture and proceed without him!

Shatner has always said he’s never watched anything ST related that didn’t involve him. Back in the 90s, he’d never watched ST:TNG, knew nothing about it, as if it was beneath him – never mind the other incarnations.

Invited to appear in a lead role in ST: Generations, at Stewart’s insistence, of course Shatner accepted. Still according to interviews with him at the time, he had yet to watch even an episode of the most successful of the ST series’. And this, even after his key original ST co-stars had made one or more appearances in TNG.

I give a lot of credit to Stewart who held sway over the studio execs to ensure that Shatner was onboard that film. It’s clear that the two of them got on very well – before, during and after the shoot – on a personal level. But Stewart has always understood Shatner’s vulnerability about the iconic role and his view of himself as embodying it, and ensuring that Captain Kirk was able to play a pivotal role (yet again) was a particularly gracious gesture on Stewart’s part.

#30 Or, just to put another possible view across, Patrick simply knew that Bill was guaranteed Box Office and TNG was very much an unknown quantity on the big screen. I’m not saying that was the case, just using conjecture. Much as you are?.
And TNG ‘the most succesful Trek’? You honestly believe that to be the case? You are suggesting it is more succesful than the show that started the whole thing off?
I don’t believe they stand comparison personally. Without the original show to stand on the shoulders of TNG wouldn’t have had the willing audience that it could hit the ground running with.
I will happily agree that TNG is the most succesful among its contemparies though. Not that there is much competition.
No, TOS is iconic. TNG is not in that league. Not nearly.

The only time William Shatner watches tv is the for the news as he’s a self described news junkie. As for the criticism that he didn’t watch any of the subsequent Star Trek tv shows, including the series he stared in. Some actors dont like to watch themselves on screen, William Shatner happens to that sort of person.

#32 In fairness to Bill he has always said he doesn’t watch episodic TV. But, in this instance, as he was making a Documentary on the subject he really did need to get stuck into Trek.

25. Rohrerbot – July 23, 2011
Hey man,

That was cool! Thanks for that.

#31 Your “another possible view” is interesting in the realm of alternate history.

Common sense tells you that in the real world, the issue of box office appeal was not within Stewart’s remit. Hence my point that Stewart worked against the “studio execs” – who I think we can agree have their eyes firmly glued to the box office – so as to ensure that the script for Generations was changed so as to have Shatner/Kirk feature in TNG’s big screen debut.

I won’t argue with you about the iconic nature of TOS. I agree. However, that is not a reason to minimise Stewart’s generosity to Shatner with respect to making a place for him in TNG’s first movie.

Andy. No problem:) Glad you enjoyed it. That was a lot of fun to film. Whatever Shatner may be, he’s a funny guy and it was a lot of fun. One more day of this Comicon….it’s exhausting and I don’t think I’ll be doing it again. The lines are out of this world and for the Shatner line…..I RAN! One more day……one more day……

“Which is your favourite episode?”
“You know… I’ve never been asked that question before…”

Very sly. :D

#32 I’m one of the few who detest new media shortcuts, but in your case I’ll make an exception.

“The only time William Shatner watches tv is the for the news as he’s a self described news junkie.” LOL

As to your second point:

“As for the criticism that he didn’t watch any of the subsequent Star Trek tv shows, including the series he stared in. Some actors dont like to watch themselves on screen, William Shatner happens to that sort of person”

Do you recognise the contradiction at the heart of your post?

And another great opportunity and Abrams and crew blew it!

NOTE TO ABRAMS: STOP BEING A FOOL AND GET SHATNER INTO THE FILM. GIVING IT A REAL “TREK” FEEL. Lord knows the last one had ZERO Trek feel. Nimoy was it only because they paid $17 million.

Lets be honest Star Trek 2009 was NOT a great movie. They used every trick they could to avoid putting out a REAL story. Plot holes so big that you could ride a car through them. Don’t give me the “extended scenes etc to help explain stuff”. I am sorry but the majority of people who saw it did not get the extra stuff. So Nero went missing for 20 years etc.

It seems getting rid of the guys who wrote Transformers 1 and 2 (the dumbest thing in the world) was a smart move because 3 is doing killer business.

Please no more Twilight Trek please!

Shatner is being passive aggressive with his comments because he is pissed about not being included in the new films…Simple as that.


LaSalle, where did you hear Nimoy was paid $17 million?


—– On if he could change anything anything about Captain Kirk, Shatner emphatically said: “that he would still be breathing!”, noting he “it might have been fun” to continue playing Kirk and “follow his aging process” —–

My post seemed to have mysteriously disappeared… so what I’m about to try and repeat won’t be as eloquent as that I’d spent 10-15 minutes composing.

But Bill surely got all this out of system with his series of Shatnerverse books with the Reeves-Stevens duo?

If it bothers him so much why not push CBS to make an animated series out of them.

‘The Ashes of Eden’ made for a great graphic novel and provided a firey end for the Enterprise-A.

‘The Return’ (and half a dozen or more books after) detailed Kirk’s resurrection and ongoing adventures alongside Picard, Sisko and Janeway… just missing an Archer appearance somehow.

SUPPORT SOMETHING LIKE THAT POWERS THAT BE – as it had something for everybody.

(continued from 42)


Several actors from previous casts and say Karl Urban providing the voice of Doctor McCoy, would surely be able to lend their voices to such a project.

Shatner could’ve got his wish to continue playing Kirk into his dotage that way.

45. continued from 43.

There’s plot holes in every Trek movie people haha…

Take Wrath of Kahn for instance…. Do you really think starfleet would be kosher with just sending the Enterprise to investigate what the heck was going on with Regula 1 and the Reliant when it had a boatload of “kids” on board??? MAJOR hole right there, but guess what, we all seemingly enjoy that film and herald it as a “classic”…

Trek 1: Much of the same… an energy cloud is about to engulf earth and the only “starship” available is one that isn’t even ready to leave drydock!!

His arrogance and gall are unequaled. He was offered a private screening of ST09 by JJ. Apparently he answered that classy show of respect with a kiss-off. And yet he still has the nerve to be lobbying for a part in ST2012! Again, Shatner proves himself to be the ultimate clueless jerk.

29. Harry

See, I was right! That’s why he didn’t do much of the talking! : D