By Jason Delgado
William Shatner has been an idol of mine since childhood, when I would watch reruns of Star Trek and The Twilight Zone for hours on end with my grandfather. If anyone deserves to be immortalized with a handprint ceremony, it is this iconic actor, recording artist, and actual rocket man. To be able to watch the ceremony up close was a real treat for me, because it reminded me of those childhood memories.
Shatner, much like my dearly departed grandfather, loves to tell stories and cheesy jokes. On the morning of Thursday, July 21, Bill Shatner was joined at the Theatre Box in downtown San Diego by fellow icon, critic Leonard Maltin, and up-and-coming actor Paul Wesley, who plays the new Captain Kirk on Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.
It was a lot of fun to see the passing of the torch from the original Kirk to the latest incarnation. Wesley said that Shatner has been quite gracious to him, both on Twitter and in real life, and that it was something that Shatner was not required to do. I sensed the friendly chemistry between the two, so it was interesting to watch their interactions together at the ceremony.
Leonard Maltin shared a story about Shatner, his friend of decades. Maltin said that Shatner once did a radio recreation of the infamous War of the Worlds by Orson Welles, and that Shatner’s version was quite stellar. According to Maltin, this is some of Shatner’s best work as an actor. William Shatner told behind the scenes stories about the radio broadcast, about how it was like stepping back in time to work with old radio equipment that had not been used for years, and with seasoned radio actors from a bygone era. I’ve always been enamored with the story of the original Welles broadcast, about how panic ensued because part of America thought that a real alien invasion was happening.
William Shatner also told a story about eating some shellfish and joking that his handprint in the cement would be extra-large because his hands were puffed out in an allergic reaction to the fish. The ceremony itself was fun to watch because it felt so historic. How many chances do we get to witness ninety-two-year-old icons like Bill?
Photos came next, and it was a blast to watch the ones where Trek cosplayers were together with the two legendary Captain Kirks. Many thanks to Legion M for doing this for the fans!
Additionally, fans can own a stake and share in any revenue of the upcoming Untitled William Shatner Documentary by investing HERE.
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