Kevin: If you live in Austin and you are a fan of “Star Trek,” “T.J. Hooker,” or even the short-lived TV series “$#*! My Dad Says” then you are in luck, because the legendary star of all of those masterpieces, William Shatner, will be appearing at the Bass Concert Hall this Saturday evening. Shatner will be taking part in a Q&A before a screening of “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan,” and having been fortunate enough to sit a couple of rows away at a similar event in Austin in 2016, I can assure that even if you are not the kind of Trekkie (or is it Trekker?) who gets enraged when people wrongly refer to you as a Trekkie/Trekker, if you are simply a fan of great films and great conversation then you definitely don’t want to pass up the chance to see the man who played Capt. Kirk discussing the greatest “Star Trek” ever:
Below are some thoughts I had following Shatner’s screening of “Wrath of Khan” at the Paramount Theater in 2016 (back when the person interviewing him was a pre-scandal Devin Faraci!):
– Shatner really likes to talk, which may sound like a veiled insult unless you have endured a few of these similar events where the celebrity guest seems to have less ability in putting words together than Brendan Fraser at the beginning of “Encino Man” (if you’ve ever sat through a Q&A with Tim Burton then you’ll know what I mean).
– In addition to being very funny and charming, Shatner in person appeared livelier and more energetic at 85 (his age at the time) than most people 30 years younger (although I’m still not totally on board with the whole sandals-with-jeans look).
– Among his anecdotes, he revealed that he filmed “Star Trek II” in between seasons of “T.J. Hooker,” which means he gave the world two great pieces of art in 1982.
– We should all be so lucky as to have someone like Shatner eulogize us at our funeral, as his tribute to the kindness and generosity of co-star Ricardo Montalban — as well as Montalban’s energy and upbeat spirit despite recurring pain from a 1950 injury — had many in the audience in tears. He also claimed that despite urban legends about being the result of makeup or special effects, those really are Montalban’s pecs in the movie.
– This was probably the first time I had seen the movie in one sitting since I was a kid watching it on the “ABC Sunday Night Movie.” It still holds up, but I always forget that Kirk’s douchey, unlikable son shows up on the bridge during the climax with a sweater tied around his shoulders like he’s some rich country club snob harassing Ralph Macchio in an ’80s movie.
– Since this weekend’s event is happening in January it probably won’t be an issue, but the body odor at my screening was probably the worst I have ever experienced in a theater where Harry Knowles wasn’t in attendance. But considering a lot of these folks probably waited in line a long time in the August Texas heat, I won’t put this down as an indictment of all “Star Trek” fans.
– Finally, the only disappointment to the evening was that we got zero Adrian Zmed stories from Shatner. So if you are fortunate to go this weekend and he reveals some good dirt on the Zmed, let us know in the comments!