With William Shatner's birthday approaching at warp speed, we took a deep dive into the show in which he shined the brightest:
T.J. Hooker STAR TREK. With a TV series that's been on — in one form or another — since 1966, it's unsurprising that things start to get a little... well, weird. From civil rights leaders to fat-hiding green tunics, we found fifteen things you probably didn't know about Star Trek. Read up and use the force. Lolololo.
1. Captain Kirk never once said: "Beam me up Scotty."
That's right. Your favorite quote that you've been throwing at your friends for the last 60 years? Never happened. The closest that Kirk actually came to the iconic phrase was "Scotty, beam me up." Same goes for "Luke, I am your father." But that's a totally different mind-blowing fact.
2. People thought Spock was Satanic.
Leonard Nemoy's character was originally rejected by U.S. Censors because they deemed his pointy ears "demonic." Obviously, the ears became a trademark to him and his species — although, no one really knows what purpose they serve...
3. Those awesome Borg robots were almost awesome Borg insects!
In The Next Generation, the Borg were originally supposed to be an evil race of insect beings — but the costs proved to be too expensive, so they were downgraded to boring ol' robots. Luckily, America's bloodlust for large bugs came to fruition with Starship Troopers.
4. In 1968, Star Trek featured the first interracial kiss on American television.
NBC, nervous about the reaction the kiss would cause in the nation, insisted on shooting alternate takes in which Kirk and Uhura didn't kiss. Nichelle Nichols received tons of surprisingly positive mail from fans across the country, including a letter that stated: "I am totally opposed to the mixing of the races. However, any time a red-blooded American boy like Captain Kirk gets a beautiful dame in his arms that looks like Uhura, he ain't gonna fight it."
5. Wesley Snipes originally auditioned for the role of Geordi LaForge.
Eventually, the role went to LeVar Burton, saving the rest of America from a TV show starring Wesley Snipes.
6. Zachary Quinto couldn't do the Vulcan salute.
It's true. Quinto kinda sucks at being a Vulcan. In fact, he sucked so bad, they had to glue his fingers together in the 2009 film in order to do the famed salute. Amateur alert. Live long and practice bro.
7. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. loved Star Trek.
Lieutenant Uhura, played by Nichelle Nicols, wanted to quit Star Trek until the civil rights leader convinced her to stay. He walked up to her, told her he was a huge fan, and saved a distressed Nichols from quitting the show.
8. William Shatner has never seen an episode of Star Trek.
From the lips of the great man himself: "I never watched Star Trek. I have not even seen any of the Star Trek movies. I don't watch myself." Think that goes for all his Priceline commercials, too? Because those are absolute gold.
9. Orson Welles narrated the teaser trailers for Star Trek: The Motion Picture
Not the young and hip Orson Welles, but the overweight, ornery cape-wearing Orson Welles. In case you're wondering, yes it's positively frightening
10. Stephen Hawking was the only person to ever play themselves on Star Trek
It was during a scene in the Holodeck where he plays poker with Albert Einstein, Sir Isaac Newton, and Data. Better yet: he beats all three of them with one hand. No pun intended... too soon.
11. James Doohan was a war hero.
Doohan's very first scene of combat was a little operation called the friggin' invasion of Normandy. He was shot six times — and a bullet to his chest was stopped by a silver cigarette case. What a boss.
12. Star Trek Generations was the first film backed by a website.
Pretty impressive considering the film came out in 1994, when the Internet was still a little pre-BuzzFeed seedling. Though, the official Space Jam
website from 1996 will always be better.
13. Malcolm McDowell received death threats after killing Kirk.
After McDowell mercilessly kills Captain Kirk in Star Trek Generations, the actor received death threats from enraged fans. Keep in mind... McDowell didn't actually kill anybody. Allegedly.
14. Eddie Murphy was almost in Star Trek.
Murphy wanted a starring role in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and a part was even written for him, but he made the monumental f*ck-up of starring in The Golden Child instead.
15. This is Shatner's fat-suit.
The sole reason Captain Kirk started donning this green tunic-style shirt was to hide the fact that he was gaining weight. That's right. This green shirt is the equivalent to an intergalactic mumu.
In all seriousness, Jeremy Glass actually is a huge Star Trek fan. He once went to a convention when he was 10 years old and watched William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy talk on stage. That was the day he went through puberty. Total coincidence probably.