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William Shatner perfectly explains the three types of Star Trek fan

William Shatner knows a thing or three about Star Trek fans, and he once explained the diverse community that exists of for the best sci-fi series of all time.

William Shatner in Star Trek

An opinionated man, William Shatner has always been an advocate for Star Trek. Fans of the best sci-fi series ever (if we’re talking the entire franchise) have long come in multiple stripes, and the defining Star Trek captain once broke down the three main types.

“There are people who are interested in Star Trek,” Shatner tells NBC5 in 1986. “They’d like to go see the Star Trek movies, I don’t know what you’d call them. Then there are people who have seen the series, and are really quite interested, and go see the movies two or three times.”

These are your regular Trekkies, and cinemagoers who want the best science fiction movies. They see something, they digest it, and they discuss it afterward. But then, Shatner notes the third kind, the devout ones who will learn every facet of the USS Enterprise, every piece of dialog, and could tell you everything about the Klingons and the Ferengi, no problem.

“Then there are people who know every word the series ever made, have every moment of every movie, they have examined with a microscope,” Shatner explains. “They know every motivation, and they like or they dislike, and those are the hardcore Trekkies, and they are vociferous. They don’t like something, they’ll let you know.”

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Yes, long before the internet, intense fandoms existed, and they found their ways to make opinions known. The ups and downs of Star Trek have been noted by plenty of enthusiasts, who’ll debate all day the best movie or best TV series in the franchise (The Voyage Home and Voyager, if you were wondering).

The interviewer follows up on these fans picking up any kind of mistake, and Shatner responds with respect. “Any error, any allusion to anything, I mean, it’s fearsome,” he says, before answering if these fans intimidate him: “Well no, because who are we talking about? It’s that faceless mass. If there was one person, a giant person, with a big bristly beard who said, ‘I am the Trekkie, and you will do what I say because I am the authority’, then you could say, ‘well, wait a minute’.”

But that’s not the case, so he says that, “you’ve got to please yourself”. Certainly, Star Trek doing what the creators feel is right has yielded mixed results over the years, but when something works, it works.

Now go enjoy our features on Star Trek’s most tragic ship, and how Strange New Worlds stole an iconic scene from Star Trek VI.