William Shatner Talks Star Trek’s ‘Go Boldly’ Phrase And What He Thinks It Means In First Trailer For You Can Call Me Bill

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Written By Maya Cantina

William Shatner has another project on the way, and while it’s not explicitly tied to Star Trek, there is talk of “boldly going.” Or rather, “going boldly,” as the longtime actor released a trailer for his upcoming documentary and waxed poetic on his thoughts on what the oft-repeated phrase in the franchise he’s most known for meant to him. 

Shatner spoke at length about going boldly in the first trailer for his documentary William Shatner: You Can Call Me Bill. The movie, funded by 1,200 fans via Legion M’s “fan-first financing” initiative, will chronicle the actor’s long career, detailing his career and accomplishments in Hollywood. While the trailer showcased various moments in his career, William Shatner spoke about what it means to “go boldly” from his perspective: 

It’s an interesting phrase, ‘Go boldly.’ What is there to boldly go into? Do we ever present ourselves as we really are? To somebody else can we be absolutely honest? As we get older, we ask ourselves questions. Do we really know each other? Do we really know ourselves? Why are we here? Everything’s risky, but there’s something beautiful about that. I haven’t changed the world, but what is a legacy are the good deeds. Go boldly, go with courage, go with commitment. That’s what it means. And then, boldly go into the next adventure. That’s the story of my life. It’s the search for love, symmetry, and passion. That curiosity is what keeps us alive.

I’m not sure it’s a definition explanation you’d hear in an upcoming Star Trek project, but that tracks considering William Shatner never actually watched Star Trek. This isn’t to say he hasn’t absorbed some of the ideology from his time working in it, as I think his take on the phrase works all the same and is undoubtedly inspiring given the long life he’s lived and all he has accomplished in that time. 

While his work as James T. Kirk may be one of the major highlights of his career, there’s no shortage of memorable projects the actor has been a part of. Check out some of those in the trailer for William Shatner: You Can Call Me Bill below: 

Outside of the possibility that he could be brought back to Star Trek via artificial intelligence, it would appear this is the closest we get to seeing him back in the franchise. Strange New Worlds re-introduced Kirk with a recasting featuring Paul Wesley in the role, and he’s expressed interest in continuing to play the character in future shows.  

As far as William Shatner is concerned, he seems content to stay away from the franchise and pursue other endeavors. The actor even confessed last year that playing Captain Kirk wasn’t the most meaningful role in his career, so maybe watching this documentary will shed more light on the roles that meant the most to him. 

With a long career spanning several decades, there are a lot of interesting projects for this documentary to choose from. Personally, I’d love to hear more about his time as a guest on The Big Bang Theory, as well as his iconic episode from the classic version of The Twilight Zone. William Shatner gives two wildly different performances in that, but both are equally iconic in my eyes. 

William Shatner: You Can Call Me Bill will be released in theaters on March 22nd. Get hype for the documentary by checking out his previous work on Star Trek with a Paramount+ subscription, and remember why this actor is still celebrated by many well into his old age. 

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