William Shatner Battles the Gorn Once Again in Ad for Star Trek Video Game

Both guys have seen better days

Gorn … but not forgotten! To promote a Star Trek video game launching this month, William Shatner and a guy in a lumpy lizard suit winningly reprise Captain Kirk's hand-to-claw struggle with the alien Gorn commander from the classic Trek episode "Arena." The updated battle takes place in Shats' comfy living room, where he flips his wig over the gameplay tactics of his reptilian rival. The joke here is that 46 years after their initial encounter, the combatants are, as Shatner pants at one point, "both too old for this kind of thing." Indeed, time has taken its toll. In 1967, only the Gorn was wrinkled and leathery. Today, octogenarian Shatner fits the same description. Well, OK, Bill actually looks great, his schtick is ageless, and the clip scores by deftly employing elements of the original fight's campy choreography. As dramatic Trek-like music swells, the creature hurls a couch cushion that looks about as dangerous as the polystyrene "boulder" it heaved at Kirk the first time around. Once again, Mon Cap-i-tain discombobulates the alien by smacking his palms against its earholes. When the Gorn bellows in pain, Shatner, Hollywood's quintessential ham, accuses his foe of overacting. I haven't seen "Arena" in maybe 30 years, but damn if I didn't remember the boulder-toss and ear-slap like I'd watched it yesterday! This ability to tap into our collective memory should not be underestimated. I didn't just enjoy this spot, I relished every second, as many Shatner and Trek fans will. I couldn't hit replay fast enough. There's palpable feel-good power at play here, transporting viewers to pop-culture nirvana at warp speed.