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Set phasers to shun: Capt. Kirk jokingly tells Raleigh councilman to ‘get lost’

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STAR TREK, William Shatner, (photo: 1968), 1966-69. ph: Gene Trindl/TV Guide/Courtesy Everett Collection

RALEIGH — Actor William Shatner told David Cox to “get lost” on Sunday — and the City Councilman and lifelong “Star Trek” fan loved every minute of the encounter.

Cox came to Shatner’s panel at GalaxyCon in Raleigh to thank the actor, well-known for playing Capt. James Kirk on “Star Trek” as well as on other series as diverse as “Boston Legal,” “T.J. Hooker” and “The Twilight Zone.” What ensued was a scene reminiscent of Shatner’s famous 1986 “Saturday Night Live” skit where he tells “Star Trek” fans at a science fiction convention to “get a life.”

During a question-and-answer period, Shatner barks for comedic effect at Cox to talk “right into the mike” and tells him “I don’t care what your name is” when he introduces himself. When Cox mentions he’s a member of the City Council, the comedy ratcheted up.

“What’s the City Council doing here?” said Shatner, who called Cox “Eddie.” “Are you like important? Get lost will you, Eddie.”

Cox goes on to tell Shatner that he started watching “Star Trek” in the 1960s when he was 8 years old. Cox mentions his doctorate in computer science and his job at Duke University as he tells Shatner “thank you for the inspiration over the years.”

“I just want to take a moment to thank you and welcome you to Raleigh,” Cox added.

Shatner expressed his appreciation, but wasn’t going to let things end there.

“Why are you here?” Shatner tells Cox as the crowd laughs. “Do you have a question?”

Cox answered: “no questions.”

Then Shatner asked: “Why aren’t the streets cleaner?”

Shatner didn’t relent and asked Cox “after all those years of ‘Star Trek,’ do you have a question or something?” Cox responded by asking Shatner about what he saw looking out the window when he went into space in 2021.

Cox later tweeted that the experience was the “best fun I’ve had in awhile.”

Another “Star Trek” fan, Gov. Roy Cooper, also got a chance to meet the actor.

“Great welcoming the incomparable William Shatner to NC,” Cooper tweeted on Sunday. “As a long time Trekker, I enjoyed our interesting discussion about the arts, music, health, the environment and much more.”

Shatner mentioned his meeting with Cooper during his GalaxyCon talk on Sunday. He asked the crowd who had voted for Cooper, getting a loud response from people who said they didn’t.

“Why didn’t you vote for him?” Shatner said. “I want to hear why you didn’t vote for the governor? What’s wrong with the governor? He’s a wonderful guy. He’s got great ideas, forward-looking ideas.”

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