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7 Biggest Real-life Feuds in Sci-fi

The recent YouTube war between William Shatner and Carrie Fisher isn't the first time that celebrities have fought. Let's take a look back at some of the most famous feuds between science fiction stars.

1. Harlan Ellison vs. Star Trek - It started with Ellison's script for "The City on the Edge of Forever." Even though the episode is widely believed to be the greatest episode of the original series, Ellison was furious that Roddenberry and his writing staff dared to change his script. He demanded that they change the writing credit to his pseudonym Cordwainer Bird, but Roddenberry refused. On his part, Roddenberry claimed the original script was too long, too expensive, and not dramatic enough, and his re-writes made it great. Ellison fired off against Star Trek in the intro to Doctor Who. The grudge is still white-hot. As recently as March 2009, Ellison sued for unpaid residuals for all videos, books, and media based on his script. 

2. George Lucas vs. David Prowse - David Prowse is best known for playing the "body" of Darth Vader, the man in the suit for most of the original trilogy. That's where the problem started, in the first movie. Prowse thought they would be using his voice, and was upset about having his voice dubbed over by James Earl Jones. Then Lucas blamed Prowse for leaking that Vader was Luke's father in Empire Strikes Back. Prowse claimed he was promised that his real face and voice would be revealed in the end of Return of the Jedi. Instead, Lucas cast Sebastian Shaw to be the face under Vader's mask. Prowse also said he was never compensated for his work. This conflict came to a head in 2010 when LucasArts announced that Prowse was no longer invited to Star Wars events, because he "burned too many bridges."

3. William Shatner vs. Trekkers - On December 20, 1986, Shatner said six words that would rock the Star Trek community: "Get a life, will you, people?" It was during a skit while hosting Saturday Night Live, but everyone who saw it knew that it reflected his real feelings towards Trekkers. This led to a backlash against Shatner where he was no longer invited to conventions and received piles of hate mail. Shatner apologized, insisting that the lines were written for him, not his true feelings. But later, Shatner admitted he every word he said was true. Trekkers forgave him, anyway.

4. William Shatner vs. Leonard Nimoy - When Shatner was hired to play Captain Kirk on Star Trek, it seemed obvious to him that he was the star. After all, he was the captain. But a funny thing happened when the fan mail started rolling in - Spock got more mail than Kirk. Spock was mobbed at appearances. Not only did this make Shatner extremely jealous, but over time, Nimoy began to feel like he was the real star of the show. The two clashed over scripts, media appearances, and publicity, fighting over who would be the focus of the show. The hostility between the two never really went away until they began attending conventions together.

5. William Shatner vs. George Takei - It's not a coincidence that Shatner has three entries on this list. He's a prickly fellow. Specifically, his co-stars on Trek have said that Shatner was a jerk to them during filming. Many of them like Nichols and Doohan have made up. Takei hasn't - in fact, it's gotten worse. Most recently, the two clashed over Takei's wedding. Takei accused Shatner of snubbing him by not showing up at his wedding, but Shatner says he was snubbed because he didn't get an invitation.

6. Richard Donner vs. The Salkinds - In 1972, director Richard Donner was hired by producers Alexander and Ilya Salkind to direct Superman I & II, at the same time. The shoot was difficult with the two sides fighting over everything from the budget to the shooting schedule to the overall tone of the movie. The feud became so heated that they had to have a go-between, because the two sides refused to speak to each other. When Superman became a success, he was replaced as the director of Superman II with Richard Lester.

7. Battlestar Galactica vs. Richard Hatch - The conflict actually started before the Battlestar Galactica reboot. In the 1990s, Richard Hatch, who played the original Apollo, started his own campaign to revive Galactica. His idea was to pick up where the original left off. He wrote five novels based on and continuing the original series, and Hatch even created his own trailer for a new series. When the studio decided to reboot the series, Hatch was furious and led a revolution against it. At one point, he had to keep his supporters from throwing popcorn at the producer when he showed up at a convention. The feud finally ended when the new series gave him a role, and Hatch came to accept the new vision.

Which of these do you think is the biggest feud? Is there a bigger one? Let us know in the comments.



  1. Where's Ursula K. Le Guin vs Margaret Atwood?

  2. To be honest, I hadn't heard of that one. But I did try to restrict the feuds to movies and TV. If we also included books, Harlan Ellison would have filled the whole list.

  3. lol smh yall buncha racists. whut 'bout batman vs suprman lol


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