+
upworthy
Pop Culture

Kirk, meet Kirk: Paul Wesley shares a sweet and unexpected encounter with William Shatner

star trek strange new worlds

Paul Wesley in 2015.

It’s age-old Hollywood wisdom: If you want to play a hero, you have to play a vampire first. It worked for Robert Pattinson and it worked for Paul Wesley.

Deadline announced that the former star of CW’s “Vampire Diaries” will be the next actor to take on the iconic role of 23rd century Starfleet Commanding Officer James T. Kirk.

Don’t worry, Chris Pine fans. He’ll still be around for the movies, sources say. Wesley will be playing Kirk in "Star Trek: Strange New Worlds" on Paramount+. Deadline reports that the series will tell the story of Captain Pike (Anson Mount), Number One (Rebecca Romijn) and Spock (Ethan Peck) exploring the cosmos before Kirk steps aboard the famous Enterprise.

Wesley getting cast is just half the story. The next part feels like a moment pulled straight from a "Star Trek" script itself, as two Kirks (one from the past, one from the future) come face-to-face on a plane.


​Wesley shared on Twitter that the role felt like a dream come true as a lifelong Trekkie.

The actor tweeted, “I am deeply humbled and still a little startled to have been given the honor of playing the inimitable James T Kirk. Ever since I was a kid, I have been awed by the imaginative world Gene Roddenberry created.”

In an amazing twist of fate, Wesley revealed that on a flight back to L.A., he sat right next to the original Captain Kirk, “the one and only William Shatner.”

No, this was not a holodeck program. New Captain Kirk sat right next to William Shatner.

For real. But if "Star Trek" has taught us anything, it’s that the universe is full of strange and fascinating surprises.

Shatner had just finished his real life space voyage on Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin. After a short romp through the cosmos, he probably didn’t expect to find his doppelgänger. As for Wesley, he was speechless.

“I could barely put two words together,” he wrote. But after mustering up the courage, the starstruck Wesley eventually “managed to say hello” and both Kirks shared a chat.

“I’m not one who usually believes in fate but this was more than a coincidence,” Wesley reflected.

He ended his tweet with a warm thank-you to Shatner for the “good company,” and it got an even sweeter response from Shatner himself.


“Keep my ship and my crew safe, Captain! Congratulations!” wrote one Kirk to another.

"Star Trek" is a franchise with a notoriously loyal, passionate—and openly opinionated—fanbase. Wesley has some big shoes to fill, but now he’s equipped with an official seal of approval from Shatner on the internet for all eyes to see.

As Shatner’s Kirk once said, “sometimes a feeling is all we humans have to go on.” I think many of us have had moments like this, where it seems like the universe itself is sending an undeniable confirmation that says, “Yes, I’m exactly where I need to be.”

Though maybe not every version is as epic as this interaction. Still, it’s times like these that can help us feel like we really do have a destiny. Or at the very least, it’s great science fiction fodder!

For more than 50 years, "Star Trek" has captured the hearts and minds of millions, encouraging the thrill of discovery and the hope for a better tomorrow. Shatner might have been the first to boldly go, but the mission isn’t over. Space stories continue to be amazing explorations of our own humanity here on Earth.


Time travel back to 1905.

Back in 1905, a book called "The Apples of New York" was published by the New York State Department of Agriculture. It featured hundreds of apple varieties of all shapes, colors, and sizes, including Thomas Jefferson's personal favorite, the Esopus Spitzenburg.






Keep ReadingShow less

No better time to grab a little shut eye.

For those in the military, sleep can mean the difference between life and death. But shut-eye can be very hard to come by, especially during active conflict.

According to Sharon Ackman, the U.S. Navy Pre-Flight School developed a scientific method to help its pilots fall asleep. Through this technique, 96% of the pilots were able to fall asleep in two minutes or less.

Keep ReadingShow less

Melissa Pateras explains how dry cleaning works.


Have you ever wondered what happens at the dry cleaners? Or are you like me, who just assumed the people at the dry cleaners were wizards and never questioned their magic? Turns out, dry cleaners aren't magic and there's actually a pretty interesting explanation of how they came to be and what they do.

Melissa Pateras is known on Tiktok for her laundry knowledge. Seriously, her ability to fold laundry is hypnotizing. This time, she created a video explaining what actually takes place at the dry cleaner and the internet is aghast.

Before Pateras explained what happens in the mysterious world behind the counter of a dry cleaner, she asked a few of her friends what they thought dry cleaning was. Their answers were...interesting to say the least.

One friend surmised, "You put it in a box, right...and then you let some wind, really fast wind, blow around on your clothes and it wipes off all the dirt." The friend, whose username is @unlearn16, continued with her working hypothesis, saying that the clothes are then blasted with infrared heat to sterilize the garments. While that is certainly an interesting theory, that's not what happens.

Keep ReadingShow less

What dog is best for you?


PawsLikeMe might know you better than you know yourself.

Hello from the other siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiide!!! I'm a dog and I love youuuuuuuu!!!

Because PawsLikeMe knows about your dreams.

Your DOG dreams, that is.

How? A dog-human personality quiz!

A sophisticated one, too! From their website:

"The personality assessment is based on 4 core personality traits that influence the human-canine bond; energy, focus, confidence, and independence."

It also takes into account environmental factors and other special circumstances as well.

It's not uncommon for dogs that are adopted to be returned because they just aren't compatible with their owner's life.

Keep ReadingShow less
Education

A dad's hilarious letter to school asks them to explain why they're living in 1968

"I look forward to this being rectified and my daughter and other girls at the school being returned to this millennium."

Earlier in the week, Stephen Callaghan's daughter Ruby came home from school. When he asked her how her day was, her answer made him raise an eyebrow.

Ruby, who's in the sixth grade at her school in Australia, told her dad that the boys would soon be taken on a field trip to Bunnings (a hardware chain in the area) to learn about construction.

The girls, on the other hand? While the boys were out learning, they would be sent to the library to have their hair and makeup done.

Keep ReadingShow less
via Twitter

Everyone's childhood is different. But there are common objects, sights, sounds, smells, and memories from elementary school that most Gen Xers and Millenials share.

Personally, when i think back to being in elementary school in the '80s, I remember the taste of the chocolate ship cookie we got on Fridays (with the pizza). The humiliation of getting nailed in the back during nation ball. And the grumbling, grinding sound that happened when you slipped a disk into the drive on an Apple IIe computer.

Keep ReadingShow less