NORFOLK -- The last time Capt. Kirk got this close to the aircraft carrier Enterprise, it was only after traveling 300 years back in time.
But that was fiction. On Saturday, the man who played James T. Kirk in the original "Star Trek" television series is expected to see the iconic warship up close, the Daily Press is reporting.
A publicist for William Shatner told the newspaper the actor would attend the carrier Enterprise inactivation ceremony at Norfolk Naval Station. A Navy spokesman, speaking with a Virginian-Pilot reporter, said details of a possible Shatner appearance are up in the air, declining to comment further.
As Kirk, Shatner guided the fictional starship Enterprise through space and time.
Hollywood's relationship with the real-life Enterprise goes back a few years. In one incident now part of Trekkie lore, George Takei -- Sulu in the original series -- was riding the carrier into the San Francisco Bay after its deployment in 1983 when the ship ran aground on a sandbar.
In 1994, thousands of costumed "Star Trek" fanatics boarded the Enterprise in Norfolk for a fan convention.
In the 1986 film staring Shatner, "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home," the world's first nuclear-powered warship was the perfect fuel source to recharge a depleted starship after the crew traveled back in time three centuries in search of a living humpback whale off the coast of California. (The real Big E wasn't available for filming, so another aircraft carrier stood in.)
Shatner already planned to be in town this weekend. He performs Friday at the Ferguson Center for the Arts in Newport News.
Some 12,000 people are expected to attend Saturday's inactivation ceremony in Norfolk.