The Big Bang Theory's Wheaton Controversy Has a Surprising Star Trek Connection

The long-standing Big Bang feud between Cooper and Whedon ties into Whedon's time in the Star Trek universe in a surprising way.

The famous Big Bang Theory plot involving Wil Wheaton and Sheldon Cooper was surprisingly similar to Wheaton and another Star Trek cast member. Wil Wheaton played an unpleasant version on The Big Bang Theory. The character had a long-running feud with Jim Parsons' Sheldon, dubbed by fans the Cooper-Wheaton War. This intriguing storyline mirrors a real-life feud Whedon experienced in Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Just as Whedon's alter ego is unkind to Sheldon, Whedon's real-life hero is dismissive and disrespectful to him. Based on the Big Bang Theory story, Sheldon looked up to Star Trek: TNG's Wil Wheaton's Wesley Cruise because seeing Whedon play a young misfit genius meant a lot to him. For his part, Whedon is excited to be on Star Trek: TNG, in no small part because he truly adores the original Star Trek characters. Like Sheldon, the young Whedon left with a poor impression of his hero, though his reactions were more restrained. Instead of turning it into a years-long rivalry, Wheaton started telling the story at the conference, which is still a huge hit (via

TBBT's Cooper-Wheaton War Echos Story About William Shatner

Wheaton in the Star as a teenager Trek: TNG, he had a chance to meet the cast of Star Trek: The Original Series who were filming movies nearby. He finally meets his hero William Shatner, Star Trek Captain James T Kirk, a meeting that exemplifies the old adage that one should never meet their hero. Shatner was rude to then 16-year-old Wheaton, who was devastated by the experience.

The Cooper-Wheaton battle in The Big Bang Theory began as a resentment from a convention Sheldon attended as a child, where he hoped to meet Whedon, but Whedon didn't show up. Wheaton, one of Sheldon's younger heroes, sees him as a role model, much as Whedon in real life made Shatner's Kirk. After Sheldon eventually met Wil Wheaton's character on The Big Bang Theory, he retaliated and their feud developed into a long-running rivalry.

Did Wil Wheaton Ever Reconcile With William Shatner?

One of the reasons this story is Wheaton's favorite is that Shatner eventually did apologize to Whedon under the direction of Gene Roddenberry. They've been working together since the incident, and Shatner has been professional with Whedon. according to For Wheaton, he and Shatner would never be best friends, but they were courteous when they met. They even worked together on The Big Bang Theory. They appear together in Season 12, Episode 16, "Dungeons and Dragons Vortex," where they play affectionately with Joe Manganiello, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Kevin Smith This popular board game.

Fittingly, it is in this Dungeons & Dragons game of The Big Bang Theory that Sheldon and Whedon finally end their rivalry and make peace. Just as Shatner and Wheaton were able to resolve their differences and work together as colleagues, Sheldon Cooper and Wheaton's characters eventually overcome their differences and come together because of a geek hobby they both enjoy . While Whedon never made it clear that his real-life experiences with Shatner provided the basis for the Cooper-Wheaton war in The Big Bang Theory, the parallels certainly exist.

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