TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – One of the biggest stars making an appearance at Tampa Bay Comic Convention to meet and greet fans this year is Captain Kirk himself, William Shatner.

With Tampa Bay Comic Convention fast approaching at the end of the month, News Channel 8 had the opportunity to speak with Shatner about the upcoming convention and the Tampa Bay area.

Prior to the convention, Shatner said he is coming off a “very interesting” appearance in Vermont, which he described as more of a “discussion.”

“A kind of discourse, a discussion of something. I get people talking and we interact,” he said. “It’s very fulfilling in terms of who the people are that are there, what they like, what they want, and I try to get people talking about the future.”

Shatner said he keeps these discussions personal and not shine the spotlight on himself.

“Instead of trying to tell stories about myself so much, I try to get going on modern conversation, modern subject. Mostly because everybody’s there because of Star Trek, mostly about the future. So what’s the future of teaching? What are houses going to look like? What is architecture? What’s the Navy going to look like?” he said.

Shatner said it’s amazing what happens and how you branch off when you get in to these subjects. He’s hopeful to be able to do that through questions and answers in the time he has on stage in Tampa. The way he describes his panels is more personal.

“There have been so many interesting people that I’ve come across, especially in these panels. The way it’s set up, people come up to a microphone and ask a question, so I’ll answer the question, but in the process I want to get to know who that person is asking the question, why are you asking that question. So it becomes an interchange,” Shatner said.

The man behind Captain Kirk is excited to pay a visit to the Tampa Bay area, saying it’s nice to go from good weather in Los Angeles to mostly good weather here in Florida.

“Tampa is a very innovative, progressive city and I’m looking forward to coming there,” Shatner said. 

Tampa Bay Comic Con will take place at the Tampa Convention Center from July 29 through July 31.

Shatner will be available for photo opportunities with fans on Friday and Saturday for $130. He will join Gates McFadden, Dean Cain, James “Murr” Murray, Jason David Frank and more.

The actor will be signing autographs at his booth on celebrity row at the convention from 5:45-6:15 p.m. and at 6:45 p.m. on Friday. He will also sign autographs from 10-11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. (with no specific end time, but with breaks) and 3:50 p.m. (also with no specific end time and breaks) on Saturday.

The “William Shatner Spotlight” panel will take place on the first floor of the convention center, in ballroom D from 11:30 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. on Saturday.

You can view the full list of Tampa Bay Comic Convention Panels online.

Tickets for the convention are available online. Day passes are available for $30 for Friday or Sunday and $40 for Saturday. Multi-day passes, as well as VIP passes, are also available. Children under 10 years old get in to the convention for free with the purchase of an adult pass.