After a cold open featuring Carrie Underwood dressed as Princess Leia and Brad Paisley as Han Solo, the Star Wars jokes returned to the 2015 CMAs when an Imperial Stormtrooper stormed the stage while Underwood and Paisley were talking about Sam Hunt‘s speak-singing style.
As it turns out, the Stormtrooper was played by a man who has nothing to do with the Star Wars universe, but everything to do with speak-singing. Star Trek legend William Shatner was in the Stormtrooper costume, a sly nod to the fact that despite public requests, Shatner was never included in J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek reboot (Abrams is also in charge of the seventh Star Wars film).
Shatner proceeded to accuse Hunt of aping his sing-speak style, demanding that Paisley — who had been referring to that as “Hunting” — call it “Shatting” instead.
“Sam Hunt, you know a great song is made better when you Shat it out loud,” Shatner shouted. The “Shat” jokes continued for a minute, with Shatner earning himself a bleep during the typically family-friendly night.
Before exiting stage, Shatner compounded the sci-fi franchise crossover with these words: “I’m boldly going to the gift lounge and may the Force be with you all.”