Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation co-founder Melinda Gates and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak at Goalkeepers 2017, at Jazz at Lincoln Center on September 20, 2017 in New York City.
Jamie McCarthy—Getty Images for Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
By Raisa Bruner
September 20, 2017

As we know by now, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has a dapper sense of fashion. He also has his sartorial quirks, mainly in the form of socks. And on Wednesday in New York City, Trudeau may have learned just how buzzy a thing like sock choice can be for a person at his level of visibility on the world stage.

During a panel appearance at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum and at a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation event at Lincoln Center, Trudeau chatted with fellow leaders like Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Melinda Gates to discuss issues ranging from international economic growth to poverty and disease initiatives. But the audiences may have been distracted by what was going on at his feet. While at first glance Trudeau’s socks for the day may seem to be a motley brown pattern, zooming in closer reveals they are designed with the visage of none other than hirsute Star Wars character Chewbacca.

To no one was this point more obvious than actor William Shatner, the original Captain Kirk of Star Trek fame and a (former?) pal of Trudeau’s.

“@Justin Trudeau I thought we were friends?” Shatner tweeted, including a photo of Trudeau’s apparel to illustrate his concern. “Chewbacca socks?” (He included a crying-face emoji for good measure.)

Shatner’s tears come since Star Wars — from which Chewbacca hails — is a rival franchise universe to Star Trek, Shatner’s own extragalactic silver screen home. That said, Trudeau has a history of wearing Star Wars socks, so this shouldn’t come as too much of a shock to Shatner.

But some internet onlookers think there’s room for Trudeau to be a fan of both worlds. Compromise — and the ability to balance multiple points of view at once — is what makes a good leader great.

 

Write to Raisa Bruner at raisa.bruner@time.com.

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