Actor William Shatner is a legendary actor who is best known for his role as James T. Kirk in the Star Trek franchise. The 92-year-old Canadian star was part of the franchise from 1966 as the captain of the starship Enterprise in the Star Trek television series. His last appearance as Captain Kirk was in the seventh Star Trek feature film, Star Trek Generations in 1994. Apart from Star Trek, he has earned the Emmy Awards for his work in The Practice and its spinoff show Boston Legal. The actor shared his literal out-of-the-world experience when he traveled into space.
Shatner is among the handful of people who have had the opportunity to travel into space. He recounted her grief-bound experience in his book, as he traveled with Jeff Bezos.
Star Trek star William Shatner was grief-struck on his space tour
The Twilight Zone actor is one of the leading actors in the Hollywood industry. He is also one of the few people to travel in space. William Shatner became the oldest man to do it, at the age of 90. He traveled with Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin joyride. A year later, he documented his feelings and the experience of brief space travel in a book, Boldly Go: Reflections on a Life of Awe and Wonder.
The actor shared that he felt a weird grief when he looked towards Earth from the spaceship. He recalled (as per Variety),
“It was among the strongest feelings of grief I have ever encountered. The contrast between the vicious coldness of space and the warm nurturing of Earth below filled me with overwhelming sadness. Every day, we are confronted with the knowledge of further destruction of Earth at our hands: the extinction of animal species, of flora and fauna . . . things that took five billion years to evolve, and suddenly we will never see them again because of the interference of mankind. It filled me with dread. My trip to space was supposed to be a celebration; instead, it felt like a funeral.”
William Shatner’s book Boldly Go: Reflections on a Life of Awe and Wonder was published in October 2022.
William Shatner’s space experience was a complete contrast to Jodie Foster’s Contact
The 92-year-old actor, William Shatner recalled in his book that he had different expectations regarding going to space. He felt the visuals would be breathtaking and the experience would be similar to Jodie Foster’s character, in the film Contact. In the movie, Foster’s character looks out into the heavens and lets out an awestruck whisper,
“They should’ve sent a poet.”
However, Shatner’s experience was quite the contrary, as he recalled,
“I had thought that going into space would be the ultimate catharsis of that connection I had been looking for between all living things—that being up there would be the next beautiful step to understanding the harmony of the universe.”
“I had a different experience because I discovered that the beauty isn’t out there, it’s down here, with all of us. Leaving that behind made my connection to our tiny planet even more profound.”
William Shatner was recently in a reality show Stars on Mars, which aired in August 2023.