William Shatner may be famous for his fictional otherworldly travels thanks to his role in the “Star Trek” universe, however, on October 13, he took a real-life trip that took him to space.
Along with three other passengers, the actor nabbed a spot on Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space capsule, which headed out for a flight that lasted for 11 minutes, according to CNN. While it was obviously an incredible experience for the star, not everyone was impressed.
Fellow “Star Trek” actor George Takei had a few less-than-friendly words to share about Shatner’s space flight, while even Prince William spoke out about the recent space-based trips. Talking to the BBC’s “Newscast,” he addressed whether or not he would be traveling off of our planet and responded by saying he wouldn’t.
He also revealed why, telling the host, “I think that ultimately is what sold it for me — that really is quite crucial to be focusing on this [planet] rather than giving up and heading out into space to try and think of solutions for the future.”
While appearing on “Newscast” prior to the first Earthshot Prize being given out, which recognizes those who are making a positive impact on environmental issues, the Duke of Cambridge noted that “we need some of the world’s greatest brains and minds fixed on trying to repair this planet, not trying to find the next place to go and live.”
Although the prince may have a good point, Shatner definitely doesn’t agree with the royal’s stance.
Following Prince William’s comments about issues around current space flights, William Shatner responded to the royal’s concerns. The actor both justified his trip as well as to shut down what the Duke of Cambridge had to say.
“He’s a lovely, gentle, educated Englishman, but he’s got the wrong idea,” Shatner told Entertainment Tonight.
The star explained what he meant by noting that the “idea here is not to go, ‘Yeah, look at me. I’m in space.'” Instead, he said that “the prince is missing the point. The point is these are the baby steps to show people [that] it’s very practical. You can send somebody like me up into space.”
“We’ve got all the technology, the rockets, to send the things up there… You can build a base 250, 280 miles above the Earth and send that power down here, and they catch it, and they then use it, and it’s there. All it needs is… somebody as rich as Jeff Bezos [to say], ‘Let’s go up there.'”
Going a little deeper to explain that “the idea of getting industry up there” is “so that all those polluting industries, especially, for example, the industries that make electricity” end up “off of Earth.”
Although Shatner did agree with the royal when it comes to the fact that we should be putting work in on our own planet, he said, “So fix some of the stuff down here … But we can curl your hair and put lotion on your face at the same time.”
Elsewhere in his interview, Shatner spoke about his journey to space, which lasted approximately 10 minutes and saw the crew capsule reach an apogee of 347,539 feet above ground level.
“You hear people say religious experience, I don’t know about religious experience, but you can have an overwhelming experience,” he said, before comparing it to somebody holding their child for the first time.
“You hold the baby and it’s magical. It’s so overwhelming. How am I going to protect this child?” Shatner said. “You’re flooded with the responsibility and need to take care of [the child] and how you’re going to do it. That’s an overwhelming experience, and I had that experience.
“Looking at what I thought was life and death, what I thought was my children and my children’s children. The need to stop that blackness from overwhelming our precious planet and how unknowing the people who are not as consumed as I am about the necessity of protecting the earth.”
As for his time in space, Shatner was transformed by the experience. ” … to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, diverting myself in now & then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary,” he tweeted, “whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.”