Shatner marvels at Blue Origin’s frantic flight, ‘finite’ Earth

LOS ANGELES – William Shatner’s enduring role as an avatar of the promise in space has attracted frenzied attention when fiction became reality with his rocket ride.

The “Star Trek” actor said he was surprised by that as well as pleased with the short 10-minute joke, performed by billionaire Jeff Bezos. The experience is the subject of “Shatner in Space,” an hour-long special Wednesday on Amazon Prime Video.

It details last October’s flight that brought Shatner, 90, the oldest person to space, and explored what the streaming service called the “growing friendship” between Shatner and Bezos. The founder of the Amazon empire believes that “Star Trek” sparked his interest in space travel.

Shatner, whose decades-long career includes “The Defenders,” “TJ Hooker,” and “Boston Legal” along with the original “Star Trek” series and movies, wants to be a part of the Blue premiere movie Bezos’ Origin last July, with passengers for the first time. Shatner sees going on trip #2 like being appointed vice president when the Oval Office was a dream.

He discussed his change of heart and the impact of flight in an interview with the Associated Press, the shift between the philosopher and blunt storyteller who sparked the Hindenburg fire explosion in 2005. 1937. Comments have been edited for length and clarity.

AP: Your passion for adventure may decrease over the years, but not with you. How do you explain it?

SHARERS: According to my wife, I have done a lot of foolish things over the years. I’m probably an adrenaline junkie. A few years ago I rode a cross-country motorcycle, and I recently went 60 feet underwater and visited four tiger sharks. I’m no stranger to thinking, “Oh, my gosh, I could die here.” But I don’t feel the need to go to space. Why would I want to put myself in that position? It’s not comfortable. I got it, my wife calls them “velvets”, I can only get in. Then I thought about it a little bit further, the idea of ​​weightlessness and going into space and just feeling, and (decided) “I’ll do it.” When it captured everyone’s imagination, I was completely shocked. I was shocked about that as well as about the flight itself.

AP: But you are Captain Kirk.

SHARERS: I know. But that was 55 years ago. There have been other things since then. The acquisition of knowledge was shocking, its popularity was shocking. Everything about it is extraordinary.

AP: Before the flight, you gave an interview in which you wondered about the dangers of flight. Is it a joke or a restlessness?

SHARERS: Haven’t you been raised above the Hindenburg fire? It burns hydrogen. That’s what they put in the tank (missile).

AP: You had an emotional conversation with Jeff Bezos shortly after the flight. What moved you so deeply?

SHARERS: I have immersed myself for the past 50 years in the connection of the Earth and how everything is connected. Everything is beautiful on Earth, and we have destroyed millions of (living) creatures. And then I saw the Earth giving life and I felt very sad. I have seen how finite the Earth is. And you and I are small dots, not as big as an ant. We are insignificant on this insignificant planet. And we are aware, we are the observers of that mediocrity. And that’s very important.

AP: “Star Trek” describes advanced human behavior that we have yet to achieve. How do you see the world politically, environmentally?

SHARERS: Human resistance to change is perhaps part of our indigenous makeup. But change is happening too fast, and faster than we imagined. The tipping points of these changes have occurred in the last 50 years, and I guess it will take more than 50 years before humanity can say, “God, the poles are melting.”

AP: Are you optimistic about the future?

SHARERS: I interviewed Bezos a few times while filming this documentary, and I hope that some of that comes out in it. The last line he said to me, which resonated in my head, was, “You have to hope. What’s the point of having no hope?” So he’s been busy trying to get the development industry into space, into geocentric orbit, which we have the technology to do.

AP: Decades have passed since “Star Trek,” but people still see Captain Kirk as part of your public self. Is that what you wished for?

SHARERS: Someone once said, “You’ll get the career you deserve.” And to change those words, you will get the life you deserve. You made the decision based on what you knew at the time. You like the guy, you don’t like the guy; You want to live in the city. Either way you turn left instead of turning right. You cannot regret making a decision because it is based on your needs, whatever it is.


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