William Shatner Had An Awful Time During His Trip To Space

By Jonathan Klotz | Published

william shatner documentary

Playing Captain James Tiberius Kirk throughout the long history of Star Trek, led to William Shatner going into space himself last year, at the age of 90, though the experience was not a positive one. In an article the actor wrote for The Guardian, he explains that instead of feeling hope, the opportunity for limitless adventures, and the possibility of a bright future, a feeling of overwhelming sadness overcame him. Gene Roddenberry created Star Trek to explore a brighter future for humanity, one of the original Enterprise crew instead now fears for the future more than ever before.

William Shatner explains looking at Earth filled him with a feeling of connectedness, of wanting to protect the fragile sphere, but when he turned and looked away from Earth, he saw something horrible: “What I understood, in the clearest possible way, was that we were living on a tiny oasis of life, surrounded by an immensity of death. I didn’t see infinite possibilities of worlds to explore, of adventures to have, or living creatures to connect with. I saw the deepest darkness I could have ever imagined, contrasting starkly with the welcoming warmth of our nurturing home plane.”

While it is true that, to the best of our scientific knowledge, humans are alone in the vast universe on the only planet that can sustain life, somewhere out there life has to exist in some form. Regardless, William Shatner was filled with sadness when looking out into the vastness of space, though in true Captain fashion, that sadness transformed into resolve. As he said in his article about his grandchildren, “I want them, as an old friend used to say, to be able to live long and prosper.”

Regrettably, as William Shatner goes on to explain, current science is painting a bleak picture for our future on this planet. Shatner was born in 1931, with his generation seeing incredible technological gains that now they have to reckon with, and boldly lead into a new future. The TekWar author relates his experience to the upcoming Cop15 UN biodiversity summit in Shatner’s hometown of Montreal, urging world leaders to adopt policies aimed at reducing pollution, changing how food is farmed to be less wasteful, and preserve the current state of the world’s oceans.

william shatner shatner in space
William Shatner in space.

William Shatner, as he said in his editorial, feels a little regret for doing his part to get humanity to look to the stars for the future. Instead, he now says “But I had to get to space to understand that Earth is, and will remain, our only home. And that we have been ravaging it, relentlessly, making it uninhabitable.”

The Boston Legal star has spent years engaging in charity and philanthropy, primarily aimed at ecological issues. While the Honorary Captain for the Star Trek: The Cruise, celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Star Trek, he had Norwegian Cruise Lines cancel all “swim with dolphins” experiences due to the exploitation of species violating the Star Fleet prime directive. The longtime ranch owner also supports the Central Kentucky Riding For Hope “Horses for Heroes” program, and the Hollywood Charity Horse Show, which raises money for multiple children’s charities.

William Shatner has been keeping busy since returning to Earth, most recently making an appearance on The Masked Singer, where the legendary showman was eliminated on the first episode. So far for next year, only narrator roles are on the star’s release schedule, including his own documentary, William Shatner: War chronicles: German. The actor also recently released a new memoir, Boldly Go: Reflections on a Life of Awe and Wonder, earlier this year.