Star Trek’s William Shatner on Kirk and Real-life Spaceflight: ‘I Felt So Sad’

Star Trek star William Shatner gives a keynote address at SXSW, as the new biographical documentary You can call me Bill for the first time. In addition to appearing on InvestiGates: Who do you think you are? The premiere of the second season where Star Trek: The Next GenerationGates McFadden spoke with him, and Shatner previously spoke about why he chose to make this movie now in blunt terms, saying, “I don’t have much time to live.” During the keynote address, he recalled the time he played the iconic James T. Kirk on Star Trek and his real-life space flight aboard the Blue Origin. Alamo Drafthouse founder Tim League hosted the event, prompting Shatner to ask questions.

The league asked Shatner what he brought to Star Trek. Yet he quickly teased “talent” (trans Austin America Statesman), Shatner mentioned seeing the original pilot episode of Star Trek“The cage” and thinking, “This is really good, why didn’t they buy it?” In a rare move, the studio ordered a second pilot to replace Captain Jeffrey Hunter Pike with Shatner as Kirk. This one they ordered by chain. “I added a little lightness, I think, and then sold out, and that’s the answer.”

William Shatner in space

Then Shatner thought about his space flight. He admitted he was a bit disappointed after being cut short of Blue Origin’s first flight despite being called back for the second (“like being vice president when you want to be president”) and that he had considered going down at the last minute before, “I guess, I’m the captain.” Kirk, I can’t.”

Shatner then shared a few words about his experience. He remembers seeing the blackness of space and thinking (“It was death,” he said) and then looking at the Earth and saying, “The beige, the white, the blue, is life.”

William Shatner’s Message for the Future

“I felt so sad,” Shatner said, looking down at the ground. He says he felt sad for the Earth as it is experiencing climate change, and he thinks of the natural beauty and undiscovered life that would suffer for it.

“How sad, that this beautiful sacred thing called life has evolved and disappeared and we didn’t know it was there?” contemplation. “What can we do? That is the question I leave with all of you.

William Shatner ventured three seasons into space as Captain Kirk Star Trek: The Original Series Exclusive stream on Paramount +. Paramount recently released the six Star Trek movies helmed as Kirk boxed in 4k for the first time.

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