I just heard an endearing interview on NPR mentioning that William Shatner likes to frequent the fan-constructed Star Trek bridge in Ticonderoga, New York and say stuff like “take me to the bridge!” It’s that characteristic sentimentality and the down-for-anything spirit that makes me feel okay about this news: Shatner is making the brief voyage to space (“space”; I prefer “high, high in the sky”) on Jeff Bezos’s ship the New Shepard. TMZ reported the rumors in September. Blue Origin confirmed it today, describing Shatner as, among other things, a “horseman.” At 90 years young, he will also be the oldest person to ever travel to space.
Can you still love someone who cooperates with the world’s most loathsome villain? We didn’t complain about Shatner Claus.
Shatner is expected to take off on the dweeby 15-minute journey on the mission scheduled for October 12th. TMZ has word that he was in talks about a documentary, which sounds like a challenging role, given the necessity of filling an hour with lead-up footage and the ultimately disappointing outcome of literally a few minutes floating around in a capsule that goes up and down. It’s unclear how much Bezos will be charging for the rocket rides, but speculation has landed on somewhere in the neighborhood of a few hundred thousand dollars.
Sources told TMZ last month that Bezos might be comping the trip, as he did for 82-year-old aviator and longtime aspiring astronaut Wally Funk, another inherently lovable elderly character. Meaning we can enjoy the small satisfaction of knowing that Shatner’s burning a pin-prick-sized hole in Bezos’s pocket and maybe pilfering Blue Origin’s Skittles on the way out. Or that Jeff Bezos is desperately seeking a space captain to attach to his fake space trips—about one minute of which are above the minimum line to technically call it “space”—now that “astronauts” are off the table.
In that case, it’s also nice to imagine Jeff Bezos storming around with his fraud FAA pin yelling at an assistant to get anyone with any ties to space on the line.
Fellow cast member George Takei has helpfully observed that the rocket looks like a dick.
A former NASA engineer will also join.