New astronaut William Shatner has fired back at Prince William‘s criticism of the billionaire space race, after the royal said the wealthy should be ‘trying to repair this planet, not trying to find the next place to go and live.’
In an interview today with Entertainment Tonight, one day after he traveled to space, 90-year-old Shatner said William had misunderstood the point of his trip.
‘He’s a lovely Englishman. He’s going to be king of England one day,’ Shatner told of the Duke of Cambridge. ‘He’s a lovely, gentle, educated man, but he’s got the wrong idea.’
Shatner, famous for playing Captain Kirk on Star Trek, traveled to space on an 11-minute flight with Blue Origin, the aerospace company founded by amazon tycoon Jeff Bezos.
Without specifically mentioning Bezos by name, the duke told the BBC, ‘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.’
‘It 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,’ the royal said, adding that he has ‘absolutely no interest’ in going to space, and questioning the carbon cost of space flights.
New astronaut William Shatner has fired back at Prince William’s criticism of the billionaire space race during an interview with Entertainment Tonight
Prince William criticised the race to leave Earth during an interview with BBC Newscast’s Adam Fleming at Kensington Palace
In an interview today with Entertainment Tonight, one day after he traveled to space, 90-year-old Shatner defended space travel as a whole, adding that it can contribute to the Earth’s healing from global warming
Shatner, though, saw a different meaning to his journey to space: protecting the Earth, not finding an alternate planet to live on.
‘The idea here is not to go, ‘Yeah, look at me. I’m in space.’ The landing that consumed all that… energy and people to take a look and go, ‘Oh, look at that.’ No,’ Shatner said.
‘I would tell the prince, and I hope the prince gets the message, this is a baby step into the idea of getting industry up there, so that all those polluting industries, especially, for example, the industries that make electricity… off of Earth.’
Instead, Shatner wants to see more companies in energy resourcing build bases above the Earth, so that it doesn’t impact the planet’s ecosystem.
‘We’ve got all the technology, the rockets, to send the things up there… You can build a base 250 or 280 miles above the Earth and send that power down here, and they catch it, and they then use it, and it’s there,’ he continued.
‘All it needs is… somebody as rich as Jeff Bezos [to say], ‘Let’s go up there.”’
Ultimately, Shatner said: ‘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.’
As for the Prince William’s argument to first focus on the problems on Earth rather than to travel to space, Shatner said he ‘of course’ agrees.
‘So fix some of the stuff down here,’ Shatner said. ‘… But we can curl your hair and put lotion on your face at the same time.’
In a later interview on CNN’s Cuomo Prime Time, Shatner said it would be ‘tragic if your children, especially our children’s children, don’t have a chance to be part of this beautiful thing we call Earth.’
He added that ‘we have to do something about global warming now, before we all are affected by it.’
Shatner told Chris Cuomo on CNN that humans need to take global warming seriously as it would be ‘tragic if your children, especially our children’s children, don’t have a chance to be part of this beautiful thing we call Earth’
Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket blasts off on mission NS-18 carrying Star Trek actor William Shatner and 3 other passengers for a suborbital 11-minute flight on Wednesday
The journey to space is one Shatner is glad to have been a part of, calling the experience ‘indescribable,’ and noting that there are simply ‘no words in the English language to relate.’
‘You hear people say religious experience, I don’t know about religious experience, but you can have an overwhelming experience,’ Shatner told ET, before comparing the flight to holding one’s 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?’ he 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,’ Shatner continued. ‘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.’
Although Shatner is now constantly reminded about being the oldest person who’s traveled to space, he told ET that the journey did make him think about his mortality.
‘It reminded me of the death facing me because of my age… but also how to protect you in the years to come, and my children, and my children’s children,’ he said. ‘That’s what’s critical.’
Shatner became the oldest person to fly into space on the 11-minute flight. They flew aboard mission NS-18, the second human spaceflight for the company which is owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos
Asked by Cuomo about his new spoken word album, titled Bill, which came out on September 24, Shatner thought it was ironic that he got closer to the moon after recording about it.
‘I wrote a song in my album that I’ve got out now called ‘Bill’ which is so far from the moon,’ Shatner said. ‘When I was at my depth of loss of everything, I was so far from the moon, Brad paisley accompanies me on it. The irony of me going closer to the moon and having this kind of success is ironic because things are falling apart.
‘And I wanted — and that’s why I was overwhelmed. I wanted to — I didn’t think consciously of bringing back the message. But I was wondering, why am I surprised? What is overwhelming with emotion to the point I can hardly speak?’
‘I’m an actor, I should be able to control it. I was unable to.’
‘It’s like hearing the death of someone you love, suddenly the world no longer exists but this blinding emotional moment.’
‘He’s boldly going where OTHER people have gone before’: George Takei reignites feud with fellow Star Trek alum William Shatner, aged 90, after his trip to space saying he’s ‘unfit’ but will be a ‘guinea pig’
George Takei hit out at his fellow Star Trek alum William Shatner for taking a historic space journey at the age of 90 – reigniting a decades-long feud that began on the set of the 1960s sci-fi show.
Asked about his thoughts on William Shatner’s trip 62 miles above the surface of the Earth on Wednesday, Takei said: ‘He’s boldly going where other people have gone before,’ mocking Shatner’s popular phrase as Captain Kirk.
‘He’s a guinea pig, 90 years old and it’s important to find out what happens,’ Takei added during the Broadway opening of Thoughts of a Colored Man on Wednesday night, according to Page Six.
‘So 90 years old is going to show a great deal more on the wear and tear on the human body, so he’ll be a good specimen to study. Although he’s not the fittest specimen of 90 years old, so he’ll be a specimen that’s unfit!’
Shatner and newly minted astronauts Chris Boshuizen, Glen de Vries and Audrey Powers spent three minutes in weightlessness aboard Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket earlier that day.
George Takei, 84, criticized his former co-star William Shatner as a ‘specimen that’s unfit’
Shatner, 90, (second from left) became the oldest person in space after three minutes of weightlessness aboard a Blue Origin rocket on Wednesday
Shatner became the oldest person in space, eclipsing the previous record set by Wally Funk, 82, on a similar jaunt on a Jeff Bezos-owned spaceship in July, by eight years.
Takei, 84, has hit out at Shatner before.
Their feud apparently began during filming of the 79-episode show, with Takei accusing Shatner of ignoring him on set.
He also accused him of changing the script of the 1989 film Star Trek V so that Takei’s character, Hikaru Sulu, would not receive command of a spaceship, according to Page Six.
The pair have co-starred in the iconic TV show as well as six theatrical releases, ending with Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country in 1991.
Shatner (center) and Takei (right) appeared in 79 Star Trek episodes and six movies together
Takei described Star Trek sets as feeling like ‘William Shatner versus the rest of the world’ in an interview on David Tennant’s celebrity podcast last year.
He said Shatner was insecure because co-star Leonard Nimoy, who played Spock, got more fan letters than him.
Shatner responded on Twitter, saying, ‘George needs a new hobby. Now he’s making things up. We never saw fan letters. That’s why there’s so many secretary signed photos.
‘We barely saw George. He was in once a week at most – how would he know anything? The only person with jealousy is George.’