Reflecting on his space flight, William Shatner says, “It seemed like a funeral.”
Nearly a year after the incident, the actor says, “Everything I had expected to see was wrong.”
William Shatner believed that following his historic space flight, he would experience the “ultimate catharsis.” Instead, according to the Star Trek star, the journey left him overcome with grief, an “overwhelming melancholy,” and a fresh respect for Earth’s beauty.
An excerpt from his book Boldly Go Reflections on a Life of Awe and Wonder, published by Variety, states, “My voyage to space was supposed to be a celebration; instead, it felt like a funeral.”
“I adore the universe’s enigma. I adore all the queries that have been raised over millennia of research and theories. However, as I turned around and peered up into space, there was nothing mysterious or magnificent to see. Shatner claimed, “Death was all I saw.
In October of last year, a video of the actor leaning up against the window of Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin rocket capsule was live-streamed back to Earth as the four-person crew approached the Kármán Line and proceeded on.
But Shatner recounts “a cold, terrible, black nothingness… profound, enveloping, all-encompassing” when he thinks back to the scene almost a year later.
“Everything I had believed was incorrect. Everything I had anticipated seeing was inaccurate, he wrote. “I had believed that traveling to space would be the pinnacle catharsis of the connection I had been seeking between all living things — that traveling there would be the next lovely step to knowing the harmony of the universe.”
The Canadian actor, who won fame for his portrayal of Captain James Kirk on the USS Enterprise in Star Trek, sobbed profusely as he touched down, describing the moment as “the most meaningful feeling I can imagine.” At the time, he expressed, “I hope I never get over this.” “I’m bursting with emotion at what just occurred. It’s just extraordinary.
However, Shatner stated in the excerpt that he realized the beauty was actually closer to home, with all of us, a year after returning to Earth. My attachment to our tiny planet became even stronger after I left that behind.
“It was one of the most intensely painful experiences I have ever experienced. I felt an overpowering sense of grief when I considered how the harsh coldness of space contrasted with the comforting warmth of Earth below.
The extinction of animal species, flora, and fauna, as well as other natural phenomena that took 5 billion years to evolve, means that we are always faced with the possibility of further destroying the planet at our hands. It made me feel anxious.
“It was intended to be a celebration on my voyage to space, but it felt more like a wake.”
He continued: “Everybody else was shaking bottles of champagne, and there was quite a sense of accomplishment,” in a recent interview with the Washington Post. And I certainly didn’t feel that way. I wasn’t having a party. I don’t know why, but I was shaking my fist at the heavens.
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Irving is the Chief Editor at the Landscape Insight. He lives just outside of New York. His writings have also been featured in some very famous magazines. When he isn’t reading the source material for a piece or decompressing with a comfort horror movie, Irving is usually somewhere in his car.