The star name of the four-person crew that Blue Origin will launch to the edge of space on Wednesday is William Shatner.
For those who haven’t paid attention since these Enterprise spaceship journeys began over 50 years ago: Mr. Shatner, now 90, played the indomitable Captain James T. Kirk in the original “Star Trek”. television series that debuted in 1966. The show aired for three seasons, and Mr. Shatner returned as Kirk with the original cast members for six films from 1979 to 1991. Captain Kirk perished in 1994 in “Star Trek: Generations”.
As Trek’s media empire grew from the original series (it now encompasses a growing multiverse of movies and shows, as well as video games, merchandise, conventions and more), Mr. Shatner as a true sci-fi celebrity only got stronger. .
“Looks like there’s a lot of curiosity in this fictional character Captain Kirk going into space,” Shatner said in a promotional video posted to Twitter by Blue Origin. ” So let’s go. Enjoy the ride. “
But his life in the public eye is far from being limited to “Star Trek”.
For years, Mr. Shatner played a hyperbolized version of himself as “the negotiator” in commercials (some with a Trek twist) for the travel agency Priceline.
He won two Emmy Awards and landed nominations for his roles in the interconnected legal dramas “The Practice” and “Boston Legal” in the 1990s and 2000s (his work “Star Trek” never received an Emmy or Oscar). He also received an Outstanding Guest Actor nomination for a series of cameos like The Big Giant Head in “3rd Rock From the Sun”.
His age has not stopped his work. Earlier this year, he starred in the romantic comedy “Senior Moment” alongside Jean Smart, 20 years his junior at 70.
Offscreen, Shatner has released several albums that straddle music and spoken poetry (a style that produced a particularly memorable performance of Elton John’s “Rocket Man” at the 1978 Science Fiction Film Awards). In 2012, he came to Broadway with a one-man show that spanned his life and career. And even as a nineties he followed the kids and brought his distinct personality to Twitter, which served as an ideal platform to praise his latest adventure.
Mr Shatner, in an interview with CNN last week, said he took on his space trip a “little blue satchel” of memorabilia that included “three or four little knick-knacks” of family and friends. friends.
But during the flight, he intends to stay focused on planet Earth.
“I plan to look out the window with my nose leaning against the window,” he said during a chat last week with Blue Origin employees, clips that the company posted on Twitter.
He then added, “The only thing I don’t want to see is a little gremlin looking at me. Are you sure this will not happen? “
Joey Roulette contributed reporting.