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Unlike Captain Kirk, Shatner saw only death on his real-life spacetrip

You'd think any seasoned Star Trek captain would love to go to space for real, but for one actor it wasn't as fun as he expected it to be

William Shatner as Captain Kirk in Star Trek

For any actor involved in the Star Trek franchise, you would have thought that the experience of boldly going where no one has gone before would be the chance of a lifetime. In the case of William Shatner though, the original and perhaps best Star Trek captain of all time, the trip to space was far from enjoyable.

Shatner, who played Captain James Kirk in the first iteration of Star Trek in the original TV series and later fulfilled the role in a handful of science fiction movies too, was sent into space in October 2021 by Amazon boss Jeffrey Bezos. All those years in the sci-fi series couldn’t have prepared him for what he saw though.

In his memoir titled Boldly Go (via Variety), Shatner revealed his thoughts on the experience of being up above the world, and it’s equally upsetting and also quite beautiful in a weird way.

On staring into space, Shatner said: “When I looked… into space, there was no mystery, no majestic awe to behold… all I saw was death. I saw a cold, dark, black emptiness. It was unlike any blackness you can see or feel on Earth. It was deep, enveloping, all-encompassing.”

Pretty bleak, right? It doesn’t get much happier either, as Shatner continued: “I discovered that the beauty isn’t out there, it’s down here, with all of us. Leaving that behind made my connection to our tiny planet even more profound. It was among the strongest feelings of grief I have ever encountered.”

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Shatner then adds: “Every day, we are confronted with the knowledge of further destruction of Earth at our hands: the extinction of animal species, of flora and fauna; things that took five billion years to evolve, and suddenly we will never see them again because of the interference of mankind. It filled me with dread. My trip to space was supposed to be a celebration; instead, it felt like a funeral.”

Well, thanks for that Bill, nothing like an existential crisis to fill us with hope on a Monday! If you want something to look forward to instead, how about taking a peek at our guide to the Star Trek 4 release date. Or, go boldly into our list of the best adventure movies.