William Shatner Responds to Celebrity Criticisms of His Spaceflight

William Shatner speaks during a media availability on the landing pad of Blue Origin’s New Shepard after flying into space on October 13, 2021 near Van Horn, Texas

Mario Tama/Getty Images William Shatner speaks during a media availability on the landing pad of Blue Origin’s New Shepard after flying into space on October 13, 2021 near Van Horn, Texas

On October 13, 2021, William Shatner made history. He became the oldest person to visit space after his trip on a Blue Origin spacecraft. Shatner was stunned by the experience, calling it “unbelievable.” 

Though many celebs offered Shatner their congratulations on his historic expedition, a few were less than impressed. Both Prince William and George Takei criticized Shatner and the space flight.

Of course, Shatner was quick to fire back. 

Shatner Tells Prince William He’s ‘Wrong’

The day after Shatner’s spaceflight, Prince William told the BBC that he’s not a fan of the space tourism that Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origins offers. He continued: 

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] 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 Prince then pointed out that the impact of carbon emissions generated by these space flights hasn’t been determined, suggesting that space tourism could be furthering climate change

Shatner responded the same day in an interview with Entertainment Tonight. He started by complimenting the Prince, calling him “a lovely Englishman.” 

However, Shatner went on to say “he’s got the wrong idea.” He continued: 

The idea here is not to go, ‘Yeah, look at me. I’m in space…’ 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.”

Shatner went on, insisting that his trip, and other civilian trips, are the first step in setting up industry in space in order to save the Earth. 

A day later, Shatner spoke to People Magazine about the Prince’s comments, calling them “inane.”

“I’m surprised at him making that statement,” Shatner continued. “You can do two things at once. Of course, you have to clean up the plastic in the ocean. It doesn’t mean you can’t work on getting industry off of the ground.”

Shatner told the publication that Bezos’ goal is to construct “a road to space with our reusable launch vehicles, so our children can build the future.”

Shatner Says He’s Letting Takei ‘Spew His Hate’

The same day that Prince William criticized Shatner’s trip, Takei slammed his former co-star. He told Page Six that Shatner was “not the fittest specimen.” He continued: 

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!

He also quipped that Shatner was “boldly going where other people have gone before.” 

Shatner didn’t respond to Takei’s snarky remarks as quickly as he did to Prince William’s more grounded criticisms. He waited until the next day to fire back at Takei. 

On the morning of October 15, Shatner tweeted to his fans “Don’t hate George.” 

He didn’t respond to Takei’s comments directly. Instead, he referenced their decades-long feud. The two have been trading barbs since the 60s when they worked together on “Star Trek: The Original Series.” Takei is usually the instigator, however, Shatner never misses an opportunity to hit back. 

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