When William Shatner returned to Earth after his history-making voyage into space, he cried. According to the Washington Examiner, Shatner said that he teared up because everything humanity takes for granted will soon be gone.
“It took me hours to understand what it was, why I was weeping,” the iconic actor said. “I realized I was in grief. I was grieving for the destruction of the Earth.”
Shatner’s mission to space, which Heavy covered back in October 2021, changed him. Afterward, he’s been reflecting on how fragile our planet is. While he was on the Blue Origin spacecraft, as other passengers enjoyed the near zero gravity sensation, Shatner looked out the window.
“We need to take care of the planet, but it’s so fragile,” Shatner told The Today Show. “There’s this little tiny blue skin that is 50 miles wide, and we pollute it, and it’s our means of living.”
Since that trip, it could be said that Shatner has been more willing to speak his mind and take new risks. The most glaring example of this might be when he told an audience at the San Diego Comic-Con in July 2022 that “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry would not approve of the current state of the franchise.
Shatner at SDCC
Shatner also said that none of the shows which followed “Star Trek: The Original Series” rivaled his own. This comment was reported by Looper and hundreds of other media outlets — but Shatner admitted to Jonathan Frakes and Patrick Stewart in 2009 that he’d never watched “The Next Generation” or any of the other Trek shows that followed. This admission was during “The Captains Summit” roundtable video, including Leonard Nimoy, and was hosted by Whoopi Goldberg.
Now, “Bill” is back in the headlines as the narrator of a new video produced by Comedy Central, which takes on the wealthiest man in the world — Elon Musk. Shatner is no stranger to courting controversy, as he hosted a show meant to stir things up — “Shatner’s Raw Nerve.” On that show, Shatner interviewed some of the most famous names in Hollywood and quite a few “Star Trek” alumni, including Goldberg, Scott Bakula, and Walter Koenig.
‘Elon Musk: Visionary FutureMan’
In this new video, Shatner lends his wry wit to sharing why the Telsa CEO and richest man in the world is also the “annoying dude in the group chat.”
In this video, which was created by Shatner and the team at “The Daily Show,” the actor compares Musk to Thomas Edison and Iron Man’s Tony Stark while poking fun at some of the more bizarre ideas and promises. An entire video segment is dedicated to making fun of Musk’s desire to see Teslas drive themselves — without much luck.
Is Something Brewing Between Paramount and Shatner?
Since Paramount owns both Comedy Central and the “Star Trek” franchise, could Shatner’s involvement with “The Daily Show” mean that more collaborations could happen in the future? Though Priceline says that Shatner did not earn $600 million for his television commercials — as reported by CNBC — the fact of the matter is that hiring Shatner to do a voice-over for a comedy sketch video is likely, not cheap.
Could Shatner’s work with one Paramount property mean that he could rejoin another? Could Shatner lend his voice or acting abilities to future “Star Trek” projects? It was rumored that he was supposed to appear in “Star Trek Beyond.” Shatner told SFX Magazine that “there was never a conversation.” Perhaps the rumors never got to “Bill,” as CinemaBlend even detailed how he would have appeared in the 2016 movie.
But another option to get Shatner back in “Star Trek” could be with animation. As Trek fans are aware, quite a few actors came back for appearances in an episode of “Star Trek: Prodigy.” Shatner could return for new adventures as Captain James T. Kirk, as an animated character. Heavy explored this option in an article back in February 2022, and fans have indeed shown that they’re interested in more work from the original Captain Kirk.
Shatner famously starred in “Star Trek: The Animated Series” and has voiced other characters, including Batman villain, Two Face.