William Shatner Says Bezos Space Flight Left Him ‘Grieving’ for Earth: ‘It’s Disappearing, We’re Killing It’

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - SEPTEMBER 03: William Shatner speaks during 2022 Dragon Con at Hilton A
Paras Griffin/Getty

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 10 (UPI) — William Shatner told the audience at Los Angeles film festival, Beyond Fest, on Sunday that he feels environmentalism is the culmination of his life’s work.

Shatner described a song he co-wrote with writer and television producer Robert Sharenow called “So Fragile, So Blue” about the planet. Shatner said his hope is that artists like Barbra Streisand will join him in singing the song, whose lyrics include “What can we do about our Earth?”

“It becomes the rallying cry to save the Earth,” said Shatner, 91. “That’s what I think my calling is from here on in.”

Beyond Fest screened three of Shatner’s movies from the 1970s: Kingdom of the Spiders, The Devil’s Rain and Impulse. In the Q&A after the marathon, Shatner said his recent flight into space via Blue Origin inspired his emphasis on environmental causes.

“I look at the big, palpable, ugly, deathlike blackness of space,” Shatner said of his trip. “And I think, ‘Dammit, life.’”

Shatner said he began to weep when the Blue Origin capsule landed. After taking a moment to compose himself, he said he realized he was grieving for the planet.

William Shatner speaks during 2022 Dragon Con at Hilton Atlanta on September 03, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)

As examples, Shatner said the extinction of species and air pollution were among the phenomena that troubled him.

“Everything is sacred,” Shatner said. “It’s disappearing and we’re killing it. That’s what I was grieving about.”

As Star Trek’s Captain James T. Kirk, Shatner explored fictional planets and alien species. Now, he says, he intends to spend his remaining years raising awareness about our planet.

“We humans have the gift of realization, of awareness,” Shatner said. “Everything is unified. We’re all entangled, and that’s what I came away with.”

Not that Shatner expects his remaining years to be so few. He joked that he still expects to live another few decades.

“I’m going to die soon, 20, 30 years, what have you,” Shatner said. “But, look, I’m so healthy, I’m so involved in everything and I’m so happy.”

Asked by an audience member what he’s learned in his life, Shatner debunked the notion that with age comes wisdom.

“I don’t think as you get older, you acquire any wisdom,” Shatner said. “You’re not gifted and all of a sudden at age 72, I’m wise now. No, man.”

Shatner said he caught the end of 1974 horror thriller Impulse, in which he plays a serial killer. He said he was pleased to see audience members covering their eyes.

Shatner said that “low-budget films are a roll of the dice,” including his recent Senior Moment. Shatner continued to praise the entrepreneurial spirit of independent filmmakers, who have to raise funding to support their creative enterprise.

The Associated Press

File/This undated photo made available by Blue Origin in October 2021 shows, from left, Chris Boshuizen, William Shatner, Audrey Powers and Glen de Vries.  (Blue Origin via AP)

Shatner did recall anecdotes about making each of the three films. In Impulse, a scene in which Shatner’s character kills Harold Sakata’s almost turned deadly in real life.

The scene called for Shatner to ensnare Sakata in a noose and hang him. However, the cable attached to his safety harness failed, so Shatner held Sakata up until the crew could remove the noose.

“This is my broken finger,” Shatner said. “I broke it saving Harold Sakata.”

In The Devil’s Rain, Shatner plays a man battling a satanic cult and his own ancestor in flashbacks. Shatner recalled meeting Church of Satan founder Anton LaVey, who consulted on and appeared in the film.

“I love those people,” Shatner said. “I had the best time talking to people like that to find out if they really believe what they’re saying. And if they do, where’d they get that from?”

In Kingdom of the Spiders, Shatner plays a veterinarian who encounters a swarm of venomous spiders. Shatner said he worked with real non-lethal tarantulas and even glued one to his face for one scene.

“There’s a Mexican tarantula that won’t kill you,” Shatner said. “It’s just horribly painful so you’ll live through the pain.”


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