As William Shatner Breaks Record by Traveling Into Space, Fellow Actors Blast Him for Woke Reasons


William Shatner has boldly gone where no nonagenarian has gone before.

On Oct. 13, the “Star Trek” icon blasted off into space aboard one of Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin suborbital space capsule for a 10-minute flight. By doing so, Captain Kirk became the oldest human in space, according to The Guardian.

“I hope I never recover from this,” the 90-year-old Shatner said after touching down from a flight that took him from an airfield in the west Texas desert to 66 miles above the Earth’s surface and to the final frontier.

“I’m so filled with emotion about what just happened,” he said. “It’s extraordinary, extraordinary. It’s so much larger than me and life. It hasn’t got anything to do with the little green men and the blue orb. It has to do with the enormity and the quickness and the suddenness of life and death.

“To see the blue color whip by you, and now you’re staring into blackness … everybody in the world needs to do this. Everybody in the world needs to see this.”

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Not according to two woke actors and one woke royal. To them, no one needs to see this — because, you know, the environment.

In an appearance on Britain’s “The Jonathan Ross Show,” actress Joan Collins — she of “Dynasty” fame, who also appeared in an episode of the original “Star Trek” as a love interest of Captain Kirk’s — was decidedly unimpressed.

“It’s amazing, isn’t it? What a fool. Who wants to do that? No, absolutely not. Did you see Bill Shatner?” she said, according to the Guardian.

“He was in the air and they were turning him upside down. Let’s take care of this planet first before we start going off.”

Yes, well, about that:

The private jet didn’t leave Earth’s orbit, granted, but Collins’ fame has dulled to the point where the 88-year-old actress can fly commercial like the rest of the rabblement without being bothered — and the only history she was making on the private jet was leaving Twitter receipts for an absurd statement she’d make five years hence.

But wait: Collins wasn’t the only thespian willing to knock Shatner’s spaceflight on Jonathan Ross’ show. Brian Cox — the actor who plays a thinly veiled version of Rupert Murdoch on HBO’s hit series “Succession” — also felt it was irresponsible.

“No, absolutely not. I think it’s ridiculous,” Cox said when asked if he would visit space.

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“I remember watching [Sir Richard] Branson and Bezos going up for their 11 minutes or whatever. … No, we do not need more spaceships. We’ve got enough crap flying around up there. We do not need any more.”

Remember, this is Brian Cox the British actor, not Brian Cox the prominent British physicist. Not that I’d count on either one to deliver a definitive account of whether Bill Shatner should be boarding a Blue Origin spacecraft, but I think I’d be willing to hear more about how Earth has “got enough crap flying around up there” from the physicist.

Of course, there’s a reason certain Britons are criticizing Shatner’s Blue Origin flight: One of the Windsors is, too.

In an interview with BBC Sounds that was to be aired the day after Shatner’s flight, Prince William criticized space exploration and tourism, citing environmental reasons.

“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,” William said.

“I think that ultimately is what sold it for me — that really 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.”

I understand William is one of the Windsors we mostly don’t mind — he’s not his characterless brother or the human trainwreck that is Prince Andrew — but the second-in-line to the throne is still little more than a living tourist attraction for Britannia and the Commonwealth.

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That means emitting a lot of carbon, however. In fact, CNN reported that in 2019 — the last year before the COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to much of its agenda — the royal family nearly doubled its carbon output from travel.

If William and the rest of the British royals are truly serious about stopping climate change through small acts of personal sacrifice, they should retire to the English countryside, give up most of their mansions, their jets and their limousines, and simply become the absurd 21st-century P.G. Wodehouse caricatures that they already are, not the figureheads of the United Kingdom.

They won’t, of course, so the moral ground William stands upon when he lectures us about the environment will always be unsustainably shaky.

Shatner has tried to run public relations on this one, saying the trip was a “baby step” to getting “polluting industries … off of Earth.”

He shouldn’t even bother.

Space tourism is a natural step in human development, but also one that will remain rare and out-of-reach for almost everyone. If it becomes more widely available, it can be done in a sustainable way.

Moreover, space tourism in general and Shatner’s trip in particular shouldn’t be fair game for individuals who want to score wokeness brownie points — yet don’t live sustainably themselves.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture