It seems like Captain James T. Kirk will travel to the stars for real at long last thanks to billionaire conglomerate Jeff Bezos. William Shatner, who's played the legendary Star Trek character since its premiere on NBC 55 years ago, will make the flight in the New Shepard capsule, according to TMZ. Jeff, his brother Mark Bezos, test pilot Wally Funk were among the crew who made their first successful flight in July. The 90-year old Shatner will be the oldest person to ever be launched into space.
Not Quite U.S.S. Enterprise for Star Trek Actor William Shatner
The planned flight for October is for a 15-minute civilian flight similar to the first launch and will be filmed for a documentary according to TMZ with Shatner leading production. The first flight of the New Shepard took the crew up an altitude of 66.5 miles allowing the crew to float in zero gravity before making their way down. Shatner's final physical appearance in the Star Trek franchise was in 1997's Generations that saw his Kirk saving the universe one last time before dying. While the actor's been open to appearing in some form in the Kelvin Universe J.J. Abrams' reboot films, it has never materialized and Shatner's content remaining retired from the franchise having played the character for 30 years. His co-star Leonard Nimoy, who played Spock on The Original Series and films, helped passed the torch to their younger cinematic counterparts.
Shatner's continued to celebrate the franchise in other ways, in documentaries like The Captains where he interviewed all of the leading actors of Star Trek prior to the CBS All Access/Paramount+ era in Patrick Stewart (Next Generation), Avery Brooks (Deep Space Nine), Kate Mulgrew (Voyager), and Scott Bakula (Enterprise). He also lent his voice to an AI company for future generations to interact with a digital version of himself.