The Three Words Star Trek's William Shatner Used To Describe Space Travel After Record-Breaking Flight

william shatner interview shatner in space
(Image credit: Amazon Prime)

William Shatner has been an icon in the realm of fictional space travel going all the way back to the original Star Trek in the 1960s, and it wasn’t until 2021 that the actor made the trip to the stars in real life. He made history in the process as the oldest person launched into space at the age of 90; upon his return to Earth, he found three words to describe his experience beyond the atmosphere. 

The Star Trek legend’s trip into space was documented for fans with a one-hour documentary special fittingly called Shatner in Space, and William Shatner took to Twitter to hype the special and describe the experience for those of us who haven’t also traveled in space. He said:

Space travel, in three words, is ‘you go fast.’

While William Shatner’s experience on Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin rocket wasn’t quite as fast as what Captain Kirk experienced during his years in Star Trek, the speed clearly left a strong impression on the actor. And it clearly wasn’t too much for him, despite his status as the oldest person ever launched into space. Of course, the man also filmed with live sharks for a Shark Week special that aired over the summer, so perhaps it’s no surprise that space really was the next frontier for him!

Shatner was open with his excitement even before he made the trip, sharing a back-and-forth on social media with none other than Lynda Carter to encourage her to give space a shot as well, although he also admitted that he was “terrified” off and on about what he was going to do. Neil DeGrasse Tyson even weighed in on the question of whether it was safe for a man of Shatner’s age to make the journey, and he broke it down for any fearful fans. Shatner also shared his initial response to taking off:

The first thing I said after takeoff and the rumble of the rockets, and I knew there was no escape, was 'Oh shhhh...' and I never finished the word.

Now that Shatner has returned (and dropped some comments about it directed at former co-star George Takei), fans will be able to follow along with his experience courtesy of the Shatner in Space special. Check out more of what he had to say about his time in space:

Shatner in Space is available streaming on Amazon Prime now, and it covers the events before, during, and after the journey itself. It will also cover the dynamic between Shatner and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, who founded Blue Origin and was evidently inspired by the original Star Trek. If this puts you in the mood to revisit the days of William Shatner’s Captain Kirk, Leonard Nimoy’s Spock, and DeForest Kelley’s Dr. McCoy, you can find the original series streaming on Amazon. 

For the full Star Trek catalogue of Shatner’s appearances as Kirk in the TV shows and films, however, be sure to check out Hulu. And if you’re in the market to look ahead to 2022 for the shows that are on the way in the new year, swing by our 2022 winter and spring premiere schedule!

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).