William Shatner: Is Captain Kirk Of ‘Star Trek’ Afraid Of Outer Space?

Willaim Shatner, Star Trek’s Captain James T. Kirk, was offered the chance to go to outer space — not on a television set near you, but in real life — and he turned it down.

According to a CNet report, Virgin Galactic, a commercial space flight company that plans to offer suborbital flights into outer space, offered William Shatner the opportunity to fly into outer space — to boldly go where no man (well, OK, very few men) has gone before. Captain Kirk said no faster in less time than it takes a Klingon to decide if he’d like to fight.

What’s even better is his reason.

According to Virgin Galactic CEO Richard Branson, William Shatner’s reason for saying no is that — get this — Star Trek’s Captain Kirk is afraid to fly. His aversion reportedly isn’t limited to spacecraft, either. According to Branson, Shatner avoids airline travel as well. WebProNewsquotes Branson on Shatner’s fear of flying:

“He actually said he’s frightened of airline travel — which is slightly disillusioning. Captain Kirk is scared of flying.”

The same report quotes William Shatner’s reply:

“I said, ‘Well, that’s not much, how much do you guarantee to come back?’ And he didn’t have a price on that. He wanted me to go up and pay for it and I said: ‘Hey, you pay me and I’ll go up. I’ll risk my life for a large sum of money.’ But he didn’t pick me up on my offer.'”

According to the CNet report, several celebrities have already ponied up the $200,000 ticket price, most notably Ashton Kutcher.

So, if the reports are to believed, Michael Kelso of That ’70s Show is eager to go where no man (OK, again, a few men, but only a few, and none of them to date actors) has gone before, but the Captain of the Enterprise won’t go because he’s chicken. There’s just something seriously wrong with that picture.

It seems there’s more Sheriff Woody than Buzz Lightyear to Captain Kirk. In a related report by The Inquisitr, William Shatner served as marshall of the Calgary Stampede in his native Canada. He has also communicated with the crew of a real naval vessel commanded by a (no kidding) real life Captain James T. Kirk.

NASA has even honored Shatner. In fact, perhaps the greatest irony is that it’s entirely possible space travel wouldn’t be available — or at least, wouldn’t have advanced as quickly as it had — if it hadn’t been for William Shatner’s Star Trek.