Fans are alarmed by William Shatner‘s most recent interview with Variety. The 91-year-old Star Trek veteran revealed some details about his life, his contributions, and his legacy as well as some sobering information about his impending death: “I don’t have long to live,” he adds. Yet, before you break out the Kleenex, Captain Kirk is still in the building.
William Shatner wasn’t given a dire prognosis or anything of the sort; rather, it is a simple scientific truth that a man of his age would, eventually, pass away at some point. He says, “Whether I pass away while I talk to you or in ten years, my time is limited.”
So what first sparked all of this tragic discussion about William Shatner’s passing? You Can Call Me Bill, a documentary on the acclaimed actor’s career high points, will have its world premiere at this year’s South by Southwest film festival. The film explores more than just his well-known performances in Star Trek, T.J. Hooker, and Boston Legal; it also examines his personal acting heroes, Laurence Olivier and Marlon Brando, as well as the idea of mortality in general.
William Shatner argues that the documentary is a means for him to leave a lasting impression. It is an opportunity for him to “discover something I’ve never said before or find a way to say something I’ve said before differently, so I can explore that truth deeper,” rather than just taking a look at trivial little details about his life. He claims that since people don’t take their possessions or even their ideas with them when they pass away, he wants to express them to the world now so that they don’t all vanish into thin air once he is gone.
I recognize that this is heavy material. It’s not all bad news, either. William Shatner might be aware that he won’t live indefinitely, but rather than moping around, he is living life to the utmost. He is engaging in activities he has never engaged in before, such as watching an artist record an album to observe how it is done. In Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space spacecraft, he even ventured into space in 2021.
For the actor, that incident had a particularly deep impact. William Shatner’s surprising reaction after exiting the space shuttle was to start crying. He claimed to be in mourning for the world, which is allegedly vanishing. He claimed that we are “killing this beautiful planet we name Earth. Don’t you get upset about that? Don’t you want to take action in this situation?”
William Shatner encourages viewers of his new film to reflect on truths like those while they watch it. Although most people have been responding to William Shatner’s “announcement” that he doesn’t have long to live with sarcasm, and not even the barely veiled sort, whether they are prepared to engage in such a profound conversation about big matters like that is a different topic.