Jeff Bezos-founded Blue Origin is set to take William Shatner of Star Trek fame to space and back safely on October 13. Though the launch was pushed back by a day due to anticipated winds in Texas, it isn't holding Shatner's fans back from gearing up for the liftoff. Late last week, a user tweeted a still from the1968 sci-fi epic Planet of the Apes, joking that everyone should spring a surprise on Shatner by welcoming him as apes upon his return. Bezos responded, "I'm game."
For those unaware, Planet of the Apes revolves around astronaut George Taylor (portrayed by Charlton Heston), whose spaceship crash-lands on a seemingly strange planet fully run by apes who talk and dress up like humans. SPOILER ALERT: Things take a heady turn when Taylor realises that he didn't land on an alien planet but on Earth itself which is run by evolved apes now, after all humans were killed in a nuclear war. In the viral tweet, user (@LeahsLounge) suggested that everyone should welcome Shatner dressed as apes, pulling a prank on the Captain Kirk actor.
Here's Bezos' reply to the tweet:
In case you were wondering, Bezos only joked about the prank and it's safe to assume that Blue Origin members won't actually dress up in monkey suits to surprise the veteran actor.
The Blue Origin mission is set to carry Shatner and three other crew members. They will spend four minutes in zero-gravity and then return to Earth in a suborbital rocket. At 90, Shatner is set to become the oldest person in space.
In July, Bezos was part of the crew that took the inaugural Blue Origin flight beyond the Karman Line, an imaginary boundary that is considered the space frontier.
Meanwhile, Shatner has been tweeting and replying to queries of his followers during the additional time that has got on his hands due to the launch delay.
When a user asked him about his “take” on the meme doing the rounds on social media, the actor said, “You cannot imagine how many fans emailed it to me all claiming they made this ridiculous meme.”
Another user wondered whether he would be able to tweet from space and if he could that would be super amazing. Shatner replied, “I cannot take my phone and it's probably not a good idea to hack their communication array to try to log into Twitter.”
Bezos is in a race with other private players like Richard Branson and his Virgin Galactic to tap the evolving space tourism market. Branson beat Bezos by a week to launch a private mission to space.