Friday, October 14, 2005

 

His Final Frontier

Today, it was announced that the cremated remains of Star Trek actor James Doohan -- who died in July 2005, at age 85 -- will be launched into space on Dec. 6, in accordance with his last wishes.(Commercial space flight operator, Space Services Inc., will perform the service aboard its Explorers Flight.) For more than 30 years, Doohan portrayed the chief engineer of the Starship Enterprise, Montgomery "Scotty" Scott -- on the original Star Trek television series in the 1960s, and in seven Star Trek features. I have never been a Star Trek fan (although I did enjoy Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan quite a bit). The announcement of Doohan being "beamed up," got me to thinking about his final press conference at a Star Trek convention in Las Vegas, not long before his death. The convention was billed as a tribute to him, but it was simply a disgrace. I heard the audio from this press conference. Doohan was obviously in the final stages of Alzheimer's disease and could barely piece two words together. He showed no evidence of understanding any question asked of him, and his voice was little more than a frail whisper. How his family or his handlers could allow this, is beyond me. Perhaps the event of his being sent into space will erase the shameful memories of that convention for some, but I think there has to come a point in the life of a celebrity when the public spotlight is no longer appropriate -- no matter how much money is attached to the deal.

Comments:
To each his own. He may have told his family a long time ago that he wanted to be shot into space. After all he clearly had a connection to the final frontier. I just worry that if we start shooting human ashes into the galaxy are we going to clog up some cosmic filtering system?
 
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