Takei Wanted To Play Sulu in Excelsior SeriesBy Michelle
December 8, 2004 - 9:32 PM
George Takei told online fans that he did not think Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry would have liked Star Trek: Enterprise, noting as well that he would have liked to play Captain Sulu on a show focused on the USS Excelsior.
"I don't think it's Gene's vision, because he was forward-looking and this show is going backwards," said Takei when asked about the latest Star Trek incarnation in a web chat at GM TV. "He loved the shock of the new, unknown lifeforms, discoveries, challenges, all that is lost when you go backwards."
When the International Federation of Trekkers began to lobby Paramount for a Captain Sulu show, he said, "these people had a tremendous strategy - they marshalled the powers of the Internet and began a global campaign." He had hoped after Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country that the studio would consider a Captain Sulu film or miniseries, particularly since his character played such a large role in the film, "which I personally subtitled Cpt. Sulu to the Rescue", he joked. However, added Takei, although the studio had solicited fan feedback, the idea was never pursued: "I'm baffled [for] Paramount after they invited the suggestions to have turned a blind eye to what the fans truly want." He said he hoped to do another Captain Sulu audiobook.
When the writers did decide to bring Sulu back for a guest appearance on Star Trek: Voyager, Takei said that he was the last to know. "One day I got a phone call from a friend who called to congratulate me about a guest appearance and I said I knew nothing about that," he recalled, saying that he had phoned his agent who replied in the negative. "Two weeks later I was working on a TV thing in Canada and my agent rang to tell me that the Internet was correct and I was doing a guest shot on Voyager...so I've been checking the Internet ever since," he explained.
Though he was asked about clashes with his Trek co-stars - the actor has been critical of William Shatner (Kirk) in the past - Takei said that his colleagues from the franchise "have become very good friends" and said that he had recently spoken to Walter Koenig (Chekov). He also said that he loved to appear at Star Trek conventions, "as it gives us an opportunity to thank all the fans who have given us the incredible gift of longevity."