First 'Excelsior' Rally Photos!

By Christian
April 26, 2000 - 6:33 PM

'Excelsior' Los Angeles Rally Photo - courtesy the official Excelsior site After a relative lack of information for the past few days, several sites have put up their own reports of the 'Excelsior' rallies in support of a Captain Sulu series, which took place this Saturday.

  • In the first place, the official Excelsior Campaign web site's rally page has been updated with pictures from several of the rallies (including the one you see here to the right), and the following statement:

    The culmination of EXCELSIOR Campaign Phase I ended on a positive note. Although we did not get the number of fans in LA that we had hoped, the rallies around North America made for a good day for EXCELSIOR! Despite bad weather in about 2/3 of the country, the holiday weekend and another major media event, we fared well, bringing over 400 people to rallies in the U.S. and Canada. The people that attended the rallies did so with pride and helped spread the word about the campaign. We commend all who attended.

    Thanks to the efforts of these brave and dedicated souls, we have seen a renewed rush of people joining the campaign, and thanks to a few UPN station managers, Paramount can be expecting some videos and letters in support of the campaign as well. Below are reports and pictures from the rallies held around North America. More will be added as they are received. We will study our successes and our disappointments from the day and they will help us plan our rally for Phase II, coming later this year. Though we did not take the giant leap in progress that we had dreamed, we did make progress.

    I salute all who attended the rallies. Your dedication is to be commended. Braving rain and wind and even sun, you proved that EXCELSIOR fans are not going to give up until we win. You made us all proud and we are glad to have you aboard EXCELSIOR!

    The rally page has been updated with reports from the Los Angeles drive, as well as the demonstrations in Washington DC (8 participants), Ohio (24 participants) and Philadelphia (about 25 participants, some of which even made it on the 'Philly After Midnight' talk show).

  • A bit less positive is the report by Ross Brooks at IGN Sci-Fi, who was present at the Los Angeles drive. The report contains a short quote from Cherif Boudjakdji, the Los Angeles campaign organiser:

    Cherif Boudjakdji, the Los Angeles Campaign Coordinator, spoke about his goals while looking for the hordes of Trekkers who he hoped were merely late in arriving, "We feel that the original crew of Star Trek, which had the original feeling of the show with a positive future with cooperation everywhere, is what the franchise needs now."

    The full report also contains three photos of the about 20 members present while IGN was there.

  • Meanwhile, Don Lipper at Space.com has put up an interview with George Takei (Hikaru Sulu), in which the Original Series star reveals he actually drove by the Los Angeles drive twice on Saturday:

    SPACE.com: I understand that you weren't at the Excelsior Rally because you were at a benefit to promote Asians to donate bone marrow (Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches). How was that?

    George Takei: It was big success, unlike the other event that was scheduled for [Saturday].

    SC: What was your impression of the Excelsior campaign rallies?

    GT: Well I drove by about 11:30 on Saturday morning and I just saw a handful of people there and then I drove by a little after 3 PM and there was no one there. I guess the one in Los Angeles did not do well. [I understand from emails I've received] the other rallies in other parts of the country were successful. The one in Columbus, Ohio was apparently an enormous success. It all depends on the organization one has at each venue. We didn't have a crackerjack organizer here in Los Angeles.

    In the full interview, Takei talks about the amount of support he still feels there is for a Captain Sulu series.

  • Also new by Space.com's Don Lipper is an interview with Russ Haslage, the campaign's organiser. In the article, Haslage also says he still sees a lot of support for the campaign, and vows that "[they] have not yet begun to fight!":

    "We didn't make the giant step we had hoped, but it was positive," says Haslage, "at this point we're starting on Phase 2. A little more recruitment, more letters. MANAA (Media Action Network for Asian Americans) will probably get a little more involved actively in writing to Paramount and CBS. We'll probably do a more aggressive campaign, in small steps building up to a big event."

    "We seemed to have more success with the letters than the rallies this time. So we'll have to work on the rallies and build on our success from the letters. We aren't nearly done with rallies yet. There will be another rally out there. We're looking tentatively at September or October."

    The full interview with Russ can be found here.The web site of the

  • U.S.S. Maximillian Fan Association, source of yesterday's news item about the lack of attendance at the Ohio demonstraion has been updated with the following message, recanting the earlier report:

    Retraction and apology

    I apoligize for some of the disparaging remarks I made about the Excelsior rally. It was an opinion of one, me, and not the ship. Therefore, the Spiel will not return. This is a ship's website, not a personal site, and there was no need to put opinions without stating that they were mine and mine alone.

    Once again, I apoligize.

    Thanks go out to Russ Haslage for this!

  • Finally, according to a post by Pocket Books' John Ordover, seven more letters in support of a Captain Sulu novel have been received, bringing the total to 482. A thousand letters need to be sent before the 1st of May for Pocket to publish a Captain Sulu novel.

  • Of course, if I hear anything more about the Campaign Sulu campaign here is where you'll read about it.

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