Takei UpbeatBy T'Bonz
April 28, 2008 - 2:04 AM
In spite of what life dealt out to George Takei, he usually managed to find something good to take away from the experience.
As reported by the Calgary Herald, snowflakes on barbed wire became something wonderful for the young Japanese boy living in an internment camp during World War Two. "It was magical," he says. "To wake up and see everything covered in white."
Life in an internment camp wasn't all magic, of course, but Takei was able to enjoy being a curious boy in spite of the circumstances. "My real memories, I mean I remember the barbed wire fences, the sentry towers, the machine-guns pointed at us, the searchlight that followed me as I went to the latrine at night, having to line up three times a day to eat, that became normality," said Takei. "But my real memories are of exploration, of finding bugs and watching pollywogs sprout legs, and they're completely innocent."
Post-war bigotry only made Takei stronger. He went to school, eventually ending up with a master's degree in arts and theatre. He met Gene Roddenberry in 1965, which lead to him taking the part of Sulu. "Not only was Star Trek more open-minded than any other set I had been on," Takei said, explaining why he accepted the role, "but it was boldly visionary. My agent told me it was some sci-fi thing, which I wasn't really interested in, but I was told that if it got picked up, it would be steady employment. But then I was intrigued when Gene told me the Starship Enterprise was a metaphor for Earth, and that the strength of this Starship was in its diversity, in members from all over coming together and working in concert."
Takei is not appearing in Star Trek XI, but has been helpful and gracious to the actor taking on the role that he made famous. "I have high hopes for John [Cho] and his career," he said. "I'm the chairman of the board of governors of the East West Players, which is the oldest minority American theatre company in the United States, and John has done five or six plays with us already. I was familiar with him much before Harold and Kumar and I know what he's capable of, so I expect we'll be seeing a lot more of him."
As for Takei, although his Sulu days are done, he keeps busy. He speaks out for both Japanese-American and gay rights (having come out in 2005,) through a number of philanthropic organizations.
To read more, head to the article located here.