Takei Thinks Trek Fans Are Activists

By Michelle
June 1, 2003 - 8:50 PM

"I've had astronauts tell me their first interest in aeronautics was as kids watching Star Trek," said George Takei, in Honolulu today for the Hawaiian Sci-Fi Convention 2003, which he called a chance to show his appreciation to fans.

"Not all Trekkies have antennae coming out of their hats," noted the original series' Lieutenant Sulu in an interview with the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Takei, who said he uses convention appearances to promote the show's themes of ethics and tolerance, also described meeting Senator Patrick Leahy, who "told me what a rabid Trekkie he was" during the opening of the Star Trek exhibit at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.

"Sure, there are people who eat, sleep and live Star Trek and make themselves up as the characters, but there are people who eat, sleep and live baseball and paint their bodies in team colors," he pointed out.

Takei praised fans for their activism and reflected upon politics and other causes near to his heart, including serving on the board of governors of the Asian-Pacific American theatre company East West Players and chairing the board of trustees of the L.A.-based Japanese American National Museum.

One of 120,000 other Japanese Americans interned during the Second World War, Takei drew parallels to the terrorist anxiety currently affecting legislation in the U.S. and said, "I'm very concerned about any assault on civil liberties."

"The whole Star Trek philosophy is to take charge...our fans take it as stimulus to act on in organizing conventions, art and other issues related to society."

From Honolulu, Takei will attend Cruise Trek's Hawaiian Expedition. For more on his acting background and political work, read the full article here.

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