Takei Says Trek Is A 'Remarkable Achievement'By Caillan
July 5, 2001 - 10:34 AM
It's thirty-five years since Star Trek began, and yet, according to George Takei (Hikaru Sulu) "we never dreamed we'd be going for decades like this."
"Thirty-five years, isn't that something?" Takei told Ian Spelling at Inside Trek. "It's quite extraordinary and totally undreamed of, especially when you think that we were just struggling in the 1960s to be renewed for the next season. It's really a remarkable achievement."
However, the long journey has had its ups and downs. "The whole history of Star Trek and Sulu has been a series of surprises and disappointments," Takei said. "I'd been campaigning for Captain Sulu since way back, and by the time of 'Star Trek VI' I had kind of given up on it ever happening. And then it happened."
There were many fans who were enthusiastic about the possibility of a series based on the adventures of Captain Sulu, and organised a campaign to get Paramount's attention. "The Excelsior campaign kept growing and growing and, thanks to the Internet, it had an international scope that astounded me," the actor said. "I believe in market economics, and the Excelsior campaign seemed to indicate that there was a market for a Captain Sulu show. I thought Paramount might be influenced in some way, and I think they were."
Although Paramount chose to go with a prequel series, Takei doesn't feel that Enterprise will be entirely what Roddenberry would have wanted. "Pardon the pun," he said, "but the main thrust of the campaign was to get back to Gene Roddenberry's vision of people working in concert and finding strength through diversity, and there are indications that those elements will be incorporated in the new series. The part that disappointed me is that it's going backward in time, and what made Gene's 'Star Trek' so engaging was the shock of the new-new technology, new civilizations and new ideas."
The full interview, in which Takei also talks about his guest appearance on The Chronicle and in the Star Trek CD-ROM games, can be found here.