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Sci-Fi Entertainment

George Takei To Play Star Trek's Sulu Again 267

Tycoon Guy writes "TrekToday reports that George Takei has agreed to play Hikaru Sulu in an upcoming episode of the fan series Star Trek: New Voyages. He's the second actor from the original Star Trek series to come onboard; another episode will feature Walter Koenig as Pavel Chekov. And here's what really makes this news great: Takei's episode will be written by none other than David Gerrold, the SF writer who also brought us Star Trek's Tribbles."
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George Takei To Play Star Trek's Sulu Again

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  • Oh god... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by TheNoxx ( 412624 )
    That looks worse than a spanish telenovella... But I guess the bad acting is just a stab at what the future will actually be like. Points for realism.

    Hey, I could be wrong. Maybe that fan series will be the next Twin Peaks. But I'll not hazard a viewing.
    • So what you are saying is, that the original Star Trek series was actually a show about a really loysy reality TV show from the future. Wow, communicators, red jumpsuits, teleportation, warpdrives.... They really WERE ahead of their times!
      • by TheNoxx ( 412624 )
        Exactly. Worse yet, it's possible Gene Roddenberry was merely a producer *from* the future, where his overacting contestants on a future reality tv show didn't make enough money, so he traveled back through time with them, using extremely advanced computer graphics to make it look like an ancient American SciFi TV show (you know, powerful Cell24 processors to make bad hair appear atop their heads). This way, they knew they'd at least gather a cult following and live off geek groupies' fandom and bad sex fo
  • holy underwhelming (Score:3, Interesting)

    by deft ( 253558 ) on Friday January 20, 2006 @06:40AM (#14517700) Homepage
    im a fan of the series... but have you seen these things... acting worse than.... well, the original series.

    ack, I'm so torn between cool that they are doing it and having fun, but geez.. no dignity. eh, then again, how cool is it that the actors are even interested... thats cool. but its going to be so bad.

    eh, its cool. crap.
    • by aussie_a ( 778472 ) on Friday January 20, 2006 @06:44AM (#14517713) Journal
      im a fan of the series... but have you seen these things... acting worse than.... well, the original series.

      Thanks for that commentary Mr. Shatner. But I have to disagree. I'd say the acting is about equal to the original series (which isn't saying much ;)). But as I like TOS (although I wouldn't be stupid enough to pay for it, and only know one person who is stupid enough), and for free entertainment, New Voyages isn't too bad for a lazy night. I could do worse watching Ballroom bloody Dancing.
      • Good lord, no. While TOS acting was not great by any means, it's light years better than this fan generated stuff.

        Fans should stay behind the cameras, not in front of them.

        HIre real actors please. Scout your local schools or something, but please end the madness!
      • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Friday January 20, 2006 @07:51AM (#14517900) Homepage Journal
        Well, TV in the sixties was commonly referred to as a critical wasteland. Granted a 60s series have stood the test of time, like The Prisoner and The Twilight Zone, but for the most part TV was commercial pablum: artistically slapdash and creatively timid.

        What made TOS standout was its aspriations. It wasn't an apparatus designd to make money with minimal risk, it was a labor of love. As such things are it was more than occasionally a bit embarassing but there at least was no question that each and every episode had deep significance to someone at least.

        When Roddenberry died, the franchise lost its soul, and became an imitation of itself. It went all calculatd and post-modern, constantly self-aware of itself as a medium. TOS on the other hand was authentic; it was sincere and earnest to the point of painfulness. Case in point: later series used sex appeal, dressing their anatomically improbable female stars in cat suits to appeal to a young male demographic. When Roddenberry dressed Yeoman Rand in a skirt that wouldn't have made a decent dinner napkin, he was making an true sincere and un-selfconsious statement. TOS didn't try to be sexy, it was sexy. It practically raised sexiness to the level of a personal philosophy.

        TOS embodied an authentic personal vision of a future of complete liberation: political, economic, gender role and of sexual. Maybe it's naive; maybe it's unacheivable; but it's worse to have no vision.

        The tragedy of life doesn't lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach. It isn't a calamity to die with dreams unfulfilled, but it is a calamity not to dream.... It is not a disgrace not to reach the stars, but it is a disgrace to have no stars to reach for. Not failure, but low aim is sin.

        -Benjamin Elijah Mays

        A man's reach should exceed his grasp, or what's heaven for?

        -Robert Brownin

        • by The Fun Guy ( 21791 ) on Friday January 20, 2006 @10:07AM (#14518410) Homepage Journal
          When Roddenberry died, the franchise lost its soul, and became an imitation of itself.

          Oh, hell, here I was warming up for a good old fashioned Kirk vs. Picard/ST:TOS vs. ST:TNG flamewar, sharpening the standard set of knives, but my boss just e.mailed me that he needs the project summary reports and '06 projections by 4:00 today, rather than next Thursday, so I just don't have time for it today. Too bad... that argument is always fun.

          Slashdot editors, could you please repost this story on Monday, so we can have this argument next week? Thanks.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 20, 2006 @10:31AM (#14518573)
          I hear people say this stuff all the time about Roddenberry. "The franchise lost its soul" and so on. Pure crap. The problem is that everyone remembers the good episodes from TOS in years 1 and 2 and forgets the bad ones from year 3. _Spock's Brain_ anyone? TOS was going downhill badly in season 3 and Roddenberry didn't care. In fact, he is responsible for some of the low points in TOS history, such as the episode where Spock first talks about "infinite diversity in infinite combinations" (IDIC), which was little more than a badly disguised way to sell some IDIC trinkets and pocket some cash. Roddenberry was often all about the money, which is something his fans overlook.

          To be blunt, the first year of _The Next Generation_ is terrible. Have any of you seen those episodes recently? They are often appallingly bad. Folks, the truth is that TNG didn't get better until Roddenberry started having less and less to do with it and it hit its peak after he died. For those of you who really liked _Deep Space Nine_, the series would have been absolutely impossible in that form had Roddenberry lived, since he would have strenuously objected to the religious aspects of the show. He was very proud of being an atheist and although it's kind of subtle in TOS and just below the surface in TNG, he viewed the future as a place where religion had no place. Given the general hostility in Slashdot to religion, no doubt that plays some role in why "Saint Roddenberry" :-) is so revered by some here.
          • TOS was going downhill badly in season 3 and Roddenberry didn't care.

            Um, Roddenberry was almost uninvolved with season 3 of TOS. In protest of NBC putting the show in the timeslot-of-death, he turned over most of the reigns to Fred Freiburger.
      • could do worse watching Ballroom bloody Dancing.

        Hey! I like ballroom dancing!!! At least, watching it. You don't ever want to see me dance.

      • I could do worse watching Ballroom bloody Dancing

        On the contrary, BLOODY ballroom dancing would be quite entertaining.
    • by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Friday January 20, 2006 @07:25AM (#14517820) Journal
      At least this doesn't have annoying kids so that is a plus. I watched the eps they released so far already and it is okay. No it is not going to astound you and it is not going to make non-trekkies into fans of the series.

      But as a person who preffered Star Trek TOS it is a pretty decent effort. They really try to recreate the feel of the original series.

      The acting is... adequate? Passable. Yeah that is it, it is good enough.

      If you like cheesy stuff and are fan of the old series give this a try. It won't be the next big thing but I seen far worse. That norwegian star trek/babylon 5 "comedy" for one.

      At least this is in a proper language.

    • but have you seen these things... acting worse than.... well, the original series.

      Sometimes there's a downside to being inclusive. Ever been to a Filk? ;-)

  • Oh my! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ellem ( 147712 ) * <.ellem52. .at.> on Friday January 20, 2006 @06:42AM (#14517706) Homepage Journal
    He was AWESOME last week on Stern as the announcer - I wish him well. 68 years old, just came out of the closet and then goes on The Howard Stern Show after a decade of ribbing... George Takei is Okay. RIP Rein LaBlanche.
    • Re:Oh my! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by sgant ( 178166 ) on Friday January 20, 2006 @06:46AM (#14517723) Homepage Journal
      Yeah, I was pretty impressed also with George. He can certainly take a joke and that laugh of his is totally infectious.

      He was also very forthright and VERY open about his personal life. Something you just don't see in other actors much. You could tell that Stern was trying to rattle him with all kinds of questions, but George didn't falter at all. Good for him.
      • He was also very forthright and VERY open about his personal life. Something you just don't see in other actors much.

        I think you see it a bit too much, actually. "Cult of Celebrity," and all that. An odd societal quirk, to be sure, but clearly a big financial benefit to The Church of Scientology, so how bad can it be, right?

      • Re:Oh my! (Score:5, Funny)

        by DogDude ( 805747 ) on Friday January 20, 2006 @09:41AM (#14518266)
        He was also very forthright and VERY open about his personal life.

        You mean like when he said that he swallows on the Howard Stern show? Yeah, I'd call that forthright.
        • Re:Oh my! (Score:3, Informative)

          by sgant ( 178166 )
          hehe, exactly. That's what I mean. Howard asked all these really dirty, personal questions and George didn't even flinch and answered everything Howard dished out. Now, maybe he was a little TOO open and forthright really, but he was a good sport about it all.
      • Re:Oh my! (Score:3, Interesting)

        He can certainly take a joke and that laugh of his is totally infectious.

        His voice is very distinctive. While waiting for a friend in the lobby of a Beverly Hills movie theatre I heard this voice that made me turn towards the speaker. It was Mr. Takei whose voice stood out from probably 50 feet.
      • Re:Oh my! (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mrchaotica ( 681592 )
        Yeah, it's too bad he wasn't so forthright in his autobiography -- knowing that he's gay changes the context of his recollections considerably.
    • Here here! Nothing but respect for him. A truely great guy!
    • Re:Oh my! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Xiaran ( 836924 )
      I ran into him once in JFK while waiting for my missus to fly in from LAX. It was a bit of a angry situation because the entire flights baggage had been loaded on the wrong plane and was in Philly or something. There were lots of angry people and George and the people he was with seemed pretty pissed(Fair enough... I would have been also). So I didnt want to bother him. But two women next to me went up to him went up to him and asked "Arent you Lt Sulu?" His reponse was "Actually in the last film they made
  • Who's next? (Score:2, Interesting)

    Maybe they can get William Shatner next. The guys from Free Enterprise [] succeeded in that.
    • Maybe they can get William Shatner next. The guys from Free Enterprise succeeded in that.

      That movie rules. One of those films where you don't have to be a Trekkie to enjoy. Supposedly there's a sequel [] in the works, but IMDB has it as "announced" for like 2 years.
  • by putko ( 753330 ) on Friday January 20, 2006 @06:53AM (#14517741) Homepage Journal
    George Takei is amazing. Now he's on Stern, where he came out of the closet.

    Stern asked him what positions he likes, and Takei went into it. Here's some proof: ns/2006/01/13/1137118970418.html []

    Really funny. Takei sounds like a very earnest guy though -- it is great he gets to work on this stuff.
    • He's great. He also described his (now former according to k []) loathing for Shatner on Stern. On Jan. 9th, Stern announced that Takei would be the official announcer for his show. Even more of a reason to get Sirius.
      • by putko ( 753330 )
        Oh Man! That is amazing. He actually publicly accused Shatner. That's great.

        I think Takei was the best on Stern when they have the Schwarzenegger impersonator, and Takei was trying to get him to agree to sign the gay marriage bill. It was so amazing to see how cool he stayed, how nice he was, even as the Arnold impersonator insulted and degraded him so much -- because he really wanted the governor to sign that bill.

        Takei seems like a very, very nice and decent guy. I simply couldn't believe the mocking and
  • by Ardeocalidus ( 947463 ) on Friday January 20, 2006 @06:57AM (#14517749)
    I think its great that some of the original cast members are willing to act in a internet fan-based series.

    A) It keeps the community alive and series continuity going

    B) Its just a good feeling that the older actors are willing to go back after all this time. Its a warm, fuzzy feeling.

  • John Lim was pissed! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by shirai ( 42309 ) * on Friday January 20, 2006 @07:03AM (#14517763) Homepage
    John Lim (Hikaru Sulu in New Voyages) playing the character formally played by actor George Takei, was reportedly pissed. "It's obviously an anti-Chinese thing," he noted. Takei maintained that Sulu was indeed Japanese and not Chinese and that Mr. Lim was just miscast from the beginning.

    Lim suggested he was still open to reprise his role as Sulu in an upcoming New Voyages episode in which a future Sulu (Played by Takei) would meet his younger self in a time warp created by a worm hole. jpg []
    • by Leffe ( 686621 )
      I'd be pissed too -- if it could generate me some media attention!
    • That sounds vaguely reminicent of all the complaints about Chinese actresses being cast in Memoirs of a Geisha. I've seen movies made from books, in which black actors played white characters -- well. So who cares if somebody Chinese plays a character who is incidentally Japanese? It's acting. The whole point is to behave like somebody you're not.

      So if this really is about ethnicity, I sympathize with Mr. Lim. But if he's just playing that card because he's annoyed he didn't get the role, then he's p

    • John Lim (Hikaru Sulu in New Voyages) playing the character formally played by actor George Takei

      Maybe the problem was that Lim played Sulu too informally. Or did you mean formerly?

    • by shirai ( 42309 ) * on Friday January 20, 2006 @01:26PM (#14520019) Homepage
      Gee, now I feel really bad.

      I tried to make that post so ridiculous that it would never be mistaken for anything but a joke. I was hoping for +4 funny but got +4 interesting instead.

      My apologies to Mr. Lim and Mr. Takei who never said any of those things.

      You see, the joke was, Lim was pissed he lost his role as Mr. Sulu to Takei. Of course, he lost it because Takei IS Mr. Sulu (more or less). Why would Lim be pissed? The irony was supposed be funny (obviously not if you have to explain the joke). The thing about the worm hole was supposed to add to the ridiculousness of the post but I guess in Star Trek, it came across as dead serious.

      Ah well, there goes my mod points...
    • Well the given name "Hikaru" is indeed Japanese. But shouldn't "Sulu" be "Suru"?

      Or maybe we are to believe that in the distant future, Japanese phonetics will acquire the L sound?
  • I tried to watch this. I really tried. But the acting was just so horrible...

    Please please please, hire real actors for this thing. No more fans-as-armchair-actors, please....
  • Ace! (Score:5, Funny)

    by zenmojodaddy ( 754377 ) on Friday January 20, 2006 @07:11AM (#14517786)
    The Final Fun Queer!

    Sorry, that's bad. But I couldn't help meself.

    I'll get me coat.
  • The new Uhura's hot and obviously the new Nurse Chapel can give me a sponge bath anytime, but I liked the old Yeoman Rand better.
  • by Teiresias_UK ( 413251 ) on Friday January 20, 2006 @07:34AM (#14517848)

    I've got terrible images of the Enterprise causing multiple pile-up driving at half the speed limit the wrong way down a space-highrway, as Sulu misses the one way signs due to his cataracts ...

  • by master_p ( 608214 ) on Friday January 20, 2006 @08:14AM (#14517966)

    TOS is dead. TNG is maybe dead. ENT is certainly dead. But people like Star Trek, and a new series would be welcomed [] by the audience, if it was good enough. The problem is not that the world is tired of Star Trek, the problem is that the last Star Trek series were not that good as the first ones (TOS and TNG). I agree with those guys at that it is time for a new Star Trek series, in the style of TNG, with new actors and a new ship, set 20-30 years after TNG. Most of the galaxy is still unexplored!

    • people like Star Trek, and a new series would be welcomed by the audience, if it was good enough.

      Yeah, I'm still waiting for the reality series but it never seems to get off the ground. GWB is talked about Mars, but he went to Iraq instead. We were supposed to have used nuclear rockets to colonize Mars by now but the projects keep getting shut down and all we are left with is fantasy.

    • Please, no more!! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by elrous0 ( 869638 )
      Is there a site I can go to and donate to a campaign AGAINST brining back Trek?

      Please folks, let it die with what little dignity it still has left.


    • Though I agree that there should be a new Trek set 20-30 years in the future, I don't think it should be based on the TOS and TNG format. I think that DS9 and Babylon 5 has moved SciFi into a more gritty area, I like the story arches that span more then one episode, it gives you more depth into the charecters because you can explorer their flaws a little more. Enterprise started to do this toward the end of the show, but it was too late to save it because the people were already tuning out.
    • I enjoyed TOS and TNG because of the great writing (by a variety of _writers_ instead of a screenplay mill), the amazing chemistry of the cast, and because of the themes about how good humanity _could_ be. My kind of fantasy.

      I stopped watching TNG reruns and started watching _The_West_Wing_ reruns for for the latter two reasons.
    • The problem is not that the world is tired of Star Trek, the problem is that the last Star Trek series were not that good as the first ones (TOS and TNG)

      Actually, I think the real problem is that the new star trek plots were almost all rehases of OLD star trek plots. Nothing original until the last season.
  • I Prefer Pirk (Score:2, Interesting)

    by rca66 ( 818002 )
    I have seen one episode from this series (It also had an actor from the originial series). It was trash, poorly written, poorly acted and not very entertaining. As a contrast, I really enjoyed the parody "Star Wreck - In the Pirkinning" []. Stunning CGIs, great look and sound and quite funny story. The actors are mostly amateurs as well, but they seem to be just perfect for this film. I lift my hat to the makers of Star Wreck.
    • I'd definately agree about Star Wreck being awesome! The first Finnish Star Trek fan movie. Full length, near studio quality. Pirk deserves a studio treatment. It worked for Desperado, which was a remake of Rodriguez's El Mariachi. Maybe he can be the next one.
  • by cybrpnk2 ( 579066 ) on Friday January 20, 2006 @08:15AM (#14517971) Homepage
    I like David Gerrold, and I've enjoyed some of his recent "lighter" SF books including his Dingilliad trilogy [], but c'mon, the guy needs to get a move on and finish the next installment of his masterwork [], A Method For Madness. I'm still trapped in the Amazon, wondering what happens next in the War Against The Chtorr [].
    • The next time I have a long block of spare time, I intend to make a visit to Mr. Gerrold. I plan on lashing him to his word processor until the Chtorr series is complete. I've been watching "Misery" for inspiration and recommended technique.

      Talk about stuff you'd do with a time machine: I have a stop to 1984 planned where I track myself down and say "that series you're about to start? You won't find out how it ends for over 20 years; don't read it yet".
  • by digitaldc ( 879047 ) on Friday January 20, 2006 @08:22AM (#14517990)
    Last I heard [] Sulu was still patrolling the Cardassian border in the U.S.S. Excelsior [].
    Maybe he has moved on to seek out new worlds, but he is definitely still kicking butt at 113+ years old!
  • They have come a long way in production and distribution since they first tried this. This is an interesting experiment in Indie movies over the internet. We should all support them just to see how far they can go. Indie music distributors as well as the big companies could learn a thing or two from watching this group. I really hope they stick around.

    I applaud that they now offer their video files via bittorrent. They seem to be surviving the Slashdotting this time (it may even help download speeds).
    • What distribution? Their mirrors have ignored them.
      -The BitTorrent page doesn't work.
      -The Official site decided to renumber the episodes by making their pilot episode 0. Meanwhile their mirrors still use the original numbering scheme.
      -You can only get the latest episode ("To Serve All My Day's") from ONE site: Official site. And yes, it's crawling.

      The kicker is that I told the webmaster about all this a week ago.
  • Come on. This was announced months ago.
    • The part about Walter Koenig (Chekov) has been known for a while now--that episode has already been filmed and is in post-production--but the news that George Takei (Sulu) will also do an episode is new. Grace Lee Whitney (Rand) was announced a month or two ago.
  • Origin of Tribbles? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by kulakovich ( 580584 )
    If by Tribbles [] you mean Martian Flat Cats [],
    and by David Gerrold you mean Robert Heinlein...

    You decide []...

  • Okay.... Gotta get the first part off my chest.

    (flamebait post)
    All you folks who think this fan series is unwatchable and horrible have been too spoiled by Hollywood's offerings and need way too much eye candy (IMO) to suspend your disbelief.

    I'd hate to hear what you folks have to say about classic Dr. Who...
    (/flamebait post)

    That aside, I've been keeping up with New Voyages for the past year and I think they're heading into a critical point in their existance.

    The first movie seemed warmly received and did
  • I hear he’s a member of the Film Actors Guild.

    (Just teasing people. Sulu is a hero and I am no biggot.)

  • The new episode will be called "Brokeback Planet" after the awarding movie movie. Commander Sulu returns to Star Fleet HQ in San Francisco (some things dont change in three centuries) for his annual fling with an old classmate.
  • They wanted to get James Doohan to play Scotty until Leonard Nimoy told them, "He's dead Jim."

    (For those who don't get it "He's dead Jim" is supposedly the most frequently used line of dialog in the original series.)

"Conversion, fastidious Goddess, loves blood better than brick, and feasts most subtly on the human will." -- Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway"