“Star Trek”legend, in an Interview – “We were considered spies and saboteurs”George Takei was Lieutenant Sulu in “Star Trek”. In conversation he was, what he owes to the Series Creator reveals why he despised William Shatner, and why he camps as a child in internment sass.Hans Jürg Zinsli0 comment expensive men of the Enterprise, Lieutenant Sulu (George Takei, to the left) steered the space ship in “Star Trek” together with Chekov (Walter Koenig) through space.Photo: Imago/Cinema Publishers Collection

Mr. Takei that your Name has beam power, one can recognize the fact that an Asteroid is named after them. How did it come about?

No idea. But apparently there are astronomers and Astro-physicists, the “Star Trek”Fans. This honor really came out of the blue.

In the early “Star Trek”episodes in which they occurred as Hikaru Sulu, it’s about tolerance, diversity, science and the future of faith. How much you have of these Ideals?

we Say it this way: Gene Roddenberry, of “Star Trek”-inventor, was – according to my father, the second main Guideline of my life. He was my Mentor.

“The starship Enterprise was a metaphor for starship earth,
on the all the ethnic groups should work together.”


Then, in the sixties, you could say there’s nothing on television to the civil rights movement to Vietnam to the Cold war. The TV makers were careful, the recruiters are more interested in quotas than to the content. Roddenberry wanted to raise these issues, however, and he managed that by means of metaphors. The starship Enterprise was his main metaphor for the starship earth, on which all ethnic groups should work together: We had with Nichelle Nichols as Uhura, the first black woman in a leadership function, and we had with Walter Koenig as Chekov, a member of the crew with a Russian accent. The latter could be read as a sign that even the Cold war could be overcome.

do you even complete this Crew is referenced as a Japanese-born American. Now you tell in your Comic “They Called Us Enemy” is a different story: you have been blocked as a child with her family and Thousands of other Japanese origin during world war II in American internment camps. Why?

The only reason: Because we looked similar to those people who were bombed in 1941, Pearl Harbor. It was the racism in the pur – and a violation of everything in the American Constitution and the fundamental rights. Unfortunately, many do not know this story. It has therefore become my mission in Life to tell of this tragedy.

How to take Japanese Americans?

a few years Ago, I made a Broadway Musical of the same subject. After the Show, a young visitor came backstage to me and confessed that their parents or grandparents were in those Camps. As I asked back then, in which of the ten camps they had been, silenced you. You had said you simply.

Why not?

Because the goods in the Store, ashamed. And because you do not want to burden their offspring with their pain. Shame should actually perceive the offender but for the victim the experience is much more onerous.

“What we have is not a democracy, it is a participatory democracy. We are invited to participate.”

your father was able to break this Silence, as you can see in your Comic.

To happiness. However, we had many heated discussions. I asked: Why didn’t you defend yourself? Why didn’t you protect us better? But he has taken the to be. And then I learned from him everything about the American legal system and forms of government.

About state forms?

What we have is not a democracy, it is a participatory democracy. We are invited to participate. This is the most difficult form of government, you can think of, because we have to govern ourselves.

What is the easiest Form would that be?

dictatorship. Because you have to want nothing. It is governed by a point.

you have just touched on the racism that led to the imprisonment of Thousands of Japanese-born people. Such a thing would be possible again?

at the Time, we were regarded as potential spies and saboteurs. It was already in 1940, the Munsen-Report, stating that the Japanese-American population is one of the most Patriotic minorities in the United States. But this Report was suppressed, and Roosevelt – otherwise a good President – made a huge mistake, that he interned and left. Today, Latinos that want to come over the southern border, are considered to be drug dealers, rapists and murderers, all Muslims are potential terrorists. There is no evidence. It is like an Echo to what I have experienced.

As you were political activists?

thanks to my father. He took me one Sunday to the campaign headquarters of democratic presidential candidates. This commitment that the people lying there to the day, thrilled me
as a Teenager.

The Vulcan greeting, he still dominates: George Takei at the presentation of his Comics in 2019 in Los Angeles.Photo:

Today, you are still an activist and advocate for postal Voting at the next presidential election. Why?

because the polls are for the rural part of the population is hardly attainable. To the other, because it might be for us seniors because of the Coronavirus to dangerous. But the Republicans want to prevent this choice at any price, because they know that it would be an advantage for the Democrats.


The Democrats are traditionally a people’s party, but the people have to work. Who wants to choose, must take place in the United States and is not then paid. Since many do without. Since I travel a lot, I got lucky a special permit.

do you need to Go to “Star Trek”Conventions?

Clear. Why do you ask?

No best friends: Leonard Nimoy (Spock, left) and William Shatner (Kirk) in the series “Star Trek”.Photo: Mary Evans/imago images

not to speak It means they are played on William Shatner, the Captain Kirk,
very well.

On Shatner is not one of the “Star Trek”-to speak to performers well.


An example: There was this day in the sixties, as a TV magazine came by to do a photo series on Leonard Nimoy, as he turned in the Make-up room in Spock. It is five o’clock in the morning. When Shatner joined three quarters of an hour later, he repents right away and came back with a wizard, the wegschickte the photographer. Then some suit came in a carrier and went alternately in Shatners and Nimoys dressing room. The rest of us were told: Power, time, coffee break, this could take. Then it was said: Why don’t you go for early Lunch? When we came back, it was the “peace conference” is still in progress and a half-day of shooting in the bucket. As it turned out, everything that happened only because in Shatners contract that he was allowed to approve the photographer on the Set or reject it. Of which he made use.

do you Have an explanation for this?

Well, Shatner was always uncertain. And he didn’t like it at all, that Nimoy got ten times more fan mail. With this narrow-mindedness, he went to all of us on the nerves.

“I hired me to do all sorts of movements – not just for the gay movement.”

another famous actor Arnold Schwarzenegger has enraged
a few years ago also. What was the reason?

in 2005, had decided the Californian Parliament to legalize marriage for all. I had given my Coming-out yet, and it was found as a homosexual, no work in Film and television. Hollywood was deeply homophobic.

But you were an activist?

This is the Paradox: I committed myself for all sorts of movements – not just for the gay movement. But then Schwarzenegger vetoed the marriage law; he was afraid of the right wing of his party. His decision made as much for lack of understanding. And I said to myself: enough is enough! I gave then as a more Mature Semester, my Coming-out, and since that day, I committed myself for the Human Rights Campaign, one of the largest LGBT organizations in the United States.

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