[Movies] George Takei Says He Enjoys The New Star Trek Films
Posted by Jeremy Thomas on 12.20.2013
He wishes Benedict Cumberbatch had played a different character though...
George Takei recently spoke with IGN about his new YouTube series Takei's Take and was asked about his thoughts on J.J. Abrams' Star Trek films. Check out the highlights:
On whether it's strange to see someone else as Sulu or great to know he helped create something with a legacy: "It's the second. We're absolutely delighted that it's getting this extended life. You know, the Vulcan saying is "Live long and prosper." We've lived much longer than we ever expected. We announced at the beginning of each episode that we're on a five-year mission, but it was aborted in the third year. The most destructive adversaries were not the Klingons, they were NBC programming executives! So we were a fine show, I think, and the scripts were good. It was engaging science fiction, with inspiring stories, but it was a failed TV series, because it didn't get the numbers. For it to now be 47 years old -- three more years and it's the golden anniversary -- was a totally unimagined future for us. But when it went into syndication after we were cancelled, the syndicators put us on five nights a week, Monday to Friday, and that's where we found our audience. That audience was parlayed into a movie ticket-buying audience, so we've been a series of movies now. With Gene Roddenberry's passing, the baton's been passed to J.J. Abrams, and he cast younger people to play the same characters that we did. And we're absolutely delighted with that, because I don't think they want a very substantial Captain Kirk running down the corridors of the Enterprise like Chris Pine does. That wouldn't be a very pretty sight. [Laughs] He is a big actor now!"
On Abrams' first Star Trek: "J.J.'s a ripsnorting good space opera director. His first movie was, I thought, wonderful. First of all, to begin that movie with a space battle and Kirk's mother is about to give birth in the middle of a space battle -- Kirk was born out in space! We always knew that he grew up in Iowa, but we never knew where he was born. To be born out in space, first of all, and then out in the middle of that galactic space battle and the mother being rushed out of the Enterprise on a gurney and his father holding down the starship -- I mean, what a sensational beginning. That was really J.J.'s imagination. I thought it was a terrific movie."
On Star Trek Into Darkness: "The second one, where Benedict Cumberbatch played Khan, I thought was unfortunate. Benedict Cumberbatch is a wonderful actor. I love everything that he's done, but if he was going to be playing that character, J.J. should have made him an original character that's singular to him. Because the Khan character first appeared in our TV series, "Space Seed," and Ricardo Montalban was sensational in our second movie – he was the title character, The Wrath of Khan, you know! The other thought that Gene Roddenberry always had in the back of his mind -- and that was his philosophy -- was to embrace the diversity of this planet. Khan was created as East Indian character. The name is East Indian. We needed a big-name star who was a wonderful actor as well. Ricardo is Latino, but he brought his spectacular charisma and made Khan a singular, iconic character. It's really owned by Ricardo Montalban, and to cast a white, British, wonderful actor, and name that character Khan, is really not understanding Gene Roddenberry's philosophy. But I enjoyed the action-adventure parts of the second movie, Into Darkness."