It’s been a busy weekend. Passover began April 19 at sundown. April 20 George Takei celebrated his 82nd birthday. April 21 Her Majesty Queen Elizabrth II turned 93. Most Protestants and Roman Catholics celebrated Easter on April 21; Eastern Orthodox Christians will celebrate Easter on April 28. April 22 is Earth Day.

Let’s take a minute to salute civil rights activist and Star Trek actor George Takei’s long and illustrious career.

Dr. Takei has worked for years for LGBTQ rights and human rights in general. He was granted an honorary doctorate by CSULA in 2016. He received a star in the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1986. Asteroid
7307 Takei was named after him in 1994. He has won numerous awards for his acting and his work to honor human rights and his ethnic heritage.

Fan favorite George Takei as Captain Sulu
Fan favorite George Takei as Captain Sulu

Major roles

Hikaru Sulu Star Trek franchise
Captain NimThe Green Berets
Arthur TakamoriTwilight Zone, “The Encounter”
Kaito NakamuraHeroes
First AncestorMulan
GrandpaSupah Ninjahs
Alpha TrioTransformers Prime
Yamato-SanThe Terror

Of course these are just some of the geeky highlights. Takei has appeared in over 200 productions for both movies and television playing roles or voice acting, and a surprising additional 165 appearances just as himself.

We Tremble in Awe at his Ninjosity

In addition to playing ninjas on TV several times, he co-wrote, Mirror Friend, Mirror Foe with SF/F author Robert Asprin, a science fiction novel about a space ninja. He’s also written an autobiography, To the Stars, collaberated on They Called Us Enemy, a book about his childhood as a nativeborn US citizen in an American concentration camp, and two books about his successful role as an Iinternet icon, Oh Myyy! and Lions and Tigers and Bears.

Dr. Takei is the Internet’s beloved “Uncle George,” an honorary uncle using his fame and his sense of humor to relay his more serious messages.

And of course, Star Trek …

By far the single biggest impression Takei has made has been as Lt. Hakiru Sulu, helmsman of the Starship Enterprise – who somehow found himself on one away mission after another, and eventually reaching the rank of Captain and given his own command.

Allegiance

His current crowning achievement is the music Allegiance, which speaks to our modern cultural issues more plainly than even Takei could have imagined. Allegiance is a musical with music and lyrics by Jay Kuo and a book by Marc Acito, Kuo and Lorenzo Thione. The story, set during the Japanese American internment of World War II (with a framing story set in the present day), was inspired by the personal experiences of George Takei, who stars in the musical. It follows the Kimura family in the years following the attack on Pearl Harbor, as they are forced to leave their farm in Salinas, California and are sent to the Heart Mountain internment camp in the rural plains of Wyoming. It’s a very very personal experience for Takei, and stands as a rarity in musical theater. Perhaps its message will carry more weight than its creators imagined. “

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