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Real World article
(written from a Production point of view)


From the book jacket
Best known as Mr. Sulu, helmsman of the Starship Enterprise and Captain of the Starship Excelsior, George Takei is beloved by millions as part of the command team that has taken audiences to new vistas of adventure in Star Trek – the unprecedented television and feature film phenomenon.
From the program's death at the hands of the network to its rebirth in the hearts and minds of loyal fans, the Star Trek story has blazed its own path into out recent cultural history, leading to a series of blockbuster feature films and three new versions of Star Trek for television.
While the public record of Star Trek is familiar to us all, much of the real story is not. Starting with Star Trek's inception and encompassing its breakneck production schedule, the show's cancellation and its renewed life in films, George Takei gives a unique firsthand account of the creative experiences, personalities, and egos behind the thirty-year Star Trek phenomenon.
The Star Trek story is one of boundless hope and crushing disappointment, wrenching rivalries and incredible achievements. It is also the story of how, after nearly thirty years, the cast of characters from a unique but poorly rated television show have come to be known to millions of Americans and people around the world as family.
For George Takei, the Star Trek adventure is intertwined with his personal odyssey through adversity – a uniquely American story that began long before he became part of a television and film legend, and was recognized as a legitimate cultural icon.
In 1942, soon after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized the removal of over 110,000 Japanese-Americans to "relocation" camps. Among those forced into internment camps were the Takei family, which included four-year-old George.
But for George Takei it began as an adventure – a strange and wonderful journey to an exotic, faraway land called Arkansas. The reality of living in the camps, however, was harrowing. Only incredible courage and sheer will on the part of George's parents brought his family through the experience with a strong sense of purpose, a determination to overcome bitterness, and a renewed dedication to remain involved in the American democratic process.
George and his family returned to Los Angeles at the end of World War II, where George's experiences and his parents' courageous example propelled him to become politically active. This interest led him to run for a Los Angeles City Council seat and eleven years on the board of directors of the Southern California Rapid Transit District, making him part of the team that initiated and planned the Los Angeles subway system.
In Hollywood, he pursued his ambition to succeed as an actor – at a time when Asian faces were rarely seen on television and movie screens. then George Takei had his first fateful meeting with an idealistic young producer named Gene Roddenberry, who was working on a new television series: a "space thing" that dealt with life in the future.
Star Trek means much more to George Takei than an extraordinary career that has spanned thirty years. For an American whose ideals faced such a severe test, Star Trek represents a shining embodiment of the American Dream – the promise of an optimistic future in which people from all over the world contribute to a common destiny.

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  • Prologue
  • Silver Anniversary
  • An American Beginning
  • Journey to Arkansas
  • Rohwer Remembrances
  • Chill Wind of Tule Lake
  • Home Again
  • Growing Up Different
  • Tacos and Mariachis
  • Mt. Vernon Days
  • To Be or Not to Be
  • Separate Dreams
  • To Be an Actor
  • Wild Luck
  • Burton and Guinness
  • Fly Blackbird!
  • Return to Hollywood
  • The Trek Begins
  • Meeting Mr. Rosenbury
  • Where I Had Never Gone Before
  • The Launching
  • Return to Tomorrow
  • Mission: Impossible
  • Life After Cancellation
  • Political Animal
  • The Campaign Run
  • Rapid Transit
  • Ventures and Enterprises
  • Star Trek Lives
  • The Motion Picture
  • Wrath of Khan and Other Demons
  • Don't Call Me Tiny
  • Trek Wars
  • River Kwai to Edinburgh
  • Trek Wars, the Sequel
  • Captain Sulu at Last!
  • Live Long and Prosper
  • Gene