The 82-year-old actor and social justice activist arrived Friday afternoon in Dearborn to see the traveling exhibit before his appearances this weekend at the 2019 Motor City Comic Con in Novi.
His visit wasn’t announced to the public. Some fans could hardly believe that the officer who operated the helm of the USS Enterprise was in their midst.
“It’s a real honor,” said Mary-Anne Wallace, a “Star Trek” exhibit interpreter who was wearing plastic Spock ears and had no idea that Takei would be there Friday. “Playing a life-changing role like that on TV, I wonder how that might have felt.”
Takei, who posed for photos and enthusiastically greeted fans, said that it felt significant. Pausing by a huge photo of “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry, he reminisced about the inclusive, idealistic nature of the show that became a pop culture landmark.
Noting that the Starship Enterprise was meant to be metaphor for Earth, Takei explained how Roddenberry cast the main roles to represent the continents of the world.
“The strength of the Starship lay in the diversity of the team coming together, working in concert,” he said.
Takei also shared how Roddenberry chose the name for his character. Not wanting to play favorites and choose a surname associated with a specific Asian country, “he had a map of Asia pinned on the wall and he was gazing at it to see if he might get inspiration.”
Off the coast of the Philippines, Roddenberry spotted the Sulu Sea. He thought it would be appropriate, because the waters of a sea touch all shores.
For Takei, events like the “Star Trek” exhibit and Motor City Comic Con are a way to show appreciation for “generations of fans” that helped turn a three-season TV series into a museum-worthy phenomenon still going strong with the current CBS All Access series “Star Trek: Discovery.”
“Bless those original fans that found us. There weren’t enough of them, because we were low-rated. But they kept proliferating like Tribbles, and so we have this huge fan following that’s given us this longevity,” said Takei.
“So I see these conventions as an opportunity for me personally to thank them for this undying support.”
Takei, will be at Motor City Comic Con on Saturday and Sunday and participating in a panel at 3 p.m. Saturday called “Oh My!,” his famous catchphrase.
Via Detroit Free Press
“Star Trek: Exploring New Worlds” will be on display through Sept. 2nd at the
Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, Dearborn
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