George Takei’s character, Sulu, on Star Trek: The Original Series didn’t have a lot to do beyond sitting at the console aboard the Enterprise.
The part he played on Star Trek: The Original Series might be considered iconic to some fans, but to George Takei, he has no compunction saying what he feels about his role. In an interview with StarTrek.com, Takei revealed his favorite episode of the series as The Naked Time because it got him out from behind the console and showed he could do other things.
"I loved being unchained from that damn console. Episode after episode, there I am. They may have given me promotions, from the Lieutenant, to becoming the Lieutenant Commander, and then Commander, but I’m still there at that same console, saying “Aye. aye, sir, warp three!” Well, at least in that episode, I showed them that I had a life beyond just “Aye. aye, sir, warp three!” I can fence."
Although The Naked Time is his favorite episode, Takei doesn’t remember all the details clearly as he says “Spock falls in love” and “McCoy becomes lachrymose.” In actuality, Spock is the one who becomes prone to crying, and Dr. McCoy was never really affected by the virus. But, in all fairness, Takei did have a sword to contend with along with the excitement of being out from behind the console so it’s understandable if he wasn’t paying attention to the other aspects of the episode.
In the interview the actor goes on to say that after the final Star Trek movie, Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country, where Sulu has been promoted to captain that “fans inundated Paramount with email pleas for a new spin off series called ‘The Excelsior with Captain Sulu.” He believes “it surely would have been a huge, monstrous, galactic success,” and that “Paramount missed that opportunity.”
While it’s doubtful Paramount will ever focus a series or movie on anyone but a main character, actor John Cho, who played Sulu in the J.J. Abrams’ films, did say that he was willing to portray Sulu in a spinoff movie. For now, though, Paramount still has to decide whether or not a fourth Star Trek movie will be produced.
What do you think? Would a Sulu spinoff have been a major success like George Takei predicts?