Star Trek: Lions of the Night would’ve seen George Takei return as Hikaru Sulu in an animated feature film but it never happened, but there’s still time.
With the expansion of Star Trek over the last few years and a renewed focus on different formats for telling stories, now is the best time to resurrect the idea of Lions of the Night. If you’re not familiar with the abandoned project, let’s dive into the concept. Lions of the Night would’ve seen Georg Takei return to the role of Hikaru Sulu in a series of animated films that would see the Enterprise-B fending off an invasion from the Kzinti, an alien race that was featured in Star Trek: The Animated Series.
There’s no real reason why the planned project was ever truly dismissed. It was pitched in the ’90s at some point but by the time Star Trek: Enterprise made it to air, the interest in doing the series had died. With a renewed interest in the Star Trek brand by the folks at Paramount and the need for ViacomCBS to deliver with their upcoming re-launch of the All Access/Paramount+ service, this stands as a property that might bring some older fans back.
The story was supposed to bridge the original film franchise with The Next Generation. Sure, the idea didn’t work too well by bridging the events of Enterprise to the original series with the use of Star Trek: Discovery but that doesn’t mean this idea couldn’t work.
While Takei is up there in age, as of this writing he’s 83-years-old, that doesn’t mean he couldn’t still helm the chair for at least one more run as Hikaru Sulu. In the off chance that Takei isn’t interested or able to do the roll, you could also go and bring in Sulu’s Kelvin actor, John Cho.
With Takei, it’d have to be animated, due to his age and physical limitation. With Cho, you could do either the animated project as is, or make it into a live-action affair.