‘Live Long And Prosper’: George Takei And The ‘Star Trek’ 50th Anniversary

While it is hard for some of us to imagine, the popular Star Trek sci-fi franchise has been going for 50 years. George Takei reflects back on the show and movies and a milestone that was “absolutely undreamed of” when the Starship Enterprise first boldly went where no one had gone before.

Takei was interviewed recently in Los Angeles and was a mixture of celebratory and somber as his talked about the popular Star Trek franchise, its longevity, and actors that have been lost.

“We had the Vulcan greeting: ‘Live long and prosper.’ Well, we’ve certainly lived much longer than anyone has expected, and we’ve prospered in so many, many wonderful ways,” said George.

Takei went on to say, “The gift has been this fan following and undying support that has us traveling all over the world to celebrate the show and its franchise.”

However, while celebrating the 50th anniversary, Takei looked back on those who didn’t live to see this milestone in Star Trek’s history. He said, “We’ve lost so many of our colleagues who’ve become friends.”

As reported by CTV News, recent years have seen the passing of the series creator, Gene Roddenberry, and co-stars Leonard Nimoy (Spock), DeForest Kelley (Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy), and James Doohan (Scotty).

“It’s a time of celebration, but it’s also a time of reflecting on the mortality of everything and to appreciate what they have left us with.”

Regrettably, it is not just the old school members of the cast who have left us, as more recently Anton Yelchin, 27, who plays Chekov in the rebooted Star Trek film series, passed away in a freak vehicle accident after his Jeep pinned him between a mailbox and security pillar in his own driveway.

Takei offered condolences to Yelchin’s family and friends with an online tribute, by writing on his Facebook page: “Our ‘Star Trek’ family has lost one of its own.”


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Takei, 79, is well known for the role he played as Hikara Sulu on the 1966 TV series. He also appeared in the first six Star Trek feature films and has continued to attend events held for loyal Trekkies each year.

As reported by the Boston Globe, there’s plenty going on relating to the Star Trek 50th anniversary, and reportedly Takei joined William Shatner (Captain James T. Kirk) and Walter Koenig (Chekov) at a convention in Bonn, Germany.

The official Star Trek 50th anniversary convention is set to happen in Las Vegas in August, and there’s a Fan Expo Canada to be held in Toronto in September.

As for Captain Kirk, Shatner will be appearing at the Boston Comic Con 2016 to make the 50th anniversary and a three-day convention is scheduled for August 12-14 at the Seaport World Trade Center.

What is particularly fascinating about the show and its amazing longevity is that Star Trek reportedly bases its science fiction on scientific fact.

According to a report by National Geographic, as the series boldly goes where no one has gone before, according to Andrew Fazekas – a writer and astronomy blogger known as the Night Sky Guy – the secret to its success is Star Trek’s allegiance to science fact.

Fazekas is the author of a new book about the show titled Star Trek: The Official Guide to our Universe, and he explained that, unlike most sci-fi, the popular franchise has always “been rooted in the innate human urge to explore in plausible science,” providing, “a hopeful pathway to a possible human future that’s not too distant.”

[Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images]