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Star Trek: To the Stars: The Autobiography of George Takei, Star Trek's Mr. Sulu

Star Trek: To the Stars: The Autobiography of George Takei, Star Trek's Mr. Sulu

Written by George Takei

Narrated by George Takei


Star Trek: To the Stars: The Autobiography of George Takei, Star Trek's Mr. Sulu

Written by George Takei

Narrated by George Takei

ratings:
4/5 (11 ratings)
Length:
3 hours
Released:
Oct 1, 1994
ISBN:
9780743547642
Format:
Audiobook

Description

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&reg--the unprecedented television and feature film phenomenon.

From the program's birth in the changing world of the 1960s and 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 our recent cultural history, leading to a series of blockbuster feature films and three new versions of Star Trek for television.

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 in which four-year-old George and his family were forced by the United States government into internment camps during World War II.

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.

Released:
Oct 1, 1994
ISBN:
9780743547642
Format:
Audiobook

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3.9
11 ratings / 10 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (5/5)
    In To the Stars: The Autobiography of George Takei, Star Trek's Mr. Sulu, George Takei describes his life beginning with his earliest memories in a Japanese internment camp in Rohwer, Arkansas through the completion of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. Running through his retelling is a theme of social justice, in which Takei took the lessons he learned from his parents as a result of World War II-era prejudice and strove to not only live up to his their expectations, but in doing so help America live up to its potential. Star Trek was but a part of this goal, as it worked to discuss the pressing issues of the day and combat prejudice. While Takei offers a behind-the-scenes look at some aspects of making Trek, it also feels like an extension of the set-side chats with raconteur personalities that he so enjoyed as a fringe benefit of his acting. Takei's writing is a delight and feels conversational, rather than overly-formal, and it's easy to find oneself fully engrossed in his narrative. He wisely breaks some of the sections up by topic, so that he can tell complete stories, even if it means a slight bit of backtracking for the next story. It's also clear that Takei holds a great deal of respect for most of his fellow actors, both in Star Trek as well as his other projects, though he carefully discusses issues with William Shatner, who becomes something of a joke toward the end due to his personality. It's the two themes of civic engagement and celebrating infinite diversity in infinite combinations, however, that make Takei's story so compelling. Those aware of his current activism work, where he uses his celebrity and science-fiction credentials to promote good projects, can see the beginnings of it here. Both fans of Star Trek and those interested in acting will find this a worthwhile and engaging read.
  • (3/5)
    This book was captivating. I had no idea how much Mr. Takei was involved in local politics.
  • (4/5)
    An engaging autobiography of an admirable actor and activist. The recollection of his time spent in one of the Japanese American Internment camps and the anecdotes about the filming of Star Trek were the most intriguing parts for me, but really, the whole book is interesting (even the occasional digs about William Shatner). Mr. George Takei has led such a exceptional life, both on and off screen. I just wish there was info included since 1994! Perfect for Star Trek fans and biography readers.Net Galley Feedback
  • (4/5)
    I learned so many things I did not know about George Takei by reading this thoroughly engaging autobiography. As a child he was interred in a WWII Japanese-American prison camp in Arkansas (my state!). He started college as an architecture major, but switched to theater and received both B.A. and M.A. degrees from UCLA. He spent a decade working on the board of directors for the Southern California Rapid Transit. He has been involved in politics since his junior high school days. He had many acting roles besides Star Trek?s Mr. Sulu and deeply regrets the times he was desperate for work and played a stereotyped Asian character.

    Throughout the book, Mr. Takei maintains an upbeat attitude - always showing his deep concern for the equality of all people and his lifelong focus on advancing the cause of Japanese Americans. He gives glimpses of behind-the-scenes Star Trek, but does not engage in any tattle-telling or bad-mouthing that many people will want to read, so if this is what you are looking for, look elsewhere. (Although it is pretty obvious he doesn?t care for William Shatner, and says that he basically feels sorry for him) I kept asking myself if he could really be such a nice guy, but after hearing him speak in person? You know what? I think maybe he IS.
  • (4/5)
    Full disclosure: not a Trekkie. But I'll take this over some William Shatner novel, sure. Because it is a good memoir, because it gives you his memories; "Memory is a wily keeper of the past...."; "All memories now. All fleeting as the sand blowing past the window. All gone." And although the writing itself isn't unusually good or bad, it is different to see how things end up being "only a collection of memories", when done. (8/10)
  • (3/5)
    The first half of this autobiography, which describes Takei's family life in the shadow of Japanese internment, is stunning. Although his prose is imperfect (and prone to weird grandioseness, which seems fitting only if you imagine it read in the voice of . . . George Takei!), there's a real solid emotional resonance here. His affection for his family is the glue that holds the narrative together.But the second half of the book flounders, except when Takei discusses some of the relationships formed with Star Trek cast members, especially the rivalry with William Shatner (covered with a delicate, necessarily light touch). Otherwise, we're treated to long, rambling recollections of political experiences and acting gigs. The revelation, ten years after he wrote this, that he's gay is really the key to the mystery: our author is holding back on us emotionally, and that's where the narrative suffers.
  • (5/5)
    While this book is branded as a Star Trek autobiography, it is more a tale of Mr. Takei and his family, and what it means to be Japanese-American. He does an amazing job tying together Star Trek's vision of the future with the stark reality of his own past, including time spent in the concentration camps of America during the second world war, seen through the eyes of a child, through his sometimes idealistic attempts to make his way in the world of Hollywood, politics, and an ever-changing country. It's an autobiography written with a great deal of humility, hope, and a truly wonderful sense of humour. Well-recommended even to those uninterested in Star Trek, as Mr. Takei's story is a tale of growing up American that many people may never encounter without people willing to tell their stories.
  • (4/5)
    Maybe the best Star Trek autobiography. Sulu was a great character, by Takei's life is all the more fascinating, including time spent in an internment camp, acting with John Wayne in The Green Beret, and running for public office in Los Angeles.
  • (4/5)
    I had read this book and liked it because I had always been a fan of George. I then found out he was coming to town to lecture about racism toward the Asian Americans during World War II and how it affected his life. I was able to attend his lecture and chat with him that evening, purchasing a second copy for him to sign.
  • (4/5)
    I refuse to be embarassed of owning this book. George Takei is a surprisingly interesting person who grew up partly in an internment camp for Japanese-Americans and worked with migrant Mexican laborers on strawberry farms as a teenager. Reading this book when I was young opened my eyes to chapters of American history I'd never known about before.