George Takei, formerly Mr. Sulu of Star Trek and now pied piper to some 4.5 million Facebook fans, gets a new show called Takei's Take as of this morning on YouTube, courtesy of the AARP (the organization's mandate to educate and entertain the 50-plus crowd frequently encompasses folks popular with a younger market, as well, as with this show). Tammy Gordon, vp of social communications for the group, depressed this reporter by observing that it's not just baby boomers who are getting older. "2015 is the first year Gen X hits age 50," she said. "So we're doing a lot of organizational shifts. Twenty percent of our audience is already Gen X."
How are you?
Not entirely well—I did a weekend Star Trek convention in Canada, and when you're hugging and shaking hands with thousands of fans, you pick up a bug, and so I'm suffering from a bug.
Oh, I'm sorry to hear.
But I must thank you—Adweek gave me an Ad of the Day last year for the commercial I did with Old Navy.
Richly deserved. So what will the new show look like?
It's about a four-minute—plus-or-minus—piece on YouTube; it's for AARP and I talk about technology and the amazing aspects of it: The life expanding aspect of it, the entertaining and amusing aspect of it, and how it can empower our lives. I've talked about Google Glass, and its upsides and its challenges. We have another thing called the sharing economy; it's intriguing, and of course we have experts on all those areas.
Tech journalism tends to be pretty cloistered—it's interesting to see something a little more inclusive.
Oh, and we are being inclusive—it's not just AARP membership. The original Star Trek fans are AARP members. Their children and grandchildren are also Star Trek fans, and they'll eventually be AARP members, too.
It's also interesting that you're a tech expert for this series. Leonard Nimoy has talked a lot about how people think he's a scientist because he was on a science fiction TV show. Do you get that, too?
Isn't that wonderful, about the trusting and believing fans? DeForest Kelley told me that he was invited to a medical conference because he played Dr. McCoy. He said, "I'm an actor, not a doctor!" It's one of the good things about being associated with a character who many people believe has been out in space. The real heroes are the astronauts. Although Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, when they landed, they had all that gawky hardware. We were much more stylish.
And I'd be remiss if I didn't ask you what you thought of the new Star Trek movie.
I thought it was great. J.J. Abrams is a terrific action-adventure-space opera director. The thing about his is that it's not Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek, which had that subtext, be it social or political.