To Be Takei

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George Takei has become his own industry that has both embraced and transcended his best known role of Mr. Sulu. To Be Takei continues that social outreach to both promote his musical (Allegiance) and to tell his story. The jovial and gracious actor really does have a story to tell. More importantly, is his work as an advocate of righting the wrongs done to interred Japanese-Americans and to help fight for LGBT rights.

There is plenty of humor and emotion (and delightful interplay with his husband, Brad) in this profile to keep the film going. The conversation and footage peeks behind the Star Trek veil with interviews of fellow players as well as discussions of his time during WWII and in Hollywood as not just a Japanese-American, but also a closeted homosexual. That the docu is as much a commercial to promote his stage show as it is anything else doesn’t detract from the value of the tales and conversation.

Takei’s true impact is that his broad fan base (millions on Facebook and even more beyond that) are open and willing to hear his story and learn. Even more, they are willing to become supporters and advocates. And if you aren’t yet one of the many, his frank and entertaining personality is capable of winning you over. His story is an object lesson of survival and optimism in the face of steep odds and a reminder that life continues until you drop, if you want it to.

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