Star Trek actor tours iconic New York set replica

Published: Sep. 25, 2021 at 9:05 PM EDT
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TICONDEROGA, N.Y. (WCAX) - Actor George Takei visited the Star Trek set in New York, and our Cat Viglienzoni beamed over to Ticonderoga to talk with him.

Hundreds of fans lined up outside “Trekonderoga” Saturday, waiting to meet one of their TV series idols -- Mr. Sulu.

Though he had to walk, not beam, into the transporter room, for fans, the magic is seeing him on set in person. Many asked questions about the filming of the iconic sci-fi series.

“Did you actually hear the noises or seizes effects, or were they all put in after?” asked one fan.

“It was added later on,” Takei answered.

Fans also heard him talk about his life, including his childhood years incarcerated in an internment camp for Japanese-Americans during World War II.

“I could see a barbed wire fence, the sentry tower, right outside my schoolhouse window,” Takei told the crowd.

The actor doesn’t shy away from activism, whether through his powerhouse social media presence, or more intimate conversations like the one he had with our Cat Viglienzoni.

Reporter Cat Viglienzoni: What does it mean for you to still have the ability to talk to fans and to tell your story decades after Star Trek aired?

George Takei: I am eternally grateful to Star Trek because it’s Star Trek and its popularity that gave me the platform, gave me the amplification of my voice to talk about my childhood imprisonment. I would not have had it otherwise.

The original series set replica is the brainchild of Star Trek mega-fan James Cawley.

Reporter Cat Viglienzoni: How is it having Mr. Takei back?

James Cawley: You know, it’s so amazing. And he is always so warm and joyful. And for him to even put the uniform on for the fans, it’s just an amazing moment for all of us after 55 years.

Some of Takei’s fans were going where they had never been before, but others like Pat Speelman, who hails from California, were repeat visitors.

“Huge Star Trek fan from when I was 13 years old in 1966. You can do the math,” she laughs.

Reporter Cat Viglienzoni: What’s important to you about the series?

Pat: Basically it’s forward looking... What could possibly be in the future. And peace and love and all that stuff that right now in this country we’re not experiencing too much of.

Takei isn’t the only star that’s going to be beaming onto the set this fall. William Shatner, a.k.a. Captain Kirk, will be there in November.

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