It had to eventually happen. Star Wars and Star Trek’s histories have been intertwined from the beginning, and now George Takei will be the first Star Trek main cast actor to appear in a George Lucas Star Wars production, the Star Wars: The Clone Wars cartoon version which has brought in nearly 20 million viewers for its first few episodes on the Cartoon Network.
The December 15th issue of TV Guide has a preview of science fiction shows for 2009, and the article reveals that Takei will play a Neimodian scientist(Neimodian…Nimoydian? Nah….) in two episodes of Clone Wars set for January 16 and 23. Takei will voice Lok Durd who creates a type of nuclear weapon that can destroy biological forms and leave technology unscathed, and who is planning to test it on a planet populated by the pacifist and gentle Lurmens (almost sounds like Star Trek: Insurrection). Jedi Anakin Skywalker and his padawan Ashoka must stop Lok Durd.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars supervising director Dave Filoni talked about the theme of the episode, saying:
These episodes raise a very interesting question about the Jedi: Can they still be considered keepers of the peace now that they are soldiers in war?
The themes of the episodes are reminiscent of some of the same kinds of notions explored in Star Trek episodes, specially from the effects of war on soldiers and civilians. Considering Takei’s experiences during World War II chronicled in his excellent biography To The Stars, it should be interesting to see what he brings to the role of Lok Durd whose character reminds of WWII atomic science.
More on Star Wars: The Clone Wars at the official Cartoon Network site.
The Two Star Franchises
Star Wars and Star Trek have often been connected, sometimes tangentially, sometimes directly. For example, the return of Star Trek as a motion picture in 1979 instead of a television show has been well documented, with agreement that it was the success of Star Wars in 1977 that inspired Paramount executives to decide on a feature film version. Most of the Star Trek feature films, and some of the scenes of the Star Trek: The Next Generation "Encounter at Farpoint" premiere, have effects from George Lucas’s Industrial Light & Magic Company (prompting the inclusion of ILM in the credits of years of TNG episodes). More recently, George Lucas praised Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry for creating an entertainment which teaches moral lessons, when interviewed for Rod Roddenberry’s documentary Trek Nation (see clip). And, of course, Lucas and JJ Abrams were seen dinning together about a year ago, causing fans to wonder what they were discussing.
With Takei’s appearance on Clone Wars, the circle is now complete.
Takei back on Heroes