George Takei Discusses Crossing Over From Star Trek To Star Wars and more

Star Trek’s original Sulu George Takei is crossing franchises this Friday, voicing the villain Lok Durd in the Cartoon Network show Star Wars: The Clone Wars. In a new interview promoting the episode, Takei talks about going from Trek to Wars and beyond.


Takei, from Trek to Wars to Heres
excerpts from interview with ComicBookResources

Takei on ‘switching franchises’ from Star Trek to Star Wars

I don’t consider it jumping ship. You know, the Star Trek philosophy is to embrace the diversity of life and Star Wars is a part of that diversity. I think that Star Trek and Star Wars are related beyond just the word “star.” I think Star Trek is Science Fiction and Star Wars is more Science Fantasy. But with the episodes of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” that I worked on, I think there is a merging there. It does deal philosophically with certain issues of the time, which is what “Star Trek” was known for. War and Peace, technology and humanity, sacrifice and courage, these issues I found engaging.

on differences doing Clone Wars and Star Trek The Animated Series

When we did the [Star Wars] recording, they had the entire cast there so we could bounce off of each other. So you get an idea of the characterization and vocal rhythms of the other characters. When we did the animation for “Star Trek,” they accommodated each one of us in our various schedules, so we came in individually. As I was coming in, Leonard [Nimoy] was leaving and I’d go into the recording booth and they would have the script with my lines underscored with a colored pen. I’d just read my lines according to how the scene was supposed to play but not really playing with Leonard. Then when I was finished and I’d be leaving, Jimmy Doohan might be coming in and he’d step into the booth and do his lines. I think this way, the “Star Wars” way of doing the recording, is much more fun as an actor when you can bounce off of each other.

George voices Lok Durd on Clone Wars "Defenders of the Peace" [Cartoon Network]

On Trek references in Heroes:

I chatted with some of the crew people and I found that a great number of them are really wildly dedicated Star Trek fans. The Prop Master was the most avid of them all. He prepared as the license plate of my limousine the number NCC1701, which is the registry of the Starship Enterprise. Then one of the guys on the writing staff is a great “Star Trek” fan and he said, “George had a great sword fighting scene in ‘Star Trek’ and why don’t we work in a sword fighting scene for Kaito Nakmura?” That’s how that first samurai sword-fighting scene in the first season came about. Then you may have noticed I had another sword fighting scene with a young man that I took to be a thief, a robber in my own house, in the third season, who turned out to be the future version of my son Hiro. So there is a lot of tie-in and bouncing off of “Star Trek” with “Heroes.”

George Takei in Heroes episode "Dual" [NBC]

On John Cho and the new Star Trek

[JJ Abrams] told me that he was thinking of John Cho and I said, “John would be wonderful.” I’m on the board of Governors of the East West Players, an Asian-American theatre company, and John had done many plays for us before I had that breakfast. I told J.J. that John was a versatile actor, that I had seen him do comedy and very serious drama and I thought that he would be wonderful. So assured by that he went on to cast him. John then seemed to have been somewhat awed by his new challenge. So he asked me to have lunch with him and I told him, “Do your thing. I’ve seen your work and you’re a talented actor.” I assured him that it wouldn’t be long before I’d be known as the old guy who played John Cho’s part. And assured by that he went on to do his thing. All the scuttlebutt I’m hearing is that John’s done a great job. Sulu’s got a new lease on life. I’m very much looking forward to seeing the new film.

Takei approves of Cho as the new Sulu in JJ Abrams "Star Trek" [Paramount]

Much more from Takei on Trek, Star Wars and more at

"Defenders of the Peace" featuring George Takei as Lok Durd on Star Wars The Clone Wars airs on Cartoon Network Friday January 23rd. More information at the official site. Here is a preview featuring (a little) of Takei as Lok Durd.



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Oh my!

Gotta love George! Classy with his dealing with John. I may actually watch the SW episode.

Lets hope ST doesn’t go the way of SW in its vigor to appeal to the younger crowd.

That unmistakable voice…. George is the best, I’m glad they casted him for Clone Wars – definitely gonna have crossover appeal.

spelling mistake… Heres… Heroes

I think Star Wars always had more appeal to younger viewers, so that’s not a huge stretch. Star Trek has more mass appeal with adults. Yep, it’s true: Star Trek is for the intellectual crowd.

I agree with George! This talented actor seems like a great choice to be our new Sulu… Smile…

“I assured him that it wouldn’t be long before I’d be known as the old guy who played John Cho’s part.”

Like hell, but that’s an extremely warm thing to say. George has it in him to be a real class act; it makes me honestly think his feud with Shatner is just a publicity thing.

Clone Wars is garbage. My two kids, 6 and 8, love the two trilogies, but cannot get into these truncated mini-eps. My six-year-old asked me last week why the ep ended so quickly when nothing happened.

As an adult who grew up with SW, I find it obscene that Lucas has turned a mass-murderer of children and civilizations into some kind of animated action hero for kids.

Anakin Skywalker personally murdered every Jedi student on Coruscant with a handheld weapon. Why is he the star of a show on Cartoon Network?


Because George Lucas has proven time and again that he doesn’t know what the heck he’s doing and is making this stuff up as he goes along. He’s no better than a teenager writing space opera nonsense in creative writing class. “Lok Durd?” “Count Dooku?” Need I say more?

AJ – To answer your question, it is because Lucas completely forgot to depict Anakin as the great Jedi who fell from grace in the prequel trilogy.

9: Good point
10. Im convinced he lets his teenage daughters write this S**** for him

I think George has to be the most likable of the TOS people. I mean Shatner’s great, but he does seem to pick a lot of fights.


Devon: There’s a good point.

Just how should Lucas have depicted it? I think the mass-murder of sand people and children essentially destroyed Vader as a redeemable character. The fact he gets to ‘sparkle’ next to Ben and Yoda in “Jedi” has become appalling. I have trouble explaining it to my kids, 6 & 8, who love SW, but are grappling with Anakin’s actions. Lucas turned that story to sh*t.

The fact that he was only a dumb kid makes it all the more stupid. “Clone Wars” is like doing a sit-com of Hitler as a frustrated artist.

I have to admit, one on my pet hates with both “Stars” was the unimaginative naming of things:

Klingon names must begin with K
Vulcan names must being with S
Romulan names must be linked with Roman
Anything post Jedi must sound like a sex act with a badger

Not saying these are absolutes, but really … Durd? Dooku? General Grevious? Sybok? Kang? Kolos?

Why can we have a Klingon called Jeff, a Vulcan called Dave or Darth Susan? :P

15: Mooseday.

Sounds like you just created a new sitcom!


In this hilarious new sitcom, Dave, a Vulcan, works at a New York advertising agency for his sexy, divorced and permanently PO’d boss, Darth Susan,

His clunky and slovenly, but lovable roommate, a Klingon named Jeff, keeps Dave centered in his topsy-turvy world!


Jeff and Dave’s apartment. Jeff stumbles through the door as Dave sits on the couch meditating.

Jeff: Heyyyy, Dave! (laughter). Why don’t you and I go out to the bars and pick up a few Rommie girls?”

Dave: “You mean like the one you brought home the other night? You murdered her!”

Jeff: “Only doin’ me job!”

Phone rings

Dave: “This is Dave.”

Darth Susan: “That copy from the agency never arrived! We need to present it tomorrow at 8:30!”

Jeff winks at Dave

Dave: “No problem, my Lord…Would you like to have dinner tonight? Chez Louis at 8?”

Darth Susan: “Well, alright, you sexy logical man.”

And you get the picture….


I think “Dave” the sitcom would be perfect as seven-minute animated shorts.

How can they name a character “Durd” without expecting a lot of scatologically-referenced parodies in turn? Let’s see what hits the fan.

like Rick Berman?

good on you George
anything that makes nerd stalkers like #17
scream is good in my book.

btw #15
Worf does not start with a K
Tuvok does not start with a S
Pardek, the name has nothing to do with the ROMANS


#20 I did append these are not absolutes .. though now I suppose that Vulcan names begin with “S” or end with “OK”, and Klingon names need to sound like a cat coughing up a yacht … :P

17. starfleetmom – January 22, 2009

No… it’s: “You are part of the Rebel Alliance and a traitor! Take h(im) away!”


Ever notice how Irish names all start with O’ or Fitz or Mac? Why do so many German names start with ‘von’? Why is the most common French surname ‘Martin’? Why are all the Caesars Caesars? The Khans Khans? Why are Chinese names all monosyllables? Gosh, humans are just *soooooo* unimaginative.


“Durd”? Seriously?

Does no one review this stuff before they go final with it? Reminds me of an old ToyFare panel, the ones where they put toys and do the word balloons. It was a pack of monkeys with a George Lucas figure, and George said, “And we’ll call it… THE PHANTOM MENACE” to which the monkeys replied, “Brilliant!”

Ever notice how Irish names all start with O’ or Fitz or Mac? Why do so many German names start with ‘von’?

I’m pretty sure there’s a reason. Not really certain about Fitz, but each of these means “house of,” “clan of,” “son of”… as do the arabic ‘al’ and the suffixes -son, and -sen, -stein, while -man associates the patriarch of a family with a trade or virtue.

#15 — We have a Klingon called Alexander.

10, et. al.
To be fair, Lucas isn’t involved in the day-to-day of the Clone Wars thing. He has final approval on everything, but he doesn’t write it.

As far as sparkling with Ben and Yoda, I reach. How can the ONE arguably good act of destroying the Emperor (which he should have done in his twenties in EP III and had done with it) redeem him sufficiently after all the slaughter, especially of the younglings? Bad. Very bad taste left after that.

Yes, named so by Worf, after his adoptive HUMAN father, Alexander Rosenko….


oh my!



#21 – It’s only spelled “yacht.” It’s pronounced “Throat-warbler Mangrove.”

Can’t get enough Kaito Nakamura. Liked him better before I found out he had a power, ’cause that just made his awesomeness more awesome in its own right. But he still lights up the screen.


I’m going to have to disagree with the idea that Anakin killing the Sand People makes him any more irredeemable than his actions in the OT. What about all the children on Alderaan?

The idea behind Star Wars, from the beginning, has been one of redemption. If it only became obvious to you in the prequels that Anakin was an !ss then I have to say – you”ve been deluding yourself.

Actually, while I think Padme’s reaction to Anakin was abyssmally written (as was just about everything that involved the romance plot) I think Anakin killing the Sand People was a good way of showing that, even at his height of heroism, Anakin was very much plagued by dark emotions. Nor is it to be unexpected. A lot of real-life “heroes” (I use quotations since the meaning is subjective) have committed atrocities.

But I suppose some people want their heroes to be “better” than reality would expect them to be and I can’t say I truly blame them.


That may be, but Star Wars has always been marketed primarily towards children.

Tell me what “heroes” have murdered dozens of individual schoolchildren one by one, or stood by as a colleague (Tarkin) committed global genocide? Or taken out busloads of innocents to avenge his mom?

A lot of us have “dark emotions,” but as soon as we kill someone in a premeditated fashion, we become a murderer and a criminal. Anakin was a psychopathic mass murderer who most often did the deed with his bare hands.

George Lucas dropped the ball with Vader in the prequels, and, in his older age, forgot how to frame the character so that his ‘sparkly’ end would not seem so bizarre and undeserved. Charles Manson surely has some good in him as well.

I love Star Wars and Star Trek! I got this email from giving all the Trek and Wars actor crossovers. Enjoy!


This week is truly a moment in history. No, not the US Presidential inauguration; we’re talking about the collision of two major sci-fi universes. A Star Trek legend is guest-starring in this week’s The Clone Wars episode, “Defenders of Peace.” George Takei of Hikaru Sulu fame is voicing a Neimoidian officer, General Lok Durd. Though some fans like to imagine a competition between both venerable franchises, Star Wars and Star Trek have on occasion pulled from the same pool of acting talent. Here’s a sample of cross-overs that have occurred in the past:

William Shatner: Okay, the legendary Captain Kirk has not appeared in any Star Wars materials, but he did memorably serenade George Lucas at 2005 AFI Lifetime Tribute and was carried away by dancing stormtroopers. That’s gotta count for something.

Brock Peters: The actor most well known for his role in To Kill a Mocking Bird had several notable Star Trek appearances, as Admiral Cartwright in the classic Trek movies and the elder Joseph Sisko in Deep Space Nine. Star Wars fans may recognize his voice as Darth Vader in the National Public Radio dramatizations.

Malachi Throne: Another extremely distinctive voice in sci-fi, Throne played Commodore Jose Mendez in “The Menagerie” episodes of the original series, and Romulan Senator Pardek in TNG. It’s his voice that narrates the very first Star Wars trailer that announces “somewhere in space… this may all happening right now.”

Michael Bell: Kids who grew up in the ’80s will remember Michael Bell’s voice from a slew of cartoons, where he most famously played Duke in G.I.JOE. Bell was in the first TNG episode as Groppler Zorn and later played a Bajoran resistance fighter on DS9. In Star Wars, he is the voice of Commander Willard, who greets Princess Leia upon her arrival at the Yavin base.

Carel Struycken: Carel
Struycken has made a career of playing outlandishly tall characters; you may remember him as Lurch in the new Addams Family movies. He played Mr. Homn, Lwaxana Troi’s aide in TNG, and the evil Marauder King Terak in the second Ewoks live action TV Movie.

Fionnula Flanagan: She has played multiple roles in Trek, including Data’s “mother” in TNG, a former lover of Dax’s in DS9, and a Vulcan diplomat on Enterprise. In the first Ewoks TV movie, she played Catarine Towani, young Cindel’s mom.

Ethan Phillips: Best known for his role as Neelix, the alien cook on Voyager, Phillips has provided voices to numerous Star Wars video games, iuncluding Force Commander, Galactic Battlegrounds and Knights of the Old Republic.

David Warner: Another unmistakable voice, Warner is best remembered as the Master Control Program in Tron. He has several major Trek roles, including Chancellor Gorkon in The Undiscovered Country and Gul Madred in TNG. He supplied his voice to an Imperial general in Star Wars video game, Force Commander.

Clive Revill: Revill was the voice of the original Emperor who appeared in the theatrical version of The Empire Strikes Back. He played Sir Guy of Gisborne, enemy of Robin Hood, in the fanciful TNG episode, “Qpid.”

Raphael Sbarge: He played the recurring character of former Maquis crewman Michael Jonas on Star Trek: Voyager, as well as Carth Onasi, one of the main leads in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.

Felix Silla: A little person performer with plenty of sci-fi credits (he was Twiki on Buck Rogers!), Silla was both a Talosian in the very first Trek pilot, and also a stunt Ewok in Return of the Jedi.

Brian George: You may know him as Babu Bhatt on Sienfeld, this versatile character actor played Julian Bashir’s father on DS9 and Anatarian ambassador O’Zaal in Voyager. In The Clone Wars, he plays the Toydarian monarch King Katuunko.

Jason Wingreen: Who would have thought Archie Bunker’s bartender, Harry Snowden, would have such sci-fi cred? In addition to playing Dr. Linke in the original series episode “The Empath,” he was the original voice of Boba Fett in the theatrical edition of The Empire Strikes Back.

I seem to recall Darth Vader Halloween costumes in 1977.

#16 AJ – I hate using the abbreviation “lol”, but I honestly did laugh out loud at your amazing sitcom idea. If only someone would actually make a show like that…

I bet a lot of people would watch it. I know I would.

AJ: What’s this obsession with ‘making it nice for the kids’? Fairy tales aren’t nice, children get eaten by witches, innocent giants get killed after being repeatedly burgled and so on. Stories reflect life. As a child I never had a problem understanding that Vader could kill a planet full of people, but couldn’t watch his son die. If your six year old is too young to understand that, he shouldn’t be watching Star Wars.

“A lot of us have “dark emotions,” but as soon as we kill someone in a premeditated fashion, we become a murderer and a criminal. Anakin was a psychopathic mass murderer who most often did the deed with his bare hands.”

He was a Sith Lord. A particularly nasty one at that, the most powerful Sith Lord to date. What do you expect, he lets the future Jedi, all a threat to the new order, run away?

I don’t get it. Are you trying to tell us Anakin should have been nice, because children watch the film? It’s for the film makers to tell the story, and the parents to decide if they want their children to watch. I’d be happy to have my children watch Star Wars and read fairy tales.