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Television is in an era of reboots and revivals. One of the biggest franchises to be getting a reboot is none other than Star Trek. It should really come as no surprise that CBS would want to cash in on the built-in audience for the Star Trek universe that has been built over the past half century on the small and big screen. Recently, original series actor George Takei stated he is optimistic about what the new show means for the franchise:
I think it’s great…Star Trek is about the future and innovative technology, and we’re living that right now. We are living in an amazing sci-fi world, so a digital Star Trek TV series is that future world.
It’s reassuring to see one of the most familiar faces of Star Trek be so supportive of the new project. The franchise may have been producing spinoffs and expansions since before it was cool to do so, but there’s a certain prestige that comes with being part of the cast of the show that started it all, and George Takei has been around since the beginning.
George Takei played Hikaru Sulu on the original Star Trek series that ran from 1966 – 1969. Although the show only ran for three of the five years of the mission of the Starship Enterprise, the franchise’s return on the big screen saved it for generations to come. Takei appeared as Sulu in all three seasons of the show and in six of the films in the franchise. So, his approval, as noted to THR, is not tantamount to the show's success, it's still a nice little addition.
This new series will be a departure from past installments in the franchise beyond a fresh cast of characters. This version of Star Trek will air on a digital platform as CBS attempts to boldly go where… well, where a lot of entertainment services have gone before. CBS head honcho Les Moonves has already announced that Star Trek being released on the network's subscription streaming service CBS All Access is a move designed to attract more subscribers to put it in league with Netflix and Amazon Prime.
While perhaps Takei's hopes about the new Star Trek series are a bit overly optimistic, we're hopeful that the show will be a success. Between seasoned fans of decades past and newer fans drawn into the universe by the latest films, Star Trek should be enough of a hit that it may at least boldly take CBS All Access where it has never gone before. George Takei’s hopeful attitude toward the new series only makes the reboot more promising, and the wait for the series premiere in 2017 may well be a tough one.