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George Takei to host Comic Con pre-event tonight in Salt Lake City

Comic Con fans applaud the announcement that Salt Lake City will host two Comic Con events in 2014.
Comic Con fans applaud the announcement that Salt Lake City will host two Comic Con events in 2014.
Laura Seitz, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — George Takei will be hosting a Salt Lake Comic Con pre-event on Friday, Jan. 17, at The Leonardo in Salt Lake City. Takei, who is also in town for the Sundance Film Festival, will meet with fans as a preview to the Salt Lake Comic Con FanXperience, which will be held in April.

Admission to Friday’s event is free, while autographs and pictures with Takei will come at an additional fee. According to Salt Lake Comic Con’s website, there will be three lines at the event. FanX VIP ticket holders have preferred access, followed by general FanX ticket holders, and then the general public.

Salt Lake Comic Con 2013 hosted an estimated 80,000 fans and broke national records for a first-time convention, as announced by the event’s official Facebook page. Takei, who is no stranger to pop-culture conventions, was impressed by Utah’s tremendous success last year.

“You’re doing something right,” he told the Deseret News.

“The fans made us who we are,” Takei said. “It’s good manners to thank them.”

Takei has 5.7 million fans on Facebook and nearly one million followers on Twitter.

Takei’s most famous role is that of Hikaru Sulu on the original “Star Trek” television series. “I always thought it was a quality show with a wonderful cast,” he recalled. He still has fond memories of fighting Klingons, but quipped, “The real Klingons were our producers.” Though the beginning of each episode stated that Sulu and his crewmates were on a five-year expedition, the original “Star Trek” was canceled after just three seasons, which Takei largely attributes to poor scheduling.

He explained that the series’ tremendous success came later on, after the show had already been canceled. Episodes began to be aired on a nightly basis and at a proper hour via national syndication, making “Star Trek” available to a much broader audience.

Takei appeared in 51 episodes during the show’s three-year run on television and also reprised his role as Sulu in six of the franchise’s motion pictures.

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