Star Trek actor George Takei hasn't been shy about voicing his disagreements with the franchise's choices in the past, and in a new interview the actor shares a bit more of his observations about both the Star Trek animated series and the recent films.
In an interview with IGN, Takei was asked about the animated series, which ran from 1973 to 1975. His critiques mostly stem from the show's refusion to dive outside of the box when it came to designing their alien species, and rather choosing to play it safe.
"You know, the animated version is really not one of my favorites. I thought when we began the animated series would have a wonderful opportunity to really explore science fiction. You know because in the film versions were limited by anthropomorphic alien beings. Two arms, two eyes, you know, because they are played by actors, but this time with the animated version we can have really exotic aliens. Totally different kind of life forms with intelligence that we either make friends with or learn from or you know maybe just to raise a plight or really undeveloped forms of life that's rocky and yet still has some kind of intelligence. You know that could be done with an animated version or alien civilizations that could not be created on a soundstage. Fantastical floating cities, but none of that was explored. The aliens again happened to be two arms, two legs, two eyes. Sometimes they had four or eight eyes, but it was limited, so I don't think that the animated, we really reached its true animation potential."
As for the current film series, Takei feels that their good films overall, but still lack that defining Star Trek characteristic.
"The rebooted ones are missing that magic ingredient that makes a Gene Rodennbery Star Trek so unique and singular. He used science fiction as a metaphor for issues of the time. We were on during the sixties and in the sixties it was a turbulent time. In the united states, we had the civil rights movement. We also had the Vietnam war going on and globally we had the cold war going, two great powers threatening each other with mutual nuclear annihilation, and that was being depicted metaphorically in science fiction. The rebooted version is a rip-roaring good space opera. Lots of photon battles, lots of hanging on alien planet cliffs, but that's it, it's action adventure. That additional element is not there."
The latest in the franchise, Star Trek Beyond, opened quite the positive response from critics and general audiences alike, and many agreed it had found that Star Trek magic again. Of course, that's a subjective element, and the two sides will just have to agree to disagree.