Posted by: raddestnerd | August 1, 2009

O Sulu! Mr. Sulu!

Sulu is pissed

Sulu is pissed: "So much for 'paving the way'!"

O SULU! Mr. Sulu! our soaring trip is done;
The ship has weather’d every trek, the peace we sought is won;
Space dock is near, the Computer I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the warp nacelles, the vessel grim and daring:
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck Mr. Sulu lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

So I “warped” the poem “O Captain! My Captain!” by Walt Whitman.

The point I’m trying to make is this:  When you watch interviews, STAR TREK takes great pride in having been one of the first American television shows to really feature an Asian American as one of the main characters.  The Asian American who portrayed that legendary role was George Takei.  Now, John Cho — another Asian American — has taken over that role in J.J. Abrams’ reboot film STAR TREK (2009).

And now we’re seeing a recent slew of Hollywood films with roles ripe for Asian American actors.  G.I. JOE, NINJA ASSASSIN,  GREEN HORNET, X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE.

Problem is, all those roles are being filled by actors who are imports from Asia, and I can’t help but feel bad for the many talented American actors of Asian descent, for whom so few roles are written in Hollywood. And now that those roles are being written, they are not going to them.

Post Script: What’s worse is when Asian characters are re-written, barring more opportunities for Asian Americans to have a starring role (i.e. DRAGON BALL EVOLUTION, THE LAST AIRBENDER, 21)

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Responses

  1. Very well written piece. One thing I will say about the post script, after reading the story behind 21, I think it would have been a really hard sell for Hollywood to make a movie like that with an all asian cast and still have the profit return of Laurence Fishburne and Kevin Spacey.

  2. That’s true. It’s probably why they’re using Asian imports. Because when the film goes to Asia, those Korean stars have box office draw. Still, it’s a shame.


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