by Dish Staff
Noting that people “don’t realize the patience it takes to be a good icon,” Jennifer M. Kroot suggests that George Takei is a sort of holy man for a secular age:
We filmed George at the Emerald City Comicon where George signed autographs for four hours and did photo-ops with fans for another two hours. George engaged with thousands of fans that one day (no exaggeration!) … George offers a firm handshake and stays present with each fan for the moment or two that they have his attention. George always sounds sincerely appreciative, even though he must have heard every compliment a million times. Some fans even bring homemade gifts. One woman offered George a charming diorama of a little living room scene with a blackbird wearing Mr. Sulu’s yellow Star Trek uniform. George accepted it graciously. If a fan has a Spanish or Japanese accent, George will switch languages to accommodate them.
These encounters are fairly short, but fans clearly find meaning in them, almost like they’ve received a blessing. Shortly after I began following George, I started to think of him as a sort of Dalai Lama of popular culture because of the comfort he seems to give his fans. It’s true that George does get paid for each signature or photo-op at sci-fi conventions (as seen in the documentary), but he works hard to give each fan a sincere, authentic George Takei experience.