He’s braved the war-like Klingons, twirled his rapier with glee, and saved the universe many times over aboard the bridge of the USS Enterprise.
Now he’s supporting San Francisco supervisor candidate Dean Preston.
But when Preston’s campaign staff took to social media to promote a photo of Takei hoisting a Dean Preston sticker aloft, they committed the most cardinal sin in nerd-dom.
They confused Star Wars for Star Trek.
“The force is with us @GeorgeTakei,” staffers wrote from Preston’s Twitter account.
Oh my …
Preston is running to represent the Board of Supervisors’ District 5, which includes the Haight, Western Addition, Inner Sunset and Japantown (a neighborhood where many Japanese American residents, like Takei, were taken away to internment camps during World War II. Takei has spoken and written eloquently about the experience).
Takei’s claim to fame skyrocketed due to Star Trek, the utopian future imagined by one Gene Roddenberry, but he is often recognized nowadays for his robust social media meme-ing and his recognizable, baritone-laden catchphrase, “Oh my!”
The offending Twitter gaffe was quickly deleted after nerdier staffers pointed it out to Jen Snyder, Preston’s campaign manager, who was apparently the culprit. She then sent out a new tweet with an appropriate, Trek-ian “Live long and prosper.”
Still, they might as well have said, “Beam me up, Leia!” or “Spock, I am your father.”
When I saw the gaffe, my first reaction as a Trekkie was outrage.
So I asked Snyder — What gives? Is Dean even a Trekkie?
She said she has “no idea” but thinks Dean is a bit “like Spock.” As for the gaffe, Snyder replied by text, “lol that was my bad: I’m a girl.”
Setting aside the fact that there are plenty of Trekkies who identify as women, Snyder said “I’m more of a William Shatner in Twilight Zone kinda gal,” and a “space” fan.
In an effort to be fair, I asked Supervisor Vallie Brown what franchise “May the force be with you,” is associated with — and no, I didn’t give her time to Google it.
“Star Wars, of course,” she answered.
And then for the key question — Are you a Trekkie?
“Yes, I’m a Star Trek fan,” she said. She often describes new developments in the Castro as looking “like the Borg has landed,” she added, meaning a bland, bad design.
The Borg are cyborg villains in Star Trek: The Next Generation, which Brown said was her preferred Trek choice. That show’s central character, Jean-Luc Picard, appeals to her more than James T. Kirk, the actor who led the show Sulu was from.
“[Picard’s] accent and the bald head are so much more appealing than the bad acting and hairdo of Kirk,” she said.
There you go, District 5 voters, I’ve found you a new, divisive issue!
If you lean Kirk, vote Dean. If you lean Picard, vote Vallie.
* * *
… Now, I can already hear the screaming of internet-dom as they ask if reading about Star Trek gaffes is truly worth your time. Hey, us columnists have to have fun too, but …
As long as you’re reading (Aha! I’ve tricked you into researching politics) here are some links to my coverage of the District 5 supervisor candidates on the issues:
- Free Muni, Uber crackdowns and bikeshare support — D5 supervisor candidates stake out transportation positions
- Vallie Brown tops progressive challenger in District 5 supervisor campaign fundraising
- SF supervisor candidate Dean Preston to ‘rogue’ landlords: ‘We should run you out of town’
- SF supervisor candidates back car-free streets
- Dean Preston’s campaign manager draws fire for flipping SF Democratic Party ‘the bird’
- District 5 Supervisor candidates get silly, accuse each other of swiping signs
On Guard prints the news and raises hell each week. Email Fitz at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow him on Twitter and Instagram @FitztheReporter, and Facebook at facebook.com/FitztheReporter.