George Takei — best known for originating the role of helmsman Hikaru Sulu in the original Star Trek TV series and films — has signed a deal with IDW Publishing to tell the story of the World War II era Japanese-American internment camps in a new graphic novel focusing on Takei’s life.
Takei was five years old when he and his family were forced into an internment camp due to President Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066, which relocated and imprisoned more than 120,000 Japanese-American citizens following the attack on Pearl Harbor. Takei’s graphic novel will tell the story of his family’s time in the camps, as well as the aftermath and effect of those events on his life and career.
Takei has spoken often about his family’s time in the camps, and starred in the Broadway musical Allegiance, about the loyalties of Japanese-Americans during WWII. The graphic novel is a next step toward telling the story from his own perspective. Takei says he “recognized the value in making it easily accessible for our youth to discover and digest the material, bringing attention to an important and relevant issue, while preserving it for generations to come.” That conversation has been coming up more frequently in recent months, as the actor has repeatedly called out Donald Trump over issues like the proposed Muslim travel ban. He’s described the president as “totally ignorant” in failing to learn the lessons of internment camps, which Takei emphatically insists must never happen again.
IDW has yet to announce an artist, but Justin Eisinger and Steven Scott will be in charge of scripting the graphic novel, which is planned for release in 2018.