Mother Jones features an interview with “George Takei, the Best Driver in the Galaxy” timed to promote Allegiance, the musical based on his WWII internment camp experience.
MJ: Did you feel a sense of responsibiity as the rare Asian face on television?
GT:Yes. Up until the time I was cast in Star Trek, the roles were pretty shallow — thin, stereotyped, one-dimensional roles. I knew this character was a breakthrough role certainly for me as an individual actor but also for the image of an Asian character: no accent, a member of the elite leadership team. I was supposed to be the best helmsman in the Starfleet, No. 1 graduate in the Starfleet Academy. At that time there was the horrible stereotype about Asians being bad drivers. I was the best driver in the galaxy!
[Thanks to Martin Morse Wooster for the story.]