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‘Star Trek’ vet George Takei beams up to TraceMe

George Takei
George Takei, who played Sulu on the original “Star Trek” TV series, flashes a Vulcan salute along with the kitchen staff at the Los Angeles restaurant where he celebrated his 81st birthday. (@GeorgeTakei via Twitter)

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson may be the founder of the TraceMe fan networking platform, but to hear George Takei tell it, the inspiration could have come from “Star Trek.”

“It is almost ‘Star Trek’ coming true,” Takei, who played Mr. Sulu on the original sci-fi TV series, told GeekWire.

Takei may be a bit biased — not only because of his experience with the progressive, diversity-promoting space show of the ’60s and the original-cast movies that followed, but also because he’s the latest celebrity to join the TraceMe team.

As of today, Takei will be contributing to content channels on the TraceMe app, holding forth on favorite topics ranging from science fiction to immigration to LGTBQ equality to his trademark “Oh Myyyy” internet memes. There’s also a channel called “The Takei Files,” which will include videos paying tribute to people and ideas that Takei admires.

Takei promises “to offer original content to my devoted fans that they won’t find anywhere else, in a safe environment that ill encourage them to interact with each other and me.”

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Kirk or Picard? Trek fan Jeff Bezos reveals his pick

Stewarts and Bezoses
Patrick Stewart and his wife, Sunny Ozell, stand beside MacKenzie and Jeff Bezos at the Oscars. (Jeff Bezos via Twitter)

Kirk, Picard or Janeway?

That choice of Star Trek captains is a standard question on our Geek of the Weeklist, and now Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos has let all of us know where he stands.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

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Spoof touts Quentin Tarantino’s R-rated ‘Star Trek’

What would an R-rated “Star Trek” movie directed by Quentin Tarantino look like?

We may find out someday soon: The director of “Kill Bill,” “Pulp Fiction,” “Inglorious Basterds” and other violence-laced neo-noir films is reportedly working with “Revenant” screenwriter Mark L. Smith and producer J.J. Abrams on a harder-edged version of the Starship Enterprise’s saga.

Nerdist has already put together a must-see video trailer for a Tarantino-tinged Trek, titled “Quentin Tarantino’s Star Trek: Voyage to Vengeance.”

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‘Star Trek’ rates Elon Musk with Wright Brothers

'Star Trek: Discovery'
The starship Discovery’s captain, Gabriel Lorca (played by Jason Isaacs), lists Elon Musk among the pioneers of propulsion in a 23rd-century scene from “Star Trek: Discovery.” (CBS via All Access)

SpaceX founder Elon Musk hasn’t yet scored a cameo on the Star Trek stage, as fellow billionaire Jeff Bezos did last year, but he won a high-level shout-out on this week’s episode of “Star Trek: Discovery.”

Apparently, Musk will be held in as much esteem as the Wright Brothers and the builder of Earth’s first warp drive, Zefram Cochrane, by the year 2256.

That’s the time frame for “Star Trek: Discovery,” the latest manifestation of the 51-year-old space saga on CBS All Access, the TV network’s streaming video service.

Musk, who celebrated this year’s 14th successful launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rockettoday, gets name-checked during a key scene in the Oct. 8 episode, during which the captain of the starship Discovery tells the science officer that his careful study of space mushrooms would have to be put aside for a high-risk activation of an experimental “spore drive.”

“How do you want to be remembered in history?” Captain Gabriel Lorca asks. “Alongside the Wright Brothers, Elon Musk, Zefram Cochrane? Or as a failed fungus expert? A selfish little man who put the survival of his own ego before the lives of others?”

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Amazon adds Star Trek skills to Alexa’s repertoire

Jeff Bezos photoillustration

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has said the Alexa voice-activated AI assistant was inspired by the talking computer on “Star Trek,” so it only makes sense that Alexa is saluting the latest incarnation of the Star Trek saga.

“Star Trek: Discovery” premieres Sept. 24 on CBS All Access, and in the show’s honor, Amazon has added a few tricks that Echo, Dot and other Alexa-enabled devices can show off.

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An R-rated ‘Star Trek’? It could happen online

Slave girl on 'Star Trek'
One of the sexiest characters on the original “Star Trek” was the green-skinned Orion slave girl, played by Susan Oliver. (Credit: Paramount / CBS)

Naked aliens? Foul-mouthed Starfleet officers? Theoretically, you could be seeing and hearing such things in the online-only shows that’ll be part of CBS’ “Star Trek” reboot.

That’s the word from CBS Interactive CEO Jim Lanzone, who discussed what’s coming up on CBS All Access with Recode Media’s Peter Kafka. The online versions of “Star Trek” will be part of a $6-a-month subscription package.

“Star Trek: Discovery,” due to make its debut on CBS next May, takes place on a timeline that’s set 10 years before the events of the original series (which aired 50 years ago). The show will air first on television, where it’ll have to comply with broadcast standards. But then the series will move to CBS All Access, where the standards could be, um, looser.

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The inside story behind Jeff Bezos’ Star Trek cameo

Lydia Wilson and Jeff Bezos
Amazon’s Jeff Bezos plays a Starfleet official (at right) who assists a rescued spacefarer (played by Lydia Wilson, at left). Credit: Justin Lin via Twitter

When “Star Trek Beyond” comes out on DVD next week, you can freeze-frame on the big-name cameo appearance that zipped past so quickly in the theaters: Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos’ moment as an alien Starfleet official.

If you missed recognizing him, don’t feel bad. Even Bezos acknowledges that it was a quickie, and the fact that he’s loaded up with face prosthetics doesn’t help.

“You will have to watch very carefully. Do not blink. You will miss me,” he said during Oct. 22’s Pathfinder Awards banquet at Seattle’s Museum of Flight. Bezos was one of the honorees, along with airplane restorer Addison Pemberton.

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Star Trek at 50: How saga inspired a generation

Image: Star Trek exhibit at EMP Museum
An exhibit at Seattle’s EMP museum features costumes and props from 50 years of “Star Trek” shows, including the bridge from the original Starship Enterprise set. (Credit: Brady Harvey / EMP Museum)

Fifty years after “Star Trek” made its debut, the science-fiction saga’s biggest legacy may well be its inspirational impact on millions of scientists and engineers, writers and fans over the decades.

Humanity hasn’t yet invented the starships and transporters that are commonplace in the TV shows and movies, but we do have plenty of people who are exploring strange new worlds, seeking out new life and laying plans to boldly go where no one has gone before.

We asked a variety of space-savvy luminaries to reflect on the 50th anniversary of “Star Trek,” which is being celebrated today at Seattle’s EMP Museum.

Check out the reflections on GeekWire.

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Facebook beams ‘likes’ into Star Trek universe

Image: Facebook Reactions
Facebook’s reaction emojis take on a Star Trek look for fans today. (Credit: Facebook)

Do you love “Live Long and Prosper”? Then you’ll probably be reacting to Facebook posts with Star Trek icons today.

The social-media giant morphed its usual lineup of like, love, haha, wow, sad and angry emojis to reflect a Trek vibe, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the “Star Trek” TV show’s U.S. premiere.

The thumbs-up for “Like” adds a Starfleet sparkle. “Love” has been turned into a Vulcan salute, the “Haha” face has a Captain Kirk hairdo, “Wow” gets the Spock treatment, “Sad” looks like Geordi La Forge from “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” and “Angry” has the furrowed brow of a Klingon.

“We wanted to mark this fun, nostalgic moment and help the passionate community of Star Trek fans celebrate in some unique ways on Facebook,” Lindsey Shepard, marketing lead for Facebook Messenger, said in a Medium post explaining the shift.

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How ‘Star Trek’ explored social frontiers

Image: Uhura and Kirk
Lt. Uhura and Captain Kirk (played by Nichelle Nichols and William Shatner) embrace in a controversial episode of “Star Trek.” (Courtesy of CBS Television Studios)

Fifty years ago, “Star Trek” pushed the frontiers of technology with 23rd-century smartphones – also known as communicators – but the TV show pushed social and political frontiers as well.

“While the original premise of the show may have been, ‘Let’s just have some adventures with a spaceship,’ very quickly it became social commentary as well,” screenwriter David Gerrold observes in “Building Star Trek,” a Smithsonian Channel documentary about the show and its legacy.

In honor of the 50th anniversary of the “Star Trek” premiere, we’re listing five ways in which the show’s scripts – and its creator, Gene Roddenberry – went where few 1960s-era TV sagas had gone before.

Get the top 5 on GeekWire.