Star Trek fans around the world were over the moon on Wednesday, after George Takei posted this photo of himself, along with some “big news.” The original Mr. Sulu from the iconic TV and film series wrote he was “honored beyond belief to have been selected to be the final torchbearer who will light the Olympic Flame in Tokyo in 2021!”
Describing himself as a lifelong runner, Takei said it will be “a unique moment, before the eyes of a billion people, lighting the torch as a symbol of hope for the future.”
The announcement made global headlines, on news outlets including Entertainment Weekly and Fox News, and garnered congratulatory comments and thousands of positive reactions on social media.
By the afternoon, Takei reminded everyone of the date of his post – April 1 – and wrote that he hoped his little prank would offer a bit of levity in an otherwise dark time. The torch in the photo is the one he carried as part of the relay leading up to the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Games (at right).
“While I’ll not be lighting that fire myself, my eyes will look upon it as a symbol of our triumph over this invisible foe and a reuniting of the global community,” he added.
Takei has pranked his fans before by, for example, announcing that he was starring in a new “Capt. Sulu” movie and that he was running for Congress against Rep. Devin Nunes.