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Tue July 23rd

A Tale of Two Sulus

An Evening with George Takei and John Cho

Tue July 23rd

A Tale of Two Sulus

An Evening with George Takei and John Cho

Tuesday July 23rd, 2024

Gates open


Presented by

ArtPower at UC San Diego


Reserved Seating: $25–75
UCSD Students: Limited Free Tickets via SSO

Ticket prices is inclusive of fees.


Moderated by Michael Giacchino

Join us for a captivating evening as we bring together two iconic actors who have both portrayed the legendary character Sulu in the Star Trek universe. “A Tale of Two Sulus” features George Takei and John Cho in a dynamic conversation that delves into their shared legacy as Starfleet’s esteemed helmsman. Beyond their roles in Star Trek, Takei and Cho are celebrated authors of graphic novels and passionate advocates for social justice. This event promises an engaging exploration of their diverse careers, creative endeavors, and the impactful contributions they have made to important causes. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to hear from two trailblazing artists whose work continues to inspire and resonate across generations.

About George Takei

George Takei is a civil rights leader, social media superstar, Grammy-nominated recording artist, New York Times bestselling author, and pioneering actor. He has appeared in more than 40 feature films and hundreds of television roles, most famously as Hikaru Sulu in Star Trek.

With an uncanny eloquence and signature wit, Takei shares the story of his family’s forced internment as Japanese Americans during WWII — a seemingly forgotten part of American history. He also takes audiences through his rise to celebrity as a Sci-fi icon, his remarkable journey as social media mega-power, and his passionate fight for LGBTQ rights and marriage equality in America empowering others to beat the odds and make a difference.

George Takei is known around the world for his role in the acclaimed original TV series Star Trek, in which he played Hikaru Sulu, helmsman of the starship Enterprise. But Takei’s story, which includes an acting career that spans six decades, goes where few have gone before. From a childhood spent with his family wrongfully imprisoned in Japanese American internment camps during World War II to becoming one of the country’s leading figures in the fight for social justice, LGBTQ+ rights and marriage equality, Takei remains a powerful voice on issues ranging from politics to pop culture.

Takei hosts the AARP-produced YouTube series Takei’s Take, exploring the world of technology, trends, current events and pop culture, and is the subject of the documentary To Be Takei. On his own YouTube channel, Takei and his husband Brad Takei bring viewers into their personal lives in the “heightened reality” web series It Takeis Two. He was a series regular in the second season of Ridley Scott’s anthology drama The Terror: Infamy, which premiered on AMC in August 2019.

His rich baritone has provided narration for the PBS series The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, the Peabody Award- winning radio documentary Crossing East, and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, which garnered Takei a Grammy Award nomination for Best Spoken Word Album. He has also done voiceover work for hundreds of video games, commercials, films and TV series such as Fox’s The Simpsons and Futurama ; Disney’s Kim Possible, Mulan and Mulan 2 ; Nickelodeon’s Avatar: The Last Airbender, and Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

Takei’s acting credits include co- starring in five Star Trek movies and appearances on such TV series as Fresh Off the Boat , Supah Ninjas , Hawaii Five-0, The New Normal, The Big Bang Theory, Heroes, Psych, Will & Grace , Miami Vice , MacGyver , The Six Million Dollar Man , Mission: Impossible and The Twilight Zone, among numerous others.

In 2015, Takei made his Broadway debut in the musical Allegiance, which was inspired by his true- life experiences during World War II. In 2017, he starred in a revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Pacific Overtures in New York City.

Takei is the author of four books, including his autobiography To the Stars. His fifth book, the New York Times bestselling graphic memoir They Called Us Enemy, was released in July 2019.

Takei has served as the spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign’s Coming Out Project and was Cultural Affairs Chairman of the Japanese American Citizens League. He is also chairman emeritus and a trustee of the Japanese American National Museum. He was appointed to the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission by former President Clinton and the government of Japan awarded Takei the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, for his contribution to U.S.-Japanese relations.

Takei received both bachelor and master of arts degrees from UCLA (’60, ’64). In June 2019, Takei received the Distinguished Alumni Award in Theater from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television (UCLA TFT). named Takei the #1 most-influential person on Facebook. He currently boasts more than 10 million Facebook likes and 3 Million Twitter followers—and he uses these platforms to share humor, news, and his take on current events.

About John Cho

One of our most dynamic actors and New York Times best-selling author, John Cho’s esteemed career has spanned over two decades. Cho has continued to deliver compelling performances in both film and television, positioning him as one of the first Korean- American actors in the mainstream to breakthrough business and cultural barriers.

Cho’s debut middle-grade book, Troublemaker, was released on March 22, 2022. Troublemaker landed on both the New York Times and IndieBound bestseller lists in its first week. Troublemaker is a galvanizing middle-grade offering that follows the L.A. riots in 1992 through the eyes of 12-year-old Korean American Jordan Park, whose parents own a liquor store. When Jordan’s father leaves to check on the store amid mounting unrest, Jordan and his friends set out on a perilous journey to help his dad, and Jordan is forced to face the racism plaguing his own community.

Cho recently starred in the Amazon Studios’ father-daughter dramedy, Don’t Make Me Go. The story follows a single father (Cho) who has discovered he has a fatal brain tumor and decides to take his teenage daughter on a road trip to find her estranged mother, as he attempts to teach her everything she may need to know over the rest of her life.

Recently, Cho executive produced Erick Oh’s animated short film Namoo.”Namoo”—which translates in Korean to “tree”—is a hand- painted narrative poem inspired by the passing of Oh’s grandfather. The short follows the beautiful and heartbreaking moments of a man’s life, from beginning to end. Namoo appeared on the 2022 Oscar’s Short List and was nominated for Best Special Production and Best Character Animation – TV/ Media for the Annie Awards 2021.

Cho starred in the live-action Netflix series Cowboy Bebop, based on the worldwide phenomenon from the original Japanese animated series in 1997. The show follows “Spike Spiegel” (Cho) and a rag-tag crew of bounty hunters hired to hunt down the solar system’s most dangerous criminals while fleeing from their own complicated histories. The series also starred Mustafa Shakir, Daniella Pineda, and Alex Hassell.

On the big screen, Cho starred in Aneesh Chaganty’s film Searching, which garnered him an Independent Spirit Award nomination in the category of “Best Male Lead.” The film was named one of the National Board of Review’s top 10 independent films of 2018. Searching is a tense, emotional thriller told via technology devices that we use every day to communicate. The film premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, winning two awards, and several outlets singled out Cho’s performance as one of the best of the festival. Cho was also seen starring in Kogonada’s Columbus , opposite Haley Lu Richardson. Variety raved about Cho’s performance and his “untapped ability as a captivatingly sincere leading man,”—and the film was nominated for four Gotham Awards and three Independent Spirit Awards, including Best First Feature.

Cho previously lent his voice to the father in the Oscar-nominated Mirai and in the Sony Pictures Animation titled Wish Dragon alongside Jackie Chan and Constance Wu. The film was nominated for an Annie Award in the category of “Best Character Animation – Feature.”

Cho first came into the spotlight in the 1999 hit comedy American Pie and the sequel, American Reunion. He starred as ‘Harold Lee’ opposite Kal Penn in the cult comedies Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle, Harold & Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay , and A Very Harold & Kumar 3- D Christmas. Cho went on to star in the iconic role of ‘Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu’ in the motion picture reboots of the legendary Star Trek franchise, appearing in all three films – Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness for J.J. Abrams and Star Trek Beyond, directed by Justin Lin.

Additional film credits include Sony’s The Grudge opposite Demian Bichir and Andrea Riseborough; the recent Hollywood-set noir, Gemini, opposite Lola Kirke and Zoe Kravitz; The Oath, written and directed by Ike Barinholtz; Seth Gordon’s Identity Theft opposite Melissa McCarthy and Jason Bateman; Ryan Eggold’s Literally, Right Before Aaron , Len Wiseman’s remake of the classic, Total Recall; Mora Stephens’ Zipper ; Paul Weitz’ Grandma and American Dreamz; Justin Lin’s Better Luck Tomorrow; Ho Yim’s Pavilion of Women; Steven Soderbergh’s Solaris; and the Best Picture Oscar® winner, American Beauty.

On television, Cho was recently seen in the CBS All Access reboot of The Twilight Zone, in which he starred opposite of Allison Tolman and Jacob Tremblay for one episode. Additional credits include the leading role in FOX’s THE Exorcist, the ABC comedy Selfie opposite Karen Gillan, FOX’s Sleepy Hollow, NBC’s comedy Go On, and ABC’s drama series Flash Forward; the Weitz Bros’ Off Centre, and FOX’s Kitchen Confidential.

Born in Seoul, Korea, and raised in Los Angeles, California, Cho began acting while studying English literature at the University of California, Berkeley. He toured the country with his first show, The Woman Warrior, an adaptation of the renowned memoir by Maxine Kingston. Other stage roles include ‘Laertes’ in the Singapore Repertory Theater’s production of Hamlet and a variety of shows for East West Players.

About Michael Giacchino

Composer and Director Michael Giacchino has film score credits that feature some of the most popular and acclaimed projects in recent history, including The Incredibles, Coco, Jojo Rabbit, Ratatouille, Star Trek, Jurassic World, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Spider- Man: No Way Home, War for the Planet of the Apes and The Batman. Giacchino’s 2009 score for the Pixar hit Up earned him an Oscar®, a Golden Globe®, the BAFTA, the Broadcast Film Critics’ Choice Award and two GRAMMY® Awards. After almost twenty years of film scoring, Giacchino directed the very first Marvel special presentation, Werewolf By Night in 2022.

Giacchino studied filmmaking at the School of Visual Arts in NYC. After college, he landed a marketing job at Disney and began studies in music composition, first at Juilliard, and then at UCLA. He moved from marketing to producing in the newly formed Disney Interactive Division where he had the opportunity to write music for video games.

After moving to DreamWorks Interactive, he was asked to score the temp track for the video game adaptation of The Lost World: Jurassic Park. Subsequently, Steven Spielberg hired him as the composer and it became the first PlayStation game to have a live orchestral score, recorded with members of the Seattle Symphony. Giacchino went on to score numerous video games including Spielberg’s Medal of Honor series.

Giacchino’s work in video games sparked the interest of J.J. Abrams, and thus began their long-standing relationship that would lead to scores for the hit television series Alias and Lost, and the feature films Mission Impossible III, the three Star Trek films, and Super 8.

Additional projects include collaborations with Disney Imagineering on music for Space Mountain, Star Tours (with John Williams), the Ratatouille ride in Disneyland Paris, and the Incredicoaster on Pixar Pier at California Adventure. His music can be heard in concert halls internationally with all three Star Trek films, Ratatouille, Jurassic World, Up and Coco being performed live-to-picture with a full orchestra.

In June 2018, Giacchino premiered his first work for symphony orchestra, Voyage, commissioned by the National Symphony Orchestra and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, the piece celebrates the 60th anniversary of the founding of NASA. In July 2019, a third movement, Advent, was added for the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing.

In 2019, Giacchino’s first LP of original music, Travelogue Vol 1, featuring his Nouvelle Modernica orchestra, described as a story in song, was released on Mondo Records. The holiday song Christmas Number One, written with Elyssa Samsel and Kate Anderson was recorded and performed by UK based band Itchy Teeth, and released as a specialty single with Death Waltz Records.

Werewolf By Night marked Giacchino’s feature directing debut after having helmed the Star Trek short Ephraim and Dot, and his own comedy short, Monster Challenge.

His most recent work was for the International Academy Award nominated Society of the Snow directed by J.A. Bayona, and IF, directed by John Krasinski. Giacchino sits on the advisory board of Education Through Music Los Angeles.

See the full lineup during The Science of Story > 


The Epstein Family Amphitheater is located at 9480 Innovation Ln, La Jolla, CA 92093 on the UC San Diego campus.

Take the Trolley: The amphitheater is located next to the Blue Line Trolley, UCSD Central Campus Station. For more information about the trolley, visit the MTS website >

From the North: Take I-5 south and exit La Jolla Village Drive. Use the right lanes to turn right onto La Jolla Village Drive and take the first right onto Villa La Jolla Drive.

From the South: Take I-5 north and exit La Jolla Village Drive. Use the left lanes to turn left onto La Jolla Village Drive and take the first right onto Villa La Jolla Drive.

The closest parking structure is Gilman Parking Structure. UC San Diego requires parking permits 7 days a week. Permits can be purchased at permit machines or through the Parkmobile App. Visit UC San Diego Transportation for information on where to buy your permit, and costs.

Wheelchair-accessible seating is available in all seating areas for patrons in wheelchairs and their companions. 

If you need additional information and/or assistance, please contact

You may bring in empty refillable water bottles, small personal bags (16” x 16 “ x 8”). All bags are subject to search by security officers. We encourage that you dress in layers and for those who have tickets to the General Lawn Section to wear shoes without heels.  

Additional prohibited items include: strollers, large backpacks, flags, tobacco products, alcohol, cans, bottles, ice chests, picnic baskets, lawn furniture, weapons of any kind, umbrellas, pets, hula hoops, musical instruments, laser pointers, bicycles, and skateboards.  Cameras with a detachable lens of any kind and professional recording devices are not allowed, including GoPros. Scooters, skateboards, roller skates, and other recreational wheeled equipment are not permitted at the Epstein Family Amphitheater. UC San Diego is a smoke-free campus. 

If you have questions, please contact

For the safety and comfort of all, you may not bring lawn chairs or furniture. The lawn is quite steep and not safe for lawn chairs. You can bring in personal seat cushions, blankets, or seating, as long as they fit your personal space and lie flat on the ground (no legs, no hard structure). We encourage the same for the stone bench seating areas on both General Admission and reserved seating shows.

Food and drink will be available for purchase in the venue. Please note: Food vendors are cashless.

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