George Takei Says John Cho Has The 'Panache' To Play Sulu In 'Star Trek'

The original Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu has officially given his blessing to “Harold and Kumar” star John Cho, who will take over the role for May’s revamped “Star Trek” from J.J. Abrams. George Takei, who has portrayed Sulu since the original TV series’ launch in 1966, has nothing but praise for the young actor.

“I’ve seen John,” Takei told MTV News in an exclusive interview on red carpet of this year’s Oscars. “He’s performed at the East West Players many, many times.”

“He already has the swagger and the panache – the swashbuckling panache,” said Takei. Sulu’s sword-swinging was famously showcased in the original “Star Trek” series episode “The Naked Time.”

Cho, who first hit it big with his role in “American Pie,” has appeared in numerous productions with the East West Players, where Takei serves as chair of the council of governors. Cho’s credits there include “The Taste of Kono Coffee” and “My Tired Broke Ass Pontificating Slapstick Funk.” He is being honored this year by the Los Angeles-based Asian American theatre organization with the group’s Visionary Award.

Takei said that he hasn’t seen any footage from the new “Star Trek” film beyond what has been seen in trailers, but he expressed big expectations.

“J.J.’s a fantastic filmmaker and a great storyteller,” the actor stated, “so I think the ‘Star Trek’ franchise is going to get another galactic push.”

Do you agree with Takei that Cho has what it takes to fill his shoes as Sulu? How do you think his version of the character will be different from his predecessor? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.