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Saturday May 25, 2013

SINGAPORE -- Portraying USS Enterprise helmsman Hikaru Sulu in the latest "Star Trek" movie comes with big shoes to fill, but the man who played the part in the TV series and six films has given his blessing to the actor currently playing the role.

Even though George Takei -- whose portrayal of Sulu made him a science fiction legend -- said he had not yet had time to catch recently released "Star Trek Into Darkness" due to his busy schedule, he feels John Cho is the "ideal choice" to carry on Sulu’s legacy due to the actor’s "charm, intelligence, dash and sharpness."

"When (director) J.J. Abrams first announced he had cast Hikaru Sulu, I got a call from John (Cho) asking to have lunch with me," Takei said Friday in Singapore, where he attended the inaugural Social Star Awards. "He was very curious about the intensity of ‘Star Trek’ fans and doing comic conventions, but he was more concerned about how the fans would accept him because they have identified the character of Sulu with me for so long and he was worried about how he would be received."

"So I told him that it wouldn’t be too long before I’ll be known as the guy who played John Cho’s part, and he was comforted by that," Takei, 76, said with a laugh.