What Takei said that convinced Abrams to cast John Cho as young Sulu

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May 24, 2013, 2:15 PM EDT (Updated)

Recasting the entire original cast was a gamble, but most fans would agree that J.J. Abrams did a solid job of filling up the Enterprise in his new Star Trek films. Arguably one of the best decisions? John Cho as young Hikaru Sulu, taking over for the legendary George Takei. 

But did you know that Abrams almost didn’t give Cho the part, at least not until Takei chimed in and said it was a pretty good idea? Turns out Abrams was leery of casting Cho, a Korean-American, in the role traditionally played by a Japanese-American.

So he reached out to ask Takei his thought on the idea:

"He told me that he looked hard for a Japanese-American to play Sulu and asked me what I thought of his choice to cast someone not of that lineage. To me, so long as the character remains Asian-American, that would be all that matters."

Say what you will about Star Trek Into Darkness, but Cho stole the show every time he was on screen. Takei hasn’t seen the sequel yet, but did see the first film — and called Cho the “ideal choice” for the role.

What did you think of Abrams’ casting choices for the new films?

(Via The Associated Press)

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