John Cho’s respect for both George Takei and the character of Sulu will keep Cho from making too many changes in the character, minus the inevitable ones due to a change in actors.
As reported by Sci Fi Wire, Cho jokingly promised to make Sulu “Sexy, very sexy.” All kidding aside, Cho explained what he felt drove Sulu in Star Trek XI, and how Cho intended to portray the helmsman. “George’s Sulu was a veteran, and he was always in control of the ship,” said Cho. “And…since this is his first mission, he’s thrust into the position of helmsman by accident, and all of these things are happening. He’s not supposed to be on the ship; he’s not supposed to be doing all this stuff. I wanted this Sulu to be a little bit more innocent, a little bit younger and a little bit more caught off guard by all of this stuff. And I felt like it would be a nice way to begin that arc, since we’re going back in time.”
Although Cho has Sulu’s mannerisms down pat, he did not consciously try to imitate Takei. “George is such a iconic personality,” said Cho. “You know, he’s around, and he’s very famous, and I just felt it best not to imitate him. One, I do not have the vocal cords. They do not do that voice. They don’t do that sound. I think there’s exactly one person in the world that can do that voice. So I just felt that that would be a bad idea for me, and it would just scream imitation.”
Takei gave Cho advice on how to deal with the craziness that working on Star Trek will bring. “I asked him how he deals with Star Trek mania and what’s his method of engagement, essentially,” said Cho. “And he said, ‘You can be overwhelmed by it, or you can use it for something positive that you believe in.”
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