Takei Recommends New Voyages Actor For New Sulu

George Takei recently reprised his role as Hikaro Sulu in the Star Trek New Voyages episode "World Enough And Time." It is not yet known if Sulu will appear in Star Trek XI, but when asked by IGN who could be the new Sulu Takei immediately thought of his experience on the fan film 

the guy who plays Sulu is a hot shot Washington, D.C. attorney… I saw the man who plays me, as Sulu, as a young man, and he’s a wonderful actor, a powerful actor. There’s one scene where he breaks down in anguish and it’s very moving. John Lim is his name, and despite his success as an attorney, after having done this he wants to be an actor. He’s talking about leaving his law career and coming to Los Angeles as an aspiring young actor. So I would recommend John Lim.

Takei also noted that Gene Roddenberry’s vision for Sulu wasn’t necessarily to be Japanese specifically…

When Gene Roddenberry was creating Star Trek, the Enterprise is a metaphor for planet Earth. The strength of both lie in its diversity coming together and working in concert as a team. So when he was casting he wanted us to represent the diversity of planet Earth. He wanted a character to personify Asia, but Asian names are nationally specific. Nakamura, is Japanese, Wong is Chinese, Kim is Korean, and he wanted someone who wasn’t a national representative, but an ethnic group representative. So he looked at a map of Asia for a name that would represent the whole of Asia and found in the South Seas, right off the Philippines, the Sulu Sea. And he thought "Ahh, the waters of a sea touch all shores." And so that’s how Sulu came about, so he’s not Japanese, he’s Asian. However because he cast a Japanese American actor to play him, he gave him the name Hikaru, which is a Japanese name. So he doesn’t need to be played by a Japanese actor to be consistent with Gene Roddenberry’s vision.


This does bring up the issue of casting and ethnicity and nationality. If the whole crew is in STXI, then Abrams has the opportunity to actually cast a Scottish Scotty, an African Uhura, etc, etc. For Sulu he can get an actual Japanese actor. When TrekMovie.com put forward a set of recommendations for recasting I went with global actors to fill the roles, but it is not really a must for the film. (I went with Shin Koyamada for Sulu)

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For the full interview, including some details on his upcoming appearances in NBC’s Heroes, see IGN


STNV’s John Lim as Hikaru Sulu

More on "World Enough And Time" at the  Star Trek New Voyages Website 

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I thought someone else had been Sulu on that New Voyages vignette that came out before the most recent full-length episode…?

Oh yeah… first. :p

Never heard that story by Takei. Very interesting. Can’t help but think about how George speaks when I read this story. Very eloquent.

His hair was different but pretty sure it was Jhn Lim in “Center Seat”(the vignette as well.

Yes, the actor playing Hikaru Sulu in Center Seat was John Lim. Prior to New Voyages having a “Sulu,” that seat was often filled by Lt. Vincent DeSalle played by Canadian Ron Boyd. Boyd and Lim were the two central characters in the Center Seat vignette


The last time an attorney played a character on Trek it didn’t turn out good. Well the episode turned out to be awful but who knows maybe history won’t repeat itself here.

Would be interesting to have someone from New Voyages transfer over to the new movie. I think some of his New Voyages castmates though would be a tad jealous :)

anyone have a release date for world enough and time?


But it might actually make NV canon.

Incidently that picture of John Lim. Why does his head look bigger than his body?

#6 -nothing to really be jealous about. Some of them have the acting chops to qualify and some clearly don’t…that’s just the truth of the matter. HOpefully they would all be mature enough to realize that and be happy fpr him.

Sure….if Melvin Belli could do it, why not this hotshot attorney?

I think a prerequisite for all actors should be that they have a bar membership first! LOL


Forgot to add…I dunno if Lim will work…

He looks too much like a cartoon…drawn with CRAY-on. LMAO!!!

LAUGH!!! You cannot resist the comedic talents and appeal of TTM!!!!

You know it to be true!!!

Damn…monotone, stonefaced bastiges!!!

Laugh! Or I’ll give you a good cyber-pummelling! ROTFLMAO!!!!


Speaking of George Takei and casting ethnic characters, I heard Mr. Takei speak at a convention in Indy in the late 80’s. He spoke about how upset he was about Jonathon Pryce playing the lead in Miss Saigon. He couldn’t understand why an Asian actor wasn’t selected, and said it harkened back to the days of Charlie Chan and vaudville blackface routines.

Personally, I’d like to that dude from 16 Candles to play Sulu. I think I saw him on ER a while back, so I know he’s still in the biz.

Kirk (clapping): “Dong, where is my shuttlecraft?”

John Lim is a real trooper, He lost several pounds and adopted George Takei’s original hairstyle and then had to wear that cumbersome spacesuit for two days to complete the shoot. He does a Fantastic jog in this episode! “World Enough” is the New Voyages episode that breaks the mold, I am anxious to share it all with you, very soon. If John or anyone were fortunate enough to be selected to carry on in a TREK feature, No one would be Happier for them than me! Everyone who has worked on new Voyages, has put their Heart and Soul into it, and I alute them.
James Cawley
“New Voyages”

Since when did Roddenberry come up with “Hikaru”? I thought Vonda McIntyre came up with that LONG after TOS was done.

#9 – I think because his body is sort of facing forward but he’s facing toward the camera.

It’s a perspective issue…


Can you IMAGINE the green tint James Cawley would take on if one of his underlings made it to the big screen?

Having first names for the characters who were never referred to by that name in the series bugs the dilithium out of me.

Do we even know that Sulu is going to feature in the movie?

Edison Chen of infernal Affairs

#9 and #16

I was wondering whether the whole photograph are models and the body is actually a playmates figure with John Lims head superimposed over the top……. :)

It’s interesting that Mr. Takei uses current politically correct buzzwords such as “diversity” to represent what Roddenberry wanted to do with the characters. This business about the enterprise being “a metaphor” for planet earth is his personal embellishment of the creative process in the day. I find interesting that as time progresses the process of creation of the original Star Trek has become something noble in the eyes of some of it’s participants. Knowing what we do from multiple sources about the beginnings of the series, I doubt that Mr. Roddenberry sat down with a philosophical mindset while creating the characters.

I’m not sure why you would think Roddenberry didn’t have a philosophical mindset when creating the characters … I mean, that’s what good writers do!

Look at the other shows around at the time and then look at the make-up of Star Trek’s cast. There is no doubt that Roddenberry was painting with a more colorful pallet. Perhaps he was just trying to create more interesting characters, but I think there can be little doubt that Roddenberry’s definition of “interesting” included “diverse”.

I’ll have to see the next one featuring Lim to render an opinion on this, but I think ANDY BRAY would be awesome as Chekov, assuming he isn’t 14 years old in the time frame of the next movie, in which case Andy would be too old.

#17…….give Mr.Crawley a lil respect, its quite obvious that he and the rest of the New Voyages crew are having fun going where noone has gone before…he makes no profit from his endevores and has spent quite a bit of time and personal money to create his lil playground for us to see. Hes Kirk because he paid to be Kirk..you wanna be Kirk…find some friends and some funds and be Kirk. Ill bet he wakes up everyday enjoying his life and I’m sure he wishes well anyone who can use the opportunity to have their dreams come true …like he has. Hell he gets to meet and work with his childhood Idols…. Ive seen he and his ensemble grow as actors over the last 3 episodes and are all building quite a resume where they might not have even had something on celluloid to present to the mainstream …saying this is what i can do. Pan it if you want…beat it down…but RESPECT it. Hes help give the Daves school Graduates a very sweet resume it start their careers. I even sent a treatment to them for an episode that would be sweet but they have im sure wayyyyyyyyyyy to many people sending things. My only beef lately was them hiring someone that thinks fan films are a joke as an advisor, but is looking to grab a lil spotlight. He didnt invent the internet only because Al Gore beat him to it lmao………but i digress…..Keep up the Good work James…FIGHT the Good FIGHT…and when your ready try some NEW FRONTIER episodes…you were CALHOUN!!!
#22……..while im at it……..actually Gene did mean to cast TOS with diversity. he explained many times that in his future all the people of earth are joined in the common goal of peace and would explore space as a team……….there im done ranting lol

That Cawley not Crawley…lol…..damn spellcheck lol.

Cool, I agree with Anthony. Nice to hear from James Cawley…good strong first name, I’d say! LOL Anyway, it would be a nice nod to the fan films, even if this guy just made a cameo as Sulu.

Thank’s for the welcome! I really enjoy this site!
I really am jazzed by our newest adventure, and I can’t wait for all of you to see it. I have said before that I really believe we hit a home run on this one. We really did listen to our fellow fans and their criticisms and worked very hard to raise the bar. I really do this for the Love of Trek and I am so fortunate to be able to share it with all of you. By the way, that really is John Lim in that Tholian web space suit. It has not been altered or retouched in any way. That suit took me and two helpers several days to construct !!!

#29- Welcome, James, to what has shaped up as the most thoughtful and informed Trek site around.

Been a fan of NV since the beginning- hooked up with Ron B. during live ep showings up in Toronto which were VERY well recieved.
As a life-long fan, and someone who has worked in the prop/ make-up/ costuming/ acting arena, I most heartily say, keep up the good work!


ohhh sulu! i think he should join star trek XI because he much alike him.

A little of the current Sulu subject; but on last nights CSI: Miami The character Wolfe was fired…

This leads me to speculate about Johnathan Togo as Spock… “Why?” You ask….

1. He certainly looks the part – with similar Ukrainian features as Leonard Nimoy and with decent acting ability — he could easily move into the role.


2. Rumors abound about Gary Sinise playing Dr. McCoy; which I think is an excellent choice… Perhaps CBS is looking to the rest of its actor corps for the reinvented Spock. It would also be more economical than the deviated septum of Adrien Brody; who is currently rumored to be negotiating the role.

I think those two could work as two points of the triad.

OK CSI: NY ended with Gary Sinise’s character having a gun pointed at him… If he gets shot next week and lapses into coma I will be convinced of the CBS Paramount paving a path to “Star Trek” with CSI franchise actors Gary Sinise and Johnathan Togo…

Back To Sulu:

Firstly, ST: New Voyages rocks! James Cawley and the IFT have done an outstanding job. I am biting my nails for the WEAT downloads… I would love to see fortune smile on them in abundance….

However, what of the rumors about Daniel Dae Kim from ABC’s LOST? Can we overlook the JJ connection there?

When you say Japanese actor, do you mean an actual actor from Japan?

Would that mean that Sulu would now be an actual Japanese character, rather than a San Francisco-born character of Japanese descent like the original character? (Plus, George Takei is Japanese-American, having been born and raised in America, rather than actually being from Japan.)