Honda was beaming with praise for his 75-year-old pal, telling ITK in an email he’s “honored to call him a friend.” The lawmaker, 71, said that Takei “left an indelible mark in entertainment, civil rights and justice.”

And he also expressed a whole lot of love for everything “Star Trek,” saying, ”USS Enterprise — its crew and their voyage — encapsulates the human spirit; it portrays the crew’s exploration beyond our galaxy — a trek through the stars —and in doing so, finding our own humanity.”