“Star Trek Beyond” decided to reveal that franchise staple
Hikaru Sulu is gay, in a nod to George Takei, the actor who played the character in the original series.
Takei came out in 2005 and is a vocal activist for LGBT rights. The change makes Sulu the first openly gay character in the “Star Trek” franchise.
But Takei isn’t pleasued with the choice made by writer and star Simon Pegg and director Justin Lin.
“I’m delighted that there’s a gay character,” he told The Hollywood Reporter
. “Unfortunately, it’s a twisting of Gene’s [Roddenberry, the series creator] creation, to which he put in so much thought. I think it’s really unfortunate.”
Cho told The Herald Sun that he liked how the inclusion of Sulu’s sexuality wasn’t politicized. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Cho told Takei about the decision last year, and Takei tried to convince him to make a new character gay instead.
“I told him, ‘Be imaginative and create a character who has a history of being gay, rather than Sulu, who had been straight all this time, suddenly being revealed as being closeted,'” Takei said.
Takei tried the same plea with Lin, urging him to honour Roddenberry’s original vision because “Star Trek Beyond” is coming out on the 50th anniversary of “Star Trek.”
It’s probaby just as initially surprising to fans as it was to the creators to hear that Takei is disappointed with the change to his beloved character. But his point is valid. Sulu has already been accepted in the “Star Trek” world, thus fans will likely have little trouble still loving him with this new information.
“Star Trek Beyond” will premiere nationwide on July 22.
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