Actor John Cho recently announced that Hikaru Sulu would be revealed as a gay character in Star Trek Beyond. It isn’t surprising that this announcement has split longtime Star Trek fans. What IS surprising, however, is that George Takei, who played Sulu in the original Star Trek series, isn’t on board with this creative choice.
Since Takei is a major figure in the LGBT community, co-writer Simon Pegg and director Justin Lin wanted to salute the actor by giving Sulu a same-sex partner. Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, however, Takei stated that this went against creator Gene Roddenberry’s original vision. “I’m delighted that there’s a gay character,” Takei said. “Unfortunately, it’s a twisting of Gene’s creation, to which he put in so much thought. I think it’s really unfortunate.”
Pegg, who also plays Scotty in Star Trek Beyond, spoke to The Guardian about Takei’s comments. “He’s right. It is unfortunate. It’s unfortunate that the screen version of the most inclusive, tolerant universe in science fiction hasn’t featured an LGBT character until now.”
Pegg went on to say, “[Director] Justin Lin, [co-writer] Doug Jung and I loved the idea of [the gay character] being someone we already knew because the audience has a pre-existing opinion of that character as a human being, unaffected by any prejudice.”
Zachary Quinto, who plays Mr. Spock in the reboot series and is an openly gay man, also responded to Takei’s statement. “As a member of the LGBT community myself, I was disappointed by the fact that George was disappointed,” Quinto told Pedestrian.TV. “My hope is that eventually George can be strengthened by the enormously positive response from, especially, young people who are heartened by and inspired by this really tasteful and beautiful portrayal of something that I think is gaining acceptance and inclusion in our societies across the world.”
What do you think? Are you for or against #GiveSuluABoyfriend?
Star Trek Beyond hits theaters on July 22.