Out actor George Takei says that he's
delighted that the Star Trek universe has a gay character, but
disagrees with the decision to make Hikaru Sulu, helmsman of the USS
Enterprise, gay in Star Trek Beyond.
In promoting the upcoming film while in
Australia, John Cho, who plays Sulu in the movie franchise rebooted
by JJ Abrams in 2009, told the Herald Sun that Sulu is seen in
the film raising a daughter with his same-sex partner and that the
decision to make the character gay was a nod to Takei, who played the
character in the original NBC series and came out gay in 2005.
“I liked the approach,” Cho said,
“which was not to make a big thing out it, which is where I hope we
are going as a species, to not politicize one's personal
Takei, however, told The Hollywood
Reporter that he had discouraged screenwriter Simon Pegg, who
also plays Scotty in the new films, and director Justin Lin from the
“I'm delighted that there's a gay
said. “Unfortunately, it's a twisting of [Gene Roddenberry's]
creation, to which he put in so much thought. I think it's very
He said that Roddenberry had always
envisioned Sulu as straight.
“I told [Cho], '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 said that he also “urged” Lin
to create a new character.
“I really tried to work with these
people when at long last the issue of gay equality was going to be
addressed,” he said. “I thought after that conversation with
Justin that was going to happen.”
Star Trek Beyond premieres July
22 in the United States.