One of Star Trek’s most iconic characters is revealed as gay in the franchise’s new instalment. However, gay Trek veteran George Takei is unhappy about it.
The upcoming Star Trek Beyond reveals Hikaru Sulu, played previously by George Takei in the original series and by John Cho in the new film, is now a father with a male partner and a daughter.
John Cho told the Herald Sun newspaper he loved the way the movie developed the character in such a nonchalant manner.
“I liked the approach, which was to not make a big thing out of it,” Cho said.
“[That] is where I hope we are going as a species, to not politicize one’s personal orientations.”
Sulu an unfortunate choice
When he heard the news George Takei expressed his delight at the introduction of a gay character. However, he describes the choice of Sulu as “unfortunate”.
“I’m delighted that there’s a gay character. Unfortunately, it’s a twisting of [Star Trek Gene Roddenberry’s] creation, to which he put in so much thought,” he told The Hollywood Reporter.
George said he told the new film’s writer Simon Pegg to create a new character. He thought that a better option than suddenly revealing Sulu as closeted.
But Simon Pegg said the only unfortunate thing was the previous lack of an LGBTIQ character.
“I have huge love and respect for George Takei, his heart, courage and humor are an inspiration,” he told The Guardian.
“However, with regards to his thoughts on our Sulu, I must respectfully disagree with him.
“We could have introduced a new gay character, but he or she would have been primarily defined by their sexuality, seen as the ‘gay character’, rather than simply for who they are, and isn’t that tokenism?”
Star Trek Beyond opens in Australian cinemas on July 22.
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