George Takei says it’s ‘unfortunate’ that Sulu is gay in new ‘Star Trek’ film

Actor John Cho announced the news of character's sexuality ahead of 'Star Trek Beyond'

Star Trek legend George Takei has said that while he’s “delighted” that there will be a gay character in the sci-fi franchise, he feels that the news that his former character Mr Sulu will come out in the next movie is “really unfortunate”. Simon Pegg has since addressed the issue.

Actor John Cho, who plays Sulu in the reboot films, recently said that the character will be revealed to be gay in Star Trek Beyond.

The development in Sulu’s character is believed to be a nod to Takei by director Justin Lin and writer/star Simon Pegg. Takei came out as gay in 2005, and later claimed that he would have struggled to find work as a gay Asian-American if he had revealed his sexuality while filming the show during the 1960’s.

Responding to the news to The Hollywood Reporter, Takei said, “I’m delighted that there’s a gay character,” before adding, “Unfortunately, it’s a twisting of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry’s creation, into which he put so much thought. I think it’s really unfortunate”.

Takei went on to describe his reaction when Cho informed him of the news last year, “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.'”

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He also recalled a conversation he had with the director, “I said, ‘This movie is going to be coming out on the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, the 50th anniversary of paying tribute to Gene Roddenberry, the man whose vision it was carried us through half a century. Honour him and create a new character. I urged them. He left me feeling that that was going to happen.”

Speaking to Australian paper The Herald Sun during press duties for the third instalment in the sci-fi franchise, Cho said that the film will reveal that Mr Sulu is a father with a same-sex partner and daughter.

He also praised the film for presenting the new development in a casual and nuanced fashion. Cho said, “I liked the approach, which was to not make a big thing out of it. [That] is where I hope we are going as a species, to not politicise one’s personal orientations.”