Thursday, July 07, 2016

George Takei Disappointed Iconic Sulu Character Made Gay In "Star Trek Beyond"

George Takei
When news that the iconic Star Trek character of Sulu, played by actor John Cho, was revealed to be a gay man in the upcoming film, "Star Trek Beyond", many fans were happy about this development. I, however, was a little confused because Sulu was always a straight character.

George Takei, the wonderful actor, who played Sulu in the original TV series and films, talked to The Hollywood Reporter and he shares that he knew that the writers were planning to make Sulu gay in the latest film but tried to talk them out of it. Takei explains Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry was "exhaustive in conceiving his Star Trek characters" and Sulu was conceived as a heterosexual man. Takei tried to convince the powers that be 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.'"

The Hollywood Reporter:
True to its title, the latest big-screen outing, Star Trek Beyond, has gone where none have gone before: Star John Cho — who assumes the Sulu mantle for the third time in the reboots — has told Australia's Herald Sun that the character is revealed to be gay.

The idea came from Simon Pegg, who plays Scotty in the new films and penned the Beyond screenplay, and director Justin Lin, both of whom wanted to pay homage to Takei's legacy as both a sci-fi icon and beloved LGBT activist.

And so a scene was written into the new film, very matter-of-fact, in which Sulu is pictured with a male spouse raising their infant child. Pegg and Lin assumed, reasonably, that Takei would be overjoyed at the development — a manifestation of that conversation with Roddenberry in his swimming pool so many years ago.

Except Takei wasn't overjoyed. He had never asked for Sulu to be gay. In fact, he'd much prefer that he stay straight. "I’m delighted that there’s a gay character," he tells The Hollywood Reporter. "Unfortunately, it’s a twisting of Gene’s creation, to which he put in so much thought. I think it’s really unfortunate."

Not long after Cho's bombshell call came another, this one from Lin, again informing that Sulu was indeed to be gay in Star Trek Beyond. Takei remained steadfastly opposed to the decision.