Yesterday, John Cho revealed that his character in the recent Star Trek films, Hikaru Sulu, would be represented as openly gay, with a male partner and a daughter, in this summer’s Star Trek: Beyond. George Takei, who originated the role of Sulu in Star Trek: The Original Series, gave a surprising interview to Entertainment Weekly about the reveal. “I’m delighted that there’s a gay character,” Takei said. “Unfortunately, it’s a twisting of Gene [Roddenberry]’s creation, to which he put in so much thought. I think it’s really unfortunate.”
Takei, a gay man and LGBTQIA rights activist, said he had previously expressed his disagreement with the creative choice to the film’s writers, but to no avail. He would have preferred they create an entirely new gay character, rather than write Sulu as gay.
“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.
Sulu’s sexuality was never directly addressed in Star Trek: The Original Series or the films before this, and he has never been explicitly portrayed in any romantic relationships. In Star Trek: Generations his daughter makes an appearance, but there is no mention of her mother, or of Sulu having a wife.