On Thursday, John Cho revealed that his Star Trek character Sulu would be openly gay in the upcoming sequel Star Trek Beyond, a HUGE step as this will be the first gay character in the franchise’s canon.
The change is meant as a nod to LGBT advocate George Takei, who played the pilot in the original series.
But Takei isn’t exactly flattered over Sulu’s sexuality swap, and even admitted he found the idea “really unfortunate.”
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter on Thursday, the actor said the character development goes against creator Gene Roddenberry‘s original vision for Hikaru Sulu.
“I’m delighted that there’s a gay character. Unfortunately it’s a twisting of Gene’s creation, to which he put in so much thought. I think it’s really unfortunate.”
In fact, when Takei first learned about the change last year, he actually tried to persuade Cho — as well as writer Simon Pegg and director Justin Lin — to make a new character gay instead! He recalled:
“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.'”
Okay, we respect that he wants to protect the creator’s original vision, but come on!
Big screen adaptations of mega-franchises like this veer away from the original vision all the time, so you’d think he’d just be happy about it moving in the direction of more LGBT representation.
And did the series ever actually say explicitly that he wasn’t?? For what it’s worth, we always kind of thought (or at least hoped) Sulu was actually gay.
Either way, we’re super excited to see gay Sulu when Star Trek Beyond hits theaters July 22!
What do YOU think about Sulu’s new sexuality?