'Star Trek: Beyond' will reveal Sulu as gay...and George Takei isn't okay with it.
Is George Takei right to be against the decision?
The upcoming sequel, Star Trek: Beyond, plans to out John Cho's character, Hikaru Sulu, as gay, but Star Trek's original Sulu, George Takei, doesn't agree with the decision.
The very spirit of the Star Trek series is meant to inspire hope in humanity. The concept invites "infinite diversity and infinite combinations", an idea that brings unity throughout people of all ethnicities, backgrounds, orientations, and walks of life. In the original Star Trek series, Asian-American character, Hikaru Sulu, was the chief navigator for the starship Enterprise and was intended to embody the overall Eastern influence and contributions made to the world as a whole.
Back in 2005, the actor that portrayed the character, George Takei, finally came out of the closet as a proud member of the LGBT community. In honor of his work and influence he's had not just in pop culture and the science-fiction community, but also as an activist of equal rights overall, writer and actor, Simon Pegg, along with director, Justin Lin, made the decision to solidify Sulu as gay in 'Star Trek: Beyond'. While the choice was fueled by the best of intentions, apparently, Takei isn't okay with the decision and feels the character should remain heterosexual.
While Takei seems to have been very pleased with the choices made for the newest incarnation of movies, this is a choice he isn't on board with. His passion for Star Trek and the ideals that show creator, Gene Roddenberry, stood for are far more important to him than to just have more gay characters represented in the mainstream. After being informed by John Cho and Justin Lin of the decision, Takei urged them to reconsider:
"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. Honor him and create a new character. I urged them. He left me feeling that that was going to happen."
After receiving an email from Simon Pegg himself in regards to the new direction the character would be taking and Takei's concerns on the matter, he had this to say:
"I really tried to work with these people when at long last the issue of gay equality was going to be addressed. I thought after that conversation with Justin [Lin] that was going to happen. Months later, when I got that email from Simon Pegg, I was kind of confused. He thinks I’m a great guy? Wonderful. But what was the point of that letter? I interpreted that as my words having been heard."
Despite Takei's protest, the movie plans to still feature the scene that explains Sulu's orientation. While he plans to still endorse the movie and continue to show his support, he will do so without backing the choice.
Star Trek: Beyond releases July 22!