George Takei, who has been very vocal about gay rights on social media for years now, defended the cannon of Star Trek by calling the news that his Sulu would be gay in the upcoming Star Trek Beyond movie.
The news came as John Cho, who is playing Sulu in the rebooted franchise, told Australia's Herald Sun that his character is gay in the new movie.
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According to The Hollywood Reporter, the idea came from Simon Pegg who plays Scotty and director Justin Lin who wanted to pay homage to Takei's legacy in both sci-fi and LGBT activism. In the new film Sulu is pictured with a male spouse raising their infant child.
Takei, however, isn't fond of the idea. “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.”
He then explained how Gene Roddenberry had always envisioned Sulu as heterosexual and was extremely detailed when characters were conceived. Sulu being gay would not have slipped under his radar.
When Takei learned that the character of Sulu would be gay last year when Cho called him, Takei tried to convince him 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.'”
Takei, who clearly has a great deal of respect for character continuity, something many in the sci-fi world hold dear, maintained his position after Justin Lin confirmed the news.
“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.”
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