John Cho said the move to make Hikaru Sulu gay is a nod to the openly gay George Takei
Decades after showing TV’s first interracial kiss, the Star Trek franchise is only getting more progressive.
John Cho, who plays Hikaru Sulu in the Star Trek movie franchise, revealed to Australia’s Herald Sun this week that the iconic character will be revealed to be gay in the upcoming installment, Star Trek Beyond.
According to Cho, Sulu, the beloved helmsman of the USS Enterprise, is shown as a father in a same-sex relationship.
“I liked the approach, which was not to make a big thing out [of] it, which is where I hope we are going as a species, to not politicize one’s personal orientations,” Cho told the Sun.
He told the publication that director Justin Lin and writer (and co-star) Simon Pegg decided to make Sulu gay in honor of George Takei, the now-openly gay man who played the character in the original series in the 1960s.
Takei, 79, has previously said that he hid his sexuality for decades out of fear that his career would take a hit. He feared the worst as the years grew on, even when he came out as gay in 2005 at the age of 68.
“I was in my 60s. I was prepared for my career to end when I talked,” he told USA Today in August 2014.
“But the reverse of what I had expected happened. My career started to blossom.”
Cho broke the news during a visit to Sydney with the rest of the Star Trek Beyond cast for the film’s Australia premiere.
“It’s bittersweet with the passing of Anton,” Karl Urban told The Daily Telegraph at the premiere. “It’s devastating losing someone in your family. This feels like it should be a time for celebration not just of the film but of him, his extraordinary talent and the beautiful man he was.”
Star Trek Beyond hits theaters on July 22.