Friday, July 8, 2016
It turns out that Star Trek Beyond has boldly gone where no Star Trek has ever gone before by revealing that Mr. Sulu (in the new timeline) is gay...
One of the “Star Trek” universe’s most beloved characters is revealed to be gay in the latest installment of the iconic franchise.
John Cho tells Australia’s Herald Sun that his character, Hikaru Sulu, will have a same-sex partner, with whom he is raising a daughter, in “Star Trek Beyond,” which hits theaters July 22.
The 44-year-old actor said that he approved of the way his character’s sexuality will be handled in the film, in that writer Simon Pegg and director Justin Lin opted not to make it a major plot point. “I liked the approach, which was not to make a big thing out it, which is where I hope we are going as a species, to not politicize one’s personal orientations,” he said.
Lin and Pegg’s decision to depict Sulu as a gay man was a nod to George Takei, who played the role in the original 1960s “Star Trek” television series and in six subsequent films, Cho said. Takei, 79, came out as gay in 2005, and has since gone on to become an outspoken advocate for LGBT rights.
You'd think George Takei, who is openly gay, would be happy about that. But, surprisingly, he was "disappointed".
He wasn’t cheering that the character he originated would bare his sexual preference, calling it “really unfortunate,” and saying that it wasn’t true to creator Gene Roddenberry’s vision for the character, and that the current filmmakers did not heed his concerns when he encouraged them to create a new character.
When I first read his response, I was surprised, yet understood. His character was straight. The actor playing him was not.
However, I started thinking that, since they are in an alternate timeline, his character could, realistically, be different (as many of the characters and their backgrounds are from the original series) in many ways.
So, as much as I enjoy George Takei (and he is enjoyable), I didn't actually think it was a bad idea.
Then, Simon Pegg, who plays Scotty and helped write the film's script, replied that he was also disappointed...with George Takei's response to the announcement.
“[Director] Justin Lin, [co-writer] Doug Jung and I loved the idea of [the gay character] being someone we already knew because the audience have a pre-existing opinion of that character as a human being, unaffected by any prejudice,” he said. “Their sexual orientation is just one of many personal aspects, not the defining characteristic. Also, the audience would infer that there has been an LGBT presence in the Trek universe from the beginning (at least in the Kelvin timeline), that a gay hero isn’t something new or strange.
“We could have introduced a new gay character, but he or she would have been primarily defined by their sexuality, seen as the ‘gay character’, rather than simply for who they are, and isn’t that tokenism?”
And, I kind of agree with Simon Pegg...if they had just created a a new gay character into the movie randomly, he/she would have likely gotten very little screen time (since many of the "regulars" barely get enough time as it is, especially Sulu) and it would have felt "forced" and then, likely, forgotten.
Then Zachary Quinto, who is also gay and plays Spock, responded with his disappointment as well.
“As a member of the LGBT community myself, I was disappointed by the fact that George was disappointed.”
He added: “I get it. He has had his own personal journey and has his own personal relationship with this character, but, you know, as we established in the first Star Trek film in 2009, we’ve created an alternate universe,” Quinto said. “And my hope is that eventually George can be strengthened by the enormously positive response from especially young people who are heartened by and inspired by this really tasteful and beautiful portrayal of something that I think is gaining acceptance and inclusion in our societies across the world, and should be.”
And I agree with him too.
So, at the end of the day, I'm totally fine with it.
Sulu is gay in this new universe.
I just want them to release the damn movie already!