Star Trek Beyond Will Introduce First Openly Gay Character

Two weeks from now, Star Trek Beyond will go where no Star Trek has gone before… it will open to audiences worldwide with a franchise first: an openly gay character.

Hikaru Sulu (famously portrayed by George Takei) will venture into uncharted territory as he becomes the first known homosexual in the vast multi-world, varied species universe.

This update to the beloved character has not come without its share of respectful criticism, most notably from Takei himself.

In a recent interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Takei said, “I’m delighted there is a gay character. Unfortunately, it’s a twisting of Gene’s (Roddenberry) creation, to which he put in so much thought. I think it’s really unfortunate.”

Many cast members of Star Trek Beyond are supportive of the change, most notably the movies co-writer Simon Pegg. While saying he appreciated all Takei did for the original series, he “respectfully disagreed with him.” Pegg added that the movie’s creators “loved the idea [of a gay ‘Star Trek’ character] being someone we already knew because the audience have a preexisting opinion of that character as a human being, unaffected by any prejudice.”

John Cho, who plays the Sulu in the reboots, appreciated the approach “which was not to make a big thing out of it, which is where I hope we are going as a species, not to politicize one’s personal orientations.”

Only time will tell if this re-imagining will pay dividends in regards to paving new roads for additional LGBT characters in movies.

 

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