In the upcoming franchise film Star Trek: Beyond, it will be revealed that fan favorite character Hikaru Sulu (played by John Cho in the recent film franchise) is in a same sex relationship, one that also has a daughter, according to the BBC website. That will make Hikaru Sulu the first major gay character in the fifty year science fiction franchise, and one of the only major gay characters in any of the major media franchises.
“Hikaru Sulu” Responds
John Cho is enthusiastic about this revelation about his character, for the reason that, in-universe, Sulu’s home life is not a real revelation at all. He told Australian newspaper Herald Sun that “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 politicise one’s personal orientations.”
Film writer Simon Pegg and director Justin Lin made the decision to include Sulu’s partner and daughter in Star Trek: Beyond as a tribute to Sulu’s original actor George Takei. Takei came out as gay in 2005, after then California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill which would have made same-sex legal in his home state, when Schwarzenegger had made campaign promises indicating that he would support the LGBT community. While Takei was part of the original Star Trek television series, he was wary about coming out, years later saying “If I wanted to work as an actor I had to keep it a secret.”
The Star Trek franchise has always been focused on promoting progressive ideals. In the original television series, creator Gene Roddenberry tried to make sure that the Starship Enterprise was racially diverse. Additionally, the original television series has one of television’s first interracial kisses, between Captain Kirk (William Shatner) and Lieutenant Uhura (Nichelle Nichols).
What do you think of this development? Are you excited for Star Trek: Beyond? Tell us in the comments!