While the creative team — and the man currently playing Hikaru Sulu, John Cho — of Star Trek Beyond may have decided that including a scene of Sulu with his same sex partner wasn t a big deal, George Takei had a different response.
The actor who originated the role told the Hollywood Reporter, 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.
Cho called Takei to tell him about the move, and Takei tried to explain his misgivings.
While Takei s timeline doesn t work out — Beyond is in an alternate universe and a prequel — his point may be that Sulu s existed in the public consciousness so long that having him come out in this chronologically late movie seems like he was closeted before.
Takei also told the Hollywood Reporter that he said a similar thing to director Justin Lin, arguing that the best way to honour the 50th anniversary year of Star Trek was to create a brand new character, rather than changing an existing one.