‘Star Trek Beyond’ is Making Mr. Sulu The First Gay Character in the Franchise

By July 7, 2016

With this year’s Star Trek Beyond set to hit theatres just later this month, a sequel that has steadily been gaining hype over the past several weeks ever since that second, much better trailer, the newest installment in the franchise from director Justin Lin. is going to be making a fairly monumental announcement in the Star Trek series, though don’t expect the movie or its creative team to make much of a big deal about it.

The Australian paper the Herald Sun is reporting that Beyond will reveal John Cho’s Mr. Sulu to be the first gay character in the franchise’s history, as fans learn that Sulu has a male partner and child in his private life off of the Enterprise. The decision, John Cho confirms, was of course made as a nod to George Takei as well, the original actor to portray Mr. Sulu in the original series.

Cho commented on the announcement as well, discussing what he likes about how the movie treats this new revelation:

“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.”

I imagine that this is probably going to cause a stir in the fan community bigger than the movie even will about it, but considering the themes and messages of the Star Trek property, I can’t imagine much of a better way to finally represent this portion of the population onscreen, in a major tentpole film.

This is a heartening step forward in Hollywood’s representation of diversity onscreen as well, and while I’d be willing to bet that some fans out there will be upset about the first gay character being one of the series’ original players, I’m just going to sit back and hope that audiences will have the same reaction to it that the movie’s characters do, and the creative team are hoping they will.

Star Trek Beyond is set to hit theatres on July 22nd.

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Alex Welch

Alex Welch

Alex dreams of meeting a girl with a yellow umbrella, and spends too much time* staring at a movie screen. His vocabulary consists mostly of movie quotes and 80s song lyrics. *Debatable