Star Trek Beyond star John Cho says his character, Hikaru Sulu, is gay in the upcoming third installment of the reboot series. Sulu will be in a same-sex relationship as well as the father to a daughter.
In an interview with Australian newspaper The Herald Sun on Thursday, Cho said director Justin Lin and co-writer (and co-star) Simon Pegg decided Sulu should be gay as a nod to actor George Takei, who famously played the original Sulu in the 1960s TV series. Takei came out in 2005.
Cho added Sulu’s sexual preference is not at all a big deal in the movie, and he hopes it reflects changing times. “I liked the approach, which was not to make a big thing out [of] it, which is where I hope we are going as a species, to not politicize one’s personal orientations.
Sulu’s background hasn’t really been explored too much in the long-running franchise, but in the 1994 movie Star Trek Generations, the first in the Star Trek: The Next Generation film franchise, his daughter Demora was shown as an adult.
Star Trek Beyond is set for release on July 22. The promotion for the film has been emotional for the cast members in the wake of the tragic death of their co-star, Anton Yelchin, who died June 18 after being pinned against a brick column by his Jeep.