Actor John Chorecently revealed his character, Hikaru Sulu, is gay in Star Trek Beyond, the upcoming third installment of the reboot series, and now George Takei, who originally played the character in the 1960s TV series, is weighing in on the new development.
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, Takei said that while he was “delighted that there’s a gay character,” it goes against what the late Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry had envisioned for the character. “Unfortunately, it’s a twisting of Gene’s creation, to which he put in so much thought,” said Takei. “I think it’s really unfortunate.”
Takei explained to THR that he learned of co-writer Simon Pegg and director/co-writer Justin Lin‘s decision to make Sulu gay last year, and at that time, Takei spoke with Lin and urged him to let Sulu remain straight, as Roddenberry intended him to be. Takei suggested they create a new gay character for the series instead.
“I said, ‘This movie is going to be coming out on the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, the 50th anniversary of paying tribute to Gene Roddenberry, the man whose vision it was carried us through half a century. Honor him and create a new character. I urged them. [Lin] left me feeling that that was going to happen.”
Takei explained he also received an email from Pegg, thanking him for being such a strong LBGT and Star Trek supporter. “And I thought to myself, ‘How wonderful! It’s a fan letter from Simon Pegg. Justin had talked to him!'”
But alas, a disappointed Takei found out last month they went ahead with their original plan. “I really tried to work with these people when at long last the issue of gay equality was going to be addressed,” Takei said. “I thought after that conversation with Justin that was going to happen. Months later, when I got that email from Simon Pegg, I was kind of confused. He thinks I’m a great guy? Wonderful. But what was the point of that letter? I interpreted that as my words having been heard.”
In any event, we will be seeing Sulu in a same-sex relationship, as well as being a father to a daughter, when Star Trek Beyond opens in theaters July 22.