The final frontier just got more inclusive. In the upcoming film Star Trek Beyond, USS Enterprise helmsman Hikaru Sulu is openly gay, making him the first LGBTQA character in the sprawling film and television franchise.
Speaking to the Herald Sun during the Australian leg of the sequel’s press tour, John Cho (who Twitter has decided should be the star of all things) said that Simon Pegg (co-writer/star) and Justin Lin (co-writer/director) decided to make Sulu gay as a nod to George Takei, the actor who originated the role on the 1960’s television series, and has since become an out advocate for LGBTQA rights.
Like Takei, the rebooted Sulu has a husband. And like the Sulu of old, he has a daughter. (Vulture pointed out that old-school Sulu never scored a romantic partner on the show, but the 1994 movie Star Trek Generations introduced his daughter, Demora. )
We’ve spoken before about the power of representation, and how too-big-to-fail franchises are the perfect place to push for inclusion. So this is great news on a few fronts. Yet for Cho, the greatest part about this new layer to his character is how the film treats Sulu’s sexual orientation. He said:
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.
Aside from bigoted fanboys, the only people who will be dismayed over this news are those who’ve been shipping Sulu and Uhura. Because come on.
Kristy Puchko is cross-shipping with Sulu and Jack Harkness. Leave her be.