Mr. Hikaru Sulu is out and proud in “Star Trek Beyond.”
John Cho, who plays Sulu in the most recent “Star Trek” films, said that his character has a daughter and a partner, making him the first openly gay character in “Star Trek” franchise history.
Still, Cho said the filmmakers decided to take a low-key approach. “I liked the approach, which was not to make a big thing out [of] it,” Cho told Australia’s Herald Sun, “which is where I hope we are going as a species, to not politicize one’s personal orientations.”
Cho added that writer Simon Pegg and director Justin Lin made the decision as a nod to George Takei, who came out in 2005, and has been a notable LGBT activist. Takei played Sulu in the 1960s in “Star Trek: The Original Series.”
“Star Trek” has advocated certain social progress in the past — it featured in 1968 the first interracial kiss ever on U.S. TV — but has historically not included significant LGBT representation.
“Star Trek Beyond” will attempt to rule San Diego Comic-Con by holding its world premiere there on July 20. Touted as the “first-ever outdoor Imax premiere,” the event will include appearances by the film’s cast and crew, and a live concert by the San Diego Symphony orchestra.
“Star Trek Beyond” hits theaters on July 22.