Their choice to give Mr. Sulu a same-sex partner and a daughter in Star Trek Beyond, out Friday, was designed as a nod to Takei and his noteworthy activism for LGBTQ rights. In part, it was an homage to George Takei, the man who played the role of Sulu in the original "Star Trek" television series. I'm actually proud of that scene, because it was pretty tough. So I wanted it to seem really normal in the future. "I thought the cultural stigma was the thickest on the Asian boys I knew", Cho said. But I had three concerns I expressed in that office that day. The new movie reveals that Cho's character Sulu is gay.
'I told [John Cho], 'Be imaginative and create a character who has a history of being gay, rather than Sulu, who had been straight all this time, suddenly being revealed as being closeted, ' Takei explained.
We were in Vancouver first and we finished up the production in Dubai and that scene was in Dubai and I was like, "Hey, so who'd you get?"
Of this, Cho says, "I reached out to him and told him that this might be happening, and I just wanted to know how he felt".
Beyond Takei's reaction, Cho also anticipated backlash from some in the Asian-American community, as the gay character could be seen as contributing to the "continuing feminization of Asian men". Does this sound super overthought? It turns out a lot went into it, with Cho speaking to George Takei about the decision and pointing out the tricky racial politics.
Read the rest of Cho's interview on Vulture. So I thought that would be where he would object. I didn't want him to feel that we had reduced him to his sexuality by sort of borrowing this bit, if you will, from his life. "It's kind of inside baseball, but that was important to me".
Takei concluded, "While I would have gone with the development of a new character in this instance, I do fully understand and appreciate what they are doing - as ever, boldly going where no one has gone before".