Star Trek Beyond’s cast and crew addresses Sulu’s sexuality

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With the release of Star Trek Beyond next week, there has been discussions about the decision to change Sulu’s sexuality in the new film to pay homage to George Takei, the actor who played the original Sulu. It wasn’t until Takei, a prominent member of the LBGT community, expressed his opinion on the matter where the conversation regarding it became worse.

In a recent press event in Los Angeles yesterday, the topic, of course, came up. Pegg clarified to the audience that he and Takei are on great terms.

He said, “The whole thing with George, people like to make things into a spat. George and I email all the time long discussions about it. We are on great terms. We never shatted on each other. I’m really happy with the way it’s been talked about and responded too. I’m still a huge fan of GT.”

John Cho, who plays Sulu in the new film, said, ““Roddenberry did set up a world that was incredibly progressive but it was tempered by the social morals of the era. I feel like we can go further in 2016 than he was able to do at the time and to your point, I feel like our version can give more to women and people of color than Roddenberry was originally able to, I think.”

He added, “It was really the handling of it that was most important to me. Having seen the film, its nonchalant posture towards it is the best thing about it. That it’s normalized. It’s news now, but if you re-watch the movie in ten years, you won’t think anything of it. It’ll just go right by you. That’s the best thing about it. There’s no music cue. There’s no close up.”

Executive producer J.J. Abrams finally gave his input on the matter with the Huffington Post saying, “It’s about time that there’s a gay character in this universe. It is done, as you saw, in a way that is not in the story of the movie, which is one of my favorite things about it. It’s beside the point. I feel that George Takei’s reaction ― I’m sure has more to do with George Takei, and the baggage he brings to the proceedings. I think it may be his perception of having played a character a certain way. It might mean something personally to him. I have nothing but respect for the man, but I think it’s a preposterous thing for, of all people, a ‘Star Trek’ actor — who’s come out himself — to say that Gene Roddenberry wouldn’t have wanted this.”

Star Trek Beyond opens in theaters on July 22nd.

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