When “Star Trek Beyond” hits theaters Friday it will be the first film in the franchise to feature an openly gay character in actor Jon Cho’s Sulu, but don’t expect to see the Enterprise commanding officer express his affection on-screen.
A kiss between Sulu and his male partner that was filmed ended up on the cutting room floor, Cho told Vulture. “It wasn’t like a make-out session,” Cho said. “We’re at the airport with our daughter. It was a welcome-home kiss. I’m actually proud of that scene, because it was pretty tough.”
“Star Trek Beyond” co-writer Simon Pegg defended the film’s representation of Sulu’s sexuality in an interview with the Guardian. “You have to modulate in such a way that it doesn’t become a big thing,” Pegg said. “That was one of the reasons why we made it an existing character, because it felt like part of the fabric.”
Still, the original Sulu, George Takei, the most famous openly gay actor from the original show, was disappointed to learn that Sulu was the character chosen to be “Star Trek” first gay character.
“It’s a twisting of Gene [Roddenberry’s] creation, to which he put in so much thought,” Takei told THR recently. I think it’s really unfortunate.” Takei noted that Roddenberry had always seen Sulu as a heterosexual character.