When word leaked last week that Lt. Hikaru Sulu — now played by John Cho in the rebooted “Star Trek” movies — would be gay, I thought George Takei, the actor who originated him, would be tickled. After all, Takei finally came out as gay himself in 2005, and I assumed this was the producers’ way of paying tribute to him, having real life impact art.
Turns out it was. But when Cho told Takei about the change last year, Takei argued against it, saying “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry imagined Sulu as a straight character back in 1966 when the television series debuted, and he should stay that way, especially in honor of its upcoming 50th anniversary.
Director Justin Lin later talked with Takei, who felt the director agreed to his way of thinking. But a month ago, Cho emailed to confirm that Sulu will be gay, raising a child with another man. Takei says it’s “really unfortunate.”