Oh myyyy. Spoiler alert.
Sulu is gay in Star Trek Beyond and it's not a big deal. In the latest Star Trek movie, it is revealed that the USS Enterprise's helmsman, played by John Cho, is married and has a daughter with a same sex partner.
Okay, this is kind of a big deal, but I guess the movie is treating it like just another character detail about Hikaru Sulu's personal life in the forward-thinking future of Star Trek. We've already established that he's a badass and exceptionally good at his job. He's also a dad and married to a man.
The decision by director Justin Lin and screenwriter/co-star Simon Pegg to make Sulu gay was, of course, a nod to George Takei, who played the character in the original 1960s television series and beyond.
Cho, who was in Australia promoting the film, says that he hopes it's a sign of changing times.
"I liked the approach, which was not to make a big thing out it, which is where I hope we are going as a species, to not politicise one's personal orientations," he told the Herald Sun.
Hey, maybe Sulu was gay in the original series too. You would never know, since the character rarely had much development outside the bridge of the Enterprise. Well, there was that time everybody on the ship lost their minds and Sulu showed off his enthusiasm for shirtless fencing. Anyway.
While he'll always known for his iconic Star Trek role, Takei has gone on to become a prominent activist and social media personality. Since publicly coming out in 2005, he's been a vocal advocate for LGBT equality.
It's funny. Earlier this year, John Cho revealed that Sulu was father to a kid daughter during a behind-the-scenes segment on Entertainment Tonight. (Note my own erroneous heteronormative assumption in that post when I inquired, "By the way, who's the mom?") He teased that there was another noteworthy revelation in regard to Sulu's kid, but stopped short of spilling the beans. No doubt, this is what he was talking about.
Star Trek Beyond opens in theaters on July 22.
UPDATE: I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around George Takei's reaction to this: George Takei Reacts to Gay Sulu News: "I Think It's Really Unfortunate"