Simon Pegg the co-writer of Star Trek Beyond who also portrays engineer Scotty in the rebooted film franchise wrote a statement he released to Britain’s Guardian on Friday defending the creative decision to reveal Sulu as being a homosexual, noting their iteration of Trek is an “alternate timeline with alternate details.”
“I have huge love and respect for George Takei, his heart, courage and humor are an inspiration,” he wrote. “However, with regards to his thoughts on our Sulu, I must respectfully disagree with him. He’s right, it is unfortunate, it’s unfortunate that the screen version of the most inclusive, tolerant universe in science fiction hasn’t featured an LGBT character until now. We could have introduced a new gay character, but he or she would have been primarily defined by their sexuality, seen as the ‘gay character’, rather than simply for who they are, and isn’t that tokenism?”
Pegg added that he, Director Justin Lin and actor John Cho who currently portrays Sulu opted to go with the character of Sulu precisely because he is well-known and loved by audiences.
“(His) sexual orientation is just one of many personal aspects, not the defining characteristic,” he explained. “Also, the audience would infer that there has been an LGBT presence in the Trek Universe from the beginning (at least in the Kelvin timeline), that a gay hero isn’t something new or strange. It’s also important to note that at no point do we suggest that our Sulu was ever closeted, why would he need to be? It just hasn’t come up before.”
The idea of a gay Sulu also appealed to the Star Trek Beyond creative team because “it suggests that in a hypothetical multiverse, across an infinite matrix of alternate realities, we are all LGBT somewhere.”
Star Trek Beyond hits theaters July 22nd with special Marathon Screenings on July 2Oth. Check out this previous post for more details: Star Trek Marathon Locations Released