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Entertainment & Arts

John Cho’s Sulu is Star Trek’s first openly gay crewmember

John Cho
John Cho, who plays character Hikaru Sulu, attends the Australian premiere of “Star Trek Beyond” on Thursday.
(Paul Miller / European Pressphoto Agency)

“Star Trek” is making it official: Helmsman of the USS Enterprise, Hikaru Sulu, is gay. The reveal is a nod to the original Sulu, actor George Takei, longtime LGBT activist and deliverer of the famous Takei, “Oh my.”

For its third installment in the reboot series, “Star Trek Beyond” will reveal that Sulu — now played by actor John Cho — is the franchise’s first LGBT main crewmember.

In an interview with Australia’s Herald Sun, Cho revealed that the decision was writer Simon Pegg’s and director Justin Lin’s way of paying homage to the original Sulu, played by Takei. 

Cho, 44, explained that Sulu’s sexual orientation in “Star Trek Beyond” will be revealed nonchalantly rather than as a large factor in the plot. 

John Cho signs autographs at the Australian premiere of 'Star Trek Beyond' on Thursday in Sydney.
John Cho signs autographs at the Australian premiere of 'Star Trek Beyond' on Thursday in Sydney. (Brendon Thorne / Getty Images)

“I liked the approach, which was not to make a big thing out of it,” Cho told the Herald Sun, “which is where I hope we are going as a species, to not politicize one’s personal orientations.” 

Also worth mentioning, but with a little spoiler warning,  “Star Trek Beyond” will show Sulu as “the loving father of a daughter with a same-sex partner,” according to the Herald Sun. The identity of that partner has yet to be revealed. But we’re open to hearing guesses. 

The 13th film in the “Star Trek” franchise will arrive in theaters July 22. 

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Follow me on Twitter @SusieSchmank


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