Star Trek Beyond: Hikaru Sulu is Gay.

Image: Star Trek Beyond poster, Paramount

Image: Star Trek Beyond poster, Paramount

Sulu Is Gay in Star Trek Beyond and It’s Not a Big Deal.

Or, at least, Star Trek Beyond is presenting it like it’s not a big deal and praying fans follow suit.

The news comes from the Australian paper the Herald Sun, which says that the movie—rightfully—treats Sulu’s private life, in which he has a male partner and a child, as no big deal. (This daughter had better be Demora, is all I’m saying. Because Demora is awesome and deserves to exist in the alternate universe, too.)

According to John Cho, the decision was of course a nod to the original Sulu, everyone’s favorite Facebooking dad, George Takei. “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 politicize one’s personal orientations,” Cho told the Herald Sun.

YES! Full story here.


  1. Crimson Clupeidae says

    Not been a fan of the reboot franchise, but this is great. I might catch this one in the theater.

  2. says


    Aw, this makes my little Trekkie heart happy.

    Mine too. It’s especially nice because George Takei did talk to Roddenberry about having a GLBTQ character, but this was after the scandalous inter-racial kiss, and Roddenberry was worried about losing the show, so that never happened. Better late than never, and I like how they are going to make it just one slice of Sulu’s life.

  3. rq says

    This is great, especially if it’s placed in such a de-emphasized (i.e. normalized) position. Makes me happy, too.

  4. says

    Marcus @ 5:

    I look forward to seeing what Takei has to say about it.

    Eeeeee, me too. I expect he’ll be pleased.

  5. sonofrojblake says

    Since they (a) never mentioned Sulu’s family and (b) uniquely among the main cast members, never shipped him with anyone in the original series, I’m definitely going with the idea that this was canonically the case all along and they just never mentioned it in TOS because we weren’t ready (and now we are). Can’t wait to see this movie…

  6. sonofrojblake says

    Well, look at this comment on the whole thing:

    Unfortunately, it’s a twisting of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry’s creation, into which he put so much thought. I think it’s really unfortunate.”

    The same person referred to Sulu as being “straight all this time”, despite the character never ever once being shown so much as flirting with a woman.

    George Takei, I am disappoint.

  7. says


    I had no idea George Takei had been discussing the matter with them; it changes things a bit. While I’m happy to see a gay person in the trekverse, I do take the point that it would have been more pointed and special if they had developed a character who was gay, and where there would be more than just a small window of gayness on the part of one character.

  8. says

    I’ll add, too, that Takei has mentioned, more than once, that extended scenes with the character Sulu were cut, both from the original series, and the first movies.

  9. sonofrojblake says

    I think they had it right, though, that if they had developed a gay character it would have been impossible for that not to be seen as The Gay One. Whereas in the context of the show and movies, it makes perfect sense that Sulu is (and always was) gay. Sure, they never said he was. But they never said or implied that he wasn’t, either. And this makes him unique, as I said, among the original series cast. Every single regular cast member from the priapic Kirk, the stoic Spock to the juvenile Chekov was explicitly demonstrated to have hetero attractions… except Sulu. In 79 episodes of TOS, six movies and a cameo in Voyager he never so much as visibly checked a woman out. Given Takei’s orientation, this can’t have been an accident, but as Simon Pegg notes, “we choose our battles carefully”. It was IIRC revolutionary enough in the sixties that a television “USS” had a Japanese man at the helm at all, barely twenty years out of WW2.

    Simon Pegg has responded:

  10. parrothead says

    I agree with George Takei on this one. A new, original character would have been better instead of making it appear that Sulu was in the closet for the past fifty years. It feels like it’s violating canon.

  11. sonofrojblake says

    Re: extended scenes being cut -- that happens to all the characters. There was a whole subplot, whole entire characters cut from “The Undiscovered Country”. I’d note in reply to implications that Sulu as a character wasn’t well served that Star Trek as a whole holds up one job as the Best Job In The Universe, and that job is Captain of a starship. And in the ongoing franchise, just two of the original cast ever were shown to have made it to the big chair -- Kirk, obvs… and Sulu. Sulu was Chuck Yeager (to me at least) -- easily the coolest of the original series characters. I ended up as Scotty (in engineering), but I wanted to be Sulu.

  12. says


    I agree with George Takei on this one. A new, original character would have been better instead of making it appear that Sulu was in the closet for the past fifty years. It feels like it’s violating canon.

    Yeah, I agree. I remember two eps off the top of my head where Sulu had a thing for Uhura. I think Roddenberry was very careful to keep the character neutral and positive (when Sulu went after Uhura, it was when he was 1) under the influence, and 2) evil Sulu in Mirror, Mirror) because the early ’60s weren’t that removed from anti-Japanese sentiment, which was still very high at the time. Roddenberry felt freer to mess about with the other characters than he did with Sulu.

    That said, I’m still glad there’s some recognition of queer people in the movie, and I’m not going to boycott it or anything.

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