George Takei has talked of his disappointment over the decision to reveal that Sulu is gay in the new ‘Star Trek’ movie, ‘Star Trek Beyond’.
Writer and star Simon Pegg, who plays Scotty, had the idea to put Sulu in a same-sex relationship as a homage to Takei, who played the role in the original TV series, and who came out in 2005.
It was also meant as a tribute to Takei’s activism in the realm of LGBT rights.
But he’s not taken the news well, adding that he tried to persuade the filmmakers not to change Sulu’s sexual orientation after he learned the plans, but was ignored.
He told The Hollywood Reporter: “I’m delighted that there’s a gay character.
“Unfortunately, it’s a twisting of Star Trek creator, Gene Roddenberry’s creation, to which he put in so much thought. I think it’s really unfortunate.”
Takei learned of the plans last year from John Cho, who plays Sulu in the rebooted movie series, and expressed his concerns at that point.
“I told him, 'Be imaginative and create a character who has a history of being gay, rather than Sulu, who had been straight all this time, suddenly being revealed as being closeted’,” he said.
He also spoke to Justin Lin about what he saw as a potential misstep.
“I said, 'This movie is going to be coming out on the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, the 50th anniversary of paying tribute to Gene Roddenberry, the man whose vision it was carried us through half a century. Honour him and create a new character. I urged them. He left me feeling that that was going to happen,” he added.
Simon Pegg then contacted him personally, with an email paying tribute to his LGBT activism.
“And I thought to myself, 'How wonderful! It’s a fan letter from Simon Pegg. Justin had talked to him!'” said Takei.
But it seemed that his words fell on deaf ears.
“I really tried to work with these people when at long last the issue of gay equality was going to be addressed,” Takei went on.
“I thought after that conversation with Justin that was going to happen. Months later, when I got that email from Simon Pegg, I was kind of confused. He thinks I’m a great guy? Wonderful. But what was the point of that letter? I interpreted that as my words having been heard.”
So far neither Pegg, Cho nor Lin have commented on Takei’s remarks.
'Star Trek Beyond’ is due out in the UK on July 22.
Image credits: Getty/ET