07 Jul 2016 1:56 PM +00:00 UTC

John Cho's Hikaru Sulu is Openly Gay in Star Trek Beyond

The Star Trek franchise has always embraced the progressive mentality. The ratings for Star Trek: The Original Series took a dive before when it featured one of the first interracial kisses on television. While actor George Takei, who played Hikaru Sulu in the original series, openly came out as gay in 2005 and has been one of the vocal advocates of the LGBTQ community, there has yet to be a major homosexual character (as far as I know) in any of the Trek films or TV shows. But it looks like that's about to change in Justin Lin's upcoming Star Trek film.

John Cho, who plays Sulu in the Kelvin-verse films (the reboot trilogy that started with J.J. Abrams' 2009 Star Trek), told the Herald Sun that his character is depicted as gay in Star Trek Beyond:

Helmsman of the USS Enterprise, Hikaru Sulu, played by John Cho, is shown in
Star Trek Beyond
as the loving father of a daughter with a same sex partner. And in typical trailblazing
Trek
fashion — it's just not a big deal.
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"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," said Cho.

This is good news to Trekkers who support Gene Roddenberry's vision of a universe in which people of all races and sexual orientations were considered legitimate equals.

Fun fact: Zachary Quinto, the actor who plays Spock in the reboot films, is gay.

Synopsis:

After stopping off at Starbase Earhart, a remote outpost on the fringes of Federation space, the USS Enterprise, halfway into their five-year mission, is destroyed by a powerful, unstoppable wave of unknown aliens. With the crew stranded on a unknown planet and with no apparent means of rescue, they find themselves in conflict with a new ruthless enemy who has a well-earned hatred of the Federation and what it stands for.

Star Trek Beyond stars Chris Pine and Captain Kirk, Idris Elba, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, Zachary Quinto, Sofia Boutella, and Karl Urban. The film is directed by Justin Lin, and is written by Simon Pegg and Doug Jung. Watch: Star Trek Beyond Clip Features Thrilling Space Action and More of Jaylah