John Cho as Lt. Hikaru Sulu in Star Trek Beyond

Yesterday morning, Australian newspaper The Herald Sun released an article revealing that in the upcoming Star Trek Beyond, Lt. Hikaru Sulu is shown to be raising a daughter with another man. Sulu being gay is a nod to George Takei, who played the character in the 1960s-1980s, and who publicly came out in 2005.

In prime Star Trek fashion — because the franchise is supposed to take place in a future where humanity has progressed past things like racism, homophobia, xenophobia, and sexism — it is said that the movie makes a big deal out of absolutely none of it.  John Cho comments:

“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 politicise one’s personal orientations.”
(source: The Herald Sun)

Considering it has taken the franchise its entire fifty year history to get to an openly gay bridge crew member, we definitely don’t yet live in a world where Sulu — or any other character — being gay isn’t, either implicitly or explicitly, an enormous political statement.

Star Trek is the series whose fandom first coined the term ‘slash’ to refer to not-straight fan work back in the early 70s.  The credited ‘first’ slash fanfic was a Kirk/Spock story called “A Fragment out of Time,” published in the adult fanzine Grup in September of 1974.  Ironically, this is its first line:

“Shut up…we’re by no means setting a precedent.”
(src: “A fragment out of time”)

As a matter of fact, it was, and unfortunately, Trek did not make good on its fanbase’s precedent to any significant margin until this very year.  The Next Generation and other series in the franchise had the occasional one-off Evil Bisexual, and complicated situation of Jadzia Dax and her ex, but nothing that lasted.

Today, we see the fruit of fifty years of waiting, of believing that Star Trek could itself progress to a point where it lived the ideals Gene Roddenberry gave it back in 1966.

After all, as the man once said: “If I had given Kirk and the others what I suspect 23rd century values and morals to actually be, they would have either angered or scared the pants off the average viewer.”
(source)

Despite this, the show still managed to be one of the most progressive shows of its time, and I think it’s time that the new franchise recognized that and lived up to that standard.

Sulu being gay is certainly a good place to start.

https://i2.wp.com/www.myfantasysportstalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/star_trek_beyond-sulu-wallpaper.jpg?fit=970%2C545&ssl=1https://i2.wp.com/www.myfantasysportstalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/star_trek_beyond-sulu-wallpaper.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1Murphy LeighEntertainmentMoviesRecent Postsstar trekYesterday morning, Australian newspaper The Herald Sun released an article revealing that in the upcoming Star Trek Beyond, Lt. Hikaru Sulu is shown to be raising a daughter with another man. Sulu being gay is a nod to George Takei, who played the character in the 1960s-1980s, and who...Why go anywhere else for sports and entertainment?