The bridge of the Enterprise just got more inclusive.
John Cho, who plays Hikaru Sulu in the rebooted “Star Trek” movie series, revealed Thursday that the character will be married to a man and have a child in the latest installment “Star Trek Beyond.” This marks the first time that an LGBTQ character has been prominently featured in the 50-year-old franchise, and Cho told the Herald Sun that it was a natural move for the progressive series.
“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,” he said.
In the original version of the show, Sulu’s sexuality was never explicitly stated, though he did have a daughter follow in his footsteps. The first actor to portray Sulu, George Takei, is an outspoken gay activist and has been married to his husband, Brad Altman, for eight years.
This isn’t the first time “Star Trek” has broken ground.
The original series was commended for having a diverse cast, including a black woman, Asian man, and Russian and Scottish characters, during the 1960s. The 1968 episode “Plato’s Children” was the first American TV show to depict an interracial kiss on screen.
Subsequent spinoffs have also tackled racial and social-political issues that reflected debates of their times.
"Star Trek Beyond" hits theaters on July 22.