An iconic Star Trek character is set to come out as gay in the next Star Trek film, it has been confirmed.
The third instalment of the Star Trek reboot series is due for release later this month, with Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto and Zoe Saldana reprising their roles as the Enterprise crew.
However, it has been revealed that one iconic character from the original Star Trek series will be coming out in the reboot.
John Cho, who plays the role of Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu made famous by George Takei, made the revelation in an interview with Australia’s Herald Sun.
He revealed that the character of Mr Sulu will be revealed to have a male partner in the upcoming film.
The actor said the plot choice was made by writer Simon Pegg and director Justin Lin.
Cho said: “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.”
The character’s sexuality was never explored, with Takei expressing regret previously that Star Trek had never featured a gay storyline during his time in the role.
Takei recently revealed that he once pitched the idea that the show, famed for dealing with contemporary issues like racism, should deal with homosexuality.
Takei said: “[Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry] said ‘I know we do use metaphors to deal with contemporary issues’, but he was treading a very tight rope because of the fact that he was dealing with issues.
“Television is not known for dealing with contemporary issues.
“He said that if we pushed the envelope too far, then we wouldn’t be able to deal with any issues at all, and indeed – when we had the [interracial] Kirk-Uhura kiss – we were blacked out in the South, and our ratings plummeted.
“[I accepted it] because I knew the reality of television.”
Star Trek Beyond will also feature the final appearance of Anton Yelchin as Pavel Chekov, after the actor died in a tragic accident last month.
by Nick Duffy