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Aside from being known as the original Hikaru Sulu of the STAR TREK franchise- having played the character on both the big and small screens- George Takei is also known as an outspoken advocate for the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) community. In a fitting nod to Takei’s contributions to society, both as Sulu and as an advocate, STAR TREK BEYOND will depict Sulu- now played by John Cho- as openly gay.

Always known as a forward-thinking, progressive work of science fiction, STAR TREK will make the revelation of this facet of Sulu’s life happen in a seamless and subtle way.

*SPOILER ALERT!*

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In STAR TREK BEYOND it’ll be nonchalantly revealed that Sulu has a daughter, and that he lovingly raises her with a same-sex partner. It’s something that’s just going to happen, not spotlighted in any significant way, and then everything else will proceed business-as-usual.

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,” Cho said while in Sydney, Australia to promote STAR TREK BEYOND.

The decision to handle it somewhat quietly within the film, in itself, is a groundbreaking message to generations of people who had to live in the closet- including Takei himself. “If I wanted to work as an actor I had to keep it a secret,” Takei said last year. This makes the fact that Sulu can just plainly and openly live his life in this way very poetic, because it’s something that the original performer that inhabited the role couldn’t do for a long, long time. “Back then I couldn’t marry a white person — that was against the law here, miscegenation. But now I am married to a white dude. So we have changed.

One could argue that the fact that this has become a story that’s circulating worldwide contradicts the production’s noble intent. At this point, it’s unclear who leaked to the press what was supposed to be a very simple, matter-of-fact moment in STAR TREK BEYOND, but it clearly demonstrates that there are still definite boundaries to overcome when it comes to equality and inclusion.

STAR TREK BEYOND arrives in theaters on July 22.

SOURCE: Herald Sun