8 Jul – The "Star Trek" franchise now has its first ever openly gay character, and it is none other than Captain Hikaru Sulu.
In the upcoming "Star Trek Beyond", the character portrayed by Korean-American actor John Cho is revealed to be raising a child with a same-sex partner.
The change of orientation is no doubt a nod to actor George Takei, who famously played the character in the original television series and movies.
Takei admitted he was gay in 2005 and has been happily married to Brad Altman Takei since 2008.
However, Takei is not in full support of Mr. Sulu's sudden coming-out-of-the-closet arc.
Following John Cho's revelation to Australia's Herald Sun, Takei told The Hollywood Reporter, "I think it's really unfortunate."
"I'm delighted that there's a gay character. Unfortunately, it's a twisting of Gene's creation, to which he put in so much thought."
The news of Sulu's coming out was first made known to Takei by Cho himself, followed by director Justin Lin. The 79-year-old actor tried persuading the new "Star Trek" team to honor producer Gene Roddenberry by creating a new character instead.
Unfortunately, he later received another news from Cho, before the latter started the promotional tours for "Beyond", that the new Sulu will indeed be gay in the latest instalment of the movie franchise.
This is not the first time for the franchise to feature gay characters, though these are more prominent in the spinoff novels rather than the feature films. There had also been several guest characters that hinted at same-sex relationships onscreen.
"Star Trek Beyond" ventures into cinemas this 21 July.