Thursday, July 7, 2016

Sulu is gay! The retcon of all retcons—or was it?

And the Trek headlines keep comin':

Now comes word from down-under Sydney, from the first true world premiere of Star Trek Beyond (sorry, gold-ticket Comic-Con San Diego, you're only the IMAX world premiere)...

...that Sulu is GAY. 

Gene and Rick and all the rest, trying to be progressive even at their limits of commercial TV in the 60s and even the 80s, always said the point to having a gay character would be that it should not be a major point. And that's apparently what writers Simon Pegg and Doug Jung, director Justin Lin and actor John Cho have done here, per this reporter:
Hikaru Sulu, played by John Cho, is shown in Star Trek Beyond as the loving father of a daughter with a same sex partner. And in typical trailblazing Trek fashion — it’s just not a big deal.
And you though Sulu's cool movie moment for Beyond would be that trailer-glimpsed nod to Demora—an alt-verse spanning fact that did not have to be the same in both timestreams, obviously, but cute and harmless fanservice by Pegg and Lin.

Who cares if they've stolen a little thunder from Bryan Fuller's onrushing new CBS All-Access Trek series, where I'm sure—knowing Bryan, and the annoying time-lag in getting an LGBTQ character finally to onscreen Trek—it is in the offing somehow.

It's an obvious nod and choice to beloved George Takei, who came out himself in 2005...but I'm sitting here realizing that it's far more than that. Don't even be limited by any post-Kelvin Prime/non-Prime distinction: his parents were the same in both universes, yes? And part from the offscreen implications of a daughter Demora, Sulu through all his appearances in TV and film was never even seen fakily paired up with a female other than in a cordial social sense. Certainly not like hot-blooded helm-mate Chekov...or infamous Kirk, pub-crawler Scotty, divorced Southern gentleman McCoy ....and even seven-year Spock. (Oh, and
those Deltan pheromones do it to anybody, deleted scene or not.)
It's the retcon that was there all along—whether or not George had had a behind-the-scenes understanding with Gene and Co. about not portraying Sulu as outwardly heterosexual to begin with. Any of the supporting cast getting that much screen time for any character development was a miracle—and yet even Uhura got a hetero moment with her salt-vampired crewman, much less even Rand and Chapel.

Yes, THIS is much more the kind of surprise I like to keep getting about my Trek as 2016 and #FiveOhFever roll along. Stay tuned... I have a feeling there'll be more.

Including a comment soon from seen with husband Brad at our The Con of Wrath shoot:

1 comment:

Jack Barnes said...

Those of us who watched Star Trek 50 years ago watched it because it was different. We still watch it today because it is still different. A POSITIVE Future is there if we all work toward acceptance and embracing Infinite Diversity.
Once the world gets past all the differences we have we can focus on all the similarities we have and move forward to the future.
Thanks for your great post Mr. N.