No, George Takei was not under the influence of Sybok, or Romulan Ale, or Deltan pheromones, or Landru, or spores, or even a virus whose main side effect is swashbuckling. Not this time, at least.
Takei says he is on board with gay Sulu, after the stars who now run the Star Trek franchise spent the past week being as gentle as a pair of gravity boots in their diplomatic disagreement.
“Let me be clear,” reads the Facebook post of the man who originated the role of Starship Enterprise helmsman Hikaru Sulu. Takei writes, he’s “delighted,” “flattered,” appreciates, understands and is “eternally grateful.” He’s apparently now drinking the Klingon Kool-Aid.
Unless you’ve been living under a Horta, you’ve read that a brief scene in the upcoming new movie, Star Trek Beyond, establishes that Sulu is in a same-sex relationship. It’s something actor John Cho, screenwriter and actor Simon Pegg and director Justin Lin thought would be a nice tip of the Starfleet cap to Takei. They figured he’d be honored and delighted.
They figured wrong.
But Takei says his now-famous, exclusive quote to The Hollywood Reporter — in which he called the characterization of Sulu as gay “really unfortunate” — was “misleading.” Yes, it’s all the media’s fault; fire phasers!
A close read of the post by the icon of stage and screen reveals he hasn’t really changed his position. He acknowledges Pegg’s main point that the new movies are set in an alternative timeline, but maintains his preference that Sulu stay straight, as Gene Roddenberry had created him 50 years ago. He repeats his preference that the moviemakers had created a new, fully-developed gay character. But even so, he is mindful that they are all one big happy Star Trek family.
“…while I am flattered that the character of Sulu apparently was selected as an homage to me, this was never about me or what I wanted. It was about being true to Gene’s vision and storytelling.”
“I am eternally grateful to have been part of this incredible and continuing family. I wish John Cho well in the role I once played, and congratulate Simon Pegg on his daring and groundbreaking storytelling.
“I do fully understand and appreciate what they are doing—as ever, boldly going where no one has gone before.”
Read the full text of Takei’s note, below, via Facebook.