Actors Simon Pegg and Zachary Quinto have “respectfully” responded to George Takei’s comments regarding the sudden sexual preference reveal of Hikaru Sulu in the soon to be released Star Trek Beyond.
In an interview published by The Hollywood Reporter on Thursday, which was noted by the Inquisitr, Takei mentioned both Pegg, who is noted as a screenwriter for the upcoming sequel, and “Beyond” director Justin Pegg, for disrespecting Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry by making their version of Sulu (played by John Cho) gay in the new film.
“I have huge love and respect for George Takei,” Pegg expressed through The Guardian on Friday, by way of a public statement. “His heart, courage and humor are an inspiration. However, with regards to his thoughts on our Sulu, I must respectfully disagree with him.”
“He is right — it is unfortunate that the screen version of the most inclusive, tolerant universe in science fiction hasn’t featured an LGBT character until now,” Pegg continued. “We could have introduced a new gay character, but he or she would have been primarily defined by their sexuality, rather than simply for who they are, and isn’t that tokenism?”
Takei’s main concern for the Sulu now being gay seemed to stem from the overall narrative of the Star Trek saga and not just the idea of inclusion for its newer segments. As explained in the THR piece, another character in Star Trek Beyond, Sulu’s daughter, Damora, was said to be conceived following a one-night stand with a woman that was noted in a 1995 companion novel, The Captain’s Daughter. In Star Trek Beyond, no mention of the canonical piece of information seems to be included, which might bring forth concerns of retroactive continuity, or “retconning.”
Furthermore, all three connected to the change — Pegg, Lin, and Cho — seemed to indicate to Takei that they had changed their minds on the idea once they all personally connected with the activist and alum in 2015 and 2016.
“I really tried to work with these people when at long last the issue of gay equality was going to be addressed,” Takei explained in his THR sit-down. “I thought after that conversation with Justin [Lin], that was going to happen. Months later, when I got that email from Simon Pegg, I was kind of confused. He thinks I’m a great guy? Wonderful. But what was the point of that letter? I interpreted that as my words having been heard.”
Also taking a negative, yet hopeful stance against Takei’s thoughts is Zachary Quinto, who plays Spock in JJ Abrams’ version of the continuing epic. Sitting down with Pedestrian.TV to promote Star Trek Beyond, Quinto, who like Takei, is openly gay, strongly hopes that the 79-year-old actor will change his mind on the development.
“As a member of the LGBT community myself, I was disappointed by the fact that George was disappointed,” he stated. “My hope is that eventually George can be strengthened by the enormously positive response from especially young people who are heartened by and inspired by this really tasteful and beautiful portrayal of something that I think is gaining acceptance and inclusion in our societies across the world, and should be.”
Pegg’s thoughts mirrored that of Quinto’s.
“Whatever dimension we inhabit, we all just want to be loved by those we love, and I love George Takei,” he says. “I can’t speak for every reality, but that must surely true of this one. Live long and prosper.”
Star Trek Beyond opens in theaters on July 20.
[Photos by Cindy Ord/Stringer/Getty Images and Francois Nel/Getty Images]