Star Trek Beyond writer Simon Pegg is paying homage to one of the series' most beloved actors, George Takei, by introducing the character as gay, according to The Herald Sun.
In an interview with the Australian newspaper, John Cho, who will reprise his role as Sulu in Star Trek Beyond, said that it was writer Simon Pegg's decision to make the character gay as a nod to Takei. Cho said he appreciated that they weren't making a big deal out of it, even though it was a momentous occasion. Cho added that he hopes, as even more progress is made with LGBT issues, that people won't "politicize one's personal orientations."
Takei portrayed the character for three seasons during the show's initial run from 1966-1969. Although the character's sexuality was never discussed on the show, Takei has been an advocate for the LGBT community and has become one of its most prominent voices. In Beyond, fans will be introduced to Sulu, his partner and their daughter.
Star Trek is one of the biggest series to reveal that a major character is gay, but it's not the only franchise setting out to make its characters more diverse. J.J. Abrams said back in February that Star Wars would eventually get its own openly gay character.
Star Trek Beyond hits theaters July 22.