Saturday, July 9, 2016

Topic Of The Day: Sulu To Be Gay In Star Trek Beyond


I wasn't going to post this immediately after the story broke out because I wanted to give my readers a bit of a breather regarding the whole diversity issue. But I wanted to share my thoughts on the story regardless.

Apparently, the character of Sulu from Star Trek will be revealed as a homosexual in the upcoming Star Trek Beyond as a way to honor George Takei who originated the character back in the 1960's series and is openly gay. But apparently, Takei himself isn't fond of the idea. 

Now as I have mentioned before, representation in Hollywood blockbusters is something I really want to see. As a gay man, I want to see my community represented on the big screen and as actual, well-realized characters rather than side comic relief and whatnot. I am glad that they have a gay character in the film. However, I'm still on the fence about this. 

When George Takei said why he's not fond the idea, he did say he's glad they have a gay character represented. But he felt that they didn't have to make a character already established as straight into a homosexual and they could've created an original gay character. 

In fact, I fear that by making Sulu gay, some fans will start to scream "Agenda!" and that this is all for political reasons. Even if that isn't the reason why this decision is made, look at the backlash for the upcoming Ghostbusters reboot with people screaming "Feminist agenda!" and I don't want to see a similar backlash hit this film.

Also, with Iron Man now being a black woman in the comics, Thor also a woman, Captain America now a black man, and the Hulk a Korean-American, even Marvel fans may wonder the same thing. 

That's why I think comic book writers and even writers of film adaptations of beloved fanboy properties should perhaps write more original characters that allow more representation. We've seen a recent trend of female heroines in Star Wars films as well as characters played by people of color. But those actors are playing new characters in an already established universe. There's speculation as to whether the character of Poe Dameron, played by Oscar Isaac, will be revealed as gay or bisexual. But Poe is an original character so they can go any avenues in which they choose. I suppose they could go in a different avenue for already established character like Luke Skywalker. But that would probably scream "Agenda!" to some fans.

But overall, even if I'm not 100% on board with the decision to make Sulu gay because they could easily write an original gay character for the film, it's not a decision I'm completely upset with. I do give the writers and filmmakers credit for trying to allow more representation.

Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section about what you think of this decision. Thanks for reading!