(EDGE) George Takei caused a stir this summer when he expressed how he felt after learning that the "Star Trek" character Hikaru Sulu would be revealed as gay in the new film "Star Trek Beyond."
Takei, who originated the role of Sulu in the "Star Trek" television series in the 60s, said making the character gay was "really unfortunate" because it fooled Star Trek cannon and was a "twisting of [creator] Gene [Roddenberry]'s creation." Simon Pegg, who co-wrote the "Beyond" and plays Scotty in the film, along with other cast and crew, fired back, saying Sulu's revelation was an homage to Takei, who is openly gay and an LGBT rights activist.
"He's right, it is unfortunate, it's unfortunate that the screen version of the most inclusive, tolerant universe in science fiction hasn't featured an LGBT character until now," Pegg told the Guardian this summer. "[Director] Justin Lin, [co-writer] Doug Jung and I loved the idea of [the gay character] being someone we already knew because the audience has a pre-existing opinion of that character as a human being, unaffected by any prejudice."
Takei has now seen "Beyond" and hasn't changed his stance. He also said he didn't like the way Sulu's gayness was depicted on screen.
"They talked about Sulu becoming gay, but it was such a tentative thing ... Shakespeare said it: Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing," he told Digital Spy.
At one point in the film, Sulu, played by John Cho, can be seen with his husband and child. Takei said the moment should have been more explicit.
"Sulu comes back, picks up the little girl and hugs her, and then puts his arm around a guy and they walk off ... not even a kiss. Just hugging the baby and arm around the guy... and it's over," he said.
In a feature story for Vulture, Cho said a kiss between the two men was cut from the film.
"It wasn't like a make-out session," he said. "We're at the airport with our daughter. It was a welcome-home kiss. I'm actually proud of that scene, because it was pretty tough. Obviously, I just met the kid, and then Doug is not an actor. I just wanted that to look convincingly intimate. We're two straight guys and had to get to a very loving, intimate place. It was hard to do on the fly. We had to open up. It came off well, in my view."
Takei told Digital Spy if Roddenberry wanted to make a character gay, he would have done so in an "really imaginative" way.
"He would've created a gay character who has his own history in this kind of society and explored what kind of issues he would have to deal with, and how he would've expressed himself, and how society would've dealt with him," he told the publication. "All those potentials are there - and yet..."