Star Trek Beyond, the third film in the revamped Star Trek franchise, will reveal that Enterprise helmsman Hiraku Sulu is gay.
In the movie, viewers learn Sulu is in a long-term same-sex relationship and is raising a daughter.
At a press event in Sydney, Cho revealed that writer Simon Pegg and director Justin Lin decided to give Sulu a same-sex partner to pay homage to George Takei, who played Sulu in the original 1960s series and has become an outspoken advocate for LGBT equality.
“I liked the approach, which was not to make a big thing out it, which is where I hope we are going as a species,” said Cho. “Not to politicize one’s personal orientations.”
In an interview with ET, Cho said at the beginning of Beyond the crew of the Enterprise is feeling homesick “and Sulu has a heartache for his little baby.”
The helmsman actually keeps a photo of his daughter on his console, which Cho admits is unprofessional. “It covers up all the buttons,” he joked.
Sulu’s daughter has appeared in the Star Trek universe before: Ensign Demora Sulu was played by Jacqueline Kim in the film Star Trek: Generations
Back in January, though, Cho teased “there is another revelation that you’ll find out in regards to this baby— but you’ll have to wait to see the movie.”
Fans have long begged producers to include LGBT character in Star Trek films and TV shows.Producer-director Bryan Fuller recently said viewers hoping for representation in CBS’ upcoming Star Trek television series “will be very happy.”
Whether that means Sulu or another character isn’t clear yet.