John Cho, 44, actor in the upcoming Star Trek Beyond, has revealed on the movie's promotional tour that his character, Hikaru Sulu, is an openly gay man. The film is set to be released July 22 and will feature Sulu with a same sex partner. Although this is a major event in franchise history, it is not a major plot point in the film. John Cho commented he liked the approach because they didn’t make a “big thing out of it.”

The decision to change Sulu’s character was an ode to the original Sulu, George Takei. Takei played in the 1960s Star Trek series, and became openly gay in 2005. Takei is a proud spokesperson and advocate for LGBT rights.

However on July 7th, when asked about the character orientation change, Takei expressed it was “really unfortunate.” Takai believes it detracts from Gene Ruddenberg’s original vision of Sulu.

Simon Pegg, writer, and star, countered, stating, “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. We could have introduced a new gay character, but he or she would have been primarily defined by their sexuality, seen as the ‘gay character,’ rather than simply for who they are, and isn’t that tokenism?”