It recently was revealed that in Star Trek Beyond, we’ll learn Sulu has a husband. It’s no big deal to the crew of the Enterprise, but it appears to have ruffled a few feathers somewhere, because John Cho revealed Sulu’s big romantic moment got left on the editing room floor.
In a far-reaching interview with Vulture, Cho talks about fame, his Korean heritage, and the process of figuring out Sulu’s personal life for the movie. It turns out a lot went into it, with Cho speaking to George Takei about the decision and pointing out the tricky racial politics. We also learn that Cho insisted he have an Asian husband, who turns out to be Doug Jung, the co-writer of the movie. As for the kiss itself:
I’m actually proud of that scene, because it was pretty tough. 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.
In a way, it’s too bad. Star Trek has struggled with romance, period, which is why Chakotay and Janeway spent seven years building tubs and Picard and Crush spent all that time giving each other moony eyes instead of just kissing already. It’s also struggled with gay characters in particular over its fifty year history, so leaving in the kiss would have been, in its own way, a breakthrough. Maybe in the next one, Mr. Sulu.