The rebooted Star Trek movie series has largely been praised by both fans and critics alike, but the latest trilogy of films has not been without its character and story alterations. One change in particular that has garnered a lot of media attention over the past few weeks is the confirmation of the franchise's first gay character. That character is, of course, none other than U.S.S. Enterprise pilot Mr. Sulu.
This adaptation of the Sulu – as played in the current series by John Cho – has been met with a wide variety of reactions. Some praise the decision, while others feel that it goes against creator Gene Roddenberry's original vision for the character. Even the original actor behind Mr. Sulu, George Takei, has weighed in on the recent announcement. This confirmation has continued to be a major story surrounding the franchise's latest installment Star Trek Beyond, and now it appears as though another Sulu-related headline has emerged.
Star Trek Beyond actor John Cho recently stated in an interview with Vulture that a scene featuring a kiss between Sulu and his husband has been cut from the final version of the film. This news comes weeks after the public reveal that Sulu will be the franchise's first gay character:
It wasn’t like a make-out session. 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.
The 44-year-old actor states that the sequence was shot but unfortunately, left on the cutting room floor. Cho claims that he is "proud" of the work he has put into the scene, but affirms that audiences will not get to see it played out on the big screen. Playing Sulu's husband in the scene is screenwriter Doug Jung.
Much will likely be made of the kiss' omission, but let us not forget that countless scenes are cut from virtually all major films, and for a wide variety of reasons. Editing rooms are littered with unused shots and sequences from movies spanning the decades that, for one reason or another, did not make the final cut. Each of your favorite Blu-rays and DVDs are likely to contain a deleted scene or two. Without much to go off of concerning the reasoning behind why this scene was omitted from the theatrical version of the film, it is hard to say at this point, whether or not it was the right call. Perhaps the scene did not flow well in context with the rest of the Star Trek Beyond story, or maybe the kiss was merely one of a number of short scenes that were hacked off in order to bring the picture's runtime within the desired range of the studio.
While Mr. Sulu's sexuality was never going to be a focal point of the film's plot, it is interesting to hear that a scene featuring the character and his husband was at least shot. Sulu is certainly a key player on board the U.S.S. Enterprise, but his background has not really been explored all that much within the current rebooted series. Perhaps this is a sign that fans should expect to see a larger role from John Cho's Sulu moving forward.
Star Trek Beyond is now playing in U.S. theaters.