The One Thing Star Trek’s George Takei Really Wanted For Sulu But Never Got – SlashFilm


Takei recalled his early days on “Star Trek” and the relief he felt in not playing a broad stereotype. Takei was born in Los Angeles to Japanese parents, but when he began acting professionally in the 1950s, roles for Asian and Asian-American men were limited. In his own words:

“From the very beginning I thought it was a breakthrough opportunity. Just to be able to play a member of the leadership team, without an accent, was hugely important. So many Asians back then were, first of all, stereotypes and spoke with a heavy accent. So I thought I could parlay that into something substantial for the character.”

Sulu’s backstory was never explored in “Star Trek,” although the show’s writers did think to give him a few iconoclastic hobbies. He was a botany enthusiast for one, and he kept his quarters filled with bizarre alien plants that he tended to closely. Sulu was also a fan of vintage firearms, knowing all about their models and functionality. In the episode “Shore Leave,” Sulu fires a classic revolver across a lake, enjoying every shot.

We never learned, however, about Sulu’s family, which irked Takei. It wasn’t until Demora Sulu (Jacqueline Kim) appeared in “Generations” that Trekkies would learn anything on that front:

“I suggested Sulu having a family that he connects with. I suggested a lot of ideas to develop Sulu that never really happened. It was only after I turned down a role in (‘Generations’) that they gave all my lines to a relative that I had lobbied for, my daughter. When the series ended and the films began, I was lobbying for parents, brothers, sisters, lovers, maybe a wife, all of that, but none of it ever happened. I wanted to see Sulu more dimensioned.”

It was a missed opportunity.

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