Star Trek script-writer Simon Pegg has defended the decision to portray the character of Hikaru Sulu as openly gay, and has insisted that he and George Takei – the actor who originally played Sulu – haven’t fallen out over the matter.

Speaking at the red carpet premiere in London of Star Trek Beyond on Tuesday (July 12th), Pegg addressed the matter which was revealed at the end of last week, where Takei, himself openly gay and a fervent LGBT rights campaigner, expressed disapproval at the decision to make Sulu, played by John Cho, an openly gay character, insisting that the film’s creators should have written in a new original character.

Simon PeggSimon Pegg at the premiere of 'Star Trek Beyond' in London

“We were emailing the other day, you know it's discussion,” Pegg said, assuring people that he and Takei hadn’t fallen out. “We're adults, we're not catty fighters writing comments to each other on the Internet, we're grown men.”

Takei said it was “unfortunate” that Pegg and director Justin Lin had “twisted” the original character as written by Star Trek’s creator Gene Roddenberry.

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However, on Wednesday, 46 year old actor and writer Pegg took to his personal blog to further explain the justification for making Sulu’s character gay. Scenes from Star Trek Beyond, the third film in the re-booted franchise since 2010, will see him with a male partner.

“With galaxies of respect to the great man [Takei]… …this is not his Sulu,” he wrote. “Cho does not play a young George Takei, nor does he play the same character Takei played in the original series. He is a different Sulu".

“With the Kelvin timeline, we are not entirely beholden to existing canon,” he said in the post. “Canon tells us Sulu was born before the Kelvin incident, so how could his fundamental humanity be altered? Well, the explanation comes down to something very Star Trek-y; the less than simple fact that time is not linear.”

Finally, Pegg said that Roddenberry would be “proud” of the new movie, insisting that the Universe “can mutate and subvert, it is a playground for the new and the progressive and I know in my heart, that Roddenberry would be proud of us for keeping his ideals alive. Infinite diversity in infinite combinations, this was his dream, that is our dream, it should be everybody's.”

Star Trek Beyond is released in cinemas on July 22nd.

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