John Cho: “Sulu has evolved in Star Trek Beyond”

Star Trek Beyond star John Cho on what we can expect from Sulu

Although a lot of the promotional material for Star Trek Beyond has suggested an attempt to evoke the original crew’s adventures, upon speaking to actor John Cho, who reprises his role as Hikaru Sulu, this isn’t necessarily the case. These films, Cho states, are different from those featuring the original series actors in that the feeling is much more of an ensemble adventure:

“I love the older movies, but I think maybe the ethos is a little different, and they certainly seem to, from my vantage point, work hard at giving everybody a moment and incorporating everyone. It certainly makes for more difficult and intricate storytelling, but that, to me, is the achievement of all three films. I’m always amazed at how many threads they keep going.”

One of the more interesting facets of the new movie will be the chance to see new pairings of characters who haven’t interacted that much previously, one of which being Sulu and Uhura (Zoe Saldana).

“For Sulu and Uhura in this, it’s an interesting relationship,” says Cho. “Obviously, we’re in the midst of doing stuff together, but there’s a little mining of the relationship between the two. We sort of operated as a wheel in the previous two films, which is to say Captain Kirk was at the centre of the wheel and we were all spokes leading to him. It’s interesting to mix it up.”

Of all the characters, Sulu is arguably the one who has suffered the most from lack of screen time. When he has appeared, however, he’s stood out. From his drill-platform fencing match in the original film to his gravitas-filled speech in Into Darkness, he doesn’t waste a scene. Happily, it looks like we’ll get more of these in Beyond.

“To me, there has definitely been an evolution in Sulu. In the first film, it was like an evolution from the TV series where you got to learn a lot about him while you saw him be much more active than he was on the show. And then you saw his leadership abilities take a leap in Star Trek Into Darkness when he took command briefly. And in Star Trek Beyond, you see him as a family man with personal stakes in this battles that involves the universe. So there’s definitely an arc there.”

Star Trek Beyond will be released in cinemas on 22 July 2016. You can download Star Trek: The Complete Manual from now. For more news about the latest movies, pick up the new issue of SciFiNow.