“Star Trek: Discovery” Casts Michelle Yeoh & Franchise’s First Gay Character
“Star Trek: Discovery” rounds out its cast as new actors beam aboard the project.
It has been confirmed by CBS Access that Michelle Yeoh (“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”) will come aboard the show, which has recently cast two more actors to star in the highly anticipated series. Aside from the casting, the big word was that one of the actors would play the franchise’s first openly gay character from inception to screen.
According to EW, Yeoh is set to play a commanding role as Captain Georgiou, the Starfleet Captain aboard the Starship Shenzhou (although billed as “Captain Han Bo” on IMDB). Actor Doug Jones (“Hellboy”) will play Lieutenant Saru, a Starfleet Science Officer and allegedly a new and unseen alien species in the world of Star Trek. Anthony Rapp (“Road Trip”) will star as Lt. Stamets, cosmic fungus expert and Starfleet Science Officer aboard the Starship Discovery.
Rapp’s Lt. Stamets is allegedly the newly added gay character, which is a substantial move by the creators. Lt. Stamets won’t be the first gay character as the iconic Lt. Sulu, a character dating back to the original cast, was revealed to be gay in the franchise’s latest film installment “Star Trek Beyond.” Although considered a controversial move by some, being more of an afterthought than an original part of Sulu’s history extending back to the franchise’s pioneering series, some fans were ultimately left unsatisfied.
This raises the argument of whether the creators of a popular ongoing franchise should re-write a character’s origins to be more identifiable with a new audience, or intead create an entirely new character with an unique origin from inception. This argument has been debated heavily in the realm of superhero cinema, for example – the casting of Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Zendaya being potentially cast as Mary jane in “Spider-Man Homecoming” and recent reveal that X-Men’s Bobby Drake aka Iceman is gay. Even openly gay actor George Takei, and the originator of the on-screen Lt. Sulu, was critical of “Star Trek Beyond” and their choice to retool Sulu’s past, saying the following:
I hoped instead that Gene Roddenberry’s original characters and their backgrounds would be respected. How exciting it would be instead if a new hero might be created, whose story could be fleshed out from scratch, rather than reinvented. To me, this would have been even more impactful. – George Takei
“Star Trek: Discovery” will take off May 2017 on CBS Access.
Previously reported by EW.com