However, George Takei, who is openly gay and played Sulu in the original 1960s TV series by creator Gene Roddenberry, wasn't too pleased.
"I'm delighted that there's a gay character," Takei said, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "Unfortunately, it's a twisting of Gene's creation, to which he put in so much thought. I think it's really unfortunate."
Takei later said he always saw Sulu as a straight character and would have preferred that the team behind the Star Trek film reboots create an entirely new LGBT character for the franchise.
Simon Pegg, who plays engineer Scotty in Beyond and co-wrote the movie, disagreed with Takei.
"We could have introduced a new gay character," Pegg said in a statement, "but he or she would have been primarily defined by their sexuality, seen as the 'gay character,' rather than simply for who they are, and isn't that tokenism?"
Pegg felt strongly about having a character that audiences had already come to now be openly gay, so that sexuality was "just one of many personal aspects, not the defining characteristic," he said.