|"He speaks so well!" - Sulu as Asian anti-stereotype
||[May. 31st, 2009|02:56 am]
Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations
When I watched Star Trek, my initial Enterprise crush was on Sulu. It's not just because he had that compact physique I was so fond of, but also because . . .
And while I think it could be argued that Sulu is completely whitewashed, there's something about the character - or George Takei's acting - that makes me feel like something about Sulu being Asian is incredibly wonderful and unique - something that enhances the character in a real way. I wish I could put my finger on it, though. Any ideas?
- an Asian man had a way of speaking that made everything he said sound like poetry
- the voice of that same Asian man conveyed sensual masculinity
- I mean, seriously, George Takei is like . . . the Asian Barry White
- no stereotypical "Engrish" coming out of his mouth
- nothing he did was an "ancient Chinese secret"
- said, "Don't call me Tiny" after he laid the smack-down!
(OT: Much love to Jet Li - one of my favorite outta wedlock baby daddies)
George Takei could read the back of a cereal box and make it sound sexy as hell/the smartest thing ever.
English is not my first language, so I'm sure I'm missing a lot of the subtleties in his speech patterns, but it struck me that his voice has a lot of gravitas, if it makes sense, but tinged with an undercurrent of wry amusement a lot of the time.
Have you seen the Voyager episode where Tuvok flashes back to his first assignment aboard Captain Sulu's ship? It was my introduction to Sulu, and just Full Of Awesome.
Gravitas. Yes, that's it. I was listening recently to a TV programme where someone was interviewing Takei - and his voice was beautiful.
I mean, seriously, George Takei is like . . . the Asian Barry White
Yeeeeesssss...You're not alone in the Sulu/George Takei love. Another thing that I loved is that in NuTrek, when Kirk asks what Sulu's combat training is, most people assume some sort of Asian martial arts, but he totally subverted that by saying, "Fencing." He didn't add, "...and Kendo" or "...and Judo" just fencing. I hate it when people see Asians and say, "Oh don't bother him, he may karate chop us to death." Not every Asian knows karate/jujutsu/tae bo/shaolin monk style.
Sulu, while he didn't have any real canon love interest that I remember, had a sort of sultry sexiness about him that is often unexplored in American media. The Asian male tends to be desexualized and can't get the girl. Sulu at least got to keep his sexy (in both versions). Maybe there's hope for him getting a girl?
I've got a whole other rant about racefail regarding Asians for a few other movies, but I'll stick to the fandom since this is about Star Trek
My opinion? I'd much rather be jumping into bed with Sulu than Kirk.
It'd be better if he got more ass than Kirk, even though he's discreet about shit.
I like to think that he DOES get as much ass if not more, but discreetly, keeping it his personal business and not making a big deal about it.
There's also the fact that he doesn't HAVE a typical name. Hikaru was added later (by George Takei I think, but don't take my word for it), and Sulu has, well, an L in it. What makes it wonderful (especially given the time) is he's just as American as anyone else on the crew (minus, well, the obvious non-americans). Just because he's Asian doesn't separate him from the group at all.
In shorter words, I concur.