WHO WAS HIKARU SULU? A STAR TREK PERSONNEL FILE REPORT
"May the Great Bird of the galaxy bless your planet!" -Hikaru Sulu
Hikaru Sulu was born in the year 2237 on Earth in the city of San Francisco. A private man, not much is known about his childhood or parents. During his childhood, he grew to love and study botany.
He entered Starfleet Academy in the late 2250s where he went into the pilot’s program as well as studying astrophysics and botany.
He left the academy and started his service under Captain James Kirk on the USS Enterprise in 2265.
Enterprise – First Tour
He served in the Science Division, as the head of the Astrosciences and attended senior staff briefings, including one discussing the effects of crossing the galactic barrier, especially on a crewman named Gary Mitchell, whose brain was significantly affected causing him to develop exponentially increasing mental abilities.
Sulu continued to excel at his duties, becoming a Lieutenant, Command Division officer, and Senior Helmsman in 2266. He was on the bridge when an object on a collusion course was spotted. The object was destroyed but a new, larger one was spotted. The current navigator, Dave Bailey, was so shocked by the new object, that he did not respond to orders, and Sulu instead responded. The object continued to advance but was actually a ruse for a captured Federation ship, the Fesarius, under the control of an alien named Balok. Dave Bailey chose to leave the Enterprise to act as an envoy to Balok.
Sulu was part of a six person survey mission on the planet Alfa 177. A transporter accident caused Sulu and 3 others to be left on the planet’s chilly surface while the transporter was being repaired. Temperatures continued to decline, revealing Sulu’s wit and love for coffee and rice wine. Using phasers to heat rocks didn’t work long, and the phasers eventually stopped functioning. The crew huddling under thermal blankets suffering temperatures as low as 117 below zero before they were rescued. Dr. McCoy treated the men for severe exposure and frostbite.
Sulu’s love of botany helped expose a shape shifter from M-113. He was taking care of his prized carnivorous plant he called “Gertrude” when Yeoman Janice Rand came in with a tray of a food for him. She was being followed by a crewman named Green who had followed her and was acting strangely. Gertrude the plant started reacting strongly towards Green, which had never happened before. They soon found another crewman dead, drained of salt, in the hallway. “Green” met his end soon after.
Sulu, like the rest of the crew, fell under the influence of the Psi 2000 Polywater infection. He was attempting to prevent Lieutenant Tormolen from stabbing himself who was also infected. Sulu’s infection took the form of him believing he was the reincarnation of D'Artagnan (from Alexander Dumas’ “The Three Musketeers”) and accosting fellow crew members with his foil. He became so embroiled in his delusion that on the bridge he challenged Kirk, believing him to be Richelieu, the main villain from the novel. He viewed Uhura as needing his protection as a “fair maiden”. She responded, “Sorry, neither” and broke free of his grip. He was finally subdued by Spock with a nerve pinch. Dr. McCoy developed an antidote and the crew was restored.
In 2267, with his experience as combat officer, Sulu started to take an authoritative role including command of the ship. He did so often from the helm. One such instance was when the Enterprise dealt with a Gorn starship above the Federation observation outpost on Cestus III. He took command when the Enterprise almost battled with the Klingons but both sides were stopped by the non-corporeal Organians. They affected the consoles making them too hot to touch, including the Captain’s Chair that Sulu was sitting in.
That year was when the Enterprise accepted a new chief navigator, Ensign Pavel Chekov. The two would become close, lifelong friends enjoying many adventures together.
When an alien being called Apollo interrupted all the power sources on the Enterprise, Sulu was able to render assistance by rerouting the transmission circuits to produce enough power to destroy his “temple” to free the ship with the phasers.
An alien named Sylvia overtook Sulu and controlled him mentally to near disaster on the planet Pyris VII. While under her spell, he attempted to kill Kirk and Spock. He was freed from this mind control when Kirk was able to destroy Sylvia’s power source.
In 2268 the Enterprise discovered the USS Exeter in orbit above the planet Omega IV. Sulu took command of the Enterprise while the away team, that included the Captain and Spock, investigated the ship then the planet. They found the crew except for the Captain had died and turned into basic minerals. Captain Ronald Tracey was attempting to interfere with the natives on the planet in violation of the Prime Directive. Tracey stole the away team’s communicators as well and hid them. Spock was finally able to contact Sulu and get reinforcements to arrest Tracey.
Sulu fell under the control of the alien empowered children of the Starnes Exploration Party. An alien named Gorgan whose intended target was the planet Marcus XII and universal domination, had the children make Sulu change course. It lead to the deaths of two crewmen when the transporter lost lock on them with the movement of the ship away from the planet they had been orbiting. The control was so good that Sulu didn’t believe Kirk when he said the Enterprise wasn’t in orbit. The Children’s mind control was eventually broken and Sulu was released from their power.
In 2269, Sulu had become a specialist in the areas of navigation and weapons. His navigational skills were put to the test with a black star, Questar M-17, whose powerful gravitational pull had trapped the Enterprise. After several attempts to escape by reversing engines failed, Kirk ordered Sulu to go forward and orbit the star, which worked, saving them from the black star. Now in orbit the Enterprise discovered a derelict and ancient insectoid ship. Kirk, McCoy, Spock, and Scott beamed over to investigate the ship leaving Sulu in command for the fourth time in his career.
As the crew returned, the transport beam over was interrupted and almost lost. The crew was saved but a stowaway came with them in the form of an ancient magnetic organism. The organism infiltrated the Enterprises’ systems and caused the destruction of the other ship. Kirk tricked the alien organism into believing that Kirk was going to crash the ship. That bought the ruse to an end and the organism left the ship, to orbit the black star forever alone.
The Final Frontier
In 2270, the Enterprise's five-year mission came to an end. Sulu returned to Earth, where he married and had a daughter, Demora, who would take her father’s old spot at the helm in 2293. He was also promoted to lieutenant commander.
He joined the also promoted, Kirk, who had attained Rear Admiral, to serve under him and help the Enterprise deal with the V'ger crisis. He helmed the newly refitted Enterprise through near disasters with asteroids and wormholes while dealing with the mysterious spacecraft.
By 2285, Sulu is now a Commander Sulu. He assists in Lieutenant junior grade Saavik's Kobayashi Maru scenario at Starfleet Training Command. He also is part of the training mission that is derailed by Khan Noonien Singh and his attempted theft of the Genesis device. The damage Khan does to the Enterprise is severe and comes at the cost of Spock’s life to save the crew.
Sulu is part of the theft of the Enterprise from Space Dock to save Spock, who had been revived by the strange energies of the Genesis device. The cost of saving Spock was great, as the Enterprise was destroyed by crashing into the transformed planet.
Now aboard and helming a commandeered Klingon Bird of Prey, Sulu pilots it back to Earth to face the consequences of their actions. As they approach, Earth is attacked by an alien probe that is trying to communicate with humpback whales. Unfortunately for the Earth, humpbacks have been extinct for quite some time. Sulu piloted the Klingon ship, using a slingshot move to go back in time to 1986 where there are still whales to rescue.
Sulu stays with Scott and McCoy to alter the ship’s cargo bay to hold 2 whales. They visit a plexiglass plant where he spots a Huey 204, an aircraft which he had a lot of admiration for when he was younger. Sulu convinces the pilot to let him borrow it and used the Huey to carry the enormous panes of plexiglass procured by his team. He flies it across San Francisco, to Golden Gate Park. After riding in the Huey, Sulu had difficulty remembering how to fly the Bird-of-Prey, claiming he was just so used to flying the Huey.
By saving the Earth, their earlier court-martials are dismissed. Given out new assignments, Sulu had been sure he had been assigned to the USS Excelsior. However, he was assigned to the newly commissioned USS Enterprise-A, which delighted him.
Sybok, Spock’s half-brother, commandeered the Enterprise-A on his quest to find "Sha Ka Ree”. On their return to the Enterprise-A, Sulu finally was able to pilot a shuttle into the bay manually. When informed of this, Kirk responded, "He's good… Really” to assure the passengers. Sybok coerced Sulu into his beliefs and even helps Sybok hunt down Kirk, Spock, and McCoy. He was unsuccessful. It is the Klingons and Spock who ultimately save the day, destroying the entity Sybok had been searching for.
In 2290, Commander Sulu becomes Captain Sulu, as he is given command of the USS Excelsior.
In 2293, the Excelsior had nearly finished its shake-down cruise of a three-year mission that involved cataloging gaseous planetary anomalies in the Beta Quadrant. The ship encountered a strong subspace shock wave resulting from the destruction of the Klingon moon Praxis. The Klingon Empire desperate for peace and assistance was forced to negotiate peace with the Federation.
During these negotiations, an assassin boards the Klingon’s ship, killing the Klingon Chancellor Gorkon, and frames the Enterprise’s Captain Kirk and Dr. McCoy. They are sentenced to lifelong prison sentences at Rura Penthe.
Sulu, violating strict Starfleet orders, mounts a rescue of Kirk and McCoy. A young Ensign named Tuvok interjects his opinion on the violation and is ignored.
To obscure their approach, Sulu orders his ship to use the Azure Nebula, unfortunately, the Klingon Captain Kang was waiting in the nebula. The battle that ensued results in the first death on his watch. The Excelsior ignites the sirillium gas in the nebula as they exited it, but alas the Excelsior is forced back into Federation space by the arrival of 3 more Klingon battle cruisers.
Sulu is not done yet and arrives with the Enterprise-A at Khitomer to battle with the Klingon, General Chang, and his prototype Bird-of-Prey. They also stop co-conspirator, Fleet Admiral Cartwright at the conference.
Captain Sulu was honored at Starfleet Headquarters with a holographic image.