Hikaru Sulu. (George Takei). Legendary Starfleet officer who was helmsman on the original U.S.S. Enterprise under the command of Captain James Kirk. Hikaru Sulu would later become the captain of his own ship, the U.S.S. Excelsior.

Hikaru Sulu was born in San Francisco on Earth in 2237. As a boy, Hikaru read hard-boiled detective fiction from the 1950's and he began learning all he could about the ancient firearms that featured so prominently in those tales. By adulthood he had a collection of rare specimens and was a recognized expert on the subject of small arms. This knowledge came in handy on occassion. ("Shore Leave" [TOS], "Slaver Weapon" [TAS]). In high school, Hikaru suffered an injury to his back, which he recovered from completely. Upon discharge from the hospital, his physician suggested that he take up fencing to regain his posture and to strengthen his overall physique. While reluctant at first, Hikaru later found that he liked the excellent aerobic workout that fencing afforded and the swordplay pleasantly reminded him of some of his favorite characters out of Earth history, namely the French Musketeers and the Japanese Samurai. Sulu later became Starfleet Academy fencing team captain, and won the championship four years running. He would continue to use fencing for exercise and as an outlet for his frustrations for the rest of his life. Sulu also took up running for exercise as it was not always possible to arrange for a fencing partner, especially when word got out about how good he was.

Sulu grew up in the teaming metropolis of San Francisco, and throughout his life he considered himself a city slicker. He felt much more comfortable in an urban setting than in the country. Sulu was an avid botanist and spent much of his off hours tending to his rare and delicate plants which he had collected from all over Federation space.

Sulu entered Starfleet academy in 2255 majoring in physics. His choice of major was in no small way due to his father being a physicist. Hikaru had a good relationship with his father, and usually acceded to his wishes. Hikaru graduated with honors in 2259. After a number of assignments to smaller Starfleet vessels, in 2264, Lieutenant Junior Grade Sulu was assigned to the U.S.S. Enterprise as the vessel's staff physicist. He excelled in the position but quickly learned that the real excitement took place on the bridge. In 2266, Lieutenant Sulu requested and received a transfer from Sciences to Command section and gladly put on the gold shirt as the Enterprise's Helm Officer. On most starships of that time, the Helm Officer and the Tactical/Weapons Officer were two different individuals, but Sulu's love of weapons raised in him a desire to assume the position of Tactical/Weapons Officer in addition to his helmsman duties. Captain Kirk never regretted giving both of those vital jobs to Hikaru Sulu. Years later when the Enterprise returned from its five-year mission, Sulu would be revered as a legend for his cool efficiency, quick thinking and professionalism as the Helm/Weapons officer of that great starship.

During his time as the ship's helmsman, Sulu met young Ensign Pavel Chekov in 2267. He and Sulu hit it off well even though it was Chekov that Kirk subsequently took under his wing instead of Sulu. But Sulu held no grudges, especially since it was not Chekov's fault. The two became life-long friends.

The five-year mission of the Enterprise under Captain James Kirk was quite eventful for Sulu and the rest of the crew. In 2266, on stardate 1704.2, Sulu came under the effects of the Psi 2000 virus, during which time he fancied himself a reincarnation of D'Artagnan, emperilling other crewmembers with a fencing foil.

In 2267, for the first time in his career, Hikaru Sulu traveled back in time to visit Earth's past. On stardate 3113.2 the U.S.S. Enterprise was accidently sent into the past by a near collision with a blackhole, and the ship was detected as an unidentified flying object in Earth's atmosphere. Captain Kirk and Lieutenant Sulu beamed down to retrieve Air Force photographic evidence of the Enterprise. ("Tomorrow Is Yesterday" [TOS]). On stardate 3156.2, Sulu was temporarily absorbed by the Body of Landru followers. In this brainwashed state, Sulu had no memory of his life in Starfleet. ("Return of the Archons" [TOS]). On stardate 3417.3, Sulu and the rest of the Enterprise's crew was overcome by the effects of the spores on Omicron Ceti III. Sulu deigned to leave Starfleet and live on the planet. ("This Side of Paradise" [TOS]). A hostile parallel universe is discovered in late 2267 in which Sulu was the head of security aboard the Imperial Starship Enterprise in an evil Terran Empire. ("Mirror, Mirror" [TOS]).

Sulu and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise encountered Klingon Commander Kang in 2268. Sulu as captain of the Excelsior, later encountered Kang in the Azure Nebula in 2293.

In 2269, on stardate 1254.4, the crew of the Enterprise learned that they had magical powers while near the galactic center. While there, Sulu conjured up a beautiful woman out of thin air. ("The Magicks of Megas-Tu"). On stardate 5577.3, while in a miniaturized state, Sulu broke his leg from a fall on the bridge. The crew of the Enterprise had been reduced in size by spiroid epsilon waves emanating from a planet that was the location of the Terratin colony. ("The Terratin Incident"). Later on stardate 4187.3, Sulu, Spock and Uhura, took part in a mission to transport a Slaver stassis box to starbase 25. After all three were abducted by the Kzinti crew of the Traitor's Claw, Sulu was instrumental in ascertaining that the slaver device found within the stassis box was in fact the weapon of an espionage agent. ("The Slaver Weapon").

In 2270, Sulu, McCoy and Uhura became trapped in the holographic recreation room when the ship's computer began exhibiting aberrant behavior following the ship's passage through an energy cloud. ("The Practical Joker"). Later that year on stardate 6770.3 the Enterprise entered an anti-matter universe. The crew of the ship experienced accelerated reverse aging and Sulu was reduced to infancy. After the starship returned to normal space, Sulu and the crew were returned to their normal ages by use of the ship's transporters. ("The Counter-Clock Incident").

Upon returning to Earth in late 2370, the Enterprise entered spacedock for an extended refit. At this time Sulu recieved a promotion to Lieutenant Commander. It was soon after their arrival home, while Sulu and Chekov were on vacation, that Sulu met Susan Ling. She was the fiercely independant and beautiful firebrand that would become the mother of his daughter, Demora. Susan Ling entered his life as a mystery woman, which is what she remained. Unknown to Sulu, while she was off world Susan Ling bore him a daughter in 2371. That same year the Enterprise left spacedock and embarked on a second five-year mission under the command of now Admiral James T. Kirk. Ever the explorer, Lieutenant Commander Sulu signed on and was again at the ship's helm.

After a voyage every bit as exciting as the first, the legendary starship returned to Earth in 2276. In 2278, Sulu was offered the assignment as first officer of the Soyuz-class U.S.S. Bozeman (NCC-1941) under the command of Captain Morgan Bateson, which he gladly accepted. Shortly before he was to report for duty, however, Sulu learned that he had a daughter and that Susan Ling, the child's mother, had died of Sakuro's disease. Sulu made the decision to turn down the posting on the Bozeman and stay on Earth to raise his daughter. He had always wanted a family, but as often happens with men of action, they seldom get around to starting a family. Sulu was lucky, he would have the great fortune of knowing what it was like to have a child. A joy which cannot be explained to persons without children. Hikaru took a teaching position at the Starfleet Academy in San Francisco and adopted seven year old Demora Ling as his legal daughter. Demora was very much her mother's daughter, growing up to be a very forthright and intelligent young lady. Sulu's good friend, Chekov, played an important part in the upbringing of Demora, filling in for him whenever he was called off planet. Chekov was such a family friend that in a very real sense, Demora may not have had a mother, but she did have two fathers. Also stationed in San Francisco, was former Enterprise crewmember and friend of Hikaru, Janice Rand. She kept in touch with all members of the original Enterprise crew, and helped Sulu on a number of occassions when the upbringing of his daughter required a woman's touch. Sulu did not push his daughter when it came to career choices. In 2281, at her insistance, Hikaru took twelve-year-old Demora to Starfleet Academy where she met Admiral Kirk. So affected was she that after the visit Demora was bound and determined to enter Starfleet.

Hikaru, as part of his Academy teaching duties, again served aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise, this time under the command of Captain Spock. During a cadet training cruise in 2285, the ship became embroiled in a conflict between Admiral James Kirk and former 20th-century tyrant Kahn Noonian Singh. The Enterprise was officially retired after being damaged in the encounter. Later that year, Kirk rounded up most of the original Enterprise senior staff to steal the ship out of mothballs and go on a mission to restore Spock's katra to his body which was alive and well on the Genesis planet. The mission was successful but the original Enterprise was ultimately destroyed.

In 2286, on stardate 8390, an alien space probe of unknown origin came to Earth in order to communicate with humpback whales, which unfortunately had become extinct by that time. The probe wrought great environmental havoc on the planet. Admiral James Kirk and his shipmates traveled back in time to 1986 to bring two humpback whales to 2286. The alien probe communicated with the whales and then left the Earth in peace. During his visit to Earth in 1986, Sulu met his great-great-great-great-grandfather when he was a seven-year-old living in San Francisco. ("STAR TREK IV: The Voyage Home") In gratitude for his saving of the Earth, Starfleet gave Kirk command of a second Consitution-class Starship Enterprise (NCC-1701-A).

In 2287, Sybok, Spock's half brother, commandeered the U.S.S. Enterprise-A. He did this with the help of several members of the crew, including Commander Sulu, who had been profoundly influenced by Sybok. ("STAR TREK V: The Final Frontier").

In 2290 Demora Sulu entered the Academy. That same year, Hikaru Sulu was promoted to the rank of captain and was offered the command of the Starship Excelsior (NCC-2000). The ship then embarked on a three-year mission to chart gaseous anomolies in the Beta Quadrant. Lieutenant Commander Janice Rand was assigned as the ship's Communications Officer at Hikaru Sulu's request. (STAR TREK VI: The Undiscovered Country).

In 2293, upon successful completion of their mission in the Beta Quadrant, the crew of the Excelsior encountered a subspace shock wave resulting from the accidental destruction of the Klingons' chief energy-producing moon, Praxis. Captain Sulu communicated with the Klingons and offered them assistance. This offer was refused. A short while later Klingon Chancellor Gorkon was assassinated and Captain James Kirk and Dr. Leonard McCoy were accused of the crime and were taken to the Klingon Homeworld to be tried. (STAR TREK VI: The Undiscovered Country). Against Starfleet orders, Captain Sulu decided to mount a rescue of Kirk and McCoy. Junior science officer Ensign Tuvok confronted Captain Sulu about the breach of orders but to no avail. To conceal the Excelsior's approach to Qo'noS, Sulu ordered the Excelsior through the Azure Nebula, and it was there that he encountered a Klingon Battle Cruiser commanded by Captain Kang. In the ensuing battle, junior science officer Dmitri Valtane was fatally injured. To evade Kang, Sulu ordered that the volatile sirillium gas in the nebula be ignited. After escaping the Klingons, Captain Sulu reconsidered the situation and aborted the rescue mission. Captain Sulu never entered the incident into his official log. ("Flashback" [VGR]).

Captain Sulu and the Excelsior later played a key role in the Khitomer Peace Conference of 2293 by assisting the U.S.S. Enterprise-A in its battle with General Chang's prototype Bird-of-Prey and by preventing the assassination of Klingon Chancellor Azetbur. (STAR TREK VI: The Undiscovered Country).

Later that year, the Excelsior-class U.S.S. Enterprise-B was commissioned under the command of Captain John Harriman. Shortly afterwards, Ensign Demora Sulu graduated from the Academy and was assigned to the Enterprise-B as helmsman. (STAR TREK: Generations).

Due to Hikaru Sulu's illustrious career, a holographic portrait of him was hung in Starfleet Headquarters.

In 2350, while he was patrolling the Cardassian border, Captain Hikaru Sulu met a young man named Chakotay, who lived on a colony in the area. After some discussions, Sulu recommended him for Starfleet Academy. ("Tattoo" [VGR]).

Images of Hikaru Sulu spanning 2264 - 2350




Visit the Official George Takei Homepage

Actor George Takei has written his memoirs, To The Stars: The Autobiography of George Takei - STAR TREK's Mr. Sulu, which was published in 1994. Mr. Takei's book is an excellent read and is especially noteworthy for its socially-important and long-overdue treatment of life in the unconstitutional internment camps where Japanese persons living in the U.S. were interred during World War II. This book is a must-read for Sulu fans and the civic minded. The book is available in a trade paperback which can be ordered online from Amazon.com.

  Fan letters to Mr. Takei may be sent to:

George Takei
Hosato Enterprises, Inc.
PMB 41
419 North Larchmont Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90004