- This page details Hikaru Sulu in the primary universe; for the Hikaru Sulu in the mirror universe see Hikaru Sulu (mirror); for the Hikaru Sulu in the Kelvin timeline created by Nero's temporal incursion, see Hikaru Sulu (Kelvin timeline); for the Hikaru Sulu in the mirror universe created by Nero's temporal incursion see Hikaru Sulu (mirror) (Kelvin timeline); for the Hikaru Sulu in all other alternate universes see Hikaru Sulu (alternates).
Early Life and Career
In 2248, Sulu and his family moved from Earth to Ishikawa, on the planet Ganjitsu, located along the Federation-Klingon border. An unexpected Klingon force attacked the colony they lived at. This resulted in the death of a girl Sulu was close friends with. Only many years later, did he finally release this consuming guilt he had harbored. (TOS novelization: The Final Frontier)
By 2251, Sulu was living on Hafjian, a high-gravity planet where the inhabitants were forced to wear Lieber exoskeletons. Years later, Dr. McCoy was concerned that this might cause problems for Sulu after he turned 70. By 2252, Sulu was once again living on Ganjitsu, when he snuck aboard the USS Aerfen to meet Captain Hunter. Sulu was discovered and given a guided tour of the starship. (TOS novel: Enterprise: The First Adventure)
Sulu entered Starfleet Academy in 2255, and quickly developed an aptitude for Spatial Navigation, as well as fencing, in which he became champion for three years running. Hikaru also took up an extra curricular in botany, finally graduating in 2259. This aspect of his hobbies earned him the nickname, "D'Artagnan" six years later. (TOS episode: "The Man Trap"; TOS episode: "The Naked Time")
However, instead of taking a shipboard assignment, Sulu decided to continue his studies, and as a result of his research and publishing an article about "Experimental Subparticle Physics and Their Application to Warp Drive", received a promotion to lieutenant, junior grade in the same year. (ST video game: Starship Creator)
In 2259, Sulu entered Starfleet Command School at the Academy. He entered for the fall semester of that year. He had flown a simulation helicopter, much like the Huey 204 series, while training there for his pilot certificate. (TOS novel: The Kobayashi Maru, TOS movie: The Voyage Home)
Aboard the Enterprise (NCC-1701)
In 2264, Sulu was expecting to be assigned to the USS Aerfen when he received orders to board the USS Enterprise as the ship's helmsman. Although he requested a transfer, this was refused by Captain James T. Kirk, and following the voyage around the Federation Phalanx Sulu decided to remain aboard anyway. (TOS novel: Enterprise: The First Adventure)
- According to TOS comic: "All Those Years Ago...", Sulu was serving aboard the Enterprise under the command of Christopher Pike, prior to Kirk assuming command in 2264.
- According to the elder Spock in TOS novelization: Star Trek, "In both our histories the same crew found its way onto the same ship in a time of ultimate crisis." This may imply that there is an untold story set in the prime timeline in which Kirk's crew faced an extremely serious challenge while still a new and untested unit.
Later that year Sulu transferred to the Astrophysics department and was replaced at the helm by Lieutenant Commander Gary Mitchell. However, Sulu was temporarily thrown back into helm duties by the crisis at Mestiko, as the pulsar ravaging that world threatened to destroy the Enterprise. Following Mitchell's death in 2265, Sulu requested to be transferred to another Constitution-class starship, as he was bored in astrophysics. Rather than losing a much valued officer Captain Kirk offered him the position of helmsman, and Sulu accepted. His mathematics skills carried over into this new field. (TOS episode: "Where No Man Has Gone Before";TOS - Mere Anarchy eBook: Things Fall Apart; TOS - My Brother's Keeper novel: Constitution)
Soon after, Sulu led his first landing party on an uncharted world that held archaeological ruins. A member of Sulu's team accidentally triggered an ancient security system and geologist Vanani Manprasad was killed. Sulu confided with friend and shipmate Janice Rand about his self-doubt as to whether or not he was truly bridge officer material. Sulu got over his doubts after the Captain cleared him of all wrongdoing in the matter and assured him that the helm was still his if he wanted it. (TOS short story: "The Landing Party")
In 2269, Sulu considered applying for a transfer off the Enterprise because he felt like more of a challenge. Kirk realized this and put through a request that Sulu be promoted to Lieutenant Commander. (TOS novel: The Entropy Effect) By the time the refit of the Enterprise was completed, Sulu had been promoted to Lt. Commander. (TOS movie: Star Trek: The Motion Picture)
During the refit Sulu and Pavel Chekov took shore leave on Earth, Chekov convincing Sulu to visit the holiday resort of Demora in the middle of the Sahara desert. At first Sulu was against the idea, but once there he met a mysterious woman calling herself Ling Sui. Sulu wound up getting sucked into Ling's nefarious activities, resulting in the pair of them getting stranded in the middle of the Sahara desert. They spent the night together in an oasis, but after falling asleep, Sulu woke to find Ling had gone. Chekov was able to rescue Sulu in a shuttle, but they found no sign of Ling. (TOS novel: The Captain's Daughter)
Shortly after the encounter with V'Ger, Kirk decided to name Sulu as his second officer, feeling that it would be good command level experience for Sulu. When Spock took personal leave on Vulcan, Sulu stood in as first officer. (TOS novel: Ex Machina) Sulu took the opportunity to tell the story of his Kobayashi Maru test to Kirk, McCoy, Scotty and Chekov while they were stranded aboard a drifting shuttlecraft following an accident. (TOS novel: The Kobayashi Maru) When a child was killed by a plasma grenade during a fight between Klingons and an Enterprise landing party on Cragon V, Weyland, the omnipotent ruler of the planet, punished Kirk by sending Sulu, Scotty and Chekov back in time. Sulu found himself in Japan in 1600, where he swore allegiance to Torii Mototada, the lord of Fushimi Castle, and fell in love with Mototada's concubine, Lady Oneko. Oneko pleaded with Sulu to take her into the mountains and live there with her as a farmer, but Sulu was unwilling to live in hiding and without honor. He brought her to safety in Edo and returned to Fushimi Castle, knowing that the forthcoming siege would result in the deaths of every person there. As the inevitable end of the siege approached, Sulu rode out into the enemy but was returned to the 23rd century by Weyland. (TOS novel: Home is the Hunter)
In 2278 the Enterprise put in for another refit, and during her downtime Sulu was approached by Captain Morgan Bateson and offered the posting of First Officer aboard the USS Bozeman. Sulu accepted the position, but was instead called to Starfleet Medical by Dr. Leonard McCoy, who informed Sulu that Ling Sui, whose real name was Susan Ling, had died and left him a daughter, Demora Ling. At first Sulu planned to send Demora to a boarding school and take the Bozeman posting, but as he grew to know her, he decided to take up fatherhood, accepting a posting at Starfleet Academy with Captain Kirk, so he could remain in San Francisco and care for her. (TOS novel: The Captain's Daughter)
When the Cetacean Probe began damaging Earth's atmosphere in its search for humpback whales, Hikaru Sulu and the senior crew of the late starship Enterprise traveled back in time from 2286 to 1986 to retrieve a pair of humpbacks. While in San Francisco of 1986, Sulu met and spoke in Japanese with a young child - the child believed Sulu to be his uncle. When McCoy asked who the child was, Sulu replied that the child was a distant ancestor of his. Sulu and his colleagues were able to successfully retrieve George and Gracie, and helped bring them back to the 23rd century, saving Earth in the process. His skills at firing the braking thrusters (twice) to escape Sol's gravity proved superior. (TOS novelization: Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)
In late 2289 Commander Sulu was assigned to the USS Excelsior as Executive Officer under Captain Lawrence Styles. Captain Styles treated Commander Sulu coldly, due to his involvement with stealing the USS Enterprise from Spacedock and for the public embarrassment that he and his command crew took. Commander Sulu also was commonly at odds with Lieutenant Commander Meredith Cutler, the Excelsior's Chief of security who had been tapped to be XO before Sulu arrived.
In one of his first missions as Captain, he attended a summit held at the Korvat colony at which Ambassador Curzon Dax used the tactic of angering Klingon delegate Kang in order to get him to move beyond posturing rhetoric. The tactic was successful, but Sulu considered Dax to be a loose cannon. (TLE novel: The Sundered) This would, however, prove to be futile as the Federation/Klingon Peace Talks broke down due to a terrorist attack by the Klingon pirate, the Albino. In the attacks, Captain Styles was killed and Commander Sulu was made acting Captain of Excelsior by Starfleet. (TOS novel: Excelsior: Forged in Fire)
In 2293, Captain Hikaru Sulu expressed his convictions to a young Lieutenant junior grade Tuvok for rushing to aid Kirk and the Enterprise at Camp Khitomer. Sulu's life was saved numerous times (TOS episodes: "The Enemy Within", "The Naked Time", "The Squire of Gothos", "The City on the Edge of Forever", "The Return of the Archons", "Catspaw", "That Which Survives", TAS episode: "The Infinite Vulcan") by Kirk and McCoy - who had just escaped Rura Penthe - and Sulu felt he owed them, even if it risked his career. (VOY episode: "Flashback")
Also in the same year, Sulu took the Excelsior to rescue the USS Ranger that had been caught in the Janus Vortex. During the event, he and his crew were transported into the Mirror universe, where they exchanged places with their counterparts in that reality. After fighting off an attempt to destroy his vessel by Pavel Chekov's mirror counterpart, Sulu took his vessel and crew on a journey to Janus Ultima in order to return to their own universe. To accomplish this, he had to take the ship through Terran Empire space. Whilst on the journey, his ship came under attack from Klingon fighters and a battlecruiser but the arrival of the ISS Renegade-under the command of Captain Kael-forced the Klingons to retreat. Kael then escorted Excelsior to Starbase 9, but was unaware of the fact that the ship has been replaced by counterparts from the primary universe. Arriving at the starbase, Sulu used an aggressive posture to convince the local CO into repairing his ships until they received a communication revealing Sulu to be an enemy. The starbase launched fighters to attack the Excelsior but the crew's own complement of fighters managed to repel the attack. After the repairs were complete, the fighters of the Excelsior disabled the ISS Renegade; allowing Sulu to escape from the Terran base.
Attempting to reach the Klingon border, Sulu's crew crossed into an old weapon testing range where they encountered the M5 Unit, which had taken over four derelict vessels and began attacking the Excelsior in an attempt to protect itself. Warping in four Constitution class starships, the M5 Unit began its attack and was suspected to be on the ISS Hood. After destroying the ship, the unit's control over its drone fighters meant that they self destructed but before the ship could continue its journey, an Orion scavenger ship attempted to pick off the weakened Excelsior but thanks to its fighter squadron, the Orion ship was destroyed. He later took the ship to the border of Klingon space and found a Terran starbase and attempted to get some dilithium crystals to power his vessel only to be ambushed by Chekov with a small fleet of ships. After a pitched battle between the two sides, Sulu managed to defeat Chekov, who was once again forced to flee. Taking the crystals, he managed to re-energize the warp drive of his ship and continued on his journey to return to his own reality.
After entering into Klingon space, Sulu began to feel uneasy after traveling into a system that was supposed to be a primary industrial center in the Klingon Empire but only found small planetoids and asteroids in its place. Once there, they combated several Klingon fighters and were later attacked by Orion raiders, but managed to repel these assaults. Traveling deeper into Klingon space, he encountered more devastation and answered the distress calls of a nearby Klingon outpost which was threatened to be destroyed by two damaged battlecruiers whose warp cores were about to explode. Despite trying to help, the Excelsior was attacked by the Klingons; who thought the ship was a Terran Empire vessel that was attacking the outpost. He later assisted the Klingons in destroying the Doomsday Machine which the Terran Empire had tricked into Klingon space and had been ravaging their territory. By saving the Klingon homeworld of Qo'noS's mirror counterpart, he earnt their gratitude and they helped escort him to the Romulan border. Once there, he was ambushed by Chekov's forces who tried to destroy his Klingon escorts only to be repelled by the Excelsior's crew. Whilst continuing his journey, he encountered the Mirror counterparts of Balok and the First Federation, who attempted to destroy him through the use of radiation emitting space buoys. Sulu and the crew managed to defeat Balok and continue on their journey to Janus Ultima.
After entering the Romulan Neutral Zone, Sulu had to contend with a remote Romulan patrol and destroyed them to prevent them from informing their military of the incursion into their space. Entering into Romulan space, he encountered a warning in the form of the dead hulks of numerous starships in their space but continued his course. He eventually learnt that the Romulan Republic of this reality had its space being ravaged by the Space amoeba entity and Sulu helped them destroy the organism. In gratitude, the Romulans escorted him to Tholian space where he was once again ambushed by Chekov. Despite the attack, he repelled Chekov's offensive allowing Sulu to enter Tholian territory. In an attempt to avoid a large fleet from the Imperial Starfleet, Sulu had the Excelsior engage its warp drives which had been damaged earlier. This action creates a wormhole and deposits the ship into Tholian space. Before he could go to Janus Ultima, he received a distress call from the ISS Enterprise-A which had been attacked by Tholian ships and was doomed without any help. Despite his reservation, Sulu helped Chekov and in gratitude, the Imperial Starfleet Commander formed an alliance with Sulu and helped him in fending off attacks from other ships.
Reaching the Vortex, they encountered a large, Terran Imperial fleet that attempted to stop them but the assistance of the ISS Enterprise-A allowed the Excelsior to enter the Janus Vortex where they attempted to recreate the incident that allowed them to cross realities. In-between dimensions, he encountered his Mirror counterparts and a battle erupted between the two until Sulu deploys the dilithium warhead which catapults both crews back to their own realities. Once back to his home universe, Sulu was informed by Chekov that the Klingons and Romulans were eager for him to lead them into a war against the Federation but he declined the offer and plotted a course to the nearest starbase. (TOS video game: Shattered Universe)
In 2298, Sulu made contact with the sundered branch of Earth humanity known as the Neyel when the Excelsior followed an interspace corridor into the Lesser Magellanic Cloud. Sulu's efforts were crucial in preventing war between the Neyel and the Tholian Assembly. (TLE novel: The Sundered)
Sulu remained Captain of the Excelsior until at least the year 2320. Both he and his daughter - carriers of the prestigious rank - sponsored a young Chakotay's entrance to Starfleet Academy. (TOS novel: Burning Dreams, VOY episode: "Tattoo", ST novel: Tales from the Captain's Table)
After retiring from Starfleet in the first half of the 24th century, Sulu ran for public office and eventually was elected as President of the United Federation of Planets, serving three terms. (ST novel: The Return)
In 2372, the USS Defiant was assigned to rescue the shipwrecked crew of the science vessel Victoria Adams--in particular, an unidentified Federation VIP observer who "must not fall into the hands of the Klingon High Council at any cost." During the mission, Julian Bashir encountered among the survivors an elderly Asian man calling himself "George" whom the doctor suspected to be that figure. Their conversations strongly implied that "George" was actually an incognito Hikaru Sulu. (DS9 novel: Armageddon Sky)
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|USS Enterprise-A personnel|
|Arex • Allocca • Arons • Banks • Barnes • Bearclaw • Benson • Bloemker • Borkowski • Boyajian • Bryce • Bob • Bull • Burke • Cassano • Castille • Chapel • Chekov • Clev • Codobach • Coletti • Connors • Darwa • Davis • Dax • del Gaizo • Delaney • Delaney • Dietrich • J. Finney • Fisher • Flaherty • Fouton • Fucci • Galaym • Hazzard • Hernandez • Hicks • Hunter • Isenberg • Jackson • Kaminsky • Kirk • Kitty • Konom • Laria • Lawlor • Lee • Kathy Li • Ludlo • McCoy • McIntyre • McMurphy • Meyer • M'Ress • M'yra • Naraht • Newman • Palamas • Paul • Popov • Rasche • Romaine • Ryder • Saavik • Samno • Scott • Sherwood • Spock • Staci • Sterno • Sulu • T'Rin • Tooch • Tuchinsky • Uhura • Valeris • Wetherell • Yost • unnamed USS Enterprise-A personnel|
|USS Aerfen personnel|
|Hunter • Ilya Nikolaievich • Hikaru Sulu (alternate timeline)|