Sulu took over at the helm of the USS Enterprise because the originally-assigned helmsmen, McKenna, was ill with lungworm. As the fleet went to warp on its maiden voyage, Sulu forgot to disengage the external inertial dampener, leaving the Enterprise in Earth orbit for several moments as the rest of the fleet jumped away. Though embarrassing, the extra time afforded by this delay caused the Enterprise to enter the Vulcan system after Nero's assault had destroyed the rest of the fleet, likely saving the lives of the crew of the Enterprise.
Sulu participated in a space-dive along with James T. Kirk and Chief Engineer Olson to disable Nero's drilling rig as it drilled to the core of Vulcan. He was a skilled fencer and used his training in Hand-to-hand combat and a retractable sword to fight Romulans on the drilling platform, saving Kirk from a potentially fatal attack by one of the Romulans. Subsequently, Kirk endeavored to return the favor, diving into a free fall to save a falling Sulu.
Having been present when Pike appointed Kirk first officer, Sulu pointed out it was Kirk's right to sit in the command chair. During the battle for Earth, Sulu carefully maneuvered the Enterprise into Saturn's orbit, where the planet's magnetic rings would shield the ship from the Narada's sensors. He sped the Enterprise after the Romulan vessel when it left the Sol system in pursuit of the Jellyfish, firing all the phaser banks to disarm its missiles. When the Narada was being sucked into a black hole, Sulu fired all phasers and photon torpedoes at the ship when Nero refused Kirk's offer for help. Sulu was present when Kirk was promoted to captain, and remained the ship's helmsman under his command. (Star Trek)
In 2259, Sulu was piloting a shuttle on Nibiru to rappel Spock into a volcano that was endangering the Nibirans. Ash from the volcano damaged the shuttle, breaking the wire holding Spock, and forcing Sulu to dive to the underwater Enterprise.
During the mission to find the mass murderer John Harrison, Sulu vouched for 72 experimental photon torpedoes being brought aboard the ship that Scotty was refusing to allow on board. While Kirk and Spock went to Qo'noS to apprehend Harrison, Sulu sat in the command chair and broadcast a message ordering Harrison to surrender or be fired on. His message was so frightening that McCoy asked Sulu to "remind me never to piss you off".
Later, when the Enterprise was severely damaged and hurtling to Earth, Sulu defied Spock's order to evacuate the ship, preferring to go down with it. Almost a year later, Sulu attended a memorial service for those killed, and resumed working as helmsman on the repaired Enterprise. He and Kirk spoke about the taste he had developed for sitting in the captain's chair, and expressed interest in captaining his own ship. (Star Trek Into Darkness)
Memorable quotes Edit
"He has lungworm, sir. He couldn't report to his post. I'm Hikaru Sulu."
- - Hikaru Sulu to Captain Pike (Star Trek)
"So what kind of combat training do you have?"
- - James Kirk and Hikaru Sulu (Star Trek)
"Attention: John Harrison. This is Captain Hikaru Sulu of the USS Enterprise. A shuttle of highly trained officers is on its way to your location. If you do not surrender to them immediately, I will unleash the entire payload of advanced long-range torpedoes currently locked on to your location. You have two minutes to confirm your compliance. Refusal to do so will result in your obliteration. If you test me, you will fail."
- - Hikaru Sulu, to John Harrison (Star Trek Into Darkness)
- - Hikaru Sulu to James Kirk on sitting in the Captain's Chair. (Star Trek Into Darkness)
|Helmsmen of the starships Enterprise|
|Enterprise NX-01:||Mayweather • Hutchison|
|USS Enterprise:||DePaul • Hadley • Hansen • Kyle • Leslie • Mitchell • Number One • Rahda • Spinelli • H. Sulu • Uhura • Walking Bear|
|USS Enterprise-A:||H. Sulu • Valeris|
|USS Enterprise-B:||D. Sulu|
|USS Enterprise-C:||Castillo • Fredericks|
|ISS Enterprise (NCC-1701):||H. Sulu|
|USS Enterprise (alternate reality):||McKenna • H. Sulu|
Background information Edit
According to his dossier at the official Star Trek movie website, as with his prime timeline counterpart, he is listed as having been born in San Francisco. Also referenced therein, Sulu was top of his class in astrosciences and advanced botany and founded Starfleet Academy's European Swordsmanship club. His prime counterpart was the ship's chief of astrosciences in the pilot before becoming the helmsman in the series proper, and had expertise in botany and fencing.
In the novelization of the film, while confronting Kirk about how he had been able to return aboard the Enterprise, he mentions having a doctorate in astrophysics and a master's certificate in interstellar navigation, not to mention having completed a wide assortment of advanced seminars in subspace theory and related disciplines, and therefore could handle whatever explanation Kirk might give - though he recants this conclusion upon hearing the truth.
According to his dossier at the Star Trek movie app, Sulu is listed at being born in 2237 to Hosato (father) and Yoshiko Sulu (mother). He is also the brother of Aiko Sulu. He was listed as being a survivor of the Klingon attack on the colony world Ganjitsu in 2248. He enrolled in Starfleet Academy in 2255.
A sister, named Yuki (β), was introduced in "The Khitomer Conflict, Part 1", an issue of IDW Publishing's Star Trek: Ongoing' series. She was posted on the Enterprise as an engineering officer following her service on the Armstrong, and later revealed to be a member of Section 31.