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How Lt. Sulu Got His First Name

Vonda McIntyre was an early writer of Star Trek novels, such as The Entropy Effect and Enterprise: The First Adventure. In an article at io9, she described how she got the job. One interesting bit is how she named Lt. Sulu:

The only potential glitch in the Star Trek books came about because I couldn't figure out how to write a love scene where the protagonists called each other by their surnames. So I gave Mr. Sulu a first name, "Hikaru," which is from The Tale of Genji. I was blissfully unaware of the glitch till long after the fact; someone at Paramount objected to the idea of the character's having a given name, for reasons unclear to me. David had the good idea of asking Gene Roddenberry and George Takei their opinion, and both of them said "Go for it" or words to that effect. And so Mr. Sulu has a first name.


I've long that the practice of some science fiction franchises not giving first names to characters (e.g. classic Battlestar Galactica) asinine. It's good that Star Trek was able to avoid this small, but irritating problem.

Link | Image: Paramount

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