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

Commenting is closed.

We hope you like this article!
Please help us grow by sharing:

Get Updates In Your Inbox

Free weekly emails, plus get access
to subscriber-only prizes.

We won't share your email. You can cancel at any time.

Email This Post to a Friend
"How Lt. Sulu Got His First Name"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window
neat stories? Like us on Facebook!
Close: I already like you guys!