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Hikaru Sulu

Hikaru Sulu is a minor character in the original Star Trek series, played by George Takei. He was originally staff physicist, but ended up being transferred to helm and gets promoted to captain and his own ship in Star Trek VI.

As with many of the minor characters, he is somewhat of an enigma — we didn't even get his first name until that last film. The character is meant to be of Japanese decent, but was raised in San Francisco. In the Japanese version of Star Trek his name is changed as Sulu is not a standard Japanese name - Japanese not even making a distinction between r and l.