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Star Trek: Excelsior – Forged in Fire by Michael A. Martin and Andy Mangels (Review)

This August, to celebrate the upcoming release of Star Trek: Into Darkness on DVD and blu ray, we’re taking a look at the Star Trek movies featuring the original cast. Movie reviews are every Tuesday and Thursday.

We’ll be supplementing our coverage of the movies with tie-ins around (and related to) the films. We’ll be doing one of these every week day. This is one such article.

I have to admit, when I first saw Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, I was a bit surprised to be introduced to Captain Hikaru Sulu. This was a character who didn’t even have a first name before The Undiscovered Country. The name chosen – “Hikaru” – was taken from Vonda N. McIntyre’s 1981 tie-in The Entropy Effect. Still, I suppose it could be worse. Uhura didn’t get a first name on screen until the release of Star Trek in 2009.

So it seemed strange that this supporting character should find himself the commanding officer of a starship, let alone a state-of-art ship of the line which opened the fond farewell to the original series crew. Still, the character of Captain Hikaru Sulu remains one of the most interesting branches sprouting off the trunk of Star Trek. Takei would reprise the role on Star Trek: Voyager, hold down a couple of Simon & Schuster audio adventures and even feature heavily in tie-in novels and comic books. Takei is quite fond of recounting his campaign to launch a television show centred around the character.

It’s quite remarkable, as Sulu is probably the only major character who could credibly “spin-off” from the original Star Trek show, which is remarkable for a supporting performer whose most iconic moment in the classic Star Trek show was waving a sword through the corridors while practically naked.

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