Welcome back to Character Insight! This week, we finally return to review characters from the Abrams timeline with a look at Hikaru Sulu.
Similar to the prime timeline, Sulu serves as helmsman aboard the Enterprise under Captain Pike and then Captain Kirk. Sulu is a Lieutenant on track for command, which allows him to fill in at the conn when the captain and first officer are away on other duties.
Indeed, the most notable scene Sulu receives in a very limited role during Into Darkness is when Sulu gets a taste of the command chair. While Kirk and Spock go to the surface of Kronos to hunt down John Harrison, Sulu hails Harrison and gives him a memorable ultimatum. That's our quote of the week from Into Darkness:
"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."
Sulu earns admiration for this from Dr. McCoy, and expresses his interest in command to Captain Kirk later in the movie. That means this timeline's Sulu is also likely headed where the prime timeline Sulu did, perhaps even to command of the same ship Excelsior.
Sulu actually plays a much bigger role in Star Trek 09, as his forgetfulness in leaving the inertial dampers on delays the Enterprise long enough to miss the destruction of the fleet interception Nero's ship. Sulu later space jumps through the atmosphere of Vulcan to land on the Narada drill and disable it with Captain Kirk, using his fencing skills. This scene seemed to be the inspiration for the real life Space Jump in 2012. Just more evidence of Star Trek making science fiction into science fact.
As mentioned during my review of Into Darkness, it is really disappointing to see Sulu's character development take a big back seat in the second movie. This is one of the lower-tier characters that could really carry more scenes if they let him in future movies.
Actor: John Cho plays Sulu in this timeline, and he is best known for his starring role in the Harold and Kumar movies as well as a bit role in the American Pie movies. In fact, he established the popularity of this term: <