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Old January 1 2015, 10:29 PM   #1
ToddCam
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Pavel, Hikaru, and Nyota

Hi all. Does anybody know where these given names for Chekov, Sulu, and Uhura were first used? Did they debut in licensed novels, and if so, does anyone know which? Thanks!
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Old January 1 2015, 10:34 PM   #2
King Daniel Into Darkness
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Re: Pavel, Hikaru, and Nyota

I believe Hikaru and Nyota were first used in William Rotsler's Star Trek II Biographies. At the time, a few fans complained that the names conflicted with Walter and Penda, which had been used in some fanfiction.
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Old January 1 2015, 11:14 PM   #3
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Re: Pavel, Hikaru, and Nyota

I believe Chekov's first name was revealed for the first time in "The Way to Eden."

Sulu was first given the name Hikaru in The Entropy Effect by Vonda N. McIntyre in 1981; it was made canonical in The Undiscovered Country ten years later. (McIntyre also coined the names George and Winona for Kirk's parents in Enterprise: The First Adventure.)

Nyota was proposed as Uhura's first name in 1982's Star Trek II Biographies by William Rotsler. So King Daniel is half right. Although the name was used in tie-ins for decades, it wasn't made canonical until the 2009 movie.
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Old January 1 2015, 11:49 PM   #4
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Re: Pavel, Hikaru, and Nyota

Christopher is correct -- Hikaru came from McIntyre, while Nyota came from Rostler. Peter David tells the story of visiting the set of Star Trek VI as George Takei's guest when they were filming the Excelsior scenes, and he takes credit for encouraging George to use the first name in his log entry, thus canonizing it.
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Old January 2 2015, 11:43 AM   #5
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Re: Pavel, Hikaru, and Nyota

ToddCam wrote: View Post
Hi all. Does anybody know where these given names for Chekov...
And, of course, Pavel Andreievich Chekov was canonical.
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Old January 2 2015, 01:55 PM   #6
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Re: Pavel, Hikaru, and Nyota

And yet, somehow, even though Chekov's patronymic was canonically established as Andreievich, Rotsler's Biographies still claimed his father was named Alexei instead of Andrei. I guess Rotsler's Swahili was better than his Russian.

Rotsler also proposed Edward as McCoy's middle name, but ST III contradicted this by calling him Leonard H. McCoy. Oddly, Diane Duane continued to call him Leonard Edward McCoy in books and comics published years after ST III.
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Old January 2 2015, 06:05 PM   #7
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Re: Pavel, Hikaru, and Nyota

Thanks, guys! I had forgotten that Chekov's first name was said on The Original Series.
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Old January 2 2015, 08:07 PM   #8
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Re: Pavel, Hikaru, and Nyota

Christopher wrote: View Post
Rotsler also proposed Edward as McCoy's middle name, but ST III contradicted this by calling him Leonard H. McCoy. Oddly, Diane Duane continued to call him Leonard Edward McCoy in books and comics published years after ST III.
Perhaps there have been spelling reforms (or corruption, thanks to txtspeak and chatspeak) by the 23rd-century, and McCoy's name is really spelled, in the usage of the time, as Lennerd Hedward McCoi.
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Old January 4 2015, 06:53 PM   #9
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Re: Pavel, Hikaru, and Nyota

I know that before Rotsler came up with "Nyota" for Uhura's first name, "Penda" was a popular fan choice. That was another Swahili word. I think it meant "love" IIRC. Thus, Uhura's name literally meant "The Love of Freedom." You see a lot of references to "Penda Uhura" in the early Best of Trek books.

In one of the Best of Treks, Rotsler has an essay about coming up with biographical info for Star Trek II Biographies, and he relates the story of telling Nichelle Nichols about the first name he picked for Uhura. The conversation goes something like this:

"I've picked a first name for your character."
"That's nice."
"It's 'Nyota.' It's Swahili for 'star.'"
"Oh, WOOOOW!!!"


Some of the early Best of Trek books also refer to Sulu's first name as "Walter." I believe this originated from an in-joke reference to Walter Koenig mistakenly being called "George" a lot on the set of ST:TMP. Koenig talks about this in Chekov's Enterprise, the book he wrote about the making of TMP. Apparently, George Takei found it hilarious, all the more so because no one was calling him "Walter."

Personally, I like the names "Nyota" and "Hikaru" a lot better, and I'm glad that they eventually became official.
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Last edited by JonnyQuest037; January 5 2015 at 12:47 AM. Reason: Corrected a typo
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Old January 4 2015, 06:59 PM   #10
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Re: Pavel, Hikaru, and Nyota

Christopher wrote: View Post
Rotsler also proposed Edward as McCoy's middle name, but ST III contradicted this by calling him Leonard H. McCoy. Oddly, Diane Duane continued to call him Leonard Edward McCoy in books and comics published years after ST III.
Have there been various versions of what McCoy's middle initial "H" stands for? I know I've read "Horatio" somewhere, but I can't recall where.

Maybe they could make it "Hamish" in a tip of the hat to Sherlock Holmes fandom (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle once infamously had Dr. John Watson's wife refer to him as "James" in one story, leading Dorothy L. Sayers to theorize that the "H" stood for "Hamish", the Scottish version of "James").
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Old January 4 2015, 07:19 PM   #11
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Re: Pavel, Hikaru, and Nyota

^I've never heard anything but Horatio suggested as McCoy's middle name. I don't recall where it came from, though.
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Old January 4 2015, 07:56 PM   #12
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Re: Pavel, Hikaru, and Nyota

JonnyQuest037 wrote: View Post
Personally, I like the names "Nyota" and "Hikaru" a lot better, and I'm glad that they eventually became official.
Never cared for Hikaru. For Sulu's first name, Roddenberry (supposedly) selected Sulu because it was "pan-asian." Sulu's first name as well should have been pan-asian, and not specifically Japanese.

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Old January 4 2015, 08:14 PM   #13
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Re: Pavel, Hikaru, and Nyota

T'Girl wrote: View Post
JonnyQuest037 wrote: View Post
Personally, I like the names "Nyota" and "Hikaru" a lot better, and I'm glad that they eventually became official.
Never cared for Hikaru. For Sulu's first name, Roddenberry (supposedly) selected Sulu because it was "pan-asian." Sulu's first name as well should have been pan-asian, and not specifically Japanese.

You're assuming that "Hikaru" isn't a pan-Asian name *by then*. Maybe it was the name of a character in a book/movie/whatever popular all throughout Asia in the late 22nd century, and people all over the continent name their kids that.

Names come from a lot of different places for a lot of different reasons. My daughter's middle name being "Nerys" doesn't mean she's Bajoran.
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Old January 4 2015, 08:21 PM   #14
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Re: Pavel, Hikaru, and Nyota

USS Triumphant wrote: View Post
T'Girl wrote: View Post
JonnyQuest037 wrote: View Post
Personally, I like the names "Nyota" and "Hikaru" a lot better, and I'm glad that they eventually became official.
Never cared for Hikaru. For Sulu's first name, Roddenberry (supposedly) selected Sulu because it was "pan-asian." Sulu's first name as well should have been pan-asian, and not specifically Japanese.

You're assuming that "Hikaru" isn't a pan-Asian name *by then*. Maybe it was the name of a character in a book/movie/whatever popular all throughout Asia in the late 22nd century, and people all over the continent name their kids that.

Names come from a lot of different places for a lot of different reasons. My daughter's middle name being "Nerys" doesn't mean she's Bajoran.
I think she means out of universe, not in universe.
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Old January 4 2015, 08:37 PM   #15
Christopher
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Re: Pavel, Hikaru, and Nyota

T'Girl wrote: View Post
Never cared for Hikaru. For Sulu's first name, Roddenberry (supposedly) selected Sulu because it was "pan-asian." Sulu's first name as well should have been pan-asian, and not specifically Japanese.

But Sulu isn't actually a "pan-Asian" name at all. It's a place name from the Philippines, referring to a province, an archipelago, and a sea in that country. It's derived from the language of the Tausug people who inhabit portions of the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Roddenberry apparently believed that the Sulu Sea abutted several different countries, and thus represented a name that wasn't specific to a given country, but if so, he was wrong; it actually only abuts two countries, the Philippines on three sides and Malaysia on the fourth. Geopolitically speaking, the sea is Philippine territory.

So "Sulu" is every bit as localized a name as "Hikaru" is. It's not "pan-Asian," it's Tausug. If anything, giving Sulu first and last names from different languages makes him more "pan-Asian," not less. There's no such thing as a single "pan-Asian name," because there are many different languages spoken in Asia and every name comes from somewhere specific.

The problem is, Roddenberry was your typical '60s American TV producer who knew little about non-Western cultures and felt entitled to fudge things based on his limited knowledge. Neither Sulu nor Uhura is a legitimate human surname that you'd find in the real world. Sulu is a place name, and Uhura is a made-up name created by illegitimately sticking a Latin feminine suffix on a Swahili noun. Uhuru, the Swahili word for freedom, is occasionally used as a surname, but more often as a given name. (And then there's the total jumble that is "Khan Noonien Singh." The Singh part is correct for a Sikh male, but Khan is mainly a Muslim surname, and Noonien is evidently of Chinese origin. The thing about '60s TV producers in America is that they tended to treat everything from the Middle East to Japan as culturally interchangeable.)
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