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USS Excelsior: What Happened To Captain Sulu's Star Trek Ship?

There's no question that Starfleet officer Hikaru Sulu (George Takei) is one of the most memorable characters from the original "Star Trek" series, serving under Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) aboard the USS Enterprise. Over the years, Sulu rose dramatically through the ranks, first advancing to command division officer and senior helmsman and ultimately being granted command of his own starship sometime before the events of the "Star Trek" film "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country."

The starship in question is the experimental transwarp USS Excelsior, which Captain Sulu leads in battle against General Chang (Christopher Plummer) in an attempt to rescue the Enterprise. While it was certainly exciting to see the former helmsman finally take command of his very own starship, some fans of the "Star Trek" franchise have likely wondered what happens to Captain Sulu and the Excelsior after the events of "The Undiscovered Country."

Although we don't have much information about the Excelsior's later adventures, in "Star Trek: Picard," we learn that the ship is in service for 27 more years before being decommissioned in 2320, at which point it is placed on display in the Fleet Museum on Athan Prime.

The Excelsior has a much larger story in the non-canon Star Trek novels

Though the canon "Star Trek" series never clarify what Captain Sulu and the rest of the Excelsior crew get up to after "Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country," it's worth noting that several non-canon "Star Trek" novels do. Specifically, the "Lost Era" novels "The Sundered" and "One Constant Star" tell us that Pavel Chekov (Walter Koenig) actually joins the Excelsior as first officer and is on the ship in 2319 when it becomes stranded in a temporal rift.

Since several other non-canonical "Star Trek" factoids have been assimilated into the primary "Star Trek" continuity (like Sulu's first name, which comes from the 1981 novel "The Entropy Effect"), it's possible that we'll eventually see these details added to the history of the USS Excelsior, although the ship itself is unlikely to appear in future "Star Trek" projects due to its current home in the Fleet Museum.