The day after the death of Nichelle Nichols, the Uhura of the original series “Star Trek”, actress Zoe Saldana, who played the same character in three films, wrote a long tribute to the actress on her Instagram.
Saying that “we have lost a true star – a unique artist who has always been ahead of her time”, Saldana described Nichols as “an icon, an activist and most importantly an incredible woman – who paved a path that showed so many how to see women of color in a different light”.
“His fight for equality was unshakable,” he added.
Saldana also recalled her first meeting with Nichols after being cast as Uhura in the 2009 “Star Trek” movie, which rebooted the franchise. Calling it a “very special time” in her life, she said the encounter helped her feel confident playing the iconic character.
“Her energy was contagious every time I was in her presence. She convinced me to believe that anything was possible if you put your heart into it,” Saldaña wrote. “I mean, she inspired Mae Jemison to follow her dreams of becoming an astronaut and that’s exactly what Mae did. I knew I would have a hard time filling the role when I was chosen to play Uhura, and Nichelle made me feel safe, said to play it with all the confidence in the world”.
“My hope is that we will continue to keep her memory alive by celebrating her incredible body of work and spreading the message of peace and equality among all people. She lived a long and impactful life and not only prospered but helped many others to prosper as well. “, he added.
The actress is expected to return to the role of Uhura in an upcoming sequel to the film franchise, recently announced by Paramount.
In addition to her, Celia Rose Gooding also debuted this year as a younger version of Uhura, in the series “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds”, which ended its 1st season last month.
In her own tribute on social media, Gooding wrote: “She made space for so many of us. She was the reminder that not only can we reach for the stars, but our influence is essential to their survival. Forget the table shake, she built the table!”