I'm an unabashed Trekkie and fan of anything Star Trek related.
Since the word got out that Star Trek was about to get a reimagined makeover by director JJ Abrams, one of the questions crossing the minds of Black Trekkies was who was going to play Nichelle Nichols' classic role of Lt. Nyota Uhura?
It's not an insignificant question. Nichelle Nichols' role in the original series had historic significance to the point that when she considered quitting after the first season, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. himself urged her not to.
The appearance of this smart, sexy sistah on our nation's 60's era TV screens inspired a Chicago girl named Dr. Mae Jemison to become an astronaut and later make history as the first African-American woman launched into space. It also inspired a New York girl named Caryn Johnson AKA Whoopi Goldberg to become an actress and eventually play a character on Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Even Nichols herself worked for NASA not only recruiting African-Americans for the space program, but inspiring kids in my era to consider math and science careers as an ambassador for NASA's space program.
The person with the pressure of stepping into Nichelle's boots for this reimagined movie is Zoe Saldana. I'm a fan of hers from several movies over the years from Drumline to Pirates of the Caribbean.
When Zoe talked about her meeting with Nichelle Nichols, she is well aware of the fact that for African descended people, Lt. Uhura is more than just a movie role.
"I was able to sit down with her, and she told me the whole story of how Uhura came to be and where they were going with her character. It all fell into place the moment she walked into the door and auditioned for the part. She named the character herself ... and she felt as an artist, she was going to make the part big."
It's going to be interesting to wrap my mind around seeing her in this role but I'm curious to see how she's going to pull it off.
Nichelle Nichols agrees with me as well. She stated in a recent interview, "I'd love to wait and see what she brings to it so that I can understand, get to see who and what Uhura was like. "I would like to see what Nyota Uhura had that qualified her to go on that first five-year mission where no man or woman had gone before."
Hopefully they gave Nichelle a cameo role in the new Star Trek film, which hits your local multiplex on May 8.
As a fellow POC sci-fi geek, I too am anxiously awaiting to see what Ms. Saldana does with the role.
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