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Nichelle Nichols Praises Those "Leading the Charge" in 'Star Trek's Future

Cameron Bonomolo

12/28/2017

Star Trek icon Nichelle Nichols is optimistic about where the long-running franchise is boldly going.

"I think Star Trek is always going to be a window into what lies ahead of us," the 85-year-old actress told the Los Angeles Times.

"I'm happy to see another generation of actors and actresses leading the charge. And now there are so many fans being a part of it. If it weren't for the fans, there'd be nothing to do."

Nichols' role as Nyota Uhura in 1966's Star Trek: The Original Series was a groundbreaking one, with Uhura being a woman of color in a command position.

Nichols helped make television history again when the Gene Roddenberry-created series gave TV its first-ever interracial kiss, as the lips of Captain Kirk (William Shatner) and Uhura met during a 1968 episode of Star Trek.

The newest iteration of the show, Star Trek: Discovery, launched in September on CBS before debuting all episodes on streaming service CBS All Access.

Discovery made history with its leading lady, former The Walking Dead star Sonequa Martin-Green, who became the first Black woman to play the lead in a Star Trek series.

Martin-Green described Discovery as "the solution' to today's problems," speaking on the "profound" and "healing" nature of the forward-thinking series.

"I think that when you have a story that shows a picture of a Utopian future — it’s been this way the entire time, this is the legacy of Star Trek — and when you can tap into that, when you can key into that, I think that having a vision of that can help you actualize it," Martin-Green told CBS This Morning in September.

The actress admitted she faced some backlash when it was announced she would take the lead on Discovery — "Diversity and universality are pillars of Star Trek," she said, "that is the legacy of it" — but Martin-Green singled out the Uhura and Kirk kiss, saying "Star Trek has always gone boldly... that's been the essence of it."

The series features the first Asian female captain, a woman first officer, and the first openly gay officer in Star Fleet in a Star Trek show.

Star Trek's next cinematic outing could be in the hands of Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs director Quentin Tarantino, who is tentatively attached to direct an R-rated take — the series' first — under Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness director J.J. Abrams, who is attached as producer.

Tarantino's spin is said to be "daring" and will be scripted by The Revenant's Mark L. Smith.

Star Trek: DiscoverySunday at 8:30 PM EST on CBS All Access

Star Trek: DiscoverySunday at 8:30 PM EST on CBS All Access

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