Star Trek Day pays tribute to Uhura actress Nichelle Nichols in moving in memoriam

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Amid all the special announcements and sneak peeks at upcoming shows coming from all corners of the Starfleet universe on Star Trek Day, the Los Angeles-based event took a moment to pay tribute to Nichelle Nichols, the late actress known for playing Lt. Nyota Uhura in the original William Shatner-fronted Trek series.

Nichols' son Kyle announced his mother died from natural causes at the age of 89 in July, saying how "her light... will remain for us and future generations to enjoy, learn from, and draw inspiration."

Nichelle Nichols as Lt. Nyota Uhura in the STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES episode, "Arena." Original air date January 19, 1967.
Nichelle Nichols as Lt. Nyota Uhura in the STAR TREK: THE ORIGINAL SERIES episode, "Arena." Original air date January 19, 1967.

CBS via Getty Nichelle Nichols as Lt. Nyota Uhura in 'Star Trek.'

The United Launch Alliance announced that a portion of Nichols' cremated ashes would be spread into deep space aboard their Vulcan rocket.

Star Trek: Lower Decks actors Tawny Newsome and Paul F. Tompkins hosted the event and dedicated a moment of silence to Nichols' memory. Then Star Trek Strange New Worlds actress Celia Rose Gooding introduced a moving video honoring the late Star Trek icon.

"On Star Trek Strange New Worlds it has ben my honor to perform the role of Cadet Nyota Uhura," Gooding said. "I stand on Nichelle's shoulders, not only in portraying the character she originated and embodied but in following a path she blazed for Black women and femmes on screen and off. As I sit on the bridge of the Enterprise I feel her presence, I see her influence in those who knew her and I strive to carry the majestic legacy forward into the future she wanted for all of us."

"Nichelle Nichols was a forced to be reckoned with," Dawnn Lewis, who voices Captain Carol Freeman on Star Trek: Lower Decks, said in the tribute.

"This woman is a true hero," said Sonequa Martin-Green, who plays Captain Michael Burnham on Star Trek: Discovery.

Other voices featured in the tribute include Newsome, Gooding, Discovery and Star Trek: Picard director Hanelle Culpepper, Star Trek: Prodigy actress Kate Mulgrew, Picard's Michelle Hurd, Trek executive producer Alex Kurtzman, and more.

"She's uncompromising in her belief that the stars should be for everybody," Kurtzman said.

The Star Trek Day festivities, which were live-streamed for fans globally on various Trek platforms, also brought looks at Star Trek: Picard season 3, Star Trek: Discovery season 5, and the animated Lower Decks and Prodigy.

Watch the Nichols tribute above.

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