Zoe Saldana pays tribute to Star Trek’s Nichelle Nichols

Nichelle Nichols, the groundbreaking actress best known for playing Nyota Uhura on Star Trek, died over the weekend at the age of 89. Tributes from around the globe poured in, from every corner of Hollywood, to the offices of NASAand all the way to White House. Zoe Saldana, who played the role of Uhura in the 2009 reboot, paid tribute to Nichelle Nichols on Instagramand praised the actress not only for her importance in television history and representation, but for personally making her feel comfortable taking on her role.

I am saddened to hear of the passing of Nichelle Nichols. We have lost a true star – a unique artist who was always ahead of his time. She is an icon, an activist and most importantly an amazing woman – who has blazed a trail that has shown so many how to see women of color in a different light. Her pursuit of equality was unwavering.

Zoe Saldana continued, “Meeting Nichelle was truly a very special moment in my life. Her energy was infectious every time I was in her presence. She convinced me by believing that anything was achievable if you put your heart into it. I mean, she inspired Mae Jemison to follow her dreams of becoming an astronaut, and that’s exactly what Mae did.” When Zoe Saldana was cast to play Uhura in JJ Abrams’ Star Trek reboot, she knew she had some big shoes to fill, but the actress said that “Nichelle put me at ease, told me to play her with all the confidence in the world. My hope is that we continue to keep her memory alive by celebrating her amazing work and by spreading the message of peace and equality among all people. She lived a long, impactful life and not only prospered, but helped so many others flourish.” Saldana concluded by referring to a quote by Maya Angelou.

Maya Angelou once said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” I agree with this statement with the exception of Nichelle Nichols. It will be hard to forget what she said and hard to forget what she did and it will certainly be impossible to forget how she made us feel. REST IN POWER QUEEN NICHELLE.

Zoe Saldana reprized the role of Uhura for Star Trek Into Darkness and Star Trek Beyond and is expected to do so again for the nameless Star Trek 4. Zoe Saldana isn’t the only Uhura actress paying tribute to Nichelle Nichols. Celia Rose Gooding continues to play the role Star Trek: Strange New Worlds. “She made room for so many of us,” Gooding wrote further Twitter. “She was the reminder that not only can we reach the stars, but our influence is essential to their survival. Forget shaking the table, she built it!

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