Why is Star Trek Strange New Worlds season 2 episode 1 dedicated to Nichelle Nichols? At the end of the first episode of the new season of Strange New Worlds, audiences were presented with a heartfelt dedication before the credits rolled.
The dedication reads, “For Nichelle who was first through the door and showed us the stars. Hailing frequencies forever open.”
Nichols starred as Uhura across three seasons of the original Star Trek series, reprising her role in the animated series and returning for the six TOS-era Star Trek movies. The actor died in 2022, leaving only three surviving main cast members from the original Star Trek series; William Shatner, George Takei, and Walter Koenig.
The legacy of Nichelle Nichols
The dedication to Nichelle Nichols at the end of Star Trek Strange New Worlds season 2 episode 1 is a recognition of her incomparable legacy within Star Trek and beyond.
Nichols was a genuine trailblazer. Her role in TOS, which portrayed her as completely equal to the rest of her crew, was unprecedented, showing a vision of the future in which all are equal. Within the context of 1960s America, this was highly contentious and something which had never been seen on screen before.
Nichols portrayal of Uhura won recognition from around the world, and inspired Whoopi Goldberg to join the Star Trek The Next Generation cast as Guinan. Martin Luther King Jr. was also a fan of Nichols’ role in Star Trek, and the show in general for its optimism in how it displayed racial harmony.
Away from Uhura, Nichols took on an advocacy role for NASA in an attempt to change the perception of the organization and open it up to women and people of color. Her program was a success and led to the recruitment of the first female astronaut and the first African American astronaut.
Uhura is now played by Celia Rose Gooding in the latest Star Trek series Strange New Worlds, with Zoe Saldana taking on the role of the Star Trek characters in the Kelvin timeline movies alongside Chris Pine.
Like DeForrest Kelly, James Doohan, and Leonard Nimoy, Nichols will remain an icon for all, remembered through Star Trek and her efforts elsewhere. To absent friends.
Read our Star Trek Strange New Worlds season 2 review for the latest on the series.