Whoopi Goldberg is and always has been a big get. As if being an EGOT wasn’t enough (it is enough) the frequent Star Trek The Next Generation guest star had displayed her talent well before she joined as Guinan in Star Trek TNG.
She had starred in one of the more understated best Steven Spielberg movies (The Color Purple), was making ‘hey, look who it is!’ cameos in some of the best comedy series (Absolutely Fabulous), and was a household name in the US.
Her Star Trek character showed up on occasion from seasons 2 through 6, often dressed to the nines and bringing a certain level of excitement with her. As it turns out, Goldberg had the perfect reason to say yes to the gig in the Star Trek The Next Generation cast.
In an interview with the Television Academy Foundation, Goldberg said, “I love horror movies, I love sci-fi, I love everything. So I said to LeVar Burton [Geordi La Forge in TNG], ‘They’re doing Star Trek? Oh my god, tell him [Gene Roddenberry] I want to play.’ So a year goes by, I hear nothing, and I see him and I said, ‘Did you tell him?’ He said ‘Yeah, but they didn’t believe me.'”
She then asked Butron for a contact number for Roddenberry, “I said ‘I’ll talk to whoever but I need to be part of that.’ I say I want to have a meeting, can I come in, and can I explain why. And they said sure. I think, in my head now, they thought ‘This bitch is crazy. She is never going to come and do this show. She’s a movie person.'”
“I go, and Gene Roddenberry says ‘You have to explain this to me. Why do you want to do this?’ I said, ‘Gene, do you know that before Lieutenant Uhura, Black people didn’t exist in the future?'” She went on, “It’s true. No science fiction existed with us in any of the movies, in anything. This is the first time we appear in the future. Not only do we appear in the future, but this is a gorgeous woman and she’s the communications officer! I said, ‘ You did this in 1963.'”
Clearly, Uhura’s legacy made a huge impact on many people, and that includes fans who ended up on screen themselves. Get to grips with the new SNW with our Star Trek Strange New Worlds season 2 finale explained and insider access in our Anson Mount and Rebecca Romijn interview. You can also see our list of the best Star Trek captains ranked and keep up with the Lower Decks season 4 release date. Meanwhile, find out our picks for the best TV series ever.