Star Trek: Discovery's Sonequa Martin-Green Shared the Best Tribute to Nichelle Nichols

CBS's new Star Trek series premiered Sunday, Sept. 24 with Martin-Green in the starring role

By Chris Harnick Sep 25, 2017 2:09 PMTags
Nichelle Nichols, Sonequa MartinTommaso Boddi/WireImage

Star Trek: Discovery star Sonequa Martin-Green spent premiere day quite active on social media. She posted touching messages to her cast mates, a photo of her and the cast taking a knee in response to Donald Trump and the NFL tweets and respecting her elders, including original Star Trek star Nichelle Nichols.

Nichols starred in the original Star Trek series from 1966-1969 as Lieutenant Uhura. She was one of the first African American female characters on TV not a servant. Martin-Green and Nichols crossed paths at the premiere screening of Star Trek: Discovery on in Los Angeles.

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"I call this, ‘The Legend and the Dreamer.' She whispered to me, ‘Enjoy this time. It's yours now.' What a blessing, what a woman. I stand on your shoulders Nichelle Nichols," Martin-Green posted on Instagram with a series of photos. "Thank you for heeding Dr. King's words and getting involved, for letting us see you be competent, strong and authoritative at such a pivotal time. And thank you for all you've contributed, to my life, to this country and to the world."

Nichols said Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. convinced her to stay on the series after she planned to resign.  

"He was telling me why I could not [resign]," Nichols said on a PBS documentary. "He said I had the first nonstereotypical role, I had a role with honor, dignity and intelligence. He said, 'You simply cannot abdicate, this is an important role. This is why we are marching. We never thought we'd see this on TV.'"

Martin-Green is the first minority female lead of a Star Trek series. Star Trek: Voyager was the first series with a female lead, Kate Mulgrew, and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was the first series with an African American lead, Avery Brooks.

At the 2017 TCA summer press tour, the magnitude of her casting, as well as being on the first Star Trek TV series in 12 years, was not lost on her.

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"The honor is mine. The pleasure is mine. I feel that we are all running over—our cups are running over with gratitude and excitement," Martin-Green told the press. "We're bursting at the seams from the weight of it and the breadth of it. We just—we couldn't be more thrilled to share this journey with you because we understand its significance. We know we're telling a story we believe in. Everybody is so passionate…This is an epicly grand, yet microscopically tuned, deeply emotional story. We don't take it for granted. We don't take it lightly. I certainly don't. I feel like—it's a dream to be able to be a part of history. It's a dream. So, thank you."

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She expressed the same sentiment on Instagram in the video above after the first episode aired on CBS.

Star Trek: Discovery drops new episodes on Sundays on CBS All Access, CBS's streaming service.