Monday, December 26, 2011
3998. Nyota Uhura
Nyota Uhura is a character in Star Trek: The Original Series, Star Trek: The Animated Series, the first six Star Trek films, and the 2009 film Star Trek. The character was originally portrayed by Nichelle Nichols in all but the 2009 film, in which a younger Uhura was portrayed by actress Zoe Saldana.
Uhura was an important part of the original series' multicultural crew and one of the first characters of African descent to be featured on an American television series.
Uhura is from the United States of Africa and speaks Swahili. James Blish's non-canon novels identify her as Bantu, as does Gene Roddenberry's novelization of Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
Uhura first appears in the episode "The Man Trap", joining the crew of the USS Enterprise as a lieutenant, and serves as chief communications officer under Captain Kirk. She is later promoted to lieutenant commander in Star Trek: The Motion Picture, and to full commander in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock sees Uhura take an assignment in the transporter room as part of a plot to steal the Enterprise. After locking a colleague in a closet, Uhura uses the transporter station to beam Kirk, Leonard McCoy and Hikaru Sulu to the Enterprise so they can use it to rescue Spock from the Genesis Planet. As planned, Uhura later meets up with her crewmates on Vulcan and witnesses Spock's successful renewal.
Following these events and the destruction of the Enterprise, Uhura joins her crewmates on a stolen Klingon ship amid a crisis on Earth in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Traveling to the 20th century, they attempt to save a pair of humpback whales in order to repopulate the species. During a trip to San Francisco, Uhura and Pavel Chekov infiltrate the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise and use emissions from the carrier's nuclear reactor to recharge the Klingon vessel's power supply. Kirk and Spock then procure the whales so the crew can return to the 23rd century and save Earth.
In light of their heroics, Starfleet Command exonerates Uhura and the rest of Kirk's crew for their illegal activities. Kirk is demoted to the rank of captain after a prior promotion to admiral, but is assigned to command the USS Enterprise-A. Uhura joins Kirk's crew, and once again serves as chief communications officer throughout the events of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. In those final two films, a romantic interest between Uhura and Montgomery Scott is implied, but only briefly developed (deleted scenes more extensively expand this subplot).