Lt. Nyota Uhura (as played by Nichelle Nichols) is from the United States of Africa and speaks Swahili (Star Trek episode: The Man Trap ). James Blish's non-canon novels identify her as Bantu, as does Gene Roddenberry's novelization of Star Trek: The Motion Picture.The 2009 movie shows Nyota Uhura [reprised by Zoe Saldana] meeting James T... Show more »
Lt. Nyota Uhura (as played by Nichelle Nichols) is from the United States of Africa and speaks Swahili (Star Trek episode: The Man Trap ). James Blish's non-canon novels identify her as Bantu, as does Gene Roddenberry's novelization of Star Trek: The Motion Picture.The 2009 movie shows Nyota Uhura [reprised by Zoe Saldana] meeting James T Kirk, Spock, and the others at Star Fleet Academy. In the alternative [Orci, Kurtzman, JJ Abrams] Trekverse caused by Spock and Nero going back in time and changing things, Uhura has a romance with Spock, a development, that was hinted at, but never fully pursued in original canon.Uhura first appears on TV in the episode The Corbomite Maneuver . She joins the crew of the USS Enterprise in 2266 as a lieutenant, serving as chief communications officer under Captain James T. Kirk.Uhura continues to serve her post, with a promotion to lieutenant commander in 2271, under the command of Captain Willard Decker (Star Trek: The Motion Picture).She later fulfills this role again, promoted to full commander, when circumstances place the crew in pursuit of Khan Noonien Singh in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.However, in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Uhura takes an assignment at the transporter room at Old City Station. When her lone colleague; known as Mr. Adventure by Star Trek fans (played by Scott McGinnis) begins to condescendingly wonder why Uhura would take such a dull assignment at the hind-end of space , her true motives for doing so are revealed. After locking her colleague in a closet, Uhura uses the transporter station to beam Kirk, Leonard McCoy and Hikaru Sulu to the Enterprise so that they can steal the ship and recover 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 USS Enterprise, Uhura joins her crewmates on a stolen Klingon ship, intending to return home and face their punishment. However, a crisis affecting Earth leads Uhura and her crewmates into saving their home planet by traveling back in time to the 20th century. They determine that they must locate, capture, and deliver humpback whales to the 23rd century in order to re-populate the species (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home). During their trip to 20th century San Francisco, Uhura and Pavel Chekov succeed in their mission to infiltrate the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, then use the carrier's nuclear reactor to recharge their Klingon vessel's power supply. Once this task is complete, and Kirk and Spock procure the whales, the crew returns to the 23rd century and saves 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, however, but is assigned to command the USS Enterprise-A. Uhura joins Kirk's crew, and once again continues to serve as chief communications officer throughout the events of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. Uhura comes from the Swahili word uhuru, which means freedom . Nichols states in her book Beyond Uhura that the name was inspired by the fact that she had with her a copy of the book Black Uhuru on the day she read for the part.Uhura's first name, if she has one, has never been definitively established. However, three names have been suggested as possible first names for Uhura: (U)Penda , Nyota and Samara . The 2009 movie makes it official, it's Nyota.Although the name has not appeared in the Star Trek canon, in many appearances at Star Trek conventions, Nichols has indicated that the character is Nyota (U)penda Uhura . The non-canon book The Best of Trek suggests that Uhura's first name is Penda , coined when a group of fanzine authors suggested it to her at an early convention. When writing the licensed tie-in, Star Trek II Biographies for Pocket Books, author William Rotsler contacted Nichelle Nichols and sought her approval for using the name Nyota , and this name started appearing in original Star Trek novels, such as Uhura's Song by Janet Kagan. Nyota was also used as Uhura's first name when Nichols reprised the character in the non-canon short film Star Trek: Of Gods and Men. That Nyota is the Swahili word for star is mentioned by William Shatner in his book, Star Trek Memories. Startrek.com uses the name Nyota on their character biography page for the Animated Series but not on the TOS biography page. In a September 1987 appearance on Super Password Nichelle Nichols tells a contestant that Uhura's first name was Nyota, giving the full translation of Free Star . According to FASA's Star Trek RPG, Uhura's first name is Samara .In Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country Uhura's name is misspelled in the credits. It is spelled Uhuru . This misspelling has also appeared in numerous reference works and articles on the series.Nichelle Nichols planned to leave Star Trek in 1967, after its first season, but Martin Luther King, Jr. persuaded her to stay, stating that she was a role model for the black community. Whoopi Goldberg, who later played Guinan on Star Trek: The Next Generation, identified the Uhura character as a role model for her.In Plato's Stepchildren , Uhura is involved in an early TV portrayal of an interracial kiss. This is frequently misremembered as first televised portrayal of an interracial kiss on United States television even though it took place after Sammy Davis, Jr. and Nancy Sinatra had openly kissed on the variety program Movin' With Nancy in December 1967.Uhura/Nichelle Nichols is spoofed as Tawny Madison/Gwen Di Marco in Galaxy Quest. Leicester City manager Ian Holloway has also paid homage to the character, stating I had a massive crush on her when I was little - I think we all did. She was built to last! Astronauts, Guy Bluford, Sally Ride, Ron MacNair, and Judith Resnik were all recruited as a direct result of Nichelle Nichols' efforts to diversify NASA, following her role as Uhura.The black female astronaut, Dr. Mae Jemison also the first astronaut to appear on a Trek series, cites Uhura as a major influence on her decision to pursue her chosen career. Show less «