Debuting in the 1960s during the peak of the Civil Rights movement, characters like Uhura represented the brighter future that people of color were striving for. Years after the show's cancellation, Uhura among other TOS characters was brought back for the continuation of the franchise with cinematic films following more adventures of the beloved bridge crew aboard the iconic starship Enterprise.
While Uhura does not feature heavily in The Search For Spock, she has an incredibly notable scene. In order to sneak Kirk and others off the space station to find Spock's body, she takes a position in a transporter room with a very patronizing young lieutenant looking for more out of his Starfleet career.
When the brash lieutenant is surprised at the sudden, irregular appearance of Admiral Kirk, Uhura pulls a phaser on "Mister Adventure" and forces him into the closet. Always quick with a witty retort, Bones mentions he's glad Uhura's on their side, otherwise they would stand no chance against the formidable woman.
In what is considered to be Star Trek's best film, Uhura has a beautifully sentimental but blink-and-you'll-miss-it quote. When Kirk communicates with Spock on the Enterprise and is told it will be two days before regaining transporter power, Uhura refuses to leave Kirk behind on the apparently barren planetoid near Regula 1.
What the audience and Khan who was monitoring did not know is that Kirk and Spock shared an encoded message within it meaning that repairs would take two hours rather than days. Whether Uhura knew of the deception and was adding to its realism for Khan or not, it a testament to Uhura's unwavering loyalty and love for her crew-family of the Enterprise.
Unlike Zoe Saldaña's portrayal of Uhura in the 2009 reboot, Nichelle Nichols' Uhura in the final Star Trek movie featuring all of the TOS cast is made out to know very little of the Klingon language. Played up for laughs, Uhura is surrounded by officers with dictionaries to provide Klingon translation as the use of the universal translator would be detected and the Enterprise's retrieval of Kirk and McCoy from a penal colony would be promptly halted.
While Uhura's natural gift for linguistics is not properly valued or displayed here, it has genuine humor. Thanks to this scene and Nichelle Nichols' supposed dislike of it, other portrayals of Uhura show her as being even more proficient in several alien languages including Klingon and Vulcan.
Deemed one of the best Star Trek films, The Voyage Home is a brilliantly funny and insightful movie that lands the Enterprise Crew in the 1980s without their advanced technology. After learning about and using the Yellow Pages, Chekov learns a naval base has what they need in Alameda, but they don't know where that is.
Going from a policeman who is clearly suspicious of a Black woman and a Russian man asking for nuclear vessels to passersby in the street, a woman answers that the naval base they're after is in Alameda. This leaves Uhura stunned and exhausted ending the scene with her hilarious quote.
Many find it tough to decide which is the worst Star Trek film but many fans can agree that its first is truly terrible. While the storyline has been previously played out in TOS and the new uniforms are atrocious, it still fills fans' hearts with joy as it continued the beloved series and furthered the franchise.
While Uhura had plenty of dialogue in the movie, there was little value outside her role as a communications officer. Except in the extended cut which showed her defending Kirk's return to an ensign faithful to Williard Decker. While the quote shows how loyal and caring she is to her familial crew, it also proves she is as loyal and pragmatic as any Vulcan.
With Sulu, Chekov, and Scotty being about the same level of command as Uhura as opposed to Spock and Kirk, who may be considered Star Trek's best captain, she connects to them more than anyone else. Sharing most of her scenes with them, Uhura's caring nature feels almost motherly or sisterly.
Afraid that they'll "never live it down" for getting themselves lost while hiking in the woods, Sulu and Chekov pretend to be caught in a freak snowstorm. While she would like to tell this story, which she probably did at some point, like a true friend she promises to keep it secret. Not only do Trekkies appreciate Uhura and recognize her value but so do her family.
Beginning with a bang, the Star Trek franchise's second movie introduces Trekkies to the Kobayashi Maru, an undefeatable exam that tests the characters of Starfleet officers whilst preparing them for a no-win scenario. Overseeing Captain Spocks's trainees is the original Enterprise crew including Uhura working comms.
After their failed attempt, Kirk tells his former crew that "galloping about the cosmos is" for the young leading Uhura to quickly retort with this hilariously understated quote. After fearing that she along with the others had perished until revealed that it was all a simulation, it is a perfect return to form for Uhura.
After breaking several Federation laws to retrieve Spock's miraculously alive body and bring it to Vulcan, the Enterprise crew agrees to return to Earth and face judgment for their crimes. Unfortunately, after blowing up the "beautiful silver lady" in the third film, they are returning in a Klingon Bird-of-Prey starship.
With Uhura's communications systems ready, the iconic character feels "as ready as she'll ever be". So often full of confidence, Uhura finds herself doubting a great deal but in the most hilarious ways. Witty quips come naturally to her and she knows precisely how to alleviate tension on the bridge of whatever ship they fly.
While surprisingly scoring highly as one of the best Star Trek movies according to Reddit, most fans detest Star Trek V: The Final Frontier directed by William Shatner. However, that doesn't mean there aren't some stand-out scenes (some for the wrong reasons) but 'The Moon's a Window to Heaven' catches the eye for all the right reasons.
Dancing with nothing but palm fronds, Uhura sings an alluring ballad to attract their enemies' attention. While bizarre and unexpected, it works as a distraction for her crew to avoid guards working for Spock's zealot half-brother. While not everyone is a fan of this scene or its movie, it is easily one of Uhura's most memorable moments and what's more incredible is Nichelle Nichols was then 57 years old.
As the communications officer for the Enterprise, more often than not, Uhura finds herself being the bearer of bad news, and none can be as sad as learning that the Enterprise, their home, is to be decommissioned. It is made even sadder as it was Uhura's last line in the final film starring the entire cast of TOS and also Nichelle Nichols' final line as the beloved character.
While "it is goodbye" as Chekov puts it, it is not forever. As long as Star Trek continues to inspire, it lives. As does the memory of the incredibly formidable Nyota Uhura and the trailblazing actress Nichelle Nichols who played her. A true icon and a role that everyone can stand to learn from and who will be remembered fondly for years to come.