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For the mirror universe counterpart, please see Nilsson (mirror).
"Lieutenant Nilsson, you've stepped up for Airiam in a way that honors her."
– Christopher Pike to Nilsson, 2258 ("Such Sweet Sorrow")

Lieutenant commander Nilsson was a Starfleet operations officer who lived during the mid-23rd century and the late 32nd century.

Starfleet career

Nilsson attended Starfleet Academy in San Francisco, and had fond memories of a particular tree. (DIS: "People of Earth")

USS Discovery

In 2257, Nilsson served aboard the USS Discovery and on one occassion oversaw the deployment of a gravity simulator in the starship's shuttlebay to capture a fragment of an interstellar asteroid. (DIS: "Brother") She also assisted Paul Stamets and Sylvia Tilly in Engineering when a spore hub failure occurred. (DIS: "If Memory Serves")

Following Lt. Cmdr. Airiam's death, Nilsson attended her funeral and replaced the lieutenant commander as the new spore drive ops officer on the bridge. (DIS: "The Red Angel") Captain Christopher Pike commended her, noting she had "stepped up for Airiam in a way that honors her." (DIS: "Such Sweet Sorrow")

Nilsson was among the crewmembers who volunteered to stay on board the Discovery and accompany the ship and Michael Burnham into the 32nd century, with no chance of return. (DIS: "Such Sweet Sorrow") During the Battle near Xahea in 2258, she assisted Tilly in getting Stamets to sickbay, insisting Tilly get back to the bridge. She tried to stay with Stamets while also lending Doctor Tracy Pollard a hand during the crisis. After the battle, she was presumed dead by Starfleet, based on the testimonies of the USS Enterprise senior staff. (DIS: "Such Sweet Sorrow, Part 2")

Nilsson arrived to 3189 along with the rest of the Discovery crew. She was sent to assist Paul Stamets and Jett Reno in repairs when the ship was trapped in parasitic ice on "the Colony". (DIS: "Far From Home") Later, she greeted Michael Burnham in the transporter room. She was among the six crewmembers who visited the grounds of what was once Starfleet Academy in San Francisco, and a particularly popular tree. (DIS: "People of Earth")

Nilsson in command

Nilsson was occasionally left in command on the bridge. (DIS: "People of Earth", "Forget Me Not", "Rubicon", "Rosetta")



Background information

Lt. Nilsson was played by Sara Mitich, who previously played Airiam in Season 1.

Nilsson was named by writer Ted Sullivan after his favorite musician, Harry Nilsson. (Star Trek Magazine issue 204, p. 59) The social media companion Star Trek: Discovery Logs give Nilsson's first name as "Eva".

Mitich noted in an interview with Star Trek Magazine that Executive Producer Michelle Paradise described Nilsson's background as: a former ballet dancer at a renowned school of dance, who experienced an injury and took on new skills in environmental science and engineering. Mitich further described Nilsson as "very by the book, Type-A, OCD, disciplined..." (Star Trek Magazine issue 204, pp. 58-59) Since the series is unusually careful not to develop bit parts, however, it remains unlikely that such traits will be explored beyond the initial sketch.

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