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For the alternate reality counterpart, please see Nyota Uhura (alternate reality).
For the mirror universe counterpart, please see Nyota Uhura (mirror).
"And Uhura, whose name means 'freedom'. She walks in beauty, like the night."
– Ambassador Kollos, 2268 ("Is There in Truth No Beauty?")

Nyota Uhura was a female Human Starfleet officer who served from the mid-23rd through the early 24th century. Uhura had a distinguished career as a communications officer aboard the USS Enterprise and USS Enterprise-A and was later given command of the USS Leondegrance until her retirement. (Star Trek: The Original Series; Star Trek: The Animated Series; Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; Star Trek: Strange New Worlds; PIC: "The Star Gazer" commemorative plaque)


Sarah April and Uhura, young

Uhura appearing as she would as a child

Nyota Uhura was born in 2237 in Kenya on the continent of Africa on Earth, where she grew up in a village near Lake Simbi Nyaima. (TOS: "The Savage Curtain"; SNW: "Children of the Comet", "Those Old Scientists") She had an aptitude for mathematics and languages. By 2259, Uhura was fluent in 37 languages, including Andorian, Vulcan, and Swahili as well as 21 other languages spoken in Kenya. (TOS: "The Man Trap", "The Changeling", "Spectre of the Gun"; SNW: "Children of the Comet")

During her youth, she was able to run the hundred meter dash in record time. (TAS: "The Slaver Weapon")

Uhura family photo

Uhura's family photo

Uhura originally intended to attend the University of Nairobi, where both her parents were teachers. However, shortly before the beginning of her studies, her parents and brother were killed in a shuttle accident. She abandoned her original plans as attending the campus was too painful for her. Uhura went to live with her grandmother – who had herself served in Starfleet during her youth – and later followed in her grandmother's footsteps by attending Starfleet Academy. (SNW: "Children of the Comet", "Lost in Translation")

Starfleet career[]

Starfleet Academy[]

While at the Academy, Uhura wrote three papers about famed linguist Hoshi Sato of the Enterprise NX-01. (SNW: "Those Old Scientists")

Service aboard the Gallant[]

Uhura would serve aboard the USS Gallant prior to her assignment to the USS Enterprise as a cadet. For Starfleet Remembrance Day in 2259, she wore a pin memorializing the crewmates she had lost from this ship. (SNW: "Memento Mori")

Service aboard the USS Enterprise[]


Cadet Uhura's first Starfleet assignment on space duty began in 2259 when she was assigned to the USS Enterprise on communications rotation duty under Captain Christopher Pike, who described her as a "prodigy". (SNW: "Strange New Worlds") In spite of this, she was concerned about whether Starfleet was the right choice for her and if she could handle the duties required of her. (SNW: "Children of the Comet")

Her first away mission occurred shortly thereafter, when she landed on the comet C/2260-Quentin along with Spock, La'an Noonien-Singh, and George Samuel Kirk, in an effort to prevent the comet's collision with the planet Persephone III. She was assigned to the away team due to the discovery of an artificial structure within the comet; it was hoped that her knowledge of linguistics, like Kirk's expertise in xenoanthropology, would assist in understanding its nature and averting the threat. After Kirk was severely injured and the away team was trapped, Uhura was called upon to decipher the markings on the surface of an egg-like object within the structure. Despite her misgivings and insecurity in the dangerous situation, she was inspired by a pep talk from Spock to rise to the occasion. When she hummed the Kenyan traditional song Vamuvamba as she worked, the away team realized that the structure was responding to her music. She then used her musical talent to attempt to communicate with it. After the mission, she analyzed the structure's musical response and discovered that it had precognitive ability. (SNW: "Children of the Comet")

The Enterprise's chief engineer, Hemmer, would take Uhura under his wing and question her about her path in life – a question she didn't have an answer for. He reminded her of his late father, who had also pushed her to see things differently. (SNW: "Memento Mori", "All Those Who Wander")

While assigned to Lieutenant La'an Noonien-Singh she impressed the strict chief of security with her diligence and ingenuity. (SNW: , "Lift Us Where Suffering Cannot Reach")

When an alien consciousness from the Jonisian Nebula brought the fairy tale The Kingdom of Elysian to life on the Enterprise, Uhura was used for the character of Queen Neve. Uhura didn't remember the events after the ship was returned to normal. (SNW: "The Elysian Kingdom")

When Uhura's assignment on the Enterprise was nearing its end, she was still unsure if she should remain in Starfleet or not. She was then part of a mission to the USS Peregrine, which had made a crash landing on Valeo Beta V and was confronted by young Gorn who hunted the landing party. When Hemmer was infected by Gorn eggs and sacrificed himself for his comrades, he encouraged Uhura to open herself up to others and remain in Starfleet.

At his funeral, she acknowledged how much Hemmer meant to her and by guiding her, he had succeeded in his life goal of "fixing what was broken". (SNW: "All Those Who Wander")

When the Enterprise and the USS Cayuga were sent to the Romulan Neutral Zone to help resupply the Earth Outpost Stations, Uhura informed Pike that Starfleet Command had hailed them and informed them that Captain Marie Batel, the Cayuga's commanding officer was beaming aboard and Command wanted Pike and Commander Chin-Riley to meet her in the transporter room. (SNW: "A Quality of Mercy")

Nyota Uhura, 2259

Ensign Uhura

In the months that followed, Uhura graduated from the Academy and was commissioned as an ensign and continued to serve aboard the Enterprise. (SNW: "The Broken Circle")

During the Enterprise mission to the Brannon's Nebula, Uhura was contacted by a newly discovered species of extragalactic lifeform that lived there. She was assisted by Lts. Samuel Kirk and his brother James. (SNW: "Lost in Translation")

Sometime early in her career she once performed the delicate work of rigging a subspace bypass circuit, a fact she noted years later when she attempted to perform such a task aboard the Enterprise. (TOS: "Who Mourns for Adonais?")


After Pike's promotion to fleet captain, Captain Kirk assumed command of the Enterprise in 2265, with Uhura remaining for the transition. In the years that followed, she proved to be a proficient technician and was considered by Captain Kirk to be a capable and reliable bridge officer, manning the helm, navigation, and main science station when the need arose. (TOS: "The Man Trap", "The Naked Time", "Balance of Terror", "The Galileo Seven", "Whom Gods Destroy")

It was previously stated by Mr. Adventure, set in 2285, that Uhura was "a twenty-year space veteran," during his complaints having an shore duty assignment, which theoretically coincided with her time serving with Kirk.

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Nyota Uhura, 2266 (command)

Lieutenant Uhura in 2266

In 2266, Lieutenant Uhura was a command division staff officer aboard the USS Enterprise. She was the department head of the communications section. (TOS: "The Corbomite Maneuver", "Mudd's Women")

Uhura wasn't included in the final draft script of "The Corbomite Maneuver" (dated 3 May 1966), in which the communications officer was instead Dave Bailey.

In ultimately omitted dialogue from the second revised final draft of the script for "The Corbomite Maneuver" (dated 20 May 1966), Uhura was unfamiliar with the term "flypaper" and stated, "I thought I'd learned English by now," implying that it was not her native language.

Later that year, Uhura permanently transferred to the operations division.

As shown in the picture to the right, Uhura initially wore the gold command uniform in "The Corbomite Maneuver" and "Mudd's Women". Thereafter, she was outfitted in the more familiar red uniform of engineering and support services.

On stardate 1672.1, before taking a brief on-board ship sabbatical, Uhura's voice was heard ship wide reminding her fellow crew members to file their accurate "time sheets via the communications department." (TOS: "The Enemy Within")

Sulu confronts Richelieu

Uhura taken under the "protection" of Sulu in 2266

On stardate 1704.2, Enterprise navigator Lieutenant Kevin Riley, while under the influence of the Psi 2000 polywater intoxication, left his post at navigation and Commander Spock assigned her to the station until Lieutenant Brent relieved her from that duty later the same day.

On stardate 1704.3, Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu, also under the influence of the polywater intoxication, fantasizing himself a musketeer, took Uhura under his "protection" before first officer Spock subdued him with a Vulcan nerve pinch. (TOS: "The Naked Time")

Uhura loses her singing voice

Uhura loses her singing voice

On stardate 1533.7, Uhura was singing in the crew lounge with Spock's Vulcan lyre accompanying her for a song she made up about Charlie Evans, "Oh, On the Starship Enterprise", when Charlie suddenly decided to literally take away Uhura's voice and stop Spock from playing the Vulcan lyre, because he wanted undivided attention from his love interest, Yeoman Janice Rand. Uhura then nearly choked on her own voice.

Uhura's communication console explodes

Uhura's communication console explodes

On stardate 1535.8, to keep Uhura from opening hailing frequencies to Starfleet Command to warn them about Charlie, Charlie caused electrical sparks to emit from the communications console, giving her second degree burns on her hands and causing her fall to the floor near her station. Fortunately, Dr. McCoy came with a medical bag and ointment for her hands. Charlie was ultimately taken from the Enterprise by the Thasians, who returned him to their homeworld. (TOS: "Charlie X")

On stardate 1709.1, Uhura also took over the navigation post when Lieutenant Stiles was needed elsewhere on the ship during the confrontation with the Romulans near the Neutral Zone. (TOS: "Balance of Terror")


Uhura informs Kirk and Ferris of habitable planet

Uhura, as acting science officer, discovers a Class M planet

In 2267, from stardate 2821.5 to 2823.1, while the Enterprise shuttlecraft Galileo was studying the Murasaki 312 quasar, it was lost and then crashed on an uncharted planet. Because Spock was the commander of that mission and was not on the Enterprise, Uhura took lead in the search for the missing Galileo and took over at the bridge's science station, as well as still helping at communications relieving Lieutenant Brent at sciences. Uhura discovered the planet Taurus II that the Galileo had crashed on. After Spock and the four other surviving crew members were found and rescued, Uhura was happy to allow Spock the science station back under his command. (TOS: "The Galileo Seven")

She was one of a few officers privileged to dine at a banquet arranged at the request of Lieutenant Marla McGivers for Khan Noonien Singh on stardate 3141.9.

When Khan later cut life support to the bridge, Kirk listed the names of bridge personnel to be recorded for commendations. Before Kirk ran out of air, he was able to include Uhura in that list.

Afterwards, Uhura was assembled along with several officers in the briefing room, when one of Khan's henchmen forcefully grabbed Uhura by the arm and shoved her into a chair located in front of a computer terminal. When Uhura resisted obeying Khan's orders, the henchman slapped Uhura across the face. (TOS: "Space Seed")

On stardate 3417.4, Uhura, under the influence of pod plant spores from the planet Omicron Ceti III, disobeyed direct orders from Captain Kirk, for the first and only time, and disabled the communications console aboard the Enterprise to only allow communications between the ship and the planet. She then left her post and her ship, to join other crew members on Omicron Ceti III. When Uhura was freed of the influence of the spores, she re-enabled the communications console to normal. (TOS: "This Side of Paradise")

Crew observes the american revolution

Uhura as part of landing party that discovered the Guardian of Forever

Later that year, Uhura was part of the landing party that beamed down to the Guardian of Forever planet to find Dr. Leonard McCoy, who was in a wild state of mind due to an accidental overdose of cordrazine. Uhura was the first one of the landing party to notice that they had lost contact with the Enterprise. This was due to the fact that Dr. McCoy had run into the Guardian of Forever altering the timeline and erasing the Enterprise and everything the landing party knew becoming nonexistent. This was the only time where Uhura actually admitted to someone, specifically Captain Kirk, that she was truly frightened (without being under an influence of an alien force taking control of her mind). Fortunately after Kirk and Spock went through the Guardian of Forever and then came back from the past with Dr. McCoy they restored the time line and the existence of the Enterprise. (TOS: "The City on the Edge of Forever")

Uhura rewiring the communication circuits

Uhura rewiring the communication circuits

Following a communications blackout caused by Apollo, jamming all communication frequencies between the Enterprise and her landing party on stardate 3468.1, Uhura attempted the delicate task of rewiring the entire communications system in an attempt to break through the interference. In conjunction with Sulu's rigging of all transmission circuits for maximum power generation, Uhura successfully connected the bypass circuit, a task she had not done in several years. Spock praised her work and could think of "no one better equipped" to handle the necessary repairs. (TOS: "Who Mourns for Adonais?")

Nomad wipes Uhuras memory

Uhura having her memories erased by the probe Nomad

Perhaps Uhura's most traumatic experience during her time aboard the Enterprise occurred on stardate 3541.9. On this date, Uhura had her memory wiped out by the space probe Nomad, which misinterpreted her singing of "Beyond Antares" as a biological malfunction. This assault required Dr. McCoy to use advanced medical and educational techniques to restore her memories. (TOS: "The Changeling")

Uhura distracts Hikaru Sulu (mirror)

Uhura distracts the mirror universe Sulu

Later, Kirk, McCoy, and Montgomery Scott relied heavily on Uhura to help them after a transporter accident caused the four of them to be trapped in a violent and ruthless mirror universe run by the Terran Empire. They relied heavily on Uhura for her skills at communications and to distract the parallel universe's Lieutenant Sulu, the head of security on the ISS Enterprise, by spurning him, flirting with him and then spurning him, again, so he would not see what the four of them were doing to get back to their universe, which successfully they did. (TOS: "Mirror, Mirror")

Near the end of 2267, Uhura was reluctant to testify against Kirk, at an on-board hearing in the briefing room, but was forced to do so and could unfortunately only agree with Commodore Stocker that when Kirk was suffering from the rapid aging he was not anywhere near his best. This unfortunate incident for Uhura started on stardate 3479.4 when Kirk ordered Uhura to send a coded message to Starfleet and to use code 2 since the Enterprise in orbit around Gamma Hydra IV was close to the Romulan Neutral Zone. When Uhura reminded Kirk that the Romulans had already broken code 2, a befuddled Kirk ordered her to use code 3 and to relay the information about the rogue comet that Spock (also suffering the rapid aging) had discovered earlier and that was strongly suspected may have spread the radiation that started the rapid aging. Luckily for Uhura, the rest of the crew, and the Enterprise, McCoy (also suffering from the rapid aging) discovered an adrenaline based cure for the rapid aging before Stocker nearly got the ship destroyed by the Romulans. (TOS: "The Deadly Years")


Uhura and Harry Mudd

Uhura with Harcourt Fenton Mudd

In 2268, on stardate 4513.3, the ship was hijacked by Norman to a previously undiscovered planet, the Enterprise's crew discovered that Harcourt Fenton Mudd had crashed on the planet. The planet was populated by androids, from the Andromeda Galaxy, who wished to use the Enterprise to visit other planets and strand the Enterprise crew there. The androids tempted Uhura with long life and to never grow old by having her consciousness transferred to an android body, offering her virtual immortality. In the end, the crew banded together and escaped the planet, leaving Mudd with five hundred android replicas of his overbearing wife, Stella. (TOS: "I, Mudd")

Uhura giving away tribbles

Uhura giving away tribbles

On stardate 4523.3, while on shore leave aboard Deep Space Station K-7, Uhura met a dealer named Cyrano Jones, who tried to sell rare galactic items, among them, furry little creatures Jones called tribbles. In hopes of more sales, Jones gave one to Uhura, which subsequently, due to their high reproduction rate, threatened to overrun the Enterprise when Uhura took the creature with her on board. Fortunately, the crew was able to find a way to dispose of the tribbles in a humane way. (TOS: "The Trouble with Tribbles"; DS9: "Trials and Tribble-ations")

From stardate 4040.7 to 4041.7, during the Enterprise's mission to Planet 892-IV, Uhura monitored the radio broadcasts, she explained to Kirk and Spock what they had misheard as "sun worship" was actually "son worship", as in the "Son of God", and what they were witnessing was the equivalent of that planet's birth of Christianity. (TOS: "Bread and Circuses")

On stardate 3211.8, Uhura was the victim of an attempted sexual assault. When she, Kirk, and Chekov were kidnapped and imprisoned by the Providers of the planet Triskelion, Uhura fought off the advances of the drill thrall Lars with a water pitcher. (TOS: "The Gamesters of Triskelion")

When the Enterprise encountered a giant space amoeba in 2268, Lt. Uhura was one of the officers named by Captain Kirk as deserving of "special citation", along with Cmdr. Spock, Montgomery Scott, Dr. Leonard McCoy, Pavel Chekov, and Lt. Kyle. (TOS: "The Immunity Syndrome")

In 2268 on stardate 4657.5, Uhura was on the bridge when the Kelvan Hanar suddenly transported himself on to the bridge. Uhura, along with the rest of the bridge crew, was put into temporary stasis by Hanar. This was when the Kelvan Milky Way Expedition attempted to hijack the Enterprise to return to their homeworld in the Andromeda Galaxy. On stardate 4658.9, Kelvan leader Rojan neutralized and reduced Uhura into a dehydrated porous cuboctahedron solid, the size of a Human fist, composed of Uhura's base minerals which represented the "distilled" essence of her being. Uhura was considered by the Kelvans as one of many non-essential members of personnel. Uhura was reconstituted after Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and Scotty, the only four crew members not neutralized, regained control of the Enterprise. (TOS: "By Any Other Name")

On stardate 4770.3, the essence of the alien Henoch, in possession of Spock's body, terrorized the whole bridge crew, inflicting tremendous pain on Uhura with a flick of Spock's hand. Uhura managed to survive and rose above the pain inflicted by Henoch. (TOS: "Return to Tomorrow")

When the Enterprise was temporarily placed under the control of the M-5 multitronic unit as part of an experiment by Doctor Richard Daystrom on stardate 4729.4, Uhura was one of twenty officers selected by the computer to operate the starship during the series of M-5 drills. Most of her duties were accomplished by M-5, and when its became clear that the unit was becoming increasingly dangerous, she was unable to override the interference it caused, but was able to tap into the communiques between Starfleet Command and the USS Lexington. (TOS: "The Ultimate Computer")

On stardate 4372.5, the Enterprise was assigned to transport Elaan, Dohlman of Elas to the planet Troyius, Uhura offered Elaan her quarters to stay in while traveling on board the Enterprise. While the Dohlman was dissatisfied with them, Kirk appreciated her sacrifice in offering them. When Kirk confronted the Dohlman about her complaints, he explained that "my communications officer generously vacated the rooms hoping you would find it satisfactory," which she did not, primarily due to it being too plush. After Kirk denied Elaan request for better quarters, noting that none better existed, he offered to "arrange to have the whole room filled from floor to ceiling with breakable objects," as a means of getting her the gratification she sought. (TOS: "Elaan of Troyius")

Uhura's fear of being old

An image planted by the Starnes Exploration Party children in Uhura's mind, of her seeing her own worst fear of being an old woman

On stardate 5029.5, the Starnes Exploration Party children, under the influence of Gorgan, terrorized the whole bridge crew with their telekinetic powers, including creating an illusion of Uhura's worst fear: a reflection of herself as a disfigured, diseased, dying, old woman. The illusion made it impossible for Uhura to perform her duties as communications officer. Once the children were freed of the influence of Gorgan, the image planted in her brain, making her see an illusion on the communications console, disappeared, freeing Uhura. (TOS: "And the Children Shall Lead")

Later in 2268, on stardate 5431.4, Uhura was rendered unconscious by the Eymorg Kara when she boarded the Enterprise and used her control bracelet in order to steal Spock's brain. Later, following her recovery, Kirk trusted Uhura's finding large, regular energy pulsations on the otherwise glaciated and pre-industrial Sigma Draconis VI as to the planet in that system to find Spock's missing brain over Sulu's and Ensign Pavel Chekov's suggestions of which planet to search for Spock's brain. Uhura's guess proved to be the correct one. (TOS: "Spock's Brain")

Kirk's memorial service

Uhura (first row, third from left) attends Kirk's memorial service

Again in 2268, Uhura, after attending Kirk's memorial service, was the first one of the crew to see the ghost-like image of Kirk in a mirror in her quarters. Kirk was trapped in the interphase Tholian space aboard the USS Defiant. For a short time after, Uhura thought she might be suffering from the ill mental effects of the interphase as many of her fellow crew members were. But after Scotty, McCoy, Brent, and Spock saw the ghost-like image of the interphase trapped Kirk, McCoy determined that Uhura was completely sane. (TOS: "The Tholian Web")

Uhura and Kirk kiss

Kirk and Uhura about to kiss

On stardate 5784.2, under the influence of powerful telepaths, Uhura was forced to kiss Captain Kirk; Kirk stopped the aliens from forcing him to torture Uhura. (TOS: "Plato's Stepchildren")

According to Nichols, in the script for "Plato's Stepchildren", Uhura kissed Spock, but Shatner insisted "If anyone's gonna get to kiss Nichelle, it's going to be me, I mean, Captain Kirk!" (Beyond Uhura [page number?edit]

The kiss between Kirk and Uhura became famous, as it was the first kiss between an African-American and a Caucasian portraying fictional characters on American "episodic" television. The scene was seen as groundbreaking, even though the kiss was portrayed as having been forced by alien mind control.

According to her 1994 autobiography Beyond Uhura, the scene was, at the behest of NBC executives worried that Southern affiliates might refuse to air the episode, filmed with and without the kiss, but Nichols and Shatner consciously sabotaged the non-kiss takes so that there would be no choice but to leave the kiss in the final version.

On stardate 5710.6, Uhura was the first one on the bridge to notice the "disappearance" of Kirk after he sipped some of the Scalosian water spiked coffee, courtesy of Deela, while hyper-accelerated Kirk up to the Scalosians speed. Later, she accidentally touched the tape button from the previous Scalosian distress call, which called up an image of Deela on the viewscreen, but Kirk inquired if it was indeed not a malfunction, which Uhura comfirmed. (TOS: "Wink of an Eye")

Also in 2268, Uhura had trouble making Spock comprehend that she was inquiring about what happened to the Enterprise from the turbulence caused by the image of Losira appearing in the transporter room to protect the Kalandan outpost planet. She had to laugh at Spock commenting about his head hitting the captain's chair when she made the inquiry and then she had to rephrase the question. (TOS: "That Which Survives")

Near the end of 2268, Uhura immediately ran to the bridge's main science station after an explosion on the far side of planet Elba II had Scotty and Sulu registering it as a 9.5 earthquake. Just as with Scotty and McCoy, Uhura was as concerned about whether life still remained on Elba II as Kirk and Spock were at the Elba II asylum penal colony. Fortunately Uhura, McCoy, and Scotty's fears about Kirk and Spock being dead turned out to be unfounded. (TOS: "Whom Gods Destroy")

On stardate 5423.6, Uhura agreed with McCoy and Scotty that Spock should stand his ground – with Spock starting to concur with them – that he wouldn't let the evasive answers of or behavior from Ambassador Hodin, of the planet Gideon's Council, about what happened to the missing Kirk or Admiral Fitzgerald's trying to get Spock from insisting on getting true answers about the whereabouts of Kirk . (TOS: "The Mark of Gideon")


On stardate 5725.3, Uhura temporarily lost her ability to move her hands and could not open hailing frequencies to contact the Memory Alpha library when the Enterprise encountered the "lights of Zetar" beings. (TOS: "The Lights of Zetar")

Later in 2269, on stardate 5843.8, Uhura was miniaturized and placed into temporary stasis by Flint. After Kirk's successful plea, she was restored to normal. (TOS: "Requiem for Methuselah")

On stardate 5221.3, Uhura picked up a strange radio signal from a long-abandoned insectoid race's ship orbiting the dead star Questar M-17. After Kirk, Spock, McCoy, and Scotty beamed back aboard the Enterprise from investigating the abandoned ship, the crew discovered they had also beamed aboard the same malevolent entity that had caused the insectoids' ship's abandonment. The crew, including Uhura, were temporarily taken hostage by the entity, until Kirk managed to trick it into leaving the ship and go live around Questar M-17's orbit. Scotty then used a slingshot effect to break the Enterprise free from Questar M-17's orbit. As they were leaving the stellar cluster that Questar M-17 was located in, Uhura, on stardate 5221.8, picked up one last signal from the entity, announcing it was "lonely, very lonely...." (TAS: "Beyond the Farthest Star")

Uhura threatens Dara

Uhura takes charge on the planet

In 2269 on stardate 5483.7, the male Enterprise crew was incapacitated by the "siren's song" of the second planet of the Taurean system's female population, necessitating Uhura to take command of the ship. She and Nurse Christine Chapel led an all female landing party to rescue Captain Kirk, first officer Spock and Dr. McCoy. (TAS: "The Lorelei Signal")

On stardate 1254.4, as the Enterprise was exploring the galactic core, the ship and its crew became caught in a matter-energy whirlwind and were thrown into an alternate universe. In that universe, the crew met a being who called himself "Lucien". Lucien claimed that he had, at one-time, been on Earth and had met Humans before. Lucien also claimed that the Enterprise crew could perform magic in the alternate universe, with the crew being very surprised when they could. Unfortunately, Lucien's fellow Megans were not thrilled to discover that the Enterprise crew was doing just that. The Megans transported the whole crew to planet Megas-Tu and promptly put all of them, including Uhura, into 17th century style pillories, as punishment. The crew, including Uhura, were in the Megans' interpretation of 1691 Salem and were put on a similar Salem witch trial, nearly put to death courtesy of Megan Asmodeus' prosecuting legal tactics. Fortunately, Spock, as a Vulcan defense counselor, pleaded successfully for the crew's release in that Humanity had grown away from the hatred, fear and bigotry of 1691. (TAS: "The Magicks of Megas-Tu")

Uhura held hostage by the Shore Leave's Planet's master computer

Uhura held hostage by the Shore Leave Planet's master computer

On stardate 5591.2, Uhura suffered the first of two assaults by a computer. Kirk took the Enterprise and its crew to the "Shore Leave Planet" in the Omicron Delta region for much-needed rest and relaxation. But unaware to the crew, the planet's Keeper had died since their last visit and the planet's master computer suffered from what amounted to its version of a mental breakdown. One of the many violations of its original protocol the planet's master computer did was to kidnap Uhura. While being held hostage in the planet's computer core, Uhura found out that the master computer decided it was time to free the individuals on the fellow computer, the Enterprise, from their being a slave to their master. Uhura reasoned with the computer and convinced the master computer that the Humans on board the Enterprise did not have that kind of relationship and, with the Humans on board needing rest and relaxation, the planet's computer itself was not being taken advantage of – but that was useful and needed purpose for it. That worked, eventually, to get the master computer to go back to its protocols, and to cease its hostile actions against the Enterprise crew. That talk also made much easier Spock's later work with the master computer to make sure something like that did not happen again, on the "Shore Leave Planet". (TAS: "Once Upon a Planet")

On stardate 5577.7, Uhura and the rest of the Enterprise crew were paralyzed from a flash of light coming from a planet in the Cepheus star system, after Uhura received a distress signal using a 21st century intersat code with the word "terratin" attached. The flash of light ended up shrinking Uhura and the rest of the crew to fingernail length, at one-sixteenth of an inch high. Uhura and the rest of the crew were restored to normal size via the transporter as the mutated descendants of the lost Terra 10 colony were rescued and relocated from the unstable planet. (TAS: "The Terratin Incident")

On stardate 5267.2, when the Enterprise went through the "Delta Triangle" space-time warp, Uhura, along with the rest of the crew, suffered from temporary vertigo. (TAS: "The Time Trap")

In 2269, on stardate 4187.3, Uhura was on the Enterprise shuttlecraft Copernicus, traveling with Spock and Sulu, when the Slaver stasis box they had on-board indicated the existence of another stasis box on an uncharted icy planet in the Beta Lyrae system. Uhura, Spock and Sulu discovered, in the second box, a weapon of great power. When the Kzinti traveling on the Traitor's Claw found out that the three Enterprise crew members were on the planet with such a newly discovered Slaver stasis box, they twice kidnapped Uhura and the Chuft-Captain held her hostage. Spock and Sulu were able to free Uhura by discovering new settings on the weapon, settings that tricked the Kzinti. (TAS: "The Slaver Weapon")


In 2270, Uhura was again temporarily in command of the bridge when the Enterprise lost contact with Kirk and Spock, half of the ships' contact party, while exploring the surface of Delta Theta III. Per Kirk's orders of avoiding unnecessary risks, she ordered Scotty and Sulu, the other half of the contact party, to re-board the ship, contrary to their attempt to locate Spock and the captain. (TAS: "Bem")

Rec Room - The Blizzard

Uhura, McCoy, and Sulu caught in a vicious blizzard

In 2270, on stardate 3183.3, Uhura dealt with the second assault by a computer. This time, the assault came from the Enterprise computer. Captain Kirk, to hide the ship from an attacking Romulan ship, took the Enterprise into a space cloud, not realizing that this would turn the ship's computer into a practical joker, and there were several jokes played on many crew members. To get away from the practical jokes, not realizing that the computer was the cause of the jokes, Uhura, McCoy, and Sulu decided to get themselves away from the practical jokes in the holographic recreation room. The computer first played a "practical joke" on the three of them by trapping them in a deep hole in a forest. When a security search party could not find them, the Enterprise computer's practical joker went further and trapped Uhura, McCoy, and Sulu in a raging blizzard that none of the three asked for. Fortunately, all three were found and saved, before they froze to death, by a second successful security search party. Another trip through the cloud rid the Enterprise computer of the practical joker. (TAS: "The Practical Joker")

Later in 2270, on stardate 5275.6, Uhura collapsed on the bridge due to the effect of the Dramia II plague. Fortunately, Dr. McCoy was able to find a cure to rescue her and the rest of the infected crew. This was the final illness Uhura suffered from during the Enterprise's historic five-year mission. (TAS: "Albatross")

On stardate 6770.3, upon entering an anti-matter universe, the Enterprise crew experienced the effects of accelerated reverse aging and Uhura also was reduced to infancy. After returning the ship to normal space, the crew was able to return to their normal age by using the transporters. (TAS: "The Counter-Clock Incident")


Nyota Uhura, 2270s

Lt. Commander Uhura in the 2270s

In the mid-2270s, Lieutenant Commander Uhura served aboard the refitted Enterprise under the command of Captain Will Decker, and later during the V'ger crisis under the command of Rear Admiral Kirk. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)


During the mid-2280s, Uhura remained aboard the Enterprise, which was then attached to Starfleet Training Command, where it served as a training vessel under the commander of Captain Spock.

In March 2285, Uhura, who was by that time promoted to commander, was a participant in Saavik's Kobayashi Maru scenario at Starfleet Training Command. After the scenario, she served aboard the Enterprise under the command of Captain Spock.

Later, she was one of the ship's communications officers for a three week training cruise. Upon receiving a call for help from Regula I, Starfleet Command ordered an investigation by the Enterprise. With Rear Admiral Kirk assuming command, the cruise was cut short. The Enterprise became involved with Project Genesis and Khan Noonien Singh's attempt to steal the Genesis Device. Eventually, Kirk was able to stop Khan, but not before the latter had wrought extensive damage upon the Enterprise, requiring Captain Spock to sacrifice his life to save the ship. Uhura attended the funeral of Spock. (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan)


Uhura with phaser, 2285

Uhura performs her part in Kirk's theft of the Enterprise

Following the return of the Enterprise to Spacedock, Uhura had requested an assignment to the Old City Station transporter room. During the planned rescue attempt of Spock from the Genesis Planet, Uhura played an instrumental role of illegally transporting Admiral Kirk and company to the Enterprise prior to its theft. (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)

In the scene featuring Uhura's posting at Old City Station, Uhura was seen wearing a black skirt with her uniform rather than the otherwise standard black slacks worn by other female personnel. This costume design was made at the request of Nichelle Nichols, and honored by costume designer Robert Fletcher especially for that one scene. (citation needededit)

Kirk and his senior staff succeeded in saving Spock, and Uhura met up with her crewmates on Vulcan. Along with the rest of the crew she traveled back to the year 1986 aboard a Klingon Bird-of-Prey – which they named the HMS Bounty – to retrieve two humpback whales to save the planet Earth from an alien probe.

Uhura Chekov collector

Uhura and Chekov extracting protons from the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise

After arriving in the 20th century, Uhura quickly located whale song coming from San Francisco.

Upon landing, she and Chekov were assigned with resolving "the uranium problem" that impeded their return to the own time. From San Francisco the two questioned a number of passersby on how to find the naval base in Alameda. That night they beamed aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise stationed there and acquired the required high-energy photons from its reactor core. Uhura narrowly escaped with the collector in hand, but Chekov was captured.

Uhura monitored the local comm channels, but displayed regret for leaving Chekov behind; Kirk assured her that she did what was necessary. She eventually located him at Mercy Hospital, and following his rescue and their departure, she directed the Bird-of-Prey towards George and Gracie, after locating their signal in the Bering Sea.

Upon their return to the 23rd century, she was among the crew charged with her involvement – specifically conspiracy – in the theft of the Enterprise. However, all charges against them were dropped because they had saved the planet. She and her crew were subsequently reassigned to the USS Enterprise-A. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home)

Service aboard the USS Enterprise-A[]

Sybok and Sha Ka Ree[]

Nyota Uhura performs on Nimbus III

Uhura seduces the Paradise City Guards in the desert on Nimbus III

In 2287, the Enterprise was dispatched to resolve a hostage situation on Nimbus III, the Planet of Galactic Peace. Under the influence of the rebel leader Sybok, Uhura, and many other crew members cooperated to divert the Enterprise to the galactic core where Sybok convinced them they would find the mythical Sha Ka Ree. In an initial attack on the rebel-held Paradise City, Uhura played a vital part by performing an erotic, moonlit fan dance on a sand dune to distract a lookout party of rebels. Her dance seduced the entire party and they were captured by Kirk and his team in order to steal their horses which they used to enter Paradise City. (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier)

The Khitomer conspiracy[]

Pavel Chekov and Nyota Uhura, 2293

Uhura with Chekov in 2293

In 2293, Uhura was three months from standing down as the communications officer of the Enterprise-A. Before the Camp Khitomer crisis, she had expected to chair a seminar at Starfleet Academy. During the crisis, Uhura served as communications officer of the Enterprise-A. The Enterprise crew played a vital role in the success of the Khitomer Conference by exposing a conspiracy that sought to sabotage the peace process. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)

Uhura was originally to have appeared in VOY: "Flashback". In the first draft script of that episode, she contacted the USS Excelsior in a coded transmission, speaking to Captain Sulu, while the trial of Kirk and McCoy was being broadcast. Informing Sulu she was watching that footage, Uhura referred to the event as "what they're calling the trial." She then notified Sulu that Spock had told Starfleet Command that the Enterprise's warp engines weren't working. However, she also implied a suggestion that the Excelsior could attempt to enter Klingon space, under the pretense of carrying out the ship's mission of surveying gaseous anomalies, and actually attempt to secretly rescue Kirk and McCoy. Lastly, Uhura also hinted that the Enterprise's warp engines weren't really faulty. She then ended the call, after which Sulu decided to do as Uhura had implicitly advised, deciding to try to rescue Kirk and McCoy.

Uhura was additionally present in the first draft script of Star Trek Generations, in which she toured the USS Enterprise-B, along with the rest of the former senior staff from the previous Enterprise. She and her colleagues were on the Enterprise-B's bridge when the ship encountered El-Aurian ships caught in the Nexus energy ribbon. When a lieutenant at an aft console reported difficulty with obtaining a transporter lock on one of the jeopardized vessels (namely, the SS Lakul), Uhura "sweetly" commented to the lieutenant, "Honey, a transporter's just like a man... if you want him to work for you, you gotta boost your gain and modulate his signal." She then began to help work the lieutenant's console. Uhura later made a couple of announcements, declaring how many El-Aurians had managed to be beamed to safety aboard the Enterprise-B, and vocally issuing a damage report for that ship once it had escaped the anomaly.

Commanding the USS Leondegrance[]

Sometime after the Enterprise-A was decommissioned, Uhura was promoted to Captain and given command of the USS Leondegrance. From 2301 to 2305, Uhura and the Leondegrance carried out a five-year mission to the Lesser Magellanic Cloud, and participated in over one hundred first contact missions with the civilizations encountered there. Following the five-year mission, the Leondegrance became an Academy training ship in 2317, with Uhura retaining command until her retirement in 2333. During that time, many Academy cadets experienced faster-than-light travel for the first time under Uhura's command; one of these was a young Jean-Luc Picard. (PIC: "Remembrance" Speed of Light Club certificate; PIC: "The Star Gazer" commemorative plaque)


By the 25th century, Uhura would be honored by having a ship named after her, the USS Uhura. (PIC: "The Star Gazer")

Anything but canon scenarios[]

First Contact Day Party

Nyota Uhura (Holiday Party)

Uhura at the First Contact Day party

According to an anything but canon account, Uhura was present along with Hemmer, Spock, Una Chin-Riley, Christine Chapel and others at a First Contact Day celebration on the Enterprise.

Although the captain originally assigned Hemmer to emcee this event, he turned it over to Spock, who might have a better idea of what to do since he's technically both Human and Vulcan. After all, First Contact day was all about first contact between those two species.

Spock then begins by playing a variety of bloopers from a blooper reel that he compiled together. These bloopers were very much offensive, since they resulted in the deaths of various Starfleet officers. This was upsetting to the other crewmembers. Uhura even told him that bloopers shouldn't have an in memoriam.

She goes onto explain that a blooper should be about a person walking into a door and slamming into it because it failed to open automatically like it's designed to do, or someone accidentally mispronouncing "Spock" as "Spork." Inspired by her words, he decides to try one last clip, which featured an ensign who had space diarrhea running through the corridor along a freshly mopped floor. He slips and and rams his genitals into the mop and then farts. Uhura then tells Spock that this clip was perfect. (VST: "Holiday Party")

Malfunctioning holoprogram

Nyota Uhura (Holograms All the Way Down)

Uhura hologram 1

Nyota Uhura (Holograms All the Way Down) 2

Uhura hologram 2

According to an unreliable and unverified account, two different holograms of Uhura were present in the narrative of a nonsensical or malfunctioning holoprogram.

The first version of Nyota Uhura to appear in this program appeared alongside her fellow crewmate, Hikaru Sulu. They were shown to be in the rec room in Area 39 of the USS Enterprise. They were running a program about Gwyndala, Zero and Rok-Tahk. Sulu was annoyed with the nonsensical nature of the program, and he stopped the program, saying that he was sick of the nonsense. He and Uhura then began to leave the rec room, but the were frozen in place when Saru called out to the computer, saying: "Computer, end simulation."

Uhura appeared in the same malfunctioning holoprogram later on during the program. This time it began on as a scene on the USS Voyager, where Neelix was watching a holonovel on his PADD. He finally decides that he's seen enough silly stories for one night, and so he puts his PADD down, and lies down, going to sleep. The scene turns quiet for a second, until the voice of Charles Tucker III could be heard trying to pause the playback.

Then the shocking reveal, was that he wasn't really Tucker at all, but just a head on a holographic five-headed monster. The other four heads were holographic images of the heads of William T. Riker, T'Pol and Spock. Uhura's head was likewise part of the holo-monster. This time the computer itself calls out to pause the program, and the holographic monster was frozen in place. (VST: "Holograms All the Way Down")

Jam session on the bridge

Nyota Uhura on the viewscreen

Uhura on the viewscreen

In another anything but canon account, there was a party on the bridge of the Enterprise in celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the TOS era crew's cartoon show.

To celebrate, William T. Riker brought his trombone and Hikaru Sulu brought his keyboard, so that they could play some Post Mainframe Acid-Cardassian Ten Forwardcore music. As they began their song, other band members joined in. Scotty played the drums, Arex was on the double guitar, M'Ress played the tambourine and D'Vana Tendi provided backup vocals.

Clips from the animated series were shown on screen during their song. Uhura could be seen at her communications station at one point. Eventually, the song ends when a fleet of D7 class Klingon battle cruisers attack the ship, causing an explosion on the bridge. (VST: "Walk, Don't Run")

Personal life[]


Uhura, off-duty in her quarters

Uhura off-duty in her quarters

Uhura was proud of her African heritage. In fact, she decorated her personal living quarters aboard the Enterprise with a zebra-skin bedspread, some African sculptures and masks, and wall panels containing African images. (TOS: "The Tholian Web")

After Uhura offered her quarters for Elaan in 2268, the offended Dohlman referenced her treatment by being placed in Uhura's quarters, complaining "am I a soft Troyian fawn to need pillows to sit on?" Her review of Uhura's decor was, "and these ridiculous female trappings. They are an offense to my eyes." When Elaan later questioned if Kirk was going to fulfill her request for new quarters, Kirk replied, "There are none better. I suggest you make do with these." (TOS: "Elaan of Troyius")


Uhura was also talented in music, and had a "bad habit" of humming. In 2259, however, her humming of the Kenyan folk song "Vamuvamba" led to the serendipitous discovery that the M'hanit communicated through music. On this occasion she also used her knowledge of musical theory to benefit the mission. (SNW: "Children of the Comet")

She was well-known among her fellow Enterprise colleagues for entertaining them with her singing talent, including her own renditions of songs, such as "Oh, On the Starship Enterprise". (TOS: "Charlie X")

Listen to Uhura sing "Oh, On the Starship Enterprise" file info and "Oh, Charlie's Our New Darling". file info

In the original screenplay of "Charlie X" Uhura was a talented mimic, who amused her colleagues with miming fellow officers. This was altered to suit Nichelle Nichols' singing abilities.

One of Uhura's favorite love songs to sing was the song "Beyond Antares". She chose the song in response to a request made by Kevin Riley, who was on duty alone in engineering, and who wanted to be reassured that he was not the only living thing left in the universe. (TOS: "The Conscience of the King") She also sang it while on bridge duty the following year. Her performance led to the incident that triggering Nomad's assault on her. (TOS: "The Changeling")

Listen to Uhura sing "Beyond Antares". file info

She also hummed a tune while she relaxed planet-side during the Enterprise' second visit to the Shore Leave Planet. (TAS: "Once Upon a Planet")

Holograms []

Dal R'El's Kobayashi Maru[]

Nyota Uhura (Kobayashi Maru hologram)

A holographic Uhura

During Dal's setup of the Kobayashi Maru scenario aboard the USS Protostar in 2383, he requested that the computer select the best officers on his behalf, which included a holographic version of Communications Officer Uhura, from the TOS era, as a member of his command crew. (PRO: "Kobayashi")


Spock brought back to life

Spock reunited with his shipmates

Throughout their years of serving together, Uhura developed a strong friendship with the other members of the Enterprise senior staff. In 2285, she helped Kirk without hesitation in his quest to find peace for Spock's katra. When the other crew members had recovered Spock's body from the Genesis Planet, Uhura had been waiting for them on Vulcan and witnessed the fal-tor-pan ritual being performed on Spock. (Star Trek III: The Search for Spock)


James T. Kirk[]

Kirk meets Uhura

Lt. Kirk and Ensign Uhura meeting for the first time

Uhura first met James T. Kirk at a bar on the Enterprise when Kirk came to visit his brother Sam. At first, Uhura thought he was hitting on her but he was just introducing himself to her and was being friendly. She was very hostile to him at first but overtime the two began to trust to one another and after dealing with the deuterium creatures within Bannon's Nebula, the two shared a drink and Uhura introduced Kirk to Spock. (SNW: "Lost in Translation")

Prime Kirk and Uhura meeting in a bar maybe an homage to how their alternate counterparts met in Star Trek.


Spock and Uhura make music

Spock and Uhura make music together in the recreation room

Near the beginning of her service aboard the Enterprise, Uhura attempted to reach the Human side of Spock. (SNW: "Children of the Comet")

On stardate 1513.1, she tried to start a conversation with a sardonic Spock and asked him how Vulcan looked when its moon was full. When Spock mentioned to her that Vulcan has no moon, she expressed little surprise at his lack of romanticism. She was also amazed that Spock lacked any curiosity with regard to the identity of a dead officer on planet M-113. (TOS: "The Man Trap")

Soon afterward, when Charles Evans was aboard the Enterprise, Uhura and Spock entertained the crew together in the recreation room on stardate 1533.6. With Spock on the Vulcan harp, Uhura sang two versions of the improvised song Oh, On the Starship Enterprise, one about Spock, the second about Evans (which caused Evans to make her temporarily lose her voice). (TOS: "Charlie X")

In the alternate reality, Uhura and Spock became romantically involved. (Star Trek)

In a deleted scene from "Elaan of Troyius", Uhura suggested to Captain Kirk that "music hath charms to soothe the savage beast", and thus they entered to find Spock playing a mating song on the Vulcan lyre. Uhura was deeply impressed with Spock's musical abilities, and asked if he could teach her how to play the lyre. Spock approved, yet wondered whether a non-Vulcan could ever master the skill.

In a 2008 interview, Nichelle Nichols said "I created a relationship between Uhura and Spock as being her mentor and the person she looked up to. Uhura was the only one who could play the Vulcan lyre and the only one who had the audacity to sing a song teasing Spock." [1]

When asked about her reaction to the relationship between Spock and Uhura in the reboot, Nichols stated in a 2009 interview "I was sharing this with George (Takei) the other day, when I told him that I thought of Spock as my mentor. Because if you remember Uhura was the only one he was able to teach the Vulcan lyre to and he sang and spoofed on Spock. Now, you could have never had a love scene in '63 between Uhura and Spock but there were several hints and Gene (Roddenberry) was one in the kind of beginning to follow that" [2]

Montgomery Scott[]

Montgomery Scott and Nyota Uhura, 2267

Scotty and Uhura (2267)

In 2287, Uhura and Montgomery Scott were to take shore leave together. As Scott was unable to leave the Enterprise-A, she brought him dinner. Later, she began to show some romantic interest in Scott while being under the influence of Sybok. Scott, nevertheless, politely declined the advance, mindful of her "condition" and realizing that she was in fact a "convert". (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier)

Scott and Uhura

Uhura and Scott (2287)

Scott helped Uhura and Chekov look up Klingon phrases in antique books in 2293 while trying to cross the border into Klingon space to rescue their jailed colleagues. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country)

In an interview for the Star Trek: The Official Fan Club Magazine (issue 73), when asked about whatever there was any romantic involvement between Scott and Uhura in Star Trek V, Nichelle Nichols answered that they are just friends and there never was any romantic interest between them.

The idea was further developed in the 1989 Star Trek (DC volume 2) comics where Scott and Uhura discussed about what happened while she had been under Sybok's influence and they reiterated that they are just friends. Uhura wanted to apologize for her behavior stating that she wasn't herself, Scott nevertheless understood that Sybok had lifted "the burden of guilt" in her because deep down a part of her regretted repressing all her dreams of love and a family in favor of a career only.

In the book Yesterday's Son, Scott kissed Uhura after the two starred in a play together. In the book Prime Directive, Scott and his friends were separated for a time. After they all meet back up again, they share hugs (Scott was so happy that he even slapped Spock on the back with a beaming smile on his face). It is described that "Uhura's hug was the longest and most intensely felt of the greetings Scott gave and received."

Alternate timelines[]

Romulans revealed in 2266[]

Nyota Uhura (alternate timeline), 2266

Lt. Uhura in an alternate 2266

In an alternate 2266 where Captain Pike prevented his exposure to delta radiation and saved the lives of several cadets that were due to die during that accident, Nyota Uhura had reached the rank of lieutenant and was still serving as communications officer aboard the Enterprise under Pike. (SNW: "A Quality of Mercy")

UEF Enterprise[]

Nyota Uhura, alternate 2259

Nyota Uhura aboard the UEF Enterprise in alternate 2259

In an alternate timeline created where Khan Noonien Singh was killed by the Romulan Sera and United Earth was at war with the Romulan Star Empire, Uhura joined the United Earth Fleet and by 2259 was assigned as communications officer aboard the UEF Enterprise under the command of Captain James T. Kirk. (SNW: "Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow")

Key dates[]



Background information[]

Identifying appearances[]

Uhura was played by Nichelle Nichols, who appeared in sixty-six episodes. The character was voiced by her in two additional episodes, "The Enemy Within" and "The Menagerie, Part II", and appeared in stock footage in "The Paradise Syndrome". [3] For Star Trek's 30th anniversary, Uhura reappeared in archive footage from "The Trouble with Tribbles" and "Mirror, Mirror" that was used in the Deep Space Nine episode "Trials and Tribble-ations". Twenty-six year later, Uhura was portrayed by Celia Rose Gooding for her inclusion in the TOS prequel, Strange New Worlds.

In addition to her physical appearances, Nichols also provided Uhura's voice for The Animated Series, in which Uhura appears in all but three episodes. Forty-eight years later, archive audio of Uhura from in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, "The Gamesters of Triskelion", "The Enterprise Incident", "The Mark of Gideon", "Space Seed", and "The Trouble with Tribbles" were later used for her appearance in the Prodigy episode "Kobayashi".

Name and heritage[]

According to an anecdote told by Nichelle Nichols at Shore Leave 29, she and Gene Roddenberry decided on the name "Uhura" because, before Nichols' audition, she and several others involved in casting had been reading the 1962 novel Uhuru by American author Robert Ruark. The story was verified by Robert H. Justman and Herb Solow in Inside Star Trek: The Real Story.

"Uhuru" is the Swahili word for "freedom". Spock, after making a mind meld with Kollos in "Is There in Truth No Beauty?", says that Uhura's name means "freedom" and recites a line of poetry about beauty from Lord Byron. In Star Trek VI, her name is misspelled "Uhuru" in the credits.

In the non-canon Star Trek RPG published by FASA in the 1980s, the full name given for the character was "Samara Uhura". In the RPG adaptation, the USS Samara Uhura was included as one of several Decker-class starships that were named for the Enterprise crew. Another first name suggested by a non-canon source was included in a character index in an issue of the fan publication Trek (later included in an edition of The Best of Trek published by Signet Books): Penda Uhura.

Nichelle Nichols herself has said that an author writing about the history of Star Trek had asked Gene Roddenberry what Uhura's first name was and was told that one had never been decided. The author then recommended the name "Nyota". Roddenberry liked it, but said to ask Nichols before he allowed the name to be used. Nichols thought the name was perfect. (TOS Season 2 DVD commentary) Alternatively, in the video William Shatner's Star Trek Memories, Nichols also said that she and Roddenberry came up with the name in initial discussions about the character, just after her casting.

The name Nyota ("star" in Swahili) was first publicly used for the character by William Rotsler, in his 1982 book Star Trek II: Biographies. (Enterprise NX-01 communications officer Hoshi Sato's given name, "Hoshi", also means "Star", in Japanese.) Uhura's given name was finally canonically established as Nyota in the 2009 film Star Trek. (In the movie, the revelation playfully paralleled the long-time real-life ambiguity; starting with their first meeting in an Iowa bar, for three years Kirk tries unsuccessfully to learn her first name, only to learn it when her lover – Spock – assures her that he will return alive from a particular mission he and Kirk are about to embark on.)

Uhura's date and location of birth were also never established on screen. Her date of birth (2239) was derived from the Star Trek Chronology and the Star Trek Encyclopedia. The original Star Trek writer's guide and the Star Trek Concordance established that she was born in the United States of Africa. Her familiarity with the Swahili language implied – but did not require – an East African origin or heritage. The Concordance also states the intended information from deleted material regarding her mother, M'Umbha.

Establishing the role[]

Uhura was the last main character to be cast for the Original Series (except Walter Koenig as Pavel Chekov, since that character didn't debut until the second season of the show). The casting of Uhura took place only a few weeks before production began on "The Corbomite Maneuver", the first regular episode. In the original script of that installment, the communications officer was named "Dave Bailey". When Nichelle Nichols (a former lover of Gene Roddenberry) was cast as the new comm officer, Bailey (played by Anthony Call) was "transferred" to navigation. (Inside Star Trek: The Real Story, pp. 153–154) Other than Nichelle Nichols, three additional candidates for the role were Ena Hartman, Mittie Lawrence and Gloria Calomee. (These Are the Voyages: TOS Season One)

Uhura was included in the final draft script of "Miri", given multiple lines of dialogue. Her part in the story, however, was ultimately rewritten for relief communications officer John Farrell.

Nichelle Nichols has stated on many occasions during the years (including in the video William Shatner's Star Trek Memories) that, during the first year of the series, she was tempted to leave the show as she felt her role lacked significance, but a conversation with Martin Luther King, Jr. changed her mind. King personally encouraged her to stay on the show, telling her that he was a big fan of the series and told her she "could not give up" as she was playing a vital role model for young black children and women across the country. After the first season, Uhura's role on the series was expanded beyond merely manning her console.

The 1967 Writers' Guide for Star Trek's second season described the character thus:

Communications officer Uhura was born in the United States of Africa. Quick and intelligent, she is a highly efficient officer and expert in all ships' systems related to communications. Uhura is also a warm, highly female female off duty. She is something of a favorite in the Recreation Room during off-duty hours too, because she sings – old ballads as well as the newer space ballads – and she can do an impersonation at the drop of a communicator.

Uhura was to have appeared in Star Trek: Phase II, an aborted second Star Trek series. A character description of her was included in a 1977 Writers'/Directors' Guide for that series, a document written by Gene Roddenberry and Jon Povill. Uhura's description was as follows:

Rank of Lieutenant Commander, Communications Officer, played by attractive young actress Nichelle Nichols. Uhura was born in the African Confederacy. Quick and intelligent, she is a highly efficient officer. Her understanding of the ship's computer systems is second only to the Vulcan Science Officer, and expert in all ships systems relating to communications. Uhura is also a warm, highly female female off duty. She is a favorite in the Recreation Room during off duty hours, too, because she sings – old ballads as well as the newer space ballads – and she can do impersonations at the drop of a communicator.

Nichelle Nichols was slated to make a cameo as Uhura in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Flashback", but was cut from that episode after requesting more lines for her role. (Star Trek: Communicator issue 108)


Former NASA astronaut Mae Jemison has cited Nichols' role of Uhura as her inspiration for wanting to become an astronaut. [4]

Whoopi Goldberg also found Nichols's portrayal of Uhura inspiring as a child. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion, 2nd ed., p. 64) Goldberg recalled that when she saw Uhura on-screen for the first time, she ran out of the room, telling everyone in her house, "I just saw a black woman on television; and she ain't no maid!" (Star Trek Monthly issue 56)

Deanna Troi actress Marina Sirtis has stated about Uhura, "It was great that a black woman was on the bridge, but she really wasn't involved in many storylines. She was just there and that was enough for the times, it seems." (Star Trek Monthly issue 27, p. 18)

The idea that a young Jean-Luc Picard served under Captain Uhura has its roots in a story proposed for Star Trek: Short Treks, in which a young Picard would have been mentored by an elderly Uhura. Although the proposed Short Treks episode never came to fruition, two pieces of set dressing for Star Trek: Picard (the Speed of Light Club certificate in Picard's quantum archive, seen in "Remembrance", and the commemorative plaque for the USS Leondegrance seen in "The Star Gazer") establish the relationship canonically. [5]


In the novelization of Star Trek: The Motion Picture (p. 49), Uhura was described as having a "fine-boned Bantu face". Likewise, in the novelization of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Pavel Chekov said Uhura was from the Bantu Nation. James Blish referred to Uhura as "a beautiful Bantu girl" in his adaptations of the original Star Trek episodes.

According to Star Trek II: Biographies, Uhura was born on October 24th, 2240 in Nairobi, United States of Africa to parents Damu Pua and M'Umbha Makia. She has two siblings named Malcolm Marien Uhura and Uaekundu Uhura.

According to the novel Living Memory, Uhura's father was named Alhamisi (Damu Pua was a childhood nickname meaning "bloody nose"). She has a brother named Malcolm and a younger sister named Samara, as well as an uncle Raheem.

In the novel The Fire and the Rose, set shortly after "Mudd's Women", Uhura went to Captain Kirk and requested to be reassigned from the command division to the engineering and services division. Kirk was not happy with this decision and grilled her about throwing away her command abilities and leadership potential, however, despite his disappointment, he approved her transfer and explaining why she switched from a red uniform to a gold uniform.

In the novel Vulcan's Forge, Commander Uhura served as first officer of the USS Intrepid II under Captain Spock. She and Dr. McCoy were the only members of Captain Kirk's bridge crew to join Spock in his new command (Captain Sulu commanded the Excelsior and took Commander Chekov along as his first officer, and Captain Scott retired and headed off to the Norpin colony). Uhura turned down a captaincy before becoming Spock's first officer, commenting that she'd never married or had children, and didn't want to take on the similar commitment to a ship that a promotion to captain would entail. This story took place a year after Captain Kirk was lost to the Nexus. Following a mission to the planet Obsidian, Spock resigned his Starfleet commission, and Uhura was promoted to captain and given command of the Intrepid II.

Uhura was depicted in the novels The Art of the Impossible, Catalyst of Sorrows, and Vulcan's Soul: Exodus as later going on to achieve the rank of admiral and becoming the head of Starfleet Intelligence in the 24th century, serving into 2377.

According to The Autobiography of Jean-Luc Picard, Uhura was the President of the United Federation of Planets in the year 2327.

The Star Trek: The Next Generation Officer's Manual mentions a ship named the USS Samara Uhura, which is presumably named after Uhura, as her first name "Nyota" didn't become canon until Star Trek.

In Star Trek Cats, Uhura is depicted as a Burmese cat.


External links[]