Lieutenant Nyota Uhura was a Starfleet communications officer serving in the 23rd century. As requested by Captain Christopher Pike, Uhura relieved Hawkins, the chief communications officer of the USS Enterprise, shortly before the destruction of Vulcan. She served under Captain Pike, acting captain Spock, and then her classmate at Starfleet Academy, Captain James T. Kirk. (Star Trek; Star Trek Into Darkness; Star Trek Beyond)
- 1 Early life
- 2 Starfleet career
- 3 Relationships
- 4 Key dates
- 5 Memorable quotes
- 6 Appendices
Nyota Uhura was of African descent (TOS: "The Savage Curtain") and was born in Kenya, where she grew up near Lake Simbi Nyaima. She has a grandmother, who was a retired Starfleet officer. (SNW: "Children of the Comet")
In 2255, while at the bar near the Riverside Shipyard in Iowa, Uhura met an inebriated Jim Kirk, who began flirting with her. Although annoyed by Kirk's advances, Uhura was surprised that Kirk knew what was involved in the study of xenolinguistics. This exchange led to a bar fight as four male cadets were displeased at the attention Kirk was giving Uhura.
During her time at Starfleet Academy, Uhura specialized in xenolinguistics with tracking toward a communications officer. Commander Spock served as one of Cadet Uhura's instructors and judged her performance to be consistently exemplary.
In 2258, Uhura was able to detect and translate a message from within Klingon territory indicating that a fleet of 47 Klingon vessels around the Klingon prison planet had been engaged and destroyed by an unknown Romulan ship. She returned home early that night, interrupting her roommate, at the time an Orion cadet named Gaila, and Kirk, who had been under the bed when she shared the information with Gaila.
At Kirk's request, Uhura was present as communications officer during Kirk's third re-take of the Kobayashi Maru test scenario the following day. After Kirk corrected her, she called him "captain" sarcastically. At a subsequent hearing on Kirk's actions, seated in a row that Commander Spock, the programmer of the Kobayashi Maru test, had vacated and two seats over from an upset Gaila, Uhura was in attendance in the Academy Council chambers when Kirk was accused of cheating.
Spock was in charge of the starship deployment assignments for the cadets of Uhura's graduating class, and had initially assigned Lieutenant Uhura to the USS Farragut, in spite of Uhura's stated desire to serve aboard the USS Enterprise, the new flagship, in order to avoid any appearance of favoritism. Uhura confronted him about this choice, noting that she was more than qualified to serve aboard the Enterprise and that it was unfair to deny her an opportunity she would have gained had they not been romantically involved. Spock relented and assigned her to the Enterprise.
Communications officer of the USS Enterprise
Aboard the Enterprise, Uhura was approached by Kirk, who had deduced the attack on Vulcan was Romulan in nature, following Pavel Chekov's description of an anomaly described as a "lightning storm in space" that had preceded the attack on the day of Kirk's birth. She accompanied him to the bridge, where she verified his claims by mentioning that she was the person who had translated and intercepted the report of a similar Romulan vessel in Klingon space.
Captain Christopher Pike promoted Uhura to communications officer because Lieutenant Hawkins, the ship's prior communications officer, was not certain that he could distinguish transmissions in Romulan from transmissions in Vulcan. Uhura, by contrast, was fluent in all three Romulan dialects.
After Vulcan was destroyed, Uhura privately comforted Spock in a turbolift.
In an attempt to gain control of the Enterprise so he could attempt to defeat Nero, Kirk emotionally compromised Spock, causing him to relinquish command. After he left, Nyota approached Kirk and told him that she hoped he knew what he was doing. Again, she called him "captain"; this time, she was hurt, but hopeful.
Before Kirk and Spock beamed to Nero's ship, Uhura shared a tender goodbye kiss with Spock, who referred to her using her first name, and thus revealed their relationship to Kirk and Montgomery Scott. Kirk, who had repeatedly attempted to learn Uhura's first name to no avail throughout the years, asked Spock if "Nyota" was her first name. Spock responded, "I have no comment on the matter."
Although keeping her distance, she came to respect Kirk as captain of the Enterprise. After he gave her a command on the bridge, she turned to him, smiling, and answered, “Aye, Captain." This time, she called him "captain" sincerely. (Star Trek)
A year later, Uhura accompanied Spock to Nibiru before he was rappelled from a shuttle into a volcano, to prevent it from wiping out the Nibirans. Ash from the volcano damaged the shuttle and snapped the wire, forcing Uhura and Sulu to leave him. Uhura swam back to the Enterprise, which was hidden underwater. She was distraught to learn ash from the volcano would prevent the Enterprise from transporting Spock back aboard, and to hear Spock explain he would prefer to die activating the cold fusion device than violate the Prime Directive. Kirk rose the Enterprise from the sea to beam him up, violating the Prime Directive but saving his life.
Hunting down John Harrison
Later, when the Enterprise was tasked with hunting down terrorist John Harrison, Uhura expressed to Kirk in the turbolift that she and Spock were having relationship troubles. While on a K'normian trading ship to Qo'noS, where Harrison was hiding, Uhura and Spock got into an argument, in which she accused of him of being too ready to sacrifice himself for a mission and not caring how she would feel if he died. Spock acknowledged that, since his mother's death, he had been closing himself to such thoughts about how she would feel since he had experienced those feelings, specifically because he did care.
Suddenly, the ship was attacked by Klingons. Kirk tried to lose them but the away team's K'normian vessel was surrounded and forced to land. Uhura counseled Captain Kirk that she be allowed to perform her role as communications officer, rather than try to fight their way out of a situation they could not win. She went out of the ship to negotiate in Klingonese, requesting the Klingons' aid in finding Harrison. The leader of the Klingons she spoke to grabbed her by the throat, and pulled out a knife, prompting Spock and Kirk to go on the offensive. After Harrison showed up and violently began causing a distraction, Uhura grabbed the Klingon's knife and stabbed him with it, causing him to drop her. Once Harrison dispatched the Klingons and surrendered himself into Kirk's custody, Uhura and Spock shared a reconciliatory kiss.
After Harrison revealed he was Khan Noonien Singh, Spock asked Uhura to contact his older parallel universe counterpart on New Vulcan for information. Uhura managed to make contact although the ship was outside of normal range of communication with his location.
As the old Spock warned he would do, Khan betrayed them. When the damaged Enterprise fell to Earth, Kirk reactivated the warp core to prevent it crashing, at the cost of radiation poisoning himself. Uhura came and she, Spock and Scott wept.
Uhura encouraged Spock to beam down to execute Khan, who had crashed the USS Vengeance into San Francisco. However, Doctor Leonard McCoy discovered a blood transfusion from Khan could heal Kirk, so Uhura beamed down and fired several shots to stun Khan, saving Spock from having his head crushed by Khan. Spock used the opportunity to gain the advantage in the fight and was set to kill him. Uhura was able to stop Spock by informing him they needed Khan alive to save Kirk. Spock then knocked him out instead and took him to sickbay.
When Kirk awoke to his friends Spock and McCoy in a hospital, he acknowledged Spock saving him, whereupon McCoy reminded Kirk that he and Uhura had also helped.
The five-year mission
Almost a year later, in 2260, Uhura attended a memorial service for the victims of the conspiracy, which was presided over by Kirk, who was now healthy again. She continued serving on the repaired Enterprise as it embarked on a five-year mission. (Star Trek Into Darkness)
Final voyage of the Enterprise
In 2263, Spock and Uhura had ended their relationship after Spock began considering leaving Starfleet to help his endangered species. Though he intended to discuss it further with Uhura on Yorktown, the news of the death of Spock Prime stopped him. During their relationship, Spock gave Uhura a necklace that once belonged to his mother as a gift and Uhura attempted to return it. Spock refused however.
When Kalara arrives on Starbase Yorktown for help, Uhura accompanies the Enterprise into the Necro Cloud to Altamid. To the crew's shock, they are attacked by Swarm ships, crippling the Enterprise. Uhura remains on the bridge for most of the battle but realizes that Kirk must be in trouble due to the amount of time he is taking to perform a saucer separation. Uhura travels to Engineering where Kirk is fighting Krall and finishes the saucer separation herself. However, Uhura is trapped in the secondary hull with Krall and is captured by him.
Uhura was taken to Krall's base where she refused to back down in the face of Krall, telling him that his actions were an act of war against the Federation and Kirk would show no mercy when he came for Krall. Krall was unafraid, stating that he looked forward to Kirk coming after him. Uhura then witnessed him drain two Enterprise crewmembers. Uhura and Sulu briefly escaped, discovering that Krall used a captured Magellan probe to hack Starbase Yorktown and gain access to its archives. Uhura attempted to send a distress call, but Krall recaptured the two and alters the coordinates of the distress call.
Krall was later able to force Ensign Syl to turn over the Abronath by threatening Sulu and Uhura. She then witnessed Krall test the weapon on Syl. As Krall dragged Uhura to his ship, Kirk attacked on a motorcycle as part of a rescue plan, creating enough of a diversion for Uhura to escape his grasp. Uhura saved Spock who was able to use the necklace he gave her to track the crew down from a Swarm drone and they were beamed safely to the USS Franklin.
On the Franklin, the crew repaired the ship to go after Krall, dropping the Franklin off a cliff to achieve terminal velocity and liftoff. Arriving at Yorktown, the crew found it under attack, and Uhura warned Kirk that she's detecting distress calls from Yorktown on all frequencies. When Spock suggested that the Swarm had a cyberpathic connection that helped them coordinate their movements, Uhura helped him explain this to the rest of the crew and come up with a plan. She then aided Scotty and Jaylah in hooking up the Franklin's music player to the communications console and warned Kirk that they have to get very close to the Swarm for the disruption signal to work. Once they were close enough, Uhura broadcast the signal which destroys most of the Swarm. On Kirk's orders, Uhura sent the signal to Yorktown which also broadcasted the signal, destroying the Swarm.
After the destruction of the Swarm, the crew chased Krall through Yorktown, using the Franklin to intercept Krall's three remaining ships. Uhura checked out one of the hull breaches with Kirk and spotted a victim of Krall's energy transference. As the two crossed through the ruined mess hall, Uhura saw a recording of the original Franklin crew and recognized Captain Balthazar Edison as Krall. Uhura watched the footage with Kirk and Scotty as they determine the history of Edison/Krall and rushed to the bridge to warn Yorktown to turn off their atmospheric processor until the situation was over.
After Krall's defeat, Uhura attended Kirk's thirtieth birthday party where she rekindled her relationship with Spock. Like the rest of the Enterprise crew, she was reassigned to the brand-new USS Enterprise-A to continue their five year mission in a new ship. (Star Trek Beyond)
Nyota Uhura and Spock had a relationship that was established prior to the start of their careers on board the Enterprise. When she was assigned to the USS Farragut, Uhura openly confronted Spock about her having received that posting even though she was qualified to serve aboard the USS Enterprise. She presented him with a logical argument for her placement, to which he admitted he had been trying to avoid the appearance of favoritism. She eventually persuaded him to reconsider her assignment, though.
While Spock was preparing to depart from the Enterprise and transport to the surface of Vulcan in an attempt to rescue his parents and the Vulcan High Council, Uhura took an interest in where he was going, calling him by name and not by rank. She was also visibly upset that he was leaving.
When Spock returned after Vulcan was destroyed and his mother was killed, Uhura at one point followed him off the bridge and into a turbolift. Alone in the lift, she comforted him with a shared embrace and kisses.
When Spock and Kirk about to beam onto Nero's ship, Uhura and Spock kissed on the Enterprise's transporter platform and shared a heartfelt goodbye with promises offered to each other. Though Spock usually called her by her surname during their professional interactions, Uhura's first name, "Nyota", was used by him on that occasion.
Once Kirk and Spock returned to the Enterprise after the ship had been repaired, Uhura visibly lit up when Spock strode onto the bridge; they shared a look, as he passed behind her station to reach his own, and she smiled. (Star Trek)
On a mission to Nibiru, Uhura helped Spock get into his suit. She kissed his helmet and gave him encouragement. Later, when it was time to release him into the volcano, she was visibly upset. However, she did not try to dissuade him from his duty. When his line was broken and he fell into the volcano, Sulu apologized to her, and told her they would have to try something else. Once she and Sulu made it back to the bridge of the Enterprise, Uhura was visibly upset when Spock announced he would have to remain behind to die, although her sadness didn't stop her from responding to Kirk's command.
After the mission to Nibiru, Uhura was clearly upset with Spock, although she seemed to be giving him the silent treatment. Uhura's assignment to participate in the away mission to Qo'noS prompted Spock to give Kirk a look as if he wasn't pleased with that decision. In reply to Kirk asking if they could work the mission together, Uhura said they could, then Spock watched her return to her station and responded that he was unsure.
En route to Qo'noS, Uhura revealed to Spock that she believed his behavior on missions was too risky. She admitted distress at him willing to sacrifice himself without caring about how it would effect her if she lost him. Spock confided that, because he had experienced such profound grief and despair following the loss of Vulcan and the death of his mother, he closed himself off to the thought of those he cared for experiencing such emotions; this revealed that his problem was not a lack of caring, rather quite the opposite.
Later during the mission, Uhura volunteering to face the Klingons alone evidently upset Spock, although he didn't try to stop her confronting them. Uhura's interaction with the Klingons was carefully observed by Spock, and he later protected both her and Captain Kirk. After taking Harrison into custody, Uhura and Spock reconciled with a kiss.
When Admiral Marcus first warned the Enterprise crew he was going to kill them, Uhura was joined by Spock, at her station. When the admiral caught up to the Enterprise aboard the Vengeance and the Enterprise crew fully expected to die, Uhura walked to Spock and held his hand.
Uhura later spoke priivately with Spock at her station, when Spock wanted her to contact his older counterpart. Without him clarifying who he wanted to speak to, she intuited precisely who it was he planned to consult.
Later, while Spock chased after Khan, Uhura remained on the Enterprise. After Dr. McCoy informed the bridge crew that Khan was needed alive to possibly save Kirk, both Spock and Khan were moving too quickly for the transporter to be locked onto either of them. Learning someone could beam down, however, Uhura offered to do so and beamed onto a moving garbage barge where Spock and Khan were battling each other. Phaser in hand, she intended to help Spock bring Khan to the Enterprise without killing him. Even though Spock was furious with Khan for having killed Kirk, Uhura was able to calm Spock enough that he ceased his attack on Khan, who was then taken into custody.
At the memorial service in 2260, Uhura was seated directly beside Spock. (Star Trek Into Darkness)
By 2263, Uhura and Spock experienced a time-out in their relationship as a consequence of Spock's increasing beliefs that he ought to be helping his people rebuild on New Vulcan, and thus leave Starflee. When Uhura got to Starbase Yorktown with the rest of the crew, she tried to give Spock back his mother's vokaya necklace that he had gifted her; however, Spock declined the offer, insisting she kept it.
At the time, as Spock later confessed to Leonard McCoy, he had wanted to further discuss his doubts about leaving with her, but his plans were halted by the news about Ambassador Spock dying. When the Enterprise was destroyed by Krall's attack, Uhura was captured and imprisoned at his base, along with Sulu and the rest of the Enterprise crew that couldn't escape from his soldiers.
During this time, while aboard the USS Franklin, Spock realized that if Uhura was still wearing his vokaya amulet, Chekov could track its unique Vulcan mineral through its (harmless) radiation emissions and find her and the rest of the crew at Krall's base.
When the group made a plan to free the crew, an injured Spock insisted on participating to the mission because Uhura was at the base too. In spite of his condition, both Kirk and McCoy allowed him to go with them acknowledging their friend's need to be there due to his relationship with the Lieutenant.
Once Spock got to the base as planned, he went looking for her alone after Hikaru Sulu informed him that Uhura had been taken by Krall shortly before him and McCoy got there. However, weakened by his injury he was attacked by two Swarm soldiers only to get saved by Uhura who helped him stand up and asked what he was doing there. When Spock answered that he clearly was there to rescue her (noticing the irony of the situation), Uhura smiled pleased by his care for her and his efforts.
Later on, while the USS Franklin finally left Altamid, Uhura shared a look of relief with Spock. Afterwards, as the group tried to make a plan to stop Krall from destroying Yorktown, Uhura helped Captain Kirk understand Spock's technical explaining of his plan to defeat the swarms ships. When Spock volunteered to pilot one of the Swarm ships himself, Uhura expressed worry over him being still hurt for his injury to which Spock replied he respected and appreciated her concerns.
After defeating Krall, Spock changed his mind about leaving Starfleet thus giving him and Uhura the chance to rekindle and continue their relationship. Uhura, who openly wore Spock's vokaya's necklace again, participated to a party for Jim's birthday with the rest of the crew. While there with Spock, she teased him saying that she thought he had a mission report to make to which he replied that he indeed did, but he thought that being with her would be more pleasing (implying he put work aside and went to the party to spend time with her).
Later, Spock, Uhura and their friends look at the new Enterprise in construction. (Star Trek Beyond)
James T. Kirk
Uhura's relationship with Kirk began when he hit on her in a bar in Iowa. She rejected his advances, giving him only the name "Uhura", although she did flirt with him a bit. Later, at the Academy, Kirk continued to try to discover her first name. While hiding under her roommate's bed after Uhura had interrupted them, he overheard her talking to Gaila. Kirk told Uhura he was interested in the distress call she had intercepted. She put him out of their room, his clothes in hand.
It was at Kirk's request that Uhura acted as the communications officer for his third attempt at the Kobayashi Maru test, though she only sarcastically called him "captain" as he wasn't taking the test seriously. While attending Kirk's hearing for his solution to the Kobayashi Maru, Uhura appeared to be disappointed in him. Later, while on the mission to Vulcan, Uhura confirmed that Romulans had attacked a Klingon fleet and she backed Kirk up when he tried to convince Captain Pike of the possibility of a trap.
Accompanying Kirk resulted in Uhura being promoted to the Enterprise's communications officer and Kirk was proved to be right, causing Uhura to have helped save the ship. When Kirk provoked Spock, Uhura was upset, but didn't intervene, even though she was furious with the way Kirk became acting captain. She was the first to refer to Kirk as "captain" on the Enterprise, though with obvious reservations. Kirk finally learned her first name when Spock called her by it, but continued to call her "Uhura" afterwards. After Kirk's actions saved Earth from the Narada, Uhura officially became his communications officer on the Enterprise and happily called him "captain", having grown to respect him. (Star Trek)
One year after the Narada attack, Uhura and Kirk seemed to have grown closer and developed a close friendship. When Kirk was upset with Spock, he confided in Uhura. She also confided to him that he wasn't alone in his anger towards Spock and talked to him about her relationship problems with Spock. When Uhura and Spock later argued, they did so in front of Kirk, with Uhura telling Spock that Kirk was on her side of the disagreement, a fact which Kirk later confirmed. Uhura was able to convince Kirk to allow her to try negotiating with the Klingons when fighting would not work, despite it putting her in mortal danger. While respecting her wishes, Kirk, when she was in danger, didn't hesitate to rush to her rescue. When they discovered they were going to die and Kirk apologized, Uhura comforted him with a squeeze to the shoulder. Uhura witnessed Kirk die after sacrificing himself to save the ship, and broke down crying over the death of her friend. Later, Uhura, still tearful, advised Spock to go get Khan, furious about Kirk's death. She also helped save Kirk's life when she prevented Spock from killing Khan. (Star Trek Into Darkness)
Over the next few years, the two maintained a close friendship and Uhura was shown to have a great loyalty to Kirk. During the Battle of Altamid, Uhura rushed to Kirk's aid when she realized he was in danger, risking her life to aid him in performing a saucer separation. In the face of Krall, Uhura showed absolute confidence Kirk would come for them and wouldn't leave his crew behind. (Star Trek Beyond)
- 2255-2258: Cadet/lieutenant at Starfleet Academy
- 2263: Assigned to the USS Enterprise-A
"For a moment, I thought you were just a dumb hick who only had sex with farm animals."
"Well, not only."
- - Nyota Uhura and James Kirk (Star Trek)
"An alternate reality?"
"Precisely. Whatever our lives might have been, if the time continuum was disrupted, our destinies have changed."
- - Nyota Uhura and Spock (Star Trek)
"I sure hope you know what you're doing... captain."
"So do I."
- - Nyota Uhura and James Kirk, after he takes the Enterprise's command chair (Star Trek)
"We're outnumbered, outgunned. There's no way we survive if we attack first. You brought me here because I speak Klingon. Then let me speak Klingon."
- - Nyota Uhura to James Kirk (Star Trek Into Darkness)
"I am here to help you. With respect, there is a criminal hiding in these ruins. He has killed many of our people."
"Why should I care about a Human killing Humans?"
"Because you care about honor. And this man has none."
- - Nyota Uhura speaking, in Klingon, with the Klingon commander on Kronos (Star Trek Into Darkness)
"Go get him."
- - Nyota Uhura to Spock, before he beams down to San Francisco to pursue Khan (Star Trek Into Darkness)
"What he's saying is that if we disorient the swarm, we can kick its ass!"
- - Nyota Uhura and Spock (Star Trek Beyond)
|Communications officers of the starships Enterprise|
|Enterprise NX-01:||Sato • Unnamed|
|USS Enterprise:||Alden • Christina • Farrell • Garison • Lisa • M'Ress • Nicola • Palmer • Uhura|
|ISS Enterprise NX-01:||Sato|
|ISS Enterprise NCC-1701:||Uhura|
|USS Enterprise:||Hawkins • Uhura|
Nyota Uhura was played by Zoë Saldana.
When first introduced in the script of Star Trek, Uhura was described as having a "gorgeous, dignified face." 
Between the release of Star Trek Into Darkness and taking part in the filming of Star Trek Beyond, Zoë Saldana missed her character of Uhura. The actress later recalled, "I missed how different she is, and how important it is for her to do her job well. I missed how diligent she is [....] That's one thing I love about Uhura, that she doesn't argue with anyone. It's, 'What do you need next? What needs to be done? Let's get the hell out of here.' She's done just that." (Star Trek Magazine Movie Special 2016, pp. 44 & 46)
According to her biography on the Star Trek movie app, Uhura was born in 2233 to Alhamisi and M'Umbha Uhura. She has two siblings: a sister, Makena, and a brother, Kamau. She graduated with honors from the Institute for Advanced Mathematics in 2255 where she then enrolled in Starfleet Academy. She also spent two academic quarters serving aboard the USS Ahriman as a junior communications cadet.
The official site of the 2009 movie stated, in her character dossier page (β), that Uhura is proficient in 83% of official Federation languages and regional dialects. She also was the Academy aide for Advanced Phonology (one of the courses that, according to his dossier, Spock was teaching at the Academy) and Advanced Acoustical Engineering courses, as well as being the vice president of Starfleet Academy Chorale Ensemble.
The IDW comic "The Voice of a Falling Star" tells the story of how, as a young girl, she saved herself and her parents from a damaged shuttle. She was encouraged by her uncle Raheem, who fell to the planet below after attempting a spacewalk to fix it. Uhura told this story to Spock in a mind meld months after their relationship began.
In the First issue of IDW's Star Trek: Boldly Go comic series that is set after the events of Star Trek Beyond, Uhura and Spock take a sabbatical from Starfleet and they visit Spock's father, Sarek on New Vulcan.