The Star Trek community is mourning as one of the original cast members and trailblazer for women and people of color in entertainment, Nichelle Nichols, passed away on Sunday at 89. Star Trek Online's players took to the game to mourn this loss, holding a vigil for Nichols.
Nichols originated the role of Lt. Nyota Uhura in Star Trek: The Original Series, portraying, as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr said "the first non-stereotypical role portrayed by a Black woman in television history" (via CNN). Nichols was a trailblazing entertainer that helped break barriers for those who took the screen after her. Nichols would reprise the role in many future Star Wars movies, as well as go on to recruit for NASA in her life, working to recruit women and people of color to the agency.
After the news broke, players took to Star Trek Online to mourn the loss of Nichols in a torch-light vigil, taking place at Star Fleet Academy in game. Players also held a vigil in the Earth Spacedock (ESD) to mourn this tremendous loss. Some players are even dressing their characters up as Lt. Uhura to commemorate Nichols in their own way.
Star Trek Online developer, Cryptic, also mourned the loss on Twitter, commemorating the actress and her contribution to entertainment. As far as in-game tributes to the actor, it's likely that she will be commemorated in-game by the studio as they have done for other actors in the series in the past, though no plans have been announced yet.
Words cannot express the pain we feel at this loss. The world has lost one of its best and brightest lights today. Farewell, Nichelle. Thank you for breaking new ground, for brightening our hearts, and for always being a source of joy. pic.twitter.com/Wp0Ybcr9Rs— Star Trek Online (@trekonlinegame) July 31, 2022
"Words cannot express the pain we feel at this loss. The world has lost one of its best and brightest lights today. Farewell, Nichelle. Thank you for breaking new ground, for brightening our hearts, and for always being a source of joy."