Many were saddened yesterday to hear of Nichelle Nichols passing. From all reports, she was a wonderful human being. As an actress she left a lasting legacy, representing a minority in her industry, a black woman on screen. And among the Star Trek fandom she has a firm place in many hearts, for her portrayal of Nyota Uhura on the bridge of Captain Kirk's Enterprise. She was a pioneer with a place in history, and Trekkies and gamers are holding tributes to her, in their own way, as they lead vigils for Nichols in Star Trek Online.
Star Trek Online is a licensed Star Trek MMO and players on PC, PS4, and Xbox One have been getting online to participate in a torch-lit vigil to honour and commemorate Nichelle Nichols. They logged on to the ESD, the Earth Spacedock, a station orbiting Earth, and the main hub for all Federation players. Around the Starfleet symbol they gathered, they typed "/e holdtorch" into the chat box.
Torches popped into players' hands and then they raised them, in memory of the actress. Around the symbol of Starfleet they silently honoured her.
News of Nichelle Nichols' passing was revealed by her son Kyle Johnson yesterday who shared that she died from natural causes (she was known to be suffering from dementia). She was 89.
"I regret to inform you that a great light in the firmament no longer shines for us as it has for so many years," Johnson said, via his mother's Instagram account. "Last night, my mother, Nichelle Nichols, succumbed to natural causes and passed away. Her light however, like the ancient galaxies now being seen for the first time, will remain for us and future generations to enjoy, learn from, and draw inspiration.
"I, and the rest of our family, would appreciate your patience and forbearance as we grieve her loss until we can recover sufficiently to speak further. Live Long and Prosper".
Nichols was best known for playing Lieutenant Uhuru on the original Star Trek series, and in the six movies that also starred William Shatner as Captain James T. Kirk. "I am so sorry to hear about the passing of Nichelle," William Shatner wrote, on his Twitter account. "She was a beautiful woman & played an admirable character that did so much for redefining social issues both here in the US & throughout the world. I will certainly miss her. Sending my love and condolences to her familty. Bill".
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