Watch: The Smithsonian releases rare footage of Nichelle Nichols as Uhura encouraging children to explore the stars
Uhura goes back in time and sings about the value of education in this sweet 1970s film.
Since we lost Nichelle Nichols recently, fans, colleagues and Trekkies worldwide have been remembering her incredible life. Beyond playing the iconic Enterprise communications officer, Nichols was well-known for her offscreen work where she used her sci-fi fame to encourage more marginalized groups to apply for NASA. Dr. Mae Jemison, the first African-American female astronaut, directly attributed Nichols' campaigning to her drive to become an astronaut.
In honor of Nichols' legacy, the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum released rare footage from a 1978 video filmed during the production of Star Trek: The Motion Picture. The video was made as part of a twenty-minute educational film called What's In It For Me? filmed by Nichols' company Woman in Motion, Inc.
Nichols filmed the video as part of a drive to encourage more school-aged minority children to visit after a lack of diversity in attendance was identified by the museum. In the short film, Nichols, playing Lt. Uhura, beams back in time to the museum where a modern-day girl gives her a tour of the museum.
Near the end, the girl expresses her concern that she'll never be able to do what Uhura does. "Lieutenant Uhura, I believe in you, but you live way in the future. Can girls ever really be like you? Can they really tour galaxies like you do?"
In return, Uhura sings her a song encouraging her to never stop reaching for the stars and to continue gaining knowledge through her life. Finally, a choked-up Uhura asks Scotty to beam her back aboard.
Watch the video now: