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Sonequa Martin-Green Reveals the Emotional Moment Nichelle Nichols Passed the Star Trek Torch

And the responsibility of holding it

Megan Vick

The thing Sonequa Martin-Green wanted the most after she landed the lead role on Star Trek: Discovery was to meet Nichelle Nichols.

Nichols, for the unintiated, starred onStar Trek: The Original Series as Lt. Uhura. She was one-half of television's first interracial kiss and an icon for actresses of color everywhere. Now that Martin-Green is taking the mantle in CBS' new Star Trekseries, Discovery, she revealed why getting to meet Nichols was so impactful and what advice the legend was able to give to her.

"The contributions that she's made to our lives and all of our lives. It can't be measured. I was so happy to finally meet her in person. I had been waiting for that since I got the job," Martin-Green told us on the Discovery premiere red carpet. "'Enjoy this moment,' she said. 'It's yours now,' and I almost lost it."

It is Martin-Green's now, as well as the rest of her cast mates who have taken up a historic mantle and must carry it forward in the tumultuous social climate of 2017.

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"I think we have to take ownership of it because we're now telling the story," Martin-Green continued. "We are the caretakers of the story and it is now up to us to cultivate it and make sure that its germinating and continuing on the path it should be on. Yeah, I took what she said to heart."

Nichols echoed Martin-Green's sentiments on the carpet, with a vote of confidence that the show is ready to help the world deal with its issues in a new age.

"It's ready. It's ready for us, to be talking with you and say hello to all the people I love, which is everybody. It's wonderful. It's wonderful to be here," she said.

Star Trek: Discovery will premiere on CBS on Sunday, Sept. 24 at 9/8c before moving exclusively to CBS All Access, where Episode 2 will be immediately available.

(Full disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS)