‘Walking Dead’ star Sonequa Martin-Green first black woman cast as ‘Star Trek’ lead

Now is as good a time as any to admit I’ve never seen Star Trek. Not the original 1966 series or any of the slews of movies birthed from the beloved iconic show. But considering the first Star Trek series in a decade found its lead in the beautiful talent Sonequa Martin-Green, I may have to jump on the Trek wagon — considerably late, but late is better than never.

Martin-Green, known for her role as Sasha on AMC’s The Walking Dead, will play Lieutenant Commander Rainsford, who is said to be the central character of the show by the show’s original showrunner, Bryan Fuller. Fuller said casting a non-white female actress was a priority. And he fulfilled the promise of that priority with Martin-Green as the first black woman to lead the series.

Fuller, who has since stepped away from CBS’s forthcoming Star Trek: Discovery, told Entertainment Weekly, “We’ve seen six series from the captain’s point of view. To see a character from a [new] perspective on the starship — one who has different dynamic relationships with a captain, with subordinates, it gave us richer context.” He has entrusted the project to executive producers Gretchen J. Berg and Aaron Harbert, who now serve as the series’ showrunners.

But for all those TWD fans congratulating her in your head, thinking “That’s all fine and dandy but…” you likely have one thing on your mind following the announcement: does this mean she’s leaving TWD. According to Entertainment Weekly, she will remain on TWD as a series regular. TV Line reports that an AMC rep confirmed this. You can breathe a sigh of relief.

The CBS reboot is a 13-episode series that explores an incident that happened in Starfleet that has never been fully delved into. Fuller said Star Trek: Discovery will focus on “that story through a character who is on a journey that is going to teach her how to get along with others in the galaxy.”

The TWD star joins Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), Doug Jones (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Anthony Rapp (Rent), Shazad Latif (Penny Dreadful) and Chris Obi (American Gods).

The lead actress has not addressed her history-making casting on social media. That’s OK, because we’re excited and cheering enough for her.

So, now would be a good time for me to ask, (spare me your judgment, folks!) should I embark on a Star Trek binge journey or just tune in when Discovery premieres in May? Actually, don’t answer that.