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Star Trek: Discovery Casts The Walking Dead’s Sonequa Martin-Green as Its Star

Actress Sonequa Martin-Green attends the premiere of AMC's "Fear The Walking Dead" Season 2 at Cinemark Playa Vista on March 29, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.
Sonequa Martin-Green attends the premiere of AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead Season 2 on March 29 in Los Angeles.

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Although Bryan Fuller is no longer involved with the CBS All Access spinoff Star Trek: Discovery, his promise that the series would have a woman of color as its protagonist has been fulfilled. Although it has not been officially announced, numerous publications are reporting that The Walking Dead’s Sonequa Martin-Green has been cast in the lead role. According to the Los Angeles Times, she will play a character called Lt. Cmdr. Rainsford. Anthony Rapp has also been cast as the series’ first openly gay character, Lt. Stamets. Martin-Green would become the first black woman to serve as a Star Trek show’s unambiguous main character, although Nichelle Nichols’ Uhura was a prominent—and, at the time, controversial—member of the original cast.

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As of The Walking Dead’s midseason finale on Sunday, Martin-Green’s character, Sasha, was still alive, but the new gig presumably means that she’s not long for this world. Either that, or she’ll simply disapper, the way Corey Hawkins’ Heath did when Hawkins was cast as the lead in Fox’s 24: Legacy. After the death of Steven Yeun’s Glenn in the season opener, that would leave The Walking Dead, not for the first time, with a lead cast that is largely white, although Danai Gurira’s Michonne, Lennie James’ Morgan, and Seth Gilliam’s Father Gabriel remain, and plot developments seem to promise a larger role for Khary Payton’s Ezekiel in coming episodes. The show has been criticized in past for underdeveloping its nonwhite characters and being quick to kill them off, although at least this time it’s happening because Martin-Green got a better offer.

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