Zoe Saldana mourns Star Trek predecessor Nichelle Nichols

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Zoe Saldana posted a powerful tribute to Star Trek's original Uhura, Nichelle Nichols, on Instagram on Monday.

Nichols, who passed away on Saturday aged 89, was best known for playing communications officer Nyota Uhura in the 1960s Star Trek series, and the character was most recently portrayed by Saldana in three films between 2009 and 2016.

"We have lost a true star - a unique artist who was ahead of her time always," Saldana began her tribute. "She's an icon, an activist and most importantly an amazing woman - who blazed a trail that has shown so many how to see women of colour in a different light. Her strive for equality was unwavering."

On her personal connection to Nichols, the Guardians of the Galaxy star continued, "Meeting Nichelle was truly a very special moment in my life. Her energy was infectious every time I was in her presence. She convinced me in believing that anything was achievable, if you put your heart into it."

Saldana added that she knew she had "big shoes to fill" taking over the role of Uhura for 2009's Star Trek movie, but her predecessor "made me feel safe, told me to play her with all the confidence in the world".

Referencing the Star Trek catchphrase "life long and prosper", Saldana continued, "My hope is that we continue to keep her memory alive by celebrating her amazing body of work, and by spreading the message of peace and equality amongst all people. She lived a long, impactful life and not only prospered, but helped so many others prosper too."

Saldana concluded her post, "REST IN POWER QUEEN NICHELLE."

A fourth Star Trek movie is in development, with Saldana poised to play Uhura once again.