Lt. Nyota Uhura was the communications officer on the original Enterprise in the first series of Star Trek, and went on to reprise her role in several subsequent films. However, an answer in this question states that she once also held the rank of Captain.

When did this happen, and under what circumstances? Futhermore, did it have any lasting impact?

I am aware that Uhura's presence as an officer on the Enterprise was already groundbreaking, given the social situation in the United States at the time.

  • She wasn't. Her highest rank was Commander; startrek.com/database_article/uhura
    – Valorum
    May 24, 2016 at 7:39
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    "Holding the rank of Captain" is (even while serving aboard the Enterprise) not the same as "being (the) Captain of the Enterprise". Jan 14, 2018 at 15:23

4 Answers 4


Ep.4 of The Animated Series has Uhura taking command after all the male crew get seduced by the latest planet's ladies.

My understanding is that naval traditional would hold that during that time she was "Captain of the ship". But she didn't change her insignia or claim the rank of Captain.

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    There was a fan made series, in which she was captain of the USS Hyperion, and married to Dr M'Benga. Aug 11, 2016 at 18:31

As Valorum said, I do not believe this ever happened in canon. However, there is an unofficial miniseries in whic Uhura was at least a captain, though perhaps not of the Enterprise:

Star Trek: Of Gods and Men

This is a non-canon miniseries, but contains many of the actors from TOS, including, crucially, Nichelle Nichols. From a transcript:

"Captain Uhura. Welcome aboard. Do you like the ship?"

According to the film's website:

Captain Nyota Uhura has been serving as Director of Starfleet Linguistics, a post she finds extremely interesting, though she feels there may be something missing in her life.

Here's Uhura in her Captain's uniform:

enter image description here

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    In that shot, she's not wearing rank insignia. Is that an outfit reserved for Captains? Mar 11, 2018 at 14:19

Uhura was once captain in the REGULAR series for a few seconds, because she was the highest ranked officer on the ship during that episode, so Kirk told her that she was captain, and she took his seat for a few seconds.

  • Hi, welcome to SF&F! This is likely to be the correct answer if it can be verified; do you happen to know what episode it was? As it is the answer isn't really complete.
    – DavidW
    Oct 23, 2019 at 20:13
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    incorrect - don't conflate being left in command vs holding the rank of captain
    – NKCampbell
    Oct 23, 2019 at 21:11

She takes command of the Enterprise in the Animated Series s1e4, where all men of the Enterprise are victimised by beautiful women who stay immortal by draining the lifeforce of men.

It's called The Lorelei Signal.

  • This appears to simply replicate the information that's already in the accepted answer.
    – Valorum
    Mar 11, 2018 at 13:40

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