As it appears, the late Majel Barrett will posthumously reprise her role as the famous Starfleet Federation Computer. Star Trek: Discovery is set to be released in January 2017 with the help and creative vision of J.J. Abrams. The return of Barrett’s voice in Discovery is more triumphant than the modern day Trekkie may realize. In 1965, Barrett was cast in the original Star Trek pilot as “Number One,” a female first officer and the right-hand man to Captain Christopher Pike. The cast dynamic of the pilot didn’t work well with test audiences and therefore, “Number One” was recast as Spock, famously played by Leonard Nimoy, and James T. Kirk took the place of Christopher Pike. So, what happened with Majel Barrett? Most Strek Trek fans quickly recognize her as the bleached blonde nurse aboard the Enterprise, Christine Chapel, before she became the voice of Starfleet. Barrett’s voice was used not just for the original 60’s run of Star Trek, but continued to lend her voice to the franchise for 5 more series installments and every film released before her death in 2008.
You’re probably asking yourself how J.J. Abrams plans to use the voice of Majel Barrett for Starfleet if she isn’t around anymore to read off her lines. In true science fiction fashion, Barrett, who married Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, was asked to record a library of phonetic sounds that could be used in future productions of the franchise. Additionally, as a feminist achievement, the role of “Number One” will be reprised by an unknown actor to pay tribute to The First Lady of Strek Trek. Star Trek: Discovery will be placed 10 years prior to the original series that began airing in 1965. By bringing back a character that was tossed away by gender inequality gives all female Trekkies, and Majel Barret herself, the last laugh in a galaxy ruled by men. Majel also infamously played the part of Lwaxana Troi, a Betazoid ambassador who was no stranger to flirtation, tragedy, and controversy. It’s safe to say that the Star Trek Universe wouldn’t be the same without the veteran actress not just because of the longevity her presence has beheld, but because of the influence and solidarity she proclaimed within the franchise. To immortalize her voice and use her as the eternal Starfleet computer is the perfect way to keep a small piece of nostalgia and memory attached to the origin of the long-running series and films. Remember, folks – Live long and prosper.
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