It may be time for fans of The Walking Dead to push that metaphorical panic button. Sonequa Martin-Green, who plays Sasha on the AMC hit show, has just been cast in Star Trek: Discovery as the lead character. This is for anyone who may have missed those last three words: the lead character.
Any fan of The Walking Dead will tell you that happy endings are few and far between when the actors have other projects on the horizon. Many recall Jon Bernthal’s character Shane- Sheriff Deputy and best friend of Rick Grimes for the first two seasons. Sure, tensions started running a little high in the middle of season 2 (who wouldn’t start feeling restless on that farm?) Everything was fun and games, though, until Rick and Carl had to kill Shane and walker-Shane. As it turned out, behind-the-scenes, Bernthal had landed a new role on the TNT drama Mob City.
A week before the season 7 premiere of The Walking Dead, it appeared on IMDB that Steven Yeun, who played Glenn, had projects in pre-production. When the premiere episode was over, the iconic Atlanta Five was down to four, and half of The Walking Dead‘s viewers were slightly traumatized in response to what we’d just witnessed for 90 minutes.
On the upside, though, Lauren Cohan is still on the show. During The Walking Dead’s mid-season hiatus at the end of 2015, Cohan cut her hair and began promoting her horror film, The Boy. This was something that had fans more than a little worried, as they speculated about what it could mean for her character, Maggie. Lately, it seems as though The Walking Dead showrunners are trying to disprove this idea that certain characters have “plot armor”. However, it may not be too far-fetched to say that of all the characters, Maggie has (or at least deserves) a bit of armor, after watching all of her family members die. Granted, she didn’t actually “watch” Beth die, but I digress.
Another example that gives us a bit of hope is Corey Hawkins, who plays Heath on the show. He scored the lead role on 24: Legacy, which had fans believing that Heath was at the end of his Alexandria days. Heath is, in fact, still alive and his character is merely on a supply run for the rest of the group. This season, Heath has only appeared in episode 6 “Swear”, and his whereabouts still remain unknown.
Sasha first appeared in the mid-season finale of season 3, “Made to Suffer”. Since then she has become one of the most integral members of the group in every capacity and has spot-on accuracy with a gun in her hands. It has been demonstrated numerous time over the course of the series that Sasha will go to great lengths to defend and protect those whom she calls family, especially Maggie.
It is still unclear what Martin-Green’s new role could mean for Sasha on The Walking Dead. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Scott Gimple naturally offered a vague response on the topic, stating:
Sonequa Martin-Green can do anything. I’ve seen her battle a horde of walkers this year while simultaneously battling the stomach flu that would have had most people crying in the dirt. She can fulfill the duties of a Lieutenant Commander on a Constitution-class starship whilst battling walkers, Saviors, and whatever gets in Sasha’s way. We’ve had to juggle before. I will certainly juggle for Star Trek any day of the week. Okay, maybe not on Sunday.
One thing that is clear is that Martin-Green’s new role is a historic one, as she has become the first African American woman to ever lead a Star Trek film or TV show. We can celebrate and be anxious simultaneously, right?
Let us know your thoughts and if you believe this new role could spell trouble for Sasha when The Walking Dead returns on February 12th.
Tori is a writer and gamer originally from Vault 111, but now she resides in Chicago. She has an MFA in creative writing-fiction, runs primarily on coffee, and is an expert on AMC’s The Walking Dead. Follow her on Twitter @torithatnerd.