The second day of Star Trek Las Vegas 2016 featured a very special headliner. Whoopi Goldberg, who played Guinan on The Next Generation, took the stage joyously and asked the crowd, "Am I darker than you thought?" She was full of good humor, terrific memories and pure appreciation for Star Trek.
It was Nichelle Nichols' presence on TOS that inspired Goldberg as a child. "Star Trek is 50'" she said. "I'm 60. You never saw black people on television... until Gene Roddenberry put this beautiful woman on Star Trek. And she wasn't cleaning houses. She was the communications officer!"
Goldberg added, "Nichelle is stunning and smart, just a great human being. They're rare, and when you find them, you want to hold on to them."
LeVar Burton let Roddenberry know that Goldberg wanted to be on TNG. No one believed it at first, but then Roddenberry phoned her and said, "I've created a character for you. I've built a bar for you." Her reply? "Thank you."
The Oscar Award winning actress also dropped several fascinating tidbits that gave the audience new insight into how she saw her character, Guinan.
"I always assumed Guinan was Picard's great, great, great, great, great, great grandmother," she said. "[I also saw] Guinan and Q as equals. We could crush the universe if we wanted to. Guinan and Q may have a baby!"
Goldberg noted that she would be happy to guest star on Star Trek: Discovery, and that she wasn't giving up on that dream since "The one thing Star Trek never let go of is hope."
On The View earlier this week, Sir Patrick Stewart dropped by and, in a wonderfully emotional moment, gave Goldberg's dream solid footing when he formally invited her to appear on Star Trek: Picard's second season.
See Whoopi Goldberg's emotional reaction when Patrick Stewart officially invites her to return to #StarTrek for season two of #StarTrekPicard: “It was wonderful having you, and we cannot wait to have you with us again one more time.” https://t.co/f8u2wc159S pic.twitter.com/6OrJzJtccA— The View (@TheView) January 23, 2020
Finally, at STLV 2016 Goldberg brought up three fans decked out in full Guinan garb, even sitting on the desk on the stage and ceding the couch to then. She hugged each starstruck fan — who'd been standing on line to ask her questions — and joined them for selfies. "We had a bet at work," Goldberg told the ecstatic audience. "They said there won't be anyone dressed as Guinan."
Goldberg won that bet, and she won the hearts of everyone in the room.