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Warning: spoilers ahead for Season 7 of AMC's The Walking Dead. Don't read any further if you are not up to date on the hit zombie series.
Now that Season 7 of The Walking Dead has come to an end, we have the summer to get our heart rates down and wait for the all out war against Negan. This season ended with the tragic demise of Sonequa Martin-Green's Sasha -- who went out as a hero by allowing herself to turn so her zombified self could attack the sadistic leader of The Saviors. Sadly, it was a death many saw coming due to the actress' upcoming commitments on Star Trek: Discovery. So what's the deal? Did Martin-Green leave The Walking Dead in order to work on Discovery? According to Sonequa Martin-Green, that was not the case. The actress explained:
It couldn't have worked out more perfectly, because what was happening on Walking Dead was already underway. It was the path. It was definitely in place. And then as we were going into the very end of the season, the very end of our shoot for the season --- that's when the opportunity for Star Trek came. And so I know some people might think that I left Walking Dead to do Star Trek, but it did not happen that way. It was after Walking Dead was already ending that the opportunity for Star Trek came.
Although many of us had previously assumed that The Walking Dead killed off Sasha because of Sonequa Martin-Green's commitments to Star Trek: Discovery, the actress' recent comments to EW seem to indicate the contrary. The intention was always to adapt Holly's death from The Walking Dead comics and give it to Sasha; the fact that Martin-Green lined up another gig that she could move to after her stint on the zombie series was merely good fortune. If only Sasha had this kind of luck before encountering Negan and The Saviors; maybe she would still be around.
That being said, even if Sonequa Martin-Green did not specifically leave The Walking Dead to take on a role in the upcoming Star Trek series, the news of her casting on Discovery definitely telegraphed her death on the AMC zombie series. The announcement that she had accepted a role on Star Trek: Discovery (the first African-American female lead in a Trek series) instantly started a tidal wave of speculation, leading most people to come to the (correct) conclusion that Sasha was not long for this world. Despite how well-executed the death was, this ultimately meant that it lacked much of the crucial shock factor that we have come to expect from the series.
Although we had to say a bitter goodbye to Sasha last week, we're incredibly excited to see what the future holds fo Sonequa Martin-Green. The Walking Dead will return later this year for its eighth season, and Star Trek: Discovery is currently expected to debut in late summer or early fall.