The Walking Dead often struggles to keep major deaths under wraps, but doubly-so when stars take new gigs in conflict with the AMC horror drama. Sonequa Martin-Green fans certainly thought as much when her role in Star Trek: Discovery came about, though the now-Walking Dead alum suggests the timing was complete coincidence.

It was only after Martin-Green’s Sasha was confirmed to leave The Walking Dead behind that CBS officially declared her Star Trek: Discovery role as First Officer Michael Burnham. Reports of her joining the new CBS Star Trek have been around since December, but Martin-Green made clear to Entertainment Weekly that she hadn’t chosen to ditch The Walking Dead for a better gig, as Sasha’s fate was already in the works:

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.

As executive producer Scott Gimple put it, some version of Sasha’s exit was always in mind after Abraham’s death:

It was in the mix. There’s always room for unsealing or mixing up plans. But at the very least, you regret deeply that this is going to be a big part of Sasha’s story, the loss of Abraham and the thirst of revenge and making the world right, her journey throughout that whole thing, who that made her, and also her being there for Maggie, and yet having this other agenda. At the very least, we knew what her story was going to be. We had somewhat of an idea where it was going to end. Sonequa [Martin-Green] and I were talking about that from the beginning of the year that it was definitely a possibility.

We won’t get a chance to see Sonequa Martin-Green in action for Star Trek until later in the summer, but stay tuned for the latest.

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