The Walking Dead star Sonequa Martin-Green is joining the cast of Star Trek: Discovery, and in the lead role to boot, so lots of people are assuming this means her Walking Dead character Sasha is headed for a grisly demise sooner rather than later.
But if Walking Dead showrunner Scott Gimple is telling the truth, fans shouldn't automatically conclude that Sasha will be biting the dust just because the actress who plays her has lined up another gig. It's possible Sasha will be around for a long time to come, and might even live to see things start looking up for her and the other survivors.
Still the question remains as to how plausible it is for Martin-Green to be the lead on Star Trek: Discovery and continue playing a major role on The Walking Dead. In a talk with EW, Gimple indicated that he is willing to work with Martin-Green so that she can zoom around the Star Trek universe and continue battling Negan while fending off hungry zombies as Sasha:
"Sonequa Martin-Green can do anything. I’ve seen her battle a horde of walkers this year while simultaneously battling a 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."
There have been examples of Walking Dead actors sticking around on the show despite other commitments -- most notably 24: Legacy star Corey Hawkins -- so it's not a foregone conclusion that Sasha will die. Then again, it's possible Gimple is trying to get out ahead of audience assumptions, while at the same time secretly planning a way to dispatch Sasha and thereby free Martin-Green to commit herself fully to her Starfleet duties. Despite Gimple's assurances about Sasha's future, those placing bets on which major Walking Dead character will be next to go might be wise to place Sasha at the top of the list.
At the end of the day, only a small handful of Walking Dead characters are truly untouchable, and Sasha is not on that list of characters unlikely to be killed off. Don't be surprised if, in the very near future, Sasha runs afoul of Negan, or a group of walkers, or winds up being dispatched in some other awful way.
The Walking Dead season 7 continues on February 12, 2017 on AMC.