I'm just curious, really.
They made a big deal about her in the original story treatment for the pilot episode and also in the series bible, as if she was going to be a recurring presence in the series. But then they went and killed her off in her very next appearance ('Battle Lines'), and used her death as the basis for the Winn vs Bariel election subplot that rounded off season one.
So what was it? Was the actress just unwilling (or unable) to commit to further episodes? Or was Opaka's death always planned from the beginning? Did they intend to bring in Winn as an antagonist from the very start, but felt that it would have more impact on the audience if we got some feel for who the previous Kai actually was?
Do we know the story behind this?