Recently minted Academy Award winner Michelle Yeoh is ready to explore the murky corners of Star Trek’s Section 31 — though in a slightly different way then first anticipated.
Paramount+ announced on Tuesday that Yeoh is locked in to reprise her role as Emperor Philippa Georgiou in Star Trek: Section 31, which will now arrive in the form of a “special original movie event” for the streaming service.
Yeoh played USS Shenzhou captain Philippa Georgiou in Season 1 of Paramount+’s Star Trek: Discovery, but was killed off early on. She returned later that season as a ruthless mirror-universe counterpart, Emperor Georgiou, who wound up involved in Starfleet’s Section 31 — a covert element that was first introduced in the Deep Space Nine TV series, and played a role throughout Discovery Season 2.
It was four years ago January that the prospective Section 31 offshoot was put into development. Since then, Yeoh has gone on to book/film roles in Marvel’s Shang-Chi, the Academy Award-winning Everything Everywhere All at Once, Netflix’s The School for Good and Evil, Netflix’s recently released The Witcher: Blood Origin and Disney+’s upcoming American Born Chinese. Yet despite Yeoh’s status as a red-hot commodity, Tanya Giles, chief programming officer of Paramount Streaming, told TVLine in January that a Section 31 project was “still in development.”
The freshly greenlit telepic will follow Georgiou as she first joins Section 31, which is tasked with protecting the United Federation of Planets, all while facing the sins of her past. Production will get underway later this year.
“I’m beyond thrilled to return to my Star Trek family and to the role I’ve loved for so long,” Yeoh said in a statement. “Section 31 has been near and dear to my heart since I began the journey of playing Philippa all the way back when this new golden age of Star Trek launched. To see her finally get her moment is a dream come true in a year that’s shown me the incredible power of never giving up on your dreams.
“We can’t wait to share what’s in store for you,” she added, “and until then: live long and prosper (unless Emperor Georgiou decrees otherwise)!”
TV franchise EP executive producer Alex Kurtzman said in a statement, “All the way back in 2017, before the first season of Star Trek: Discovery had even aired, Michelle had the idea to do a spin-off for her character, Philippa Georgiou. She broke new ground as one of the first two women on screen in the pilot to usher in a new age of Trek, and now, six years later, Star Trek: Section 31 finally arrives on the heels of her latest groundbreaking win. Everyone on Team Trek couldn’t be more thrilled to have our legendary friend return home to us as we expand our storytelling into new and uncharted corners of the Trekverse. Long live Emperor Georgiou; long live Michelle Yeoh!”
What about Shazad Latif as Ash? He should be part of this too if Michelle’s character is in it.
I will be interested in seeing just when she was sent back to. If she was sent back to the 2250s, I’d love to see Ash.
Pretty sure casting announcements will come soon enought. But yes, I want that hottie back so bad!
Makes sense. They’re lucky to get Yeoh at all at this point!
Absolutely! A movie is better than nothing, but sad we’re not getting a full series.
They were lucky to get her in the first place.
Disappointed we’re only getting a movie and not even a limited series but I understand she’s quite busy so it’s better than nothing for sure. She was my favorite part of Discovery
Ugh. Paramount finally has some Star Trek material that is almost universally loved by fans of the franchise (Picard season 3) and rather than pursue more material down that path, they triple down on the Discovery timeline that is divisive (if I’m being diplomatic) amongst fans. The depiction of Section 31 in the Abrams movie and Discovery just show how little Kurtzman understands what Section 31 is supposed to be. “Section 31”, “mirror universe” and “Star Trek” are all just terms he uses in an attempt to validate his own bad ideas.
Maybe Paramount is paying out his contract and will then move on to better material. Maybe Terry Matalas will get his chance to run the franchise in a few years. Until then, I will view this week’s Picard finale as the finale of a franchise that I’ve loved my whole life. I got ten episodes to wrap up the universe that I care about. I suppose that was ten episodes more than I expected.
Picard Season 3 is great because it’s being set up as an ending. It’s a victory lap by beloved characters to give them a fitting sendoff.
I don’t think there’s anything further to pursue down that path; or at least nothing that wouldn’t feel forced an unsatisfying.
Now, hopefully they take another swing at creating something new. Or maybe they’ll find another clever way to repurpose other old favorites.
The smart move by Matalas was creating other characters that we could follow. Ed Speleers has delivered the best Trek performance since DS9 ended. But we also have characters like Shaw (I know, I know), and the Laforge sisters who are also interesting. I’d much rather see a Jack Crusher movie than a Section 31 movie. But I also think that Matalas could create a whole new series with all new characters to follow. Trek shows always did that before. What is most important is that Terry Matalas has proven that there is still interest in this franchise, if it is done with care and purpose. Before this, Star Trek was just creating more and more content under the assumption that a 35% rotten tomato audience score was the best they could hope for. Neither of the recently announced projects are for the fans. They’re for Kurtzman. For 40 years, Star Trek fans have been saying that they do not want a Starfleet Academy series, and yet that is what they just announced. The only time we got close to real Star Trek that people actually like is when the higher-ups basically abandoned Picard and accidentally left it in the hands of someone who was competent.
To be fair Kurtzman tried with Discovery to take ST beyond what had been done previously. Picard tried & in my opinion was somewhat successful in taking him beyond what he was during TNG & movies We. also saw the return of 7 of 9! S1 was very good but left some interesting material behind for example a Romulan infiltrates the top ranks of Star Fleet & there was no follow-up? S2 was rather disjointed but it was great to see Picard & Q again! The Jurati/Borg though was a bit too much. S3 has been among the best ST in years! Terry Matalas knows the right formula to combine previous Trek, events and characters and create new stories from that. Matalas got it right while Kurtzman took a while to get there. Discovery did gel by S3 but in trying to take ST to another level he ended up alienating many fans. With the exception of a few issues such as the Klingons I had no real big issue with the show, S2 was the reboot and bringing in Pike’s Enterprise was a brilliant move. Sending Discovery 900 years or so ahead saved the show altogether. Lower Decks, Prodigy & SNW have been quite good. I agree with you that Matalas is the one to take the helm. No offense to Kurtzman but Matalas really gets what Star Trek is about. I also agree with you about a ST Academy show. If it is set in the 32C as I have read & does not become a teen angst show it may be OK. Also, that would continue the exploration of that timeline. BTW-We will know with episode 10 if Shaw is really dead or somehow was revived.
The problem was, Kurtzman saw Star Trek as something that he needed to change, because he was never a Star Trek fan. So rather than keep with the legacy of folding in previous Trek shows, he rewrote, “updated” and recast all of that, essentially tossing out the old and rebooting the franchise. At the same time, he insisted that it all took place in the classic timeline, but it clearly doesn’t. Shatner is Kirk. He was Kirk in TOS and he was still Kirk in DS9.
The writing on his shows has been ridiculous, from what I’ve seen (two seasons of Discovery and one of Picard. Im not counting season 3 of Picard since it is its own thing). The characters are childish and talk like high schoolers. The attitude toward the fans has been beyond disrespectful from both cast and producers (whereas Matalas will engage with fans and respectfully disagree at times, like an adult).
I think a large mistake was trying to sell a reboot as something taking place within the classic Star Trek world. The redesigns of classic ships and species for the sake of making more merch money was stupid. And in general, he just didn’t get what Star Trek was or how it approaches social commentary.
It boils down to hiring a non-Trekkie to “fix” what wasn’t broken.
Sorry for my rambling. It’s hard to sum up how I feel about modern Trek.
It’s an ending for those TNG characters, but many also saw it as potentially setting up a spin-off for yet the next literal generation aka Star Trek: Legacy with Jack Crusher and Geordi’s two daughters. Possibly with Jeri Ryan/Seven of Nine if she’s game to continue the character. And Kestra (daughter of Riker & Troi) is meant to be at Starfleet Academy during the events of Picard season 3, so she could join in too; possibly also Worf’s son. This is assuming those characters survive the finale in a way that this makes sense.
All that said, I want both that AND Section 31. It was teased in Discovery with Ash also joining and I want to see something that gives us a bit more closure on those characters and that chapter, while perhaps showcasing how that Section 31 transforms into the one seen in “later”/earlier Trek.
Don’t get your hopes up about this Section 31 lining up with DS9. Kurtzman is the guy who wrote Into Darkness, wherein the main Section 31 villain guy had a model of his super secret, yet massive, Section 31 starship sitting on his super public desk at Starfleet HQ. He does not understand what Section 31 is, because he probably never watched DS9. He most likely just read some DS9 wikipedia entries.
Discovery and Strange New Worlds cannot exist as part of the same reality as the classic Trek shows. They are their own franchise. Trying to make them fit together will collapse both continuities. (And I don’t mean they’re a different timeline. I mean Classic Star Trek and modern Star Trek are different franchises. Different narrative worlds, like Star Trek and Star Wars. They have no connecting pieces)
s31 in ‘darkness’ was out in the open after the nero affair, looking to protect earth from a similar kind of attack, which led to them finding khan and building the vengeance.
same as sloane appearing during the dominion war and planning the virus to kill the founders.
earlier in Ent we had s31 messing with augment dna after the xindi attack and pressing reed to work with them behind archer’s back
I don’t need to say all over again what you’ve said so well. But you’re spot on about everything you’ve written. You get it. Wish Paramount did.
Agreed unless Terry gets to do a show playing in the 25th century.
I wonder if Yeoh signed a contract for a Section 31 show and tried to get out of it now she’s hit the big time. So they compromised on a movie.
Unlikely. The spin-off was announced so long ago any contract would have gone null by now. More likely the film was what she could fit into her schedule.
I’m loving this idea. Like many others, I really liked Yeoh’s performance and found that she elevated the series while she was on-screen. I’m intrigued to find out when she ends up in the timeline and what Section 31 will look like at that point. I’m hoping it takes place after the end of the Dominion War when Section 31 is on the lookout for the next big threat. If the movie does well enough, might we hope for a few additional movies or will this be a jumping off point for a potential spinoff without Michelle Yeoh?
Im hjaving mixed feelings about this. I’m glad the show isn’t entirely dead, but I was really hoping to see more of Georgiou, especially since they took her away from Discovery for this. But I guess it’s also in part due to Michelle Yeoh’s availability.
Still looking forward to it!
Star Trek: Legacy now, please!
I’m not even upset by this. I’m just thrilled it’s happening!
About time… best news of the day.
What “new ground” did she break, exactly?
There’s been a lot of women on Star Trek over the decades, one of which actually broke a few barriers for black women in pop culture and became an actual legend.
There’s nothing legendary about the character Georgiou. She’s a cookie cutter badguy forced to play nice.
I was wondering the same thing. The producers of Discovery keep congratulating themselves for “breaking barriers” and I just don’t see any barriers being broken that Star Trek hasn’t been breaking all along.
Not surprised that this will be a “special original movie event”. I am surprised that this going to happen all together. I figured that Michele Yeoh is very much in demand and has many projects and offers to consider. I thought that the ship sailed on a Section 31 show. Yet here we are. I read that Star Trek may go in this direction of this type of presentation. I am glad that we will get to see Michele Yeoh once again as the indomitable Philippa Georgiou! Perhaps with Section 31 as an “original movie event” leaves open the possibility for a Star Trek legacy series?
Disappointing news, should be a series. Maybe her star has risen too high now with movie success?
She is an Acadamy award winning actress now, why does she do this cheap NuTrek crap ?