With an incredible movie career and an Academy Award, Michelle Yeoh can do anything she wants, and what she wants to do is Star Trek: Section 31. Why?
- Michelle Yeoh’s commitment to Star Trek: Section 31 is fueled by her love for the franchise and her childhood dreams of commanding her own ship.
- Winning an Oscar and being in high demand in Hollywood hasn’t diminished Yeoh’s passion for the character of Emperor Philippa Georgiou and the world of Star Trek.
- Yeoh’s involvement in Section 31 is helping to bring much-needed representation for Asian actors and older women in the industry, aligning with her acceptance speech advocating for greater visibility.
Despite winning an Oscar for Everything Everywhere All at Once, Michelle Yeoh is still committed to Star Trek: Section 31, but why? Yeoh isn’t the first Star Trek to win an Academy Award, as Whoopi Goldberg won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in Ghost in 1991. Despite this, Goldberg continued to appear in episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation until her final appearance in the 1993 episode, “Suspicions.” Whoopi Goldberg was a big fan of Star Trek, having been inspired by Nichelle Nichols as Lt. Nyota Uhura, which is why she was so keen to be involved.
Goldberg’s passion for a role in TNG after her 1986 Oscar nomination for The Color Purple was perplexing for the production team and some of her co-stars. From the outside, looking in, Michelle Yeoh’s Star Trek: Section 31 movie could be similarly perplexing. With an incredible career behind her in both Hollywood and Hong Kong, Yeoh’s recent Oscar win makes her an even more in-demand movie star. And yet, she’s still committed to the character of Emperor Philippa Georgiou and the world of Star Trek’s shadowy intelligence organization, Section 31.
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Why Michelle Yeoh Loves Star Trek Even After Her Oscar
In a 2017 interview with Elle to promote both Star Trek: Discovery and the movie Crazy Rich Asians, Michelle Yeoh spoke of her love for Gene Roddenberry’s original series. Having watched the show as a child, Yeoh said that having her own ship to command in the Star Trek universe was a “dream come true.” Like Whoopi Goldberg before her, Yeoh’s fondness for Star Trek is behind her continued involvement with the franchise. It was noted in the interview that a show like Discovery having two women of color as its lead actors was still frustratingly rare.
After winning her Oscar, Yeoh reflected on this fact in the Academy press room, saying:
“We need this because there’s so many who have felt unseen, unheard. It’s not just the Asian community.” (via Los Angeles Times)
In her acceptance speech, Michelle Yeoh pointed to a lack of representation for not just Asian actors, but older women, on screen. The chance to lead a Star Trek movie is a high profile way to turn this around, which is presumably why she’s still so invested in Star Trek: Section 31. Executive Producer Alex Kurtzman recently told an audience at New York Comic Con that Michelle Yeoh kept Section 31 moving forward, using her increased cache to ensure that the Paramount+ original movie gets made.
What We Know About Michelle Yeoh’s Star Trek: Section 31 Movie
Michelle Yeoh’s Star Trek: Section 31 fulfills an ambition she’s held since before her first season of Star Trek: Discovery aired. Yeoh loves playing Philippa Georgiou and this is another key factor in her commitment to the Discovery spinoff movie. The plot of Star Trek: Section 31 is still vague, with the synopsis promising that Georgiou will be forced to confront the sins of her past.
What is known about Star Trek: Section 31 is that it’s about to enter production after the Hollywood strikes delayed production on Star Trek. Written by Craig Sweeny and directed by Olatunde Osunsanmi, the Star Trek: Discovery spinoff will begin shooting in Toronto between January 29th and March 13th 2024. It’s likely that this will be slated for an early 2025 release on Paramount+, but more information should begin coming out when Michelle Yeoh’s Star Trek: Section 31 starts shooting in January.
Star Trek: Section 31
In this Paramount+ exclusive movie event, Michelle Yeoh returns as Emperor Philippa Georgiou, who was first introduced in Star Trek: Discovery Season 1. Star Trek: Section 31 centers on Yeoh’s character as she faces her past sins and is recruited by Starfleet’s secret division that protects the United Federation of Planets.