UNCONFIRMED: “Star Trek: Discovery” May Have Its First Star In Michelle Yeoh

ComingSoon.net is reporting that Michelle Yeoh, star of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is set to headline Star Trek: Discovery. Her role is as yet unconfirmed but may be the series lead, a female Lieutenant Commander, or possibly the ship’s captain, rumored to be a woman of color.

UPDATE: New sources have confirmed Yeoh’s casting with additional details on the role she will play, and Yeoh herself has made a comment.

“I know Michelle Yeoh is in it.”

That’s what Nicholas Meyer, a producer and writer on Discovery, told ComingSoon.net in a recent interview. “Although it is unconfirmed at this time,” reports ComingSoon, “Michelle Yeoh’s role is quite likely the series’ lead.”

TrekMovie has not yet confirmed Yeoh’s involvement with Discovery, but she doesn’t seem to fit the description for the lead Lt. Commander role, who former showrunner Bryan Fuller has described as someone with a lot to learn about the galaxy and the beings in it. At a press junket in August, Fuller noted that:

“[Discovery will] explore a woman’s journey that will teach her to get along with others in the galaxy.”

Many of the details we have about Discovery‘s characters come from that event in which Fuller expressed his belief that for a protagonist to truly understand something alien, she has to first understand herself. The image of a green yet capable Lieutenant with a lot to learn comes to mind with that description.

While Yeoh may or may not fill this lead Lt. Commander role, she certainly fits the description of other characters teased by Bryan Fuller, who has said he wants to cast a woman of color as the ship’s captain.

Yeoh is probably best known for her role as Yu Shu Lien in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and the franchise’s recent sequel Sword of Destiny. She also played Lotus, a recurring character on the Netflix original Marco Polo.

We will update this story as we get more information.

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I like this bit of casting. I’d say she’d have to be the captain though.

Totally agree Sybok. Yeah has the gravitas and maturity I associate more with a captain than a Lt. Commander. But casting her would be a definite plus for the series. I hope this will happen!!


She is 54. That should be too old for a Lieutenant Commander. And they alluded quite a bit, that they wanted to cast a black woman as a lead. They might have changed their opinion, but I still don’t believe Michelle Yeoh got that role. I think she plays someone with a higher rank. Just for comparison’s sake Patrick Stewart was only 47 during the first season of TNG. Scott Bakula the same age at the start of ENT. Sisko, Janeway and Kirk were played by younger actors. Michelle Yeoh would be even for a captain kind of old. Maybe she plays an Admiral? That could work.

Agree. Admiral or seasoned captain would work. We saw older captains even in TOS. Or at least alluded to. In TNG we had Jellioco, who was probably in his 50’s.

No doubt, hence why if true, she will prob be the admiral or captain.

There was that alternate timeline where Picard was an ensign even though he was pretty old. Maybe she will be someone who is well overdue for a promotion.

She is a great actress…This is good news, if it is true.

You left out ‘Bond girl.’ She was great in ‘Tomorrow Never Dies.’ And she IS great in Marco Polo.

I don’t see her as the lead, only because TPTB will want a younger actor. But hey, I’m 54, too. And she’s looking fine!

And CmndrR, she’s been to space! The underrated ‘Sunshine’ anyone?


First off, if this rumour turns out to be true, awesome, just awesome! Have always like Michelle Yeoh since 007 Tomorrow Never Dies, Crouching Tiger, and Marco Polo. Would like to see more of her. Would like to see her in Star Trek. Would like more ethnic Chinese, East Indian, Middle Eastern/Arabic (and more) actors and characters in all TV and film but especially Star Trek.

I could not see her as main Lt Commander character. To me that character should be in her early to late 30’s. But I could see Yeoh as the admiral or even better…the Captain!

Are people really referring to East Asian people as “of color” now?

Seems like one step removed from calling them “yellow” people.

Not to mention that the “of color” generic-ethnicity-indicator sounds patently ridiculous, in and of itself. “People of color” — sounds like some mystical characters from an allegory. And the people of color came and brightened Lygor’s mood. And all was good in Blandenburg.

I couldn’t agree with you more. Political correctness has taken the route of absurdity.

How is the phrase “people of color” politically correct? I believe Cygnus was saying almost the opposite of that.

Kayla Iacovino

Would you prefer “non-White”?

“Non-white” is explicitly discriminatory. Yes, I’d like to hire someone for a position. Preferably someone non-White. Substitute any other ethnicity for “white” and you see how unacceptable it is.

What would I prefer? I’d prefer to do away with racial discrimination in hiring practices. However, it we must be racist about the matter, then I suppose I’d say that I was looking to cast someone from an ethnic minority. That seems accurate, to the point, and non-ridiculous.

P.S. In aid of being socially responsible here, let me specify that I’d prefer to do away with racial discrimination in hiring practices as much as possible. I understand that there are situations and needs in which racial discrimination is appropriate and called for. For example, if you’re trying to connect with a certain demographic. But, when it’s a completely open field, as it is in hiring a cast for a brand new TV show which has minimal or no prerequisite racial needs for its characters, then I’d rather the casting not be overtly racist. I grant the producer free hand in hiring whomever he thinks is best for the part; but if he is discriminating on the basis of race, then I’d prefer he kept that bit of information to himself. I just don’t need to know about it, and it tarnishes his casting choices to some degree with the public.

Re: Cygnus-X1
“Substitute any other ethnicity for “white” and you see how unacceptable it is.”

I would just like to point out that the fact that one even needs to do what you suggests is incredibly racist in itself and shows the double standard there is when it comes to these kinds of “politically correct” matters.
(I don’t mean this as a personal attack by any means btw, just something I feel important to point out)

Also, come to think of it, the term “of color” explicitly puts white people (people of no color?) in one group and all other races in another, which also, is incredibly racist even by the standards of the pc leftists whom invented the term.

I’m ready to take heat for this from those who are going to read far more into it than there really is. But here goes… I’m getting concerned about this new Trek in that it is not a good sign that they are looking for specific races for the roles. Unless there is a specific reason a character needs to be a certain race why go out of your way to say that a role must be a specific race? I am hoping there is a good reason for it and they aren’t doing it just to do it. I mean, when they cast Avery Brooks, the character of Sisko wasn’t written as a black man. They just felt Brooks was the right fit.

A. So what? The problem with arguments like these always comes down to this: “If they cast someone for being black, Asian, woman or gay they are ONLY doing it for PC reasons. But if they just cast another boring straight white guy they are only doing it because thats the natural order of just how it is.” Now I know you are probably not saying that but for minorities such as myself thats what these arguments always sounds like. It basically says, “Why are you trying to force a minority in a role that can be suited for a white person?” This is basically what people are saying because its never ‘PC’ to hire white or straight people, it just is.

B. As far as not writing Sisko just for a black actor thats NOT true. Rick Berman stated himself that while he didn’t necessarily care if Sisko was black it was ALWAYS their intention to find a black actor for the character and Michael Piller was very much wanting Sisko to be black. As Rick Berman tells it:

As far as hiring a black actor to play Sisko, this was something that meant a great deal to Michael Piller. My feeling was it would be great if we could find the right actor, but that if we couldn’t find the right actor, I felt that it wasn’t necessary to go with a black actor. But we very much wanted to find a black actor who could pull it off because it was time for that. When we met Avery (Brooks), when he came in and read for the role, we felt it was a slam dunk.

See more at: http://www.startrek.com/article/rick-berman-looks-back-at-18-years-of-trek-part-2#sthash.9LbTQ4Ts.dpuf

AND yes when it came time for Voyager they felt it was time to have a woman Captain as well and how we got Kate Mulgrew as Janeway. Again I just find these arguments SO bizarre because whenever people talk about Star Trek the first thing that come out of their mouth is how Roddenberry pushed for a diverse cast in the 60s. Star Trek is the epitome of being ‘PC’. Its celebrated for that. Now here we are in 2016 and people are stunned over having gay and Asian characters? Just bizarre to me. Star Trek is the one that said the more diversity and inclusion the better so people shouldnt be shocked now they are only following something that they started 50 years ago.


Re: not a good sign that they are looking for specific races for the roles

If you had asked me 4 years ago after we had just handed a second term to the USA’s first African-American president, I’d have given serious consideration to your concern in the light that as a country clearly we had moved beyond such consideration, but given that you’ve just asked me after the inheritor of the next presidential term announced he seriously wanted to appoint a white supremacist to a key role in his new administration, I’m no longer so sure things from the bad old pre-civil rights movement days no longer still exist that need counter-balancing to create an equitable level economic playing and living field that never existed prior.

The only thing I have heard is that they are looking for a woman of color (ie non-white, or approximately 3/4 of the planet) for the lead role. So doesn’t seem overboard on the P.C. other than that, if you believe that other casting wish list, they are looking for a British male doctor, which doesn’t necessarily specify ethnicity. One further point, maybe they is a character-specific reason for the lead’s ethnicity – there is no info either way.

There’s bound to be an element of political correctness in the casting process. We’re talking about liberal hollywood here and pretty much all genre tv and film projects are being influenced by that now. But at the end of the day, as long as the final product is kick-arse-who really cares?

Go watch a Trump youtube tribute instead if you don’t like it.

Are you upset about how they cast Suki and Uhura?

I agree. They seem to be preoccupied with casting people according to race/”color”. And it’s kind of moronic for others to inject politics into posts at this forum (ie: the person with the idiotic “white supremacist” remark)

At the end of the day it really doesn’t matter. If the Hollywood leftists need to tick some boxes so they can sleep easier in their beds at night, fine. Let them have that. All that should concern us is the final product, i.e is it any good?
Question. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has some of the most ridiculously OTT PC casting of any genre movie in recent years, especially given that all of the characters are supposed to be aliens. Two different actors of Asian origin, an African-American, an Hispanic actor and a female lead. But all of you naysayers criticising the (alleged) Yeoh casting in DISC will still be going to see that movie on opening day-yes?

Star Trek was made by “Hollywood leftists” and thank god because that’s why it has a socially positive and progressive vision of the future that is inclusive of all types of people and centers on science and rationality. And people need to stop with trying to dismiss respecting non-white people’s consideration and inclusion as “politically correct.” Your use of that term doesn’t hide that what you really mean is “why can’t the world revolve around straight white men forever like is still the 1950s and I’m a crybaby now that we straight white men are not the undeserving and unearned center of power, authority and attention.”

If I really was a white supremacist Luke, I’d probably be on these boards, screaming about Yeoh’s casting (which i’m perfectly happy about), wouldn’t I? Actually no, scratch that, I wouldn’t be on these boards at all, as I wouldn’t have spent most of my life as a Trekkie, in the first place.
I’m loathe to rise to the bait here, since your nasty and clearly ludicrous comment is beneath contempt, but since i’m here, I may as well clarify my position to the decent, smart, level-headed posters on this site (a group of which you, sadly, do not seem to be a member).
Diversity in casting, is a perfectly fine thing. Movies and tv shows should take better care in representing the rainbow coloured world in which we all live. But some people on these boards-like ML31-feel that hollywood executives sometimes go way over the top with that, in order to score brownie points with the wider liberal elite. And I think, generally speaking, they’re probably right. Inclusion is a perfectly wonderful thing if it’s genuine and heartfelt, but if it’s done in an exaggerated posturing, tokenistic kind of way then it has the potential to be distracting and perhaps even counter-productive.
However, as I said in my original post, it is ultimately of no concern to us. All that matters is the final product. If the script, direction, acting, production values and everything else is right on the money then who cares whom they decided to cast in what particular part, for what reason?

Lead or not, I like the fact that they have cast an accomplished older woman in the role.

See Paul Feig, this is how you do feminism properly…

None of the problems with Ghostbusters had to do with casting.

That’s what I was thinking. El Chup

I have a strong hunch that the lead character is a Romulan plant who managed to graduate the Academy then climb the ranks to Lieutenant Commander. I see it as a sub plot in which she must report to her Romulan Commander her progress at learning the Federations secrets, but she becomes torn between her duty to her people and her oath to the federation. I think she has no intention of becoming Captain but something happens that forces her into the role. Maybe she has to mutiny against Captain Garth when it is revealed that something is terribly wrong with him. She falls into the role, and then becomes responsible for something more than herself, and her duty to Romulas. Her duty to the Discovery, and her crew. Just a hunch. It would fit what we know so far- regardless of the fact that we were “told” that it has nothing to do with Garth, or the battle of Axanar. Wouldn’t be the first time we got smoke blown up our posteriors.

God I hope this is true!! If they got Michelle Yeoh for this this would be the first big positive thing about this show yet. I would love to see her as a Captain but since the rumor is she is playing a Lt, fine I’ll love to see her as that too lol. Make a Ferengi I don’t care just get her on the show.

Now I await to see if she plays the rumoured ‘female Captain’s ‘love interest’ or not…

Great actress.

The thing about her that stands out to me was when she was cast in “Tomorrow Never Dies” she said the first thing she asked her agent was, “Do I get to play James Bond?”

So she’s not very bright.

Jokes aside, I like her. Not for the Lt Commander role, but I like her.

You didn’t get that her response was indeed a joke in and of itself.

Michelle Yeoh would be an outstanding captain. Younger LTC, not so much.

If the news is coming as a direct quote from Nicholas Meyer isn’t that confirmation?

Do we have any character details on the first officer?

Not bad. Not bad at all. Can’t see her as a Lieutenant Commander though. Given her age, age rank of Commander, Captain, Commodore or even (Rear?/Vice?) Admiral seems more likely.

I haven’t seen the obvious character for her mentioned yet–Admiral Nogura. Nowhere in canon does it say Nogura is male, per Memory Alpha.

She’s a terrific actress and “very diverse”, so it’s all good, right?

Why does the guy who wrote this article say it doesn’t seem to fit the role – a woman with a lot to learn about the galaxy. She is an accomplished actress. I want someone who knows how to act. Not someone so inexperienced and a fresh face that the acting seems phony. I don’t care that she is Asian. Bad acting is what you got with the guy who played Anikan Skywalker in the Star Wars prequels. There is a reason his career is in the toilet. He can’t act. Also the dialogue was horrible, but that’s another story.

More infos:


Sources confirm to Deadline that the upcoming CBS All Access iteration of the fabled franchise will see Yeoh playing a Starfleet Captain.

However, before you start mapping out the deck of the Discovery, sources close to the production tell us exclusively that Yeoh will actually be the leader of another ship. We hear that Yeoh has been cast as Han Bo and her ship is the Shenzhou. The Yeoh-run spacecraft is set to play a big role in Discovery‘s first season.

Putting aside Ms. Yeoh’s involvement, what is wrong with an older person with the rank of LTC, who isn’t a green cadet, is not a “professional” (like a lawyer, doctor, etc.) and joined Starfleet later in life? If anything, you could easily mine stories involving the dynamic between a younger crew and “the old guy”. And him/her joining late is because of some trauma or anything. S/he could join just like Bilbo Baggins joined his quest: to go on an adventure of a lifetime, however it may be.

She’d be a good choice with her experience as an action star and ability to come across as serious. My impression is she’s actually a “tough” woman in real life, I mean she’s a Hong Kong action star. And being chinese would fill the role Chekov filled in TOS. It would also increase the appeal of Star Trek in Asia as she’s obviously a big star there. And you’d finally have another none-American and first time none-Westerner as captain. I actually quit like the idea of her as captain. It’s growing on me more and more. She tends to come across as a tough, cool cookie. Sort of a rougher, cooler Janeway. Without that motherly touch that Janeway could have. Ideal for a prequel series in a “younger” rougher universe/era when the Federation is still in its infancy.

Question is who would you put opposite her as her number 1? Another woman? A man? Around her age or younger? Human or alien? To early to have Klingons on the crew. Andorians could take their role, as they did in ENT. We’ll probably have a Vulcan as one of the main characters. Maybe another woman?