Michelle Yeoh’s Mirror Georgiou character exited Star Trek: Discovery dramatically through the Guardian of Forever shortly before the third season wrapped up. However, that may not be the end of the road for the former Terran Emperor and Section 31 agent.
A Terran that deserves a second chance
Michelle Yeoh was a guest on The Pod Directive, the official Star Trek podcast. When asked by co-host Paul F. Tompkins what happens next for Georgiou after going through the Guardian of Forever (which we learned likes to be called “Carl”) the actress talked at length about Georgiou’s journey, starting by addressing the purpose of Georgiou’s first trip through the portal which sent her back to her Terran Empire:
“We all know that the portal is to weigh you and really it is to see if you deserve a second chance. And I think in life that’s what we all hope, that if we do something wrong, do something bad, we hope there is redemption and we will be given a second chance to redeem ourselves. I think that has always been the most interesting part for me, for Georgiou… Emperor Georgiou was learning to understand that you can’t keep killing to stay on top. One day there will be no more people left to kill. And then when Kovich turned around and said to Emperor Georgiou, ‘You know the Terrans have not been heard of in the last 500 years.’ That’s just to say: you have wiped yourself out. And I think that was when Georgiou heard and understood and felt that the only way to go around that is to rule with peace and compassion… When she came out it’s okay. You think you have failed, but you actually haven’t because you did try to make a difference. “
Yeoh’s comment reveals she sees Georgiou’s first trip through the portal as the culmination of a redemption arc for the character, at least in terms of the former Emperor’s outlook. It was in the trying to be a better person that Carl deemed her worthy to send her on her real trip through the portal.
Until we meet again…
Eventually, Yeoh got to Georgiou’s actual exit from Discovery (in “Terra Firma, Part 2”), where she revealed it wasn’t a final goodbye for her, or the Star Trek producers:
I think when she went through the portal [the second] time, for me it’s like saying “Goodbye, until we meet again.” Because this is Star Trek. Who knows? One day Emperor Georgiou is going to find out that Michael Burnham is like in dire straits or the other way around and something has to be done. I don’t know, but I’m just putting it out there… Carl has said to her, “You have another journey to undertake.” And it’s so obvious you have more things to do. It’s not going to be a smooth ride. It will be bumpy. It will be full of heartaches. It will be full of pain. But I think it’s true. That is life… So I think there’s so much more possibilities for Georgiou. And I know my executive producers and showrunners and writers have a lot more things in store for such an amazing character.
So according to Yeoh, there are still plans for her return to Star Trek, although what that returns looks like is still completely a mystery.
Is the Section 31 show still a thing?
One thing not mentioned at all during this discussion was “Section 31,” the organization Georgiou joined after crossing over from the Mirror Universe. Before season two debuted CBS announced development for a new series which “will expand on Yeoh’s current role as a member of Starfleet’s Section 31 division, a shadow organization within the Federation, on Star Trek: Discovery.”
This Michelle Yeoh-lead Section 31 show was supposed to be the next live-action Star Trek series to arrive after Picard, and was originally planned to go into production in 2020 after the third season of Discovery wrapped. Executive Producer Alex Kurtzman assigned Bo Yeon Kim and Erika Lippoldt as showrunners in 2019, and last summer he was touting the work they and writer Craig Sweeny were doing for the series.
While the pandemic shut things down for film and television for much of 2020, there are now three live-action Star Trek shows in production, including what will be the next series set to debut on Paramount+: Strange New Worlds. The Section 31 project was not mentioned during the February Paramount+ investment day event, although Alex Kurtzman and Paramount+ executive Julie McNamara confirmed with Variety there are still “conversations” about the Yeoh-lead series.
As of now, there is nothing definitive about the Section 31 project. It may still be happening, it may have changed and perhaps no longer has a Section 31 connection, or it could possibly have moved to the back burner as Kurtzman and Paramount+ plan for the next phase of Star Trek on TV, with other projects moving to the forefront. However, even if the Section 31 show doesn’t happen, that doesn’t mean we won’t see Emperor Georgiou return. Her exit through the Guardian means she could show up anywhere or any time. This could allow for Georgiou to appear on any current or future Star Trek show, possibly even for a visit back on Discovery, as indicated by Yeoh herself.
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