Did Star Trek: Discovery Just Tease the Michelle Yeoh Section 31 Spinoff?

One quick line from Commander Georgiou may tease what’s to come on that Star Trek spinoff series you might have forgotten about...

Michelle Yeoh as Emperor Georgiou in Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 Episode 3
Photo: CBS

Perhaps the crewmember of the USS Discovery who is the most out-of-place in the 32nd Century is the one person who isn’t a member of Starfleet. Michelle Yeoh’s Commander Philippa Georgiou has now changed her own status-quo twice during the run of Star Trek: Discovery. Because she’s not actually from “our” Prime Universe, this is the second time—that we know of—that she’s been yanked into a complex new reality, starkly different than the one she’s used to. And one line from Georgiou in Discovery Season 3, Episode 2, could actually establish the idea that when it comes to hopping around in the space-time continuum, Georgiou might just be getting started… 

In one brief exchange in the latest Discovery episode—“Far From Home”—Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh) tells Nhan (Rachael Ancheril) that she stayed with Discovery for the jump to the future because “I like hopping from universe to universe.” 

On the one hand, we could read this line as exactly what it means: Georgiou is saying: yes, I was from the Mirror Universe of the 23rd Century, and now I live in the 32nd Century, but in a different universe. Loosely, her persona “universe” has changed, twice. We can also read this as a doth-protest-too-much line since longtime fans know what Georgiou is mostly concerned for Michael Burnham’s safety, even if she doesn’t admit it outright. 

But… what if there is more to this line? What if Georgiou does like hopping from universe to universe, and what if that state of impermanence ends-up being her destiny? Since 2019, we’ve been told that a Section 31 spin-off Trek series, starring Yeoh as Georgiou is coming. But, what will it actually be about? We know that the show will be produced by Discovery writers Bo Yeon Kim and Erika Lippoldt and we also know that Alex Kurtzman has said the series is has a “surprising” setting. 

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So, if the Section 31 series is about Section 31 itself, which era of Section 31 are we talking about? Will Georgiou need to head back to the 23rd century for this show to work? Well, if we take Georgiou at her word, and that she enjoys “hopping universes” maybe the Section 31 series will not exist in one time-period. Maybe, this is the first clue that Section 31 will feature Michelle Yeoh traveling through time and perhaps, multiple dimensions.

There is some precedent for this within the Trek canon, and there may even be an indication that Georgiou has already visited different time periods and universes even before Season 2 of Discovery began. A deleted scene from Season 1 of Discovery established that Georgiou was recruited by Leland on Qo’noS, shortly after the events of “Will You Take My Hand?” She didn’t’ reappear until the Season 2 episode “Point of Light,” which could mean that there was a fairly large period of time where Georgiou could have had all sorts of adventures previously untold. In other words, Georgiou could have already been hopping through multiple universes and traveling in time in total secret well before she reappeared on Qo’noS in “Point of Light.” This would mean that her comment to Nhan in “Far From Home,” could mean more than it seems.

Alternatively, this could foreshadow a restless desire within Georgiou. After Michael Burnham plucked her from the Mirror Universe in Season 1, it’s reasonable that Georgiou might want to go back, someday. If the Section 31 series is focused on Georgiou more than its focused on Section 31 itself, then what if Georgiou jumps back to the Mirror Universe, but just in a different time period? Basically, we’ve always assumed that the Section 31 show would focus on Section 31 from the Prime Universe, but what if the Imperial Starfleet of the Mirror Universe also had their own Section 31? To use a Doctor Who analogy, if there can be multiple Torchwoods in multiple universes, it seems like the Mirror Starfleet could also have Section 31.

If the Section 31 series were to take place in the Mirror Universe and in the 23rd Century, then suddenly, all sorts of cameos would be possible. Anson Mount could play Mirror Pike (before his death) and Ethan Peck could play Mirror Spock. After all, we’ve already seen Peck’s Spock with a beard, and although it may not have worked for him in the Prime Universe, we know he wears it well in the Mirror Universe. And, when Mirror Spock attempts to take over the Empire after the events of “Mirror, Mirror,” he’ll need all the help he can get. Maybe Michelle Yeoh will be there to lend a hand.

Star Trek: Discovery Season 3 airs new episodes on CBS All Access on Thursdays.

The Section 31 series does not have a debut date.