FROM STARFLEET COMMAND:
Asian Americans, who are almost invisible in American episodic TV, as well as features films coming out of Hollywood, are about to get an added boost in screen time—in outer space! Asian Americans represent only 1% of Hollywood’s leading roles while they make up at least 5% of the U.S. population (approximately 17 million people).
The CBS All Access streaming service officially confirmed that they will add a fourth series to their ever-expanding solar system of Star Trek Discovery spinoffs. The new program will find Michelle Yeoh (Captain Philippa Georgiou) at the helm as the central role in the Starfleet’s Section 31 division, a black-ops shadow organization within the Federation. Yeoh will beam over her villainous/alternate counterpart Emperor of the Terran Empire from the Mirror Universe as part of this new stand-alone live-action series. The broadcast date for the new series is TDB.
“Michelle has shattered ceilings, broken boundaries, and astonished us with her grace and gravitas for decades,” Alex Kurtzman said in a statement. “As a human, I adore her. As an actor, I revere her. Erika and Boey are remarkable, exciting writers who bring a fresh perspective to the world of Star Trek, and we’re all thrilled to explore the next wild chapter in the life of Captain Philippa Georgiou.”
I’m so excited to continue telling these rich Star Trek stories. Being a part of this universe and this character specifically has been such a joy for me to play. I can’t wait to see where it all goes — certainly I believe it will go ‘where no WOMAN has ever gone before!
— Michelle Yeoh
One cannot dismiss the huge success of Warner Bros. Crazy Rich Asians as a reasonable catalyst in helping to put this science fiction satellite property into the realm of reality, especially with a sequel on the way. This bodes well for the Asian community in the U.S. as they are often among the most underrepresented sectors in entertainment. That is not to take anything away from Yeoh, who is considered one of Asia’s most beloved and successful actresses, with Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Rob Marshall’s Memoirs of a Geisha, Kung Fu Panda 2, and Netflix’s Marco Polo, among others in her credit portfolio. But visibility begets visibility, especially in the world of entertainment.
But only if afforded the chance to be seen. We’re putting out all positive vibes into the Universe to see much more of our Asian sisters and brothers in substantial roles and stories on both small and large screens on the horizon going forward—we all deserve no less!
Star Trek: Discovery‘s second season will premiere on Thursday, January 17, 2019 on CBS All Access in the U.S. and on Space Channel in Canada. The series premieres in 188 countries on Netflix on Friday, January 18, 2019.