‘Picard’ Stars React to Michelle Yeoh Returning to ‘Star Trek’ Universe: ‘Talk About Badass!’

Just days before the “Star Trek: Picard” team celebrated its series finale with an FYC red carpet event in Hollywood Wednesday night, Paramount+ announced that Michelle Yeoh will reprise her role of Philippa Georgiou in the upcoming event film, “Star Trek: Section 31.” The announcement had the cast of “Picard” extremely excited for Yeoh’s return and eager to give kudos to the newly minted Oscar winner.

“It is a really cool time to have Michelle Yeoh back in the family,” Jonathan Frakes, who plays Commander William Riker and has directed dozens of episodes across the “Star Trek” television universe, told Variety. “I had the privilege of directing her a number of times on ‘Discovery.’ She’s a very special human being. She is a special actor. So the idea that we get her now on ‘Section 31’ is kind of a big deal.” 

Yeoh first played the emperor in Season 1 of “Star Trek: Discovery.” “I’m beyond thrilled to return to my ‘Star Trek’ family and to the role I’ve loved for so long. ‘Section 31’ has been near and dear to my heart since I began the journey of playing Philippa all the way back when this new golden age of ‘Star Trek’ launched,” she said in a statement when the film was announced. “To see her finally get her moment is a dream come true in a year that’s shown me the incredible power of never giving up on your dreams. We can’t wait to share what’s in store for you, and until then: live long and prosper (unless Emperor Georgiou decrees otherwise)!”

In “Star Trek: Section 31,” Philippa Georgiou joins a secret division of Starfleet tasked with protecting the United Federation of Planets and faces the sins of her past.  

Thanks to “Star Trek,” powerful women roles have been seen for decades, which wasn’t lost on Gates Mcfadden, who plays the iconic Dr. Beverly Crusher. “Talk about badass!” she said. “Oh, I’m so happy for her. I’ve been a huge fan of hers. I think she’s fantastic.”

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 19: (L-R) Brent Spiner, LeVar Burton, Jeri Ryan, Gates McFadden, Patrick Stewart, Jonathan Frakes and Michael Dorn attend the IMAX “Picard” screening at AMC The Grove 14 on April 19, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for Paramount+) Getty Images for Paramount+

Jeri Ryan, who stars as Borg drone Seven of Nine, added about Yeoh’s return, “To come back to it after winning an Oscar, that’s a testament I think to the strength and the legacy of this franchise and to the fans.”

Brent Spiner, who plays the synthetic life form Data, added: “When you look at who’s been in the films, it is a cornucopia of fantastic talent. I feel very lucky to have been a part of it and love seeing people like Michelle returning.”

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