Michelle Yeoh’s character in Star Trek: Discovery will be entrusted with the guardianship of Sonequa Martin-Green’s First Officer Michael Burnham, according to Yeoh herself. After several delays, Discovery is set to premiere on CBS this week and early reaction to the first Star Trek TV series since Enterprise has been largely positive. However, the series has already attracted criticism from fans regarding the new Klingon design, the advanced look of the technology, and the fact that Green will be playing Spock’s adopted sister.
One of the key themes in the Star Trek franchise has always been the relationship between the various crew members, and in particular between the Captain and their immediate subordinates. Discovery is somewhat unique in this regard as for the first time, the lead character is a First Officer – though there are also two Captain characters featured in the series: Michelle Yeoh’s Captain Georgiou of the U.S.S. Shenzou and Jason Isaacs’ Gabriel Lorca, Captain of the titular ship Discovery.
Yeoh has now shed some light on the link between her character and Sonequa Martin Green’s Burnham and given some insight into the mentality of Captain Georgiou. Speaking to CBS, Yeoh claims:
“She [Georgiou] is strict but fun. She has a dry sense of humor. She is able to retain humanity in who she is, even though she’s seen so much bloodshed. And I think that is one of the reasons why Sarek, the Vulcan ambassador, has chosen Captain Georgiou and has given her the guardianship of Michael Burnham.”
Yeoh’s suggestion that her Captain has witnessed multiple traumatic events but retained a sense of balance and humanity is very interesting, when compared with comments made by Isaacs – in which he described Captain Lorca as a “wartime leader.” This could potentially be setting up a conflict between Georgiou and Lorca in their management styles and views on morality, as Isaacs’ has also revealed that his character has a far simpler view on war and death.
The confirmation that Burnham is placed under the stewardship of Captain Georgiou by her adopted father is also of particular interest. It has already been confirmed that Burnham is assigned as First Officer of the Shenzou, but that Sarek himself has engineered this arrangement could lead to plenty of conflict and tension aboard the ship, from those who suspect that nepotism at play.
With that said, some long-time fans of the Star Trek franchise may balk at the idea of there being any serious conflict between Starfleet officers at all. Franchise creator Gene Roddenberry famously prohibited any serious clashes between members of the same crew, as he believed that in the far future, mankind would’ve outgrown such behavior. Since Roddenberry’s death, many Star Trek writers have introduced story-lines that break this unwritten rule but there remain some purists that would prefer it was adhered to.
Star Trek: Discovery premieres September 24th on CBS and subsequent episodes will be released on CBS All Access.
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