Yesterday, the rumor exploded on the internet that Michelle Yeoh had been cast in the newest voyage to boldly go where no one has gone before. Because this is all based on an off hand comment at a convention – even if it was from one of the writers of the show – we still gotta treat it as a completely unconfirmed rumor until CBS confirms the casting. But if it’s true, it’s a brilliant choice, and she should absolutely be playing the Captain of our brand new federation starship. Here’s why.
The rumormill immediately tried to cast Yeoh in Discovery’s lead role, the Lt. Commander who we’ll be following as they work on the starship. And she would be excellent in that role. But Yeoh has always thrived on playing a mentor character. She’s one of those people who always plays the character we, as the audience, would follow in to hell. And that is a quality that has been lacking in starship captains since a certain Jean Luc.
I’m not saying I don’t love the characters of Janeway, Sisko, Archer (maybe) or even the new Captain Kirk. But they all have felt like really good bosses. People you’d love to have run your ship, and maybe sit down with afterwards. Picard felt like a man who could inspire you, who would capture your loyalty and explain why his First Officer hadn’t accepted a promotion despite being offered it, like, twenty times.
Michelle Yeoh can play that kind of character. We’ve seen her do it before, in her most successful film in North America, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. She has the right mix of compassion and steel to make her turn as Captain one of the most memorable in history. And we’d love to see that.
Plus, it’s about damn time we had a show with a lead Asian Captain.
We’ll keep an eye out for more word from CBS, and hopefully be able to confirm this one soon.