What's Happening With Star Trek's Section 31 Spinoff?

Georgiou in Star Trek: Discovery
(Image credit: Paramount+)

The Star Trek franchise rapidly expanded in size with a number of new shows in recent years, and even though we have a lot of them on the air already in 2022, more Star Trek spinoffs are coming. Section 31 was the first spinoff announced after the premiere of Star Trek: Discovery, but many shows have premiered since, and it hasn’t aired one episode yet. 

For that reason, a lot of fans might be wondering what is going on with the Section 31 spinoff and if we’ll ever see it on Paramount+. We have all the answers for that and more, so for anyone looking for what’s happening with this Michelle Yeoh-led series, look no further. 

Michelle Yeoh in Star Trek: Discovery

(Image credit: Paramount+)

The Last Update On The Series Was February 2022

Star Trek recently confirmed that while it’s been a long time since they announced the Section 31 spinoff, there are still plans for it to happen. Paramount+ Original Scripted Series President Nicole Clemens confirmed as much during the TCA Winter Tour in February 2022 (via Den of Geek) and promised that more news would come on the series soon. It’s possible “soon” could be the upcoming First Contact Day celebration slated for April 2022, which will feature an in-person celebration in Chicago. 

The good news is that Star Trek: Discovery successfully sent Michelle Yeoh’s character, Phillipa Georgiou, back in time back in Season 3. The Section 31 spinoff seemingly took place in the past, as the organization played a part in the early seasons of Discovery prior to the time jump well into the future. At the very least, we canonically have the character in the right place for the spinoff to happen, which presumably needed to happen before the series premiered. Hopefully, that means the wait won’t be much longer. 

Michelle Yeoh in Star Trek: Discovery

(Image credit: Paramount)

The Series Has Been In Development For Quite Some Time 

Star Trek announced Section 31 back in 2019, and while the series hasn’t premiered, that isn’t to say nothing happened. Alex Kurtzman assured that while the show isn’t in production, development and scripts are moving along on the series. Kurtzman noted that COVID shutdowns gave the writers of Star Trek shows a chance to catch up on scripts, even though the production schedules of many of their shows got pushed months out. Now that things are seemingly back on track for the franchise, it’s possible that progress is moving much smoother on all fronts. 

As of March 2022, we don’t know exactly where development is on Section 31, but given the time gap Star Trek writers got with scripts while production couldn’t happen, it’s possible they’re just waiting on a chance to start filming. Of course, there are some specific parameters in regards to Section 31 in that department, which may also explain why the series isn’t happening right now.

Michelle Yeoh on Star Trek: Discovery on Paramount+

(Image credit: Paramount+)

One Currently Airing Star Trek Show Needs To End Before Production Starts

Section 31 will happen, but Star Trek’s decision-makers are clear that one thing needs to happen before the show officially airs. Paramount Plus programming chief Julie McNamara and Alex Kurtzman both said in an interview with Variety that in order for Section 31 to happen, one of the currently airing Star Trek shows needs to end. That’s a bittersweet pill to swallow for some fans who want every Trek show to run for all eternity, but a reality of streaming and television we must all accept. 

The good news, however, is that it already seems like we know which Star Trek show will end to make way for Section 31. Star Trek: Picard was only planned to run for three seasons, and with Season 3 already in production, the Jean-Luc Picard series’ days are numbered. It’s not the best news for fans who love Picard, but it’s certainly better for a series that planned to end to get a series finale than one that had no intention of ending. Plus, then there’s a slot open for Section 31, which should be entertaining.  

Michelle Yeoh in Everything Everywhere All at Once

(Image credit: A24)

Michelle Yeoh’s Availability Might Play A Factor In Production

Michelle Yeoh wasn’t exactly an unfamiliar face in Hollywood when she joined Star Trek: Discovery, but her star power rose quite a bit during Season 1 of the show. Since Season 1, she’s been in movies like Crazy Rich Asians, Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and is confirmed for Avatar 2 and its planned sequels. Avatar alone will create a busy work schedule for Yeoh, and any actor or actress that joins the MCU, even in a supporting role, can always come into the universe in an unexpected moment. I’m not sure we’ll see her Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 character again, but the Shang Chi character feels possible. 

Filming a television series is a time commitment, especially if you’re the star of the show. With Michelle Yeoh’s busy schedule, it’s possible locking her down for a season or more of Section 31 isn’t going to be the easiest thing to schedule. Of course, this is only speculation, and perhaps the process is much easier or already figured out, and all of this is a non-issue. 

Shazad Latif in Star Trek: Discovery

(Image credit: Paramount+)

At Least One Other Former Star Trek: Discovery Castmember May Appear

We know Michelle Yeoh will appear in Section 31 as a star of the show, but Star Trek set another Discovery veteran in a key role of the organization way back when. Ash Tyler, played by actor Shazad Latif, was made acting commander of the covert organization in Georgiou’s absence. Should the series return, it makes sense that Latif will also be involved in the series, and at one point, the actor seemed to believe that as well. 

In a conversation with Trekkie Girls back in 2019, Shazad Latif believed production on the show was a couple of years down the line. Obviously, he didn’t know about COVID and production shutdowns then, but with that factored in, it’s possible the slightly altered timeline of when Star Trek wanted to do Section 31 is back on track. Either way, Latif hasn’t said he won’t be involved in the time since, so it stands to reason he’s still involved. Hopefully, we’ll find out soon. 

Section 31 is in development, and when it finally arrives, the only way fans will see it is with a Paramount+ subscription. In the meantime, be sure to check out what other Trek shows are on the way and what to expect for the rest of 2022 and beyond. 

Mick Joest
Content Producer

I like good television but also reality television. His day largely consists of balancing his workload between reporting on the latest and greatest news in Star Trek and other sci-fi, as well as 90 Day Fiancé, WWE, Big Brother, and more.