'Star Trek: Discovery' Showrunner Alex Kurtzman on Why He's Revisiting Section 31

The shadow organization Section 31 returns to Star Trek in the second season of Star Trek: Discovery with its newest recruit, the Mirror Universe’s Philippa Georgiou.

Section 31 played a major role in the Kelvin timeline film Star Trek Into Darkness, which was co-written by Discovery co-creator Alex Kurtzman. During a press roundtable interview, ComicBook.com asked Kurtzman what he finds so compelling about Section 31.

“Well, Starfleet live in a very black-and-white world, they have rules, they have to stick to those rules, you can bend them but you can't break them,” Kurtzman explained. “Section 31 lives entirely in shades of gray. And they do all of the things that Starfleet proper can't do. And that's really interesting, because when you have a character like Georgiou whose conscience is constantly being tested, and her ethics are constantly being tested, she's really in some ways the perfect person to do the dirty work that Starfleet can't do. And, that's an exciting place to explore. It's a little bit gloves off which is what's fun about Section 31.”

While it was always the plan to kill the Prime Timeline’s Georgiou in Discovery’s second episode and bring back star Michelle Yeoh as Georgiou’s Mirror Universe counterpart, Kurtzman says the idea of extending Mirror Georgiou’s role and having her join Section 31 came later.

“It actually evolved halfway through the season,” he said. “The plan from the beginning was to kill her in the second episode, to bring her back in the Mirror Universe. And then, when we were thinking about how we wanted to set up the second season and where we wanted to go, it made a lot of logical sense that she would become part of Section 31.”

The decision seems to be paying off. Rumor has it that CBS All Access is considering giving Yeoh her own Star Trek: Discovery spinoff series following Georgiou’s adventures as an agent of Section 31. In a previous interview, Georgiou discussed what joining Section 31 means for Georgiou.

“In the whole universe, this is probably her best toy,” Yeoh said. “Because Section 31 has all the most updated gadgets because they are the most informed, and she, as an engineer, she can hack into Section 31. And Leland thinks he’s in charge of the ship. But she finds out secrets. Because that’s what Section 31 does. It’s collected secrets all over the universe about certain people, and history, and things like that. And so, when you have [those] kind of secrets, it’s power. And for Philippa Georgiou, that’s perfect! So, if she has to be here, she wants to be in Section 31, and she wants to run it, right?”

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Star Trek: Discovery returns to CBS All Access on January 17th.