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Star Trek: Discovery's Michelle Yeoh makes surprise appearance, promises return at New York Comic Con panel

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Captain Philippa Georgiou boldly returned. Sort of. (Spoilers ahead!)

Star Trek: Discovery star Michelle Yeoh made a surprise appearance at the series’ New York Comic Con panel Saturday afternoon at Madison Square Garden. Hidden behind oversized sunglasses and a mask, she pretended to be a fan with a question for the cast — “Is Captain Georgiou coming back?” — before unveiling her identity to the cast and creators’ delight as they leapt to their feet to embrace her one by one. (Fans who have also missed Georgiou since her death in episode two applauded the loudest for Yeoh’s hug with Sonequa Martin-Green, who stars as Michael Burnham, the Starfleet mutineer whose actions caused Georgiou’s death.)

“I’m not going to let them kill me, okay?” Yeoh assured the crowd before turning to Jason Isaacs, who plays Michael’s new captain, the mysterious Captain Gabriel Lorca. “The most amazing journey has been with Sonequa, so I’m telling you, Captain Lorca, if you don’t look after my baby girl, I will come and kick your ass. And you know I can do that.” (To his credit, Isaacs did know she can do that. “I would say I’d like to see you try,” he quipped, “but I really wouldn’t want to see you try.”)

And by the end of the panel, it wasn’t just Yeoh who made sure to say that her character would be back. “You will see more of this woman on this show,” EP Gretchen J. Berg confirmed.

Michael Gibson/CBS

Of course, that’s not the only thing fans learned at the event: During the panel moderated by astronaut Mae Jemison — the first African American woman to travel in space — Martin-Green explained that Michael’s journey will take her on both a path for redemption, but also one of self-discovery — a point EP Akiva Goldsman emphasized when asked about how “dark” the show was compared to older Star Trek series. “We are a wholly serial narrative, and in that wholly serialized narrative, we get to tell character stories over plot,” he explained. “If Jim Kirk had to deal with Edith Keeler’s death in [the Star Trek: The Original Series episode] ‘The City on the Edge of Forever,’ if it were real, it would take a season or a series, it would not be fine the next week. We can stretch those emotions out for a season… Ours is the origin of the feeling that is The Original Series, that’s why we’re 10 years before The Original Series.”

And with such serialized storytelling, there are still characters to be met who play a larger role across Michael’s journey. Wilson Cruz teased that his character will be seen in the next episode with “space boo” Paul Stamets, played by Anthony Rapp. “I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of Star Trek TV’s first gay couple,” he said. “I can’t say how much that means to me personally as a fan of the series and as a member of the LGBT community… And I’m proud of the fact that none of that really matters in the show.”

Shazad Latif, however, was far cagier about what he could say of his character, who hasn’t yet appeared but will be first seen in prison. “You meet me with Rainn Wilson,” he teased. “I’m going through some horrible things in there, and that’s what happens.”

So what is next for the crew of Discovery? Fans got a sneak peek at the next episode, which saw Michael getting a chance to take a look inside Lorca’s store of dangerous weapons, including the creature they encountered in episode three. He has an idea in mind for how they can use the creature — and he needs Michael’s help to execute that plan.

Star Trek: Discovery streams new episodes every Sunday on CBS All Access.

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