Back to IndieWire

‘Star Trek: Discovery’: What Georgiou’s Crazy Emperor Name Reveals About Her Heritage

Her Roman-influenced name connects her to another “Star Trek” series and character.

"Vaulting Ambition" -- Episode 112 -- Pictured: Michelle Yeoh as Philippa Georgiou of the CBS All Access series STAR TREK: DISCOVERY. Photo Cr: Ben Mark Holzberg/CBS © 2017 CBS Interactive. All Rights Reserved.


[Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers from “Star Trek: Discovery’s” episode “Vaulting Ambition.”]

“All Hail her most Imperial Majesty, Mother of the Fatherland, Overlord of Vulcan, Dominus of Qo’noS, Regina Andor. All Hail Philippa Georgiou Augustus Iaponius Centarius.”

In the Mirror Universe, Philippa Georgiou is Emperor of the Terrans, a leader who is as ruthless as she is stylish. This is reflected in her pompous but very descriptive string of titles, as well as her full tongue-twister name. But what does it all mean? Because of course, her name is not a random assemblage of words. Within those syllables lie clues to her past.

Fortunately, Jordon Nardino, the writer of the episode “Vaulting Ambition,” took to Twitter to break down all the names. Nardino had been reading Mary Beard’s “SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome” for inspiration to properly capture the Terrans’ special brand of imperial mindset and practices.

From his Twitter thread, it’s clear that the titles are fairly straightforward:

Mother of the Fatherland – Altered from Father of the Fatherland.
Overlord of Vulcan – The Terrans like to fancy themselves the protectors of Vulcan.
Dominus of Qo’noS – No benevolent overboard title here. The Terrans straight up conquered these folks.
Regina Andor – Terrans subjugated the Andorians ages ago and created this title to celebrate it.

Her name, however, is where things get interesting. Philippa Georgiou Augustus Iaponius Centarius shares the same given and family name as the Prime Georgiou. Things get funky when the Roman names kick in. “Augustus” and “Centaurius” are obvious:

“Augustus: the Terrans see themselves as inheritors of the Roman Empire so their Emperors take the title of its first Emperor… As for Centaurius, I figured it was the first system colonized by the Terrans since it’s closest to Sol so it was a title the Emperor at the time took in tribute,” Nardino tweeted.

Ah, but “Iaponius” is the Latin word for Japanese, and that initially us for a loop. Where does Japanese come from with Philippa Georgiou, who is Chinese-Malaysian like the actress who portrays her? The explanation goes back to “Star Trek: Enterprise.”

Linda Park, "Star Trek: Enterprise"

For those who aren’t familiar with “Enterprise” or perhaps have blacked it out of their memories forever, Hoshi Sato (played by Korean-American actress Linda Park) is of Japanese descent, a linguistic genius, and serves as communications officer on board the Enterprise. In the Mirror Universe, however, she poisoned Captain Archer and took command of the ISS Enterprise. Upon reaching Earth, she demanded Earth’s surrender and proclaimed herself Empress.

Nardino explains how 100 years later, Georgiou is connected to Sato:

Nardino added that in the “Trek” world, of course, nothing is canon “until it’s on screen,” which it is now.

Emperor Georgiou has the title and history behind her, but she’d better watch out. As with the Roman Empire, she is susceptible to a big fall, especially since Mirror Universe Lorca has infiltrated.

New episodes of “Star Trek: Discovery” will be available at 8:30 p.m. ET on Sundays on CBS All Access.

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: Television and tagged , ,

Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox