In an emotional return, Patrick Stewart joined the Comic Con Star Trek panel and discussed the upcoming series Star Trek: Picard. Although Patrick Stewart had announced last year in Vegas that he would return to Star Trek, he was still quite emotional during the panel. When asked about why he finally chose to come back after all these years, Stewart explained that after a long time of saying no, he was drawn to the subject matter of this new series which had expounded on his character. He attended writing sessions and knew something unusual was about to happen and he wanted to be a part of it.
Stewart moved the crowd when he recited his line: “We never know do we, when our last moment will be.'” He altered the line, stating that, “For me, I can, twist that a little and say, ‘we never know do we, when our best moment will be.’ And that is, now.”
Executive Producer Alex Kurtzman explained how this season of Picard will carry a different in tone. “It all started with Patrick,” Kurtzman admitted. Since he didn’t want to do something that had already been done, it forced them to think outside the box and, as Kurtzman stated, “also to examine the box and see what it is about the captain that people love so much.” In this way, they simultaneously added depth to Picard’s character while also honoring his long-standing attributes that fans know and love. In describing Picard’s character, Kurtzman claimed that “He is the leader we all want, and boy, could we use that now more than ever.”
Executive producer Akiva Goldman summarized the show’s tone as “slower, more gentle, more lyrical, more character-based.” Goldman added that the show will be serialized, as was apparent from the trailer, which held a film-like quality.
Stewart was joined by surprise guests Brent Spiner (Commander Data), Jeri Ryan (Seven of Nine) and Jonathan Del Arco (Hugh). Although not present at the panel, it was also announced that Marina Sirtis (Counselor Deanna Troi) and Jonathan Frakes (Commander William T. Riker) would also be reprising their roles in the new series. When asked what brought Spiner to join the crew, he jokingly replied, “I called the producers and asked ‘Do you have anyone for the role of Picard yet?'”
Jonathan Frakes will also be reprising his role as William T. Riker in the series. Concerning Stewart and Frakes’ relationship, it was clear that they held something special. With a shaky voice, Stewart spoke about the last production day on the series, when he and Frakes are in the Captain’s ready room and Riker says, “It’s been an honor, captain.” Stewart was supposed to respond with “no, the honor is all mine.” However, the emotion was so intense and he wasn’t able to say it. Stewart claims that same emotion came back in the writers’ room. “The emotion came back, and it’s not going away,” added Stewart.
Hall H was surprised with an extended-cut version of the trailer for Star Trek: Picard not just once, but twice. After such a rousing fan reaction to the additions, Stewart requested that the crowd hold their cheers until the end of the trailer, so as not to miss some key revealing aspects of the trailer.
There were quite a few surprises for Trekkies in the trailer, such as in the opening sequence, where Picard opens a drawer with the dismembered Data, who has seemingly been brought back to life as the trailer progresses. As fans will remember, the last episode of Star Trek Next Generation ended with Picard and Data playing poker around a table. This ending has been regarded as one of the best finales of any show ever. Now, Data reappears in the trailer, again playing cards around a table with Picard. Fans also went wild when a Borg cube spaceship was revealed in the trailer. There were also huge cheers for Jeri Ryan’s character, Seven of Nine, who also makes a comeback. She played in Star Trek: Voyager, which ran from 1995-2001, and is a fan favorite. New characters, which Stewart warmly welcomed, also join the crew: Isa Briones (Dahj), Michelle Hurd (Raffi Musiker), Alison Pill (Dr. Agnes Jurati), Evan Evagora (Elnor), Harry Treadaway (Narek), and Santiago Cabrera (Cristobal “Chris” Rios).
Star Trek: Picard will be available for streaming on CBS All Access Spring 2020. Watch the extended trailer below.
All photos by Raymond Flotat