I recent weeks it has been announced that Patrick Stewart is returning to Star Trek in his iconic role of Jean Luc Picard. In a time where it was believed that we would never see events taking place after Star Trek Nemesis, this announcement has brought joy to many of my fellow Trekkies, not the least myself.
In the wake of this excitement I am forced to wonder exactly how this will unfold, what version of Picard will we see when Stewart steps back into the role he left some 16 years prior. He does say that the series will take place twenty years after Nemesis and Twenty years is enough time for any number of things to have occurred and so, because speculation is fun, today’s article will explore the possible story lines we could see in the new Star Trek series.
Okay so here we go…
Let’s go with the obvious one first. If this is a series that is being created as a fan service, which I highly doubt, then we will once again see Captain Picard in the big chair commanding a Starship, probably the Enterprise, commanding a new crew and doing what he does best. Toss in a little late-life crisis for the Captain when he realizes his career stalled out 20 years prior after he destroyed one too many Enterprises and then we have some drama. We would get cameos from previous members, maybe even see Captain Riker on the Titan.
Speculative Title: Star Trek The Next Next Generation
Why it is possible: This is a pretty safe bet, this is what everyone thinks they want but if it happened, you’d find it boring in no time.
Why it’s not likely: Sir Patrick Stewart doesn’t return to a role just to do the same thing, he has always one to stretch his abilities. This would not likely be something he would return to just to do the same thing over again. So therefore, it’s pretty unlikely.
Diving into the tv series lore we could have a series that picks up one of the many loose threads that were never resolved. One that stands out is the invasion of Starfleet at the hands of a strange bug-like parasite race from the episode Conspiracy. At the end of the episode the race sent out a signal to their people and we never heard from them again. Thirty years later…they come back and the only one who can stop them is called out of retirement to face a threat he had all but forgotten about. Tasked with forming a new crew to take on this new threat, Picard must determine if this species has already taken hold of the Federation from within… Think X-Files Meets Star Trek.
Speculative Title: Star Trek Conspiracies.
Why it’s possible: After Voyager, Star Trek seemed to be trying to ‘fill in the holes’ with shows like Discovery and Enterprise showing things that happened ‘pre’ Original Series. So, why not close the gaps on stories from the Next Gen and DS9 series. This would be an easy way for new and old fans to get into the franchise and it would make many of us die-hard trekkies happy if it was done right.
Why It’s Not Likely: While fans always have head canon when it comes to our favorite franchises, CBS knows all too well that fans are a fickle bunch so filling the gaps comes at a risk. It is possible, but not likely.
One real option and one that would certainly shake things up is for CBS to take a page from Star Wars and treat the new series as a deconstruction of Star Trek. Use this as a chance to really start over and create something new. This is a frightening prospect but, if done in a meaningful way then it could be something solid. No, I’m not saying that Will Rikers daughter brings old Picard his trusty phaser and he tosses it off a cliff, I am talking the Picard we find isn’t at all the Picard we knew. Set 20 years after Nemesis, this can not be the same man we knew and loved, he has grown, has had more experiences and, like most of us, has changed in those twenty years. Before you cry foul, are you the same person you were 20 years ago? I sure hope not, if you are then you may want to examine your life choices a bit.
We know from the end of STNG that there was every possibility that he developed Irumodic Syndrome, a disease not unlike Alzheimer’s, and he has lost much of what he had grown to be. We may see a weakened old Picard who is going on one final voyage…a voyage that could mean his death.
Speculative Title: Star Trek Final Flight
Why It’s Possible: You have seen Logan right? You know the last Wolverine movie? No? Well go see it and come back.
So, you’ve seen it? okay. Stewart has done this before. In Logan, he told the end of the story of his other major recurring role as Professor Charles Xavier. In that film he has lost his ability to function and ultimately meets his end. We know that he has the acting chops for a seriously dramatic role and he can’t play Picard forever.
Why It’s not likely: Patrick Stewart has made known his love for the character and for Star Trek in general. It is doubtful that he would end his role as Picard so quickly after returning to it. Then again…
This last one, is the most frightening one, the one that would disappoint every fan who is discussing this right now but one that would be fitting.
It’s not a lead role, in fact, it’s not much more than a cameo.
To date, Stewart has never said he was taking the lead role only that he is coming back as Picard in a new series. Heck, he didn’t even indicate he would be in an entire series just that he was returning as the character. He even specified that it will be something very very different. This could be little more than a simple role to pass the baton to the next cast and crew. This would be very fitting and would allow CBS to christen a new series in the right way. While this would not be ideal, it would work.
Speculative Title: Star Trek Continuing Mission?
Why it’s Possible: Stewart can not play this role forever, eventually he will have to pass on his role to another person, another Captain. It will not be easy, it will not be perfect but whoever he passes this baton to will certainly be worthy. If this is the case, lets just let Picard go out with honor and dignity.
Why it’s Not likely: That’s the scary thing. this one really is likely.
So there you go, these are just a few of the multitude of possibilities that could take place. That is the beauty of Star Trek, that there is Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations. No matter what, I know that this Trekkie will be there ready to see his Captain return to the bridge, even if it is just to usher in a new generation. Until then…
here is the actual announcement in case you missed it:
Thanks for reading, I look forward to discussing the series with you when it finally comes out.
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Late To The Game 8/8/2018