Star Trek: Picard’s third season isn’t even over yet, and it’s already being called one of the best Star Trek seasons in years, maybe even decades, by the fans. And a big part of the reason why is showrunner Terry Matalas. The lifelong Trekker has made Picard season three an incredible tribute to not only The Next Generation, but also incorporated major elements from both Deep Space Nine and Voyager. And although this is Picard’s final season, they’re definitely leaving room for more. And potentially, that series could be one called Star Trek: Legacy.
Matalas has said on various occasions it’s his desire to continue the story of the 25th-century Star Trek universe in a Picard spin-off series called Star Trek: Legacy. Paramount+ has not greenlit this series, and it’s just an idea right now. But it’s an idea that fans desperately want to see come to fruition. All we know about the potential series is that it would continue stories of new characters introduced in Picard, along with legacy characters from Star Trek’s trio of ’90s series. Here’s what Matalas had to say at his recent Inglorious Treksperts GalaxyCon panel appearance (via TrekMovie)
“Look, I love this time period in Star Trek, the 25th century. I always view it as the present day in Star Trek for me. It’s where we all left off. And the way we leave this season is a passing of the torch from the last generation to the next… I would certainly love [Star Trek: Legacy] to happen. We certainly leave it so that you can do that.
Celebrating the ’90s, Star Trek’s Golden Age
So why do fans clamor for this era of Trek so much? Because the ’90s was when Star Trek ruled. Despite first airing in the ‘60s, Star Trek wasn’t a culturally dominant franchise until the ‘90s. The original series was a cult show, albeit with quite a large and vocal following. The feature films of the ‘80s were successful, but nowhere near as popular as Star Wars or other Spielberg-era blockbusters. And TNG was a ratings hit right out of the gate in 1987, but struggled with the fans. The the Borg captured Captain Picard in the third season TNG cliffhanger “The Best of Both Worlds” in the summer of 1990…and Star Trek as a franchise began to own the decade.
“The Best of Both Worlds” pushed TNG into the stratosphere, and the show became a legit fan and critical hit after that. For the rest of the show’s run, TNG was appointment television, and the most popular syndicated drama on TV. It led to spin-offs Deep Space Nine and Voyager, and three high-profile feature feature films that decade. Thanks to the success of the various shows and movies, Star Trek toys and merchandise began to really take off, after many failed attempts in prior decades. And many lifelong fans of the franchise were made that decade. And yet, until Picard season 3, they have not been served particularly well.
Ending Star Trek Prequel Fatigue
Almost all Star Trek media since 2001 has been a prequel (Enterprise), an alternate timeline prequel (the J.J. Abrams films), and yet more prequels (Discovery, Strange New Worlds). All of these have their merits, especially the excellent Strange New Worlds. But fans of Trek’s heyday have wanted to see the continuing story of the 24th (now 25th) century characters. Or, at the very least, the galaxy they inhabited. Picard has finally given us that in season three, and fans are clamoring for more. And Matalas has hinted at just who and what we might see, should Legacy ever happen.
Boy, wouldn’t you want to check in with the Klingon Empire? Wouldn’t you want to check in with Deep Space Nine and the Doctor [from Voyager] and everything that went on with the Berman-verse? So that’s kind of where I see it, to explore the galaxy and sort of get back to the Next Gen roots of storytelling is what I would see as a kind of version of Star Trek I’d like to see, with this group of characters that we’re seeing. I don’t want to talk too much about them, although I think you could guess as to who I would like to see.”
Other characters Matalas has mentioned as potentially appearing on Star Trek: Legacy are Deep Space Nine’s Major Kira (Nana Visitor), Worf’s now adult son Alexander, and bigger roles for Jonathan Frakes as Captain Riker. We imagine the crew of the U.S.S. Titan, featured prominently in Picard season three, would factor in too. Fans have really fallen in love with Todd Stashwick’s Captain Shaw, and Geordi’s daughter, Ensign Sidney La Forge (Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut). Seeing these new characters interact with Trek legends from the ’90s shows would put fan excitement into maximum warp. It’s the perfect recipe for a fan-favorite series.
Star Trek Fandom Has Always Made Things Happen
For the last few years, Paramount+ has had three concurrent live-action Trek shows running; Discovery, Picard, and Strange New Worlds. A Starfleet Academy series is spinning-off from Discovery, so now we need something to satiate the fans of Picard. Star Trek has a very long history of organized fandom making things happen with the franchise. Once again, it might be time for the fans to rally and manifest this new Trek show.
In the ’60s, a letter-writing campaign saved Trek for a third season. More recently, when fans responded to the new versions of Pike and Spock on Discovery, Paramount+ responded to demand and gave us Strange New Worlds. And it’s been wildly popular. Hopefully, Paramount+ listens again. Next First Contact Day, we hope we hear about Star Trek Legacy as an actual series, and not just an idea or a social media hashtag. It’s definitely the series loyal Star Trek fans have been waiting years for.