One of the highlights of this year’s SDCC was the trailer and panel for CBS All Access’ Star Trek: Picard series. We finally got a good idea of what the show is going to be about, and learned that it will bring back back many Star Trek favorites, namely Brent Spiner as Data and Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine.
Fans who were skeptical about the show (and perhaps skipped Discovery) are all jumping on board for this return to the glory days of Star Trek: The Next Generation. But now that we have a lot more data (no pun intended) on what to expect, we have a laundry list of things we feel need to be included in Patrick Stewart’s grand return to the Star Trek universe.
The Return of Dr. Crusher, Geordi, and Worf
The Star Trek: Picard panel at SDCC revealed that a lot of well known characters from Star Trek’s past were returning for this series, including Patrick Stewart’s former TNG castmate Brent Spiner as Data. And although they weren’t on deck for the panel itself, we learned that both Commander Riker and Deanna Troi would return as well, played by Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis, respectively.
But it’s not a full TNG reunion quite yet. We have yet to hear of a return of Dr. Beverly Crusher, as played by Gates McFadden. She and Picard had a long history going back even before the events of TNG, not to mention a lot of unresolved romantic feelings. And Geordi La Forge and Worf also deserve a chance to reconnect with their old Captain in some form. If Picard is going to include some of the TNG main crew, it might as well include them all.
Exploration of the Fallout of the Dominion War
The Dominion War was a great galactic upheaval that covered the last two seasons of Deep Space Nine. It had Starfleet, the Klingons, and the Romulans teamed up to save the Alpha Quadrant from the threat of the Dominion. The Dominion was a sort of dark version of the Federation, made of several different species. But all hell bent on conquering all of those in their path.
The fallout of this conflict was never really explored when the series ended, because Voyager was still on the other end of space for the remainder of its run. How did this great conflict that united blood enemies against a common foe change the landscape of the Star Trek world we knew? The fallout of this war should have affected the world of Star Trek as much as World War II changed the geopolitical landscape of the real world. Star Trek: Picard really needs to explore this.
An Appearance From Q
The omnipotent nuisance known as Q was almost an unofficial member of the Enterprise crew during the run of TNG. He’d show up at least once a season and cause all kinds of reality-altering trouble. And although he’d basically treat Jean-Luc Picard as a pet rather than a person, underneath it all there seemed to be genuine affection and (deeply buried) respect. Actor John de Lancie once said that of all the captains he tormented as Q, “Picard was his main squeeze.” We are owed one more Q/Picard verbal showdown at the very least.
References to “The Inner Light”
One of the greatest episodes of TNG‘s run was the fifth season’s “The Inner Light.” The award-winning hour of television found Jean-Luc living out a complete lifetime on a distant planet. He married, raised a family, became a musician, and grew old, only to find out it was all a simulation projected into his brain from a long dead species. And it only took up a few minutes of his “real” life. Although the fallout of that episode was touched on lightly in a few later episodes, the nature of non-serialized TV in the early ’90s meant they only explored it very little. Star Trek: Picard comes in a different era of television, and we’re hoping this classic story gets referenced a lot more.
Show Us a New Starship Enterprise
There are nearly two decades between the events of Star Trek: Nemesis and the events of Star Trek: Picard, something that is referenced in the latest trailer. But 18 years is a long time, and by this point we think Starfleet would have introduced us to the next iteration of the U.S.S. Enterprise. Are we finally at the point where there is an Enterprise-F now? The Star Trek Online game introduced one, but that’s not exactly hard canon. But it would be hard to imagine a Picard-led series without seeing a version of the Enterprise in some form. Would Riker be her Captain, or someone totally new? Enterprising minds want to know.
Bring on the Shakespeare
In a case of art imitating life, the character of Jean-Luc Picard had an incredible fondness for the works of one William Shakespeare. This was only fitting, given the Shakespearean pedigree of the actor who portrays him, Sir Patrick Stewart. We can’t imagine a series that focuses on Picard and doesn’t have some allusions to the great works of the Bard, but I hope the Shakespearean references go even deeper than before. In fact, if Star Trek: Picard were a sci-fi version of King Lear, I think that would be brilliant.
Emphasize Picard’s Role in Galactic History
Starfleet has many Captains. But there was only one Jean-Luc Picard. He discovered countless new worlds during his time commanding the Enterprise and the Stargazer. And he literally saved the Earth from not one but two Borg invasions. He helped Spock facilitate the first overtures of peace between the Vulcans and the Romulans. Basically, he is a legend in his own time, and should be treated as such. I don’t want to see any Starfleet cadets saying “Picard who?” His story should be taught to every newbie at Starfleet Academy. Anything else would be disrespect.