When Star Trek: Picard returns for its third and final season, one thing we know we’ll see at last is a brand new starship Enterprise. While it won’t be the “hero ship” of the show (that’s the U.S.S. Titan), this ship won’t just be a cameo either, according to showrunner Terry Matalas. But who will be her captain? We think the Enterprise-F won’t be commanded by just anyone. But based on various interviews given by the main cast, we don’t think it’ll be any of our main TNG cast either. Here’s who we think we may see in the Captain’s chair of the new Federation flagship when she makes her debut.

The new Enterprise-F on Star Trek: Picard season 3.

Alexander Rozhenko


We honestly can’t think of a character who has the Enterprise in their DNA more than Worf’s son, Alexander Rozhenko. He was literally conceived on the Enterpise-D holodeck, and spent his childhood on that ship. Later, as a young man in Deep Space Nine, Alexander joined the Klingon military. His mother K’Ehleyr was half-human, so he never felt fully Klingon or human, making him an awkward fit on a Bird of Prey.

Some 25 years after we last saw him, it would be great to see Alexander reconcile his alien/human heritage and become a superior Starfleet officer like his father, and command the vessel that’s the namesake of his childhood home. We’d love to see actor Mark Worden, who played Alexander on DS9, take up the role again. But if he doesn’t, three other actors also played the part previously. Because of that, we don’t think yet another recast would ruffle any feathers.

Thomas Riker


In the sixth season TNG episode “Second Chances,” we learned that a transporter accident several years prior had created a “transporter clone” of Will Riker. This other Riker was identical and had all of his memories up until the point of the split, but later chose to use his middle name, Thomas, to differentiate himself from his genetic twin and the Enterprise‘s “Number One.”

Eventually, he became a part of the Maquis terrorist cell on Deep Space Nine, and eventually went to prison. We never knew what became of him after that episode. But it sure would be fascinating if Tom Riker finally became the Captain of the Enterprise, as his counterpart always dreamed he would do one day. It would have to sting just a wee bit to the Will Riker we all know. Besides, we already have Jonathan Frakes in the cast. Why not have him play two roles?

Commander Shelby


Although Commander Shelby only appeared in two TNG episodes, they just happened to be the two most popular episodes of the entire show. Shelby (Elizabeth Dennehy) was an ambitious officer and Borg expert. One who was gunning for Commander Riker’s job as Enterprise’s first officer in the season three finale “The Best of Both Worlds.”

Shelby and Riker had a very adversarial relationship. However, they ultimately worked well together when she became his first officer for a brief time when Picard became the Borg Locutus. Somehow, she never appeared on the show again, despite fans always asking for her return. It would be great if she finally got to not just become the first officer of an Enterprise, but actually her Captain.



Jadzia Dax (Terry Farrell), the Trill who lived several lifetimes in many bodies, was a main member of the Deep Space Nine cast. Not to mention, the wife of Worf. When she died, her symbiote, along with all her memories, transferred to a new host, Ezri Dax. Ezri (Nicole de Boer) became DS9’s counselor, and also became romantically involved with Dr. Julian Bashir. But what became of her afterward? It’s been 25 years since her time on DS9, and she might have changed careers by now.

In the post-finale “season eight” segments of the DS9 documentary What We Left Behind, Ezri commands the USS Emmett Till. Of course, none of that is canon in current Trek. But maybe she actually has risen in the ranks, and now commands the Enterprise-F. Or maybe, she has an entirely new Dax host body who is in command? Seeing his former spouse Dax in command of the Enterprise would certainly throw Worf for a loop.

Admiral Edward Jellico


In the fantastic two-part TNG episode “Chain of Command,” the Enterprise-D briefly had a new captain. Temporarily, the ship was under the command of Captain Edward Jellico, played by veteran character actor Ronny Cox. He was a gruff, micromanaging commanding officer, who rubbed everyone the wrong way, especially Commander Riker. The Enterprise crew couldn’t have been happier to welcome Jean Luc back.

For a long time, we didn’t know what became of Captain Jellico. However, he has recently reappeared on Star Trek: Prodigy as an Admiral. While it’s unusual for an Admiral to have command of a starship, it’s not unheard of. Imagine Riker’s face if the Enterprise-F appears, and the jerk who confined him to quarters years ago was in charge. Ronny Cox is 84 now, but still working, so it’s not impossible.

Of course, the new Enterprise captain might be someone we’ve never heard of, created just for the series. Or a different character from TNG, Deep Space Nine, or Voyager. We’re not even ruling out the original series! We’ll find out for sure when Star Trek: Picard season three premieres February 16 on Paramount+.