Star Trek: Picard Sequel Movie Update Should Worry Next Generation Fans

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This Star Trek: Picard article contains spoilers.

Do you remember how great it felt when Jean-Luc Picard stepped onto the bridge of the restored USS Enterprise-D, with all the members of his senior staff around him and ready for one last adventure? Remember how much better that was than watching Icheb from Voyager get mutilated or watching Picard ride dune buggies in Star Trek: Nemesis? Patrick Stewart does not.

In a recent interview with the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Stewart talked about an upcoming Star Trek movie centered on at least part of the Star Trek: The Next Generation cast. “I heard only last night about a script that is being written, but written specifically with the actor, Patrick, to play in it,” Stewart told host Josh Horowitz. “And I’ve been told to expect to receive it within a week or so.”

That sounds exciting, right? After all, while some didn’t enjoy the nostalgia that the third season of Star Trek: Picard blasted at viewers like so many photon torpedoes, lots of Trekkies loved seeing the growth and changed dynamics of their favorite Next Generation characters. The series had plenty of callbacks, especially the aforementioned return of the Enterprise-D, but it also had scenes that showed how the characters have changed over the years, most notably Geordi’s relationship to Picard.

Simply put, Picard season three left Next Generation in the best place it’s been since 1994. So why would a continuation be worrisome?

To be clear, the problem isn’t with picking up the plot threads from Picard‘s final season. By the end of the series, now-Captain Seven of Nine has taken command of the newly-christened Enterprise-G, with Raffi at her side as XO and Jack Crusher, son of Picard and Beverly Crusher, in tow. Heck, even Q visits Jack to announce a new test. We would all be happy to watch that potential spinoff series, dubbed Star Trek: Legacy by Picard season 3 showrunner Terry Matalas.

But Stewart specifically talks about a Picard movie. Worse, it’s one that he likes. “I’m so excited because it sounds like the kind of project where the experimentation that I want to do will be essential for this kind of material,” he explained.

Fans’ sense of ownership over characters they love leads to creative stagnation and weird gatekeeping. That said, nobody seems to understand Jean-Luc Picard less than the man who made us love Jean-Luc Picard, Patrick Stewart.

Fans see Picard as a thoughtful and principled Captain, a man who considers all positions and powerfully articulates his position, a man who holds to his convictions, even under threat of torture. Stewart sees Picard as, well, Jim Kirk, at least the stereotypical action hero version of Kirk.

Stewart wants Picard kicking butt, kissing ladies, and showing off his physique. After all, it was Stewart’s power as executive producer on the TNG movies that led to scenes of Picard swinging on cables in First Contact or dropping quips and shooting baddies in Insurrection. And yes, it was Stewart’s idea to have Picard drive a dune buggy in Nemesis.

By the time Picard debuted in 2020, the late septuagenarian Stewart knew that his action days were behind him. However, he still had strong feelings about how his character’s show should go, refusing to repeat any beats he hit playing Picard on Next Generation. “In a way, the world of Next Generation had been too perfect and too protected,” Stewart told Variety shortly before the premier of Picard. he says. “It was a safe world of respect and communication and care and, sometimes, fun.”

But with Picard, Stewart wanted to take the franchise in a different direction. He used the show to respond “to the world of Brexit and Trump and feeling, ‘Why hasn’t the Federation changed? Why hasn’t Starfleet changed?’ Maybe they’re not as reliable and trustworthy as we all thought.” And in the words of season 1’s de facto showrunner Michael Chabon, “We took all of that so seriously — like gospel, the word of God, really — and we obeyed.”

That lack of safety certainly played out in action moments, such as Seven of Nine’s vengeful attack on Icheb’s murderers or in Q’s malevolence in season 2. But it also played out in the general tone of the series, which saw the Federation turn into a group of fear-mongering yokels, easily duped by Romulan agents, and made the Borg into minions of a bumbling Queen.

Stewart eventually agreed to Matalas’s vision of a TNG reunion in the third season because the writer knew how to move the character forward without throwing out the past. Scenes such as Captain Shaw’s recollection of Wolf 359 or Picard’s final standoff with Ro Laren demonstrate the way characters can look back at the past from a different, more mature perspective.

Maybe Stewart’s work on Picard‘s third season has opened him up to the possibility of keeping the things that worked with Picard before the end of TNG, and finding ways to move the character organically from that position instead of turning the captain into something he’s not. But when Stewart talks about “experimentation,” Trekkies should worry. The only experimentation we like is from Riker’s jazz combo.

The post Star Trek: Picard Sequel Movie Update Should Worry Next Generation Fans appeared first on Den of Geek.

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