Star Trek The Next Generation Tapsetry Patrick Stewart and John De Lancie
#2 – Captain Jean-Luc Picard
Welcome to the Afterlife Jean-Luc, You’re dead. It was a simple line, with potentially devastating consequences for the entire Federation. Fortunately God has a sense of humour, and may or may not be Q.
There had been a plan as early as Season 3 of Star Trek The Next Generation when a dispute between Patrick Stewart and the studio nearly lead to Jean-Luc dying after being capture d and turned into Locutus, at the hands of his first officer Commander William T. Riker. Fortunately for fans cooler heads prevailed and Captain Picard remained aboard the Enterprise for many more years, which allowed for his actual death in Season 6.
How it happened:
While on a diplomatic mission Captain Picard and the away team are attacked by a group of Lenarians and he is shot in the chest using a compressed tachyon weapon which causes his artificial heart to stop. He wakes up in what appears to be the afterlife standing before a man in white robes claiming to be God, Q.
How he returned:
Q gave him the chance to change the events in his life that lead to him requiring an artificial heart, a fight with a group of Naussican’s resulting from him and his friends cheating them during a game of dom-jot, the result of which was a knife through the young Starfleet cadet’s heart.
Picard initially made the change, avoiding the confrontation and keeping his heart intact, but that event had helped shape him into the man he would become years later, without it he was a shell of his former self, a middling officer unwilling to take the chances needed to excel and become the Captain of the Flagship of the Federation. He would quickly grow to hate his new life and beg Q to give him another chance to die as the man he was, rather than living another moment as this new version of himself. Q showed apparent compassion, allowing Picard to come back to life with his history intact.
The episode featured one loose thread from Picard’s life, but it would show us how quickly those threads can cause the entire tapestry to become unraveled, this solid lesson has lead us to ranking Picard’s death and revival as number 2 on our list.