During the Star Trek Universe panel at SDCC fans saw the first full trailer for the highly anticipated return of Jean-Luc Picard. Let the speculation begin.
That’s right, yesterday Alex Kurtzman and his team, including Picard himself, Sir Patrick Stewart, released upon to us the first full trailer for Star Trek: Picard which features Stewart’s return to the role he last played 17 years ago in Star Trek: Nemesis.
Shall I give you a few minutes to catch you breath?
It’s a trailer that shows so much but gives away so little, as all good trailers should do. What it does show is that we can expect a character-driven series led by the incredible talents of Sir Patrick Stewart that is interlaced with what appear to be exciting action set pieces.
From the start with Stewart’s opening monologue we can hear that this is a Picard that seems filled with regrets. When the series was announced Kurtzman stated that we will find a different Picard to the one we have seen previously in Star Trek: The Next Generation which was backed up by the teaser trailer released just a few short months ago. As Kurtzman has said in the past, this series is set 20 years after Nemesis and the destruction of Romulus as seen in the 2009 Star Trek Kelvin Timeline film.
"“15 years ago, today, you led us out of the darkness. You commanded the greatest rescue armada in history. Then, the unimaginable.”“What did that cost you? Your faith? Your faith in us? Your faith in yourself?”“Tell us. Why did you leave Starfleet, Admiral?”"
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The dialogue spoken over the first teaser suggested that whatever demons are haunting Picard are yet to be seen from our point of view. However, in the new trailer the sacrifice of Commander Data at the end of Nemesis seems to be playing some part. Was the death of Data some kind of catalyst for Picard, did he start to question his own judgement which then leads to an ‘unimaginable cost’ which then in turn causes him to leave Starfleet and return to his family vineyard? A vineyard that ‘never felt like home’ as he states in the trailer, clearly showing that this Picard yearns for adventure again.
One thing that the trailer does show me is that at the start of this new series Picard appears a broken man, but later on during the trailer’s short 2:09 minute run time we see him with a new crew, smiling as he says “Engage” a clear indication that as the show progresses, the old captain comes shining through.
Yes Data is back… in one way or another. As stated above Data must play an important part in Picard’s post-Nemesis post Romulus life. However, when he is first introduced to us in the trailer, he is stored away in a drawer, disassembled. Its clear to us that this will actually be B4 the android that was found in Nemesis and the potential vessel for Data’s memories and personality so that he can live on. The collection of body parts in the trailer does suggest that this never actually transpired and the rebuilding of Data could be a plot point at some stage in the season.
Near the end of the trailer we see Picard playing a game with a fully assembled and operational Data, although he does seem to be wearing the orange jumpsuit that B4 was wearing during Nemesis. Could this scene take place after Picard has put him back together and the game is to test that he is fully functional, could it be a dream sequence or a regular program that Picard runs in a holodeck to help him ease his conscious. I guess time will tell.
Also it’s worth noting that Kurtzman has said that Picard takes place after the destruction of Romulus before the birth of the Kelvin Timeline, which means everything before that is set in the Prime Universe.
In research for this article I looked back at the comic Kurtzman had a hand in before the 2009 film’s release from IDW called Countdown. In that comic is shows Data as Captain of the USS Enterprise-E. I always assumed that we could class the IDW comics relating to the Kelvin films as canon but it appears that is not the case at all.
The trailer is filled with this mysterious character, played by newcomer Isa Briones. She first meets Picard at his home and is quick to point out that “Everything inside of me says that I’m safe with you.” She has a cut on her forehead and already looks like she has been through some action to get to Picard. We don’t know who this woman is or what links her to Picard but its enough for him to approach Starfleet to seek protection for her claiming “if she is who I think she is, she’s in serious danger.” Which is a little ironic as this dialogue is played out over Dahj kicking some serious ass at Starfleet headquarters.
It’s clear then that she is the McGuffin of the show but who is she and why does she have this affinity to Picard? Picard was once assimilated by the Borg and during the trailer we have numerous references to them which I will cover a bit later in this article. Could it be that she is a former Borg, freed from the collective as Picard was once? The trailer does have a theme relating to Borg assimilation and its possible, being set so far ahead of The Next Generation that Starfleet has developed defenses and a cure against the Borg, and this is why she feels especially safe with Picard. Or is she something much more dangerous?
As expected and anticipated the Romulans return for Picard’s solo series which is no surprise to anyone considering when the show is meant to take place. It would not shock me to learn if the Romulan Empire had some unfinished business with the former captain of the USS Enterprise if he indeed was somehow part of the Starfleet team tasked with saving Romulus alongside Ambassador Spock.
It would also appear that the Romulans that are featured in the trailer could also be after young Dahj as a possible weapon to use against the Federation or a different type of threat, possibly the Borg. Over the course of the trailer Dahj is described by the Romulans as “the end of all” and “the Destroyer” quite clearly she is a being that scares them.
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What was not expected but in hindsight we all should have predicted was the return of the Borg. Much like Kirk had his back story with the Klingons, Picard has had his fair share of grief with the Borg and it seems fitting that they play a part in this series. Although it doesn’t just look like its a small part they play, it seems they are one of the key narrative features of the series with not only a damaged Borg cube, as pictured above, but the return of Hugh from Star Trek: The Next Generation and of course, Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine who featured in Star Trek: Voyager.
This can add only more fuel to the fire that Dahj is something to do with the Borg as it would make sense that Picard could seek the council of someone like Seven, a fellow escapee of the collective, for help with Dahj. There is later evidence that the cube is some kind of prison under Romulan control from which Dahj could have escaped, leading to why the Empire could be hunting her.
Also, it doesn’t actually state it in the trailer that Dahj is being tracked by the Romulans, wanted by the Federation and is trying to avoid the Borg (maybe Hugh is looking for her as well). She is dangerous, the end of all and the Destroyer. She is seeking help from a former member of the collective, and not just any member but Locutus of Borg. Could it be that Dahj is a Borg Queen? Or at the least the next in line and it’s that fate she needs protection from?
Although they were not mentioned or featured in the trailer I cannot pass up the opportunity to express my delight that both Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis will be returning to the Trek universe and once again playing Riker and Troi. Seeing as this is a speculation article I think I can safely say that because both of these characters are returning, Riker and Troi are still married.
We will see if anything I have stated above actually plays out and we will keep you updated with any Picard related news as and when its released. Star Trek: Picard is scheduled to arrive on CBS All Access in early 2020.