Robert Beltran played Commander Chakotay on Star Trek: Voyager for seven seasons. As the smooth-talking, gentle second-in-command, he carried a sense of authority and reassurance that worked well with Captain Kathryn Janeway. And millions of fans would love to see that character return to the Star Trek universe. The question is: would he?
In a conversation during Virtual Trek Con, Beltran was asked about the possibility of doing an episode of Star Trek: Picard if he was asked. Beltran didn’t rule out returning as the character, but he says that he would have to read the script first because there would have to be a good reason for his appearance. He wouldn’t just play the character just to appear on the show. The actor spoke of a time when he was working on a series and he discovered all of his lines in a particular episode had been given to another actor. Because he had already signed the contract, there was nothing he could do.
So it’s understandable that he would want to make sure returning as Chakotay would have purpose. And fans would agree. If Commander Chakotay were to return in Star Trek: Picard, there would need to be a strong setup, especially since Chakotay and Seven of Nine were in a relationship when Voyager ended and Jeri Ryan has resumed her role on Picard. Actually, their former relationship could be an excellent reason for him to return, perhaps to give the fans some absolute closure on that idea.
Even though we know the continuing novels ended the relationship, no series has officially jettisoned it, and I’m sure Voyager fans would love the chance to learn about the ultimate moment that separated the two. In addition, Picard has already opened the door to the appearance of Voyager characters with the introduction of Seven so it wouldn’t be a leap to introduce Chakotay in a limited but meaty role.