The return of John de Lancie to Star Trek: Picard as his iconic character Q has gotten the interwebs a buzzing with what his return could mean to not just the show but the franchise as a whole. Turns out when a god-like character returns to the fold, people start expecting big things. Some are even comparing Q’s return to that of a possible Avengers/Thanos type event that would create large and reaching ramifications for the Star Trek franchise. One that would both continue and reboot the entire timeline as we know it.
A bad idea, but an idea nonetheless. Let’s look at three theories that may explain why Q is back.
A Kelvin-style crossover
The idea of bringing in the Kevlin Universe of characters is an idea, but not a great one. The issue with returning to the Kelvin Universe will be twofold, no matter the way you try to solve it. Firstly, Chris Pine is done with the franchise. While Zachary Quinto is open to returning for the right script, Pine is done. Why bother doing a crossover when the big reason to do it, Pine as Captain Kirk, is gone?
The second big issue is the fact that even if you did get Pine back, you’d never be able to actually do a full Kelvin crossover, as Anton Yelchin is sadly no longer with us. There’s really no reason to do anything with that franchise again without Pavel Chekov.
Yet, there exists a creative possibility, as the good folks at Inverse put it;
"Q is the easiest candidate to facilitate a Thanos-style time travel event, but Discovery also has Carl, the Guardian of Forever. Finally, Discovery Season 3 totally had David Cronenberg’s mysterious Kovich outright acknowledge that the Prime Universe knows about the Kelvin Universe. If Star Trek Universe is planning a larger crossover that spans the 23rd, 25th, and 32nd centuries, then, all the ways to make that crossover are currently back in play — hence, Star Trek hitting its Endgame moment. With Q back on the scene, it now seems almost more unlikely that a crossover won’t occur, than the idea that one will."
If you got back a few characters from every show/film, then sure. Maybe it could work. I’d personally love to see Captain Archer and Bones McCoy arguing about duty and responsibility.