Star Trek: Picard is making its final season a reunion but it won’t save the show’s legacy.
Star Trek: Picard is leaning heavily on the reunion aspect for its final season. Every major character from The Next Generation that’s still alive in canon will appear on the final season of Star Trek: Picard. That’s not all, as at least one other major character from Trek will return to the series.
The only names we know won’t be on the show are Wesley Crusher, Guinan, Q, and Miles O’Brien. Kate Mulgrew also made a comment that seemed to indicate she wouldn’t be reprising her role as Kathryn Janeway on Picard. Mulgrew is on Prodigy at the moment and has hinted at characters from the show being brought to live-action but it’s not likely that Mulgrew would appear on Picard at this point; though we could be getting the runaround.
That said, they can bring back all the past characters they want, the show will forever be known as a half-hearted attempt to turn Picard into a depressing, hopeless mess. Yes, the show has its fans, and that’s ok. If you like it, like it, but most fans of Trek hated the show for a variety of reasons. That’s shown in the length of the show.
While the show was always pitched as a three-season series to start, the crew has always said they’ll do as many seasons as they can. One has to wonder if the negative reception had anything to do with them not expanding past the three original seasons.
This has a lot to do with the depressing nature of the show and the lack of positive Trek stories that made the franchise the pillar of sci-fi that it is. That sort of diversion from the status quo affects legacies and Picard’s legacy will likely never recover due to that, even with the fan service reunion shoehorned in.
Star Trek: Picard pivoted after season one and it’s beyond obvious.
While some will argue that the show never got away from its original intentions, that’s not true. The first season was shot in late 2018, and early 2019. By the time the filming for the second and third season started, they had a new showrunner, and a new edict; more past characters.
The first season only had three returning Next Generation characters, and only one, Data, had a huge arc through the show. The show expanded and brought in Q, Guinan, Wesley Crusher, and brought back Brent Spiner in different roles.
Now the series is going full-on into the reunion idea, and in doing so, is saying goodbye to a handful of original characters created for the series. There’s clearly a departure there from the original intention and I strongly believe that sidelining so many original characters was done specifically to appeal to older fans by using legacy characters to bring them back to the franchise.
I don’t believe it’s worked, and in fact, I believe that it not only angered the original Star Trek fans who came before Picard and the newer fans who came with Picard. It felt unnecessary, and while nostalgia is going to drive this season, it really shouldn’t have had to.