Star Trek: Picard will see a Next Generation reunion but it won’t be the end of these characters, apparently.
The lone selling point of Star Trek: Picard was just nerfed after Jonathan Frakes went out and said that the Next Generation crew was not done. This may seem like a good thing to many fans but the entire selling point of the final season of Picard was that this was it; the last hurrah. The final swan song for the Next Generation crew. It was a chance to say goodbye to everyone and send off the cast with one final swan song.
Except, that’s not it at all, apparently. No matter the fluffy language used to hype up the show.
Frakes, who is reprising his role as William Riker on the show, and will be directing a few episodes on the show as well, spoke to Den of Geek recently and revealed that Picard isn’t the end but the beginning of more Next Generation-themed content;
"As you’ll see by the end of the season, it’s ripe for a continuation of some version of what we’ve established in the show. Not more Picard, but certainly, Next Gen is alive and well."
Another actor o the show, Gates McFadden, who is reprising her role as Dr. Beverly Crusher, goes on to say that it’s just getting started;
"We are obviously so ready to do it and in a really good place to do it. We’re just getting started."
Star Trek needs to bury the nostalgia and move on
If revisiting Star Wars’ iconic characters taught us anything, it’s that nostalgia has an expiration date. Like with anything, once we pass that date, it’s time to throw it out, lest it starts to stink. When the idea of Picard season three came about, fans accepted it mostly because it was the last chance to see characters who, nearly 40 years ago, became sci-fi icons.
Yet, now we’re in a situation where Star Trek is about to be over-relying on these legacy characters and actors. Instead of pushing for new content, the series is seemingly stuck in what was successful.
Discovery brought in figures like Spock for that reason, Strange New Worlds and Prodigy are built around legacy characters, and Lower Decks can’t exist as a show without constant callbacks and allusions back to past series. Even the Star Trek films are unable to move forward, once again calling on a cast who, quite frankly, never made the franchise the money past films did.
Now Paramount+ is once again going to the well with even more nostalgia, apparently. If it were just one or two vehicles, fine, but it’s the entire franchise’s identity at this point; nostalgia.
Crossovers are fine, and overlapping is fine, but building shows off of the backs of what came before is the quickest way to see your franchise stumble and fall apart as it succumbs to franchise fatigue. We love the Star Trek formula, it’s tried and true, but we’d love it even more if we didn’t have the same 80 characters all getting screen time from over the last 60 years.