Why The Next Generation's Lifetime Achievement Saturn Award means so much to Wil Wheaton

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For four seasons, Wil Wheaton was a series regular on Star Trek: The Next Generation, playing Dr. Beverly Crusher's (Gates McFadden) son, Wesley Crusher. Wheaton took a lot of flak for the boy genius as many fans didn't like his overabundance of knowledge and self-confidence. Still, Wheaton was a part of the cast and returned sporadically, including a cameo at the end of season two of Star Trek: Picard. And many fans were happy to see him return.

This week, Wheaton joined his fellow Star Trek: The Next Generation cast members onstage at the 51st Saturn Awards to accept the series' Lifetime Achievement Award, and he shared on his Facebook page why the moment was so special to him. [via CinemaBlend]

"The thing about last night, though, is that for the first time in almost 30 years, when the TNG cast was recognized and celebrated, I was finally included. (Put another way, I was not deliberately excluded). I got to stand on stage with my TNG family, arm around my Spacemom, while a room of our peers, including people I idolize, cheered for us. And I got to be part of it. After all these years, that meant *everything* to me."

Wil Wheaton

Wheaton has spoken before about how he'd been deliberately excluded by Rick Berman, even saying that Berman made him feel like his father had—"unwelcome, unworthy, invisible." So standing on that stage was, understandably, a moment Wheaton will never forget. And it's only right that he should have been included. Not only was he a part of the cast, he has remained a dedicated fan and a part of The Next Generation family.

There will always be naysayers who didn't like the character, but behind the character was a young boy who knew there were fans that didn't like him. On top of that, he had an executive producer leaving him out when he needed to be included. One can only imagine how heartwrenching that was for Wheaton at the time. So it's wonderful that he got to stand beside his friends and family to accept the award that he helped the series earn.

Star Trek: The Next Generation: Wil Wheaton is proud of Wesley Crusher’s legacy. Star Trek: The Next Generation: Wil Wheaton is proud of Wesley Crusher’s legacy. dark. Next