Star Trek: Discovery Star Celebrates Patrick Stewart's Franchise Return

Sonequa Martin-Green as Michael Burnham and Anthony Rapp as Stamets in Star Trek Discovery

Star Trek: Discovery's Sonequa Martin-Green has posted a celebratory message on her social media pages in response to the impending return of Patrick Stewart as the iconic Jean-Luc Picard. Rumors of Stewart's return to the Star Trek franchise had been circling for some time but the medium in which Picard's return would take place wasn't exactly clear, with both Discovery and the current movie franchise both viable options. Instead, the legendary actor announced to attendees at a Las Vegas convention on Saturday that he would be reprising the character of Jean-Luc Picard in a brand new series exclusive to the CBS All Access streaming service. Not much is currently known about the new show, other than Alex Kurtzman will be acting as executive producer.

If the news of Stewart's return wasn't exciting enough for Star Trek fans, there's also the forthcoming second season of Discovery, starring Martin-Green, to look forward to. Set roughly a decade before the era of Kirk and Spock, Discovery season one centered around a war between the Federation and the Klingons, with a hefty dose of Mirror Universe action thrown in and starred Martin-Green as science officer - and Spock's adopted sister - Michael Burnham. Discovery's debut season ended on an almighty cliffhanger, with the titular ship running into the fabled U.S.S. Enterprise at a time when Christopher Pike was sitting in the Captain's chair. A trailer revealed at this year's SDCC confirmed Pike would play a significant role in Discovery season two.

Related: Star Trek: Where Jean-Luc Picard's Story Left Off

With CBS now confirmed to be playing host to two different Star Trek series, one lead actor has welcomed the long-awaited return of another. In response to the news that Stewart would be returning, Discovery's Martin-Green posted a photo of herself alongside the Jean-Luc Picard actor on her Instagram page alongside a heartfelt message welcoming the return of a franchise legend.

It's certainly pleasing to see different generations of Star Trek lead actors come together in celebration and also highlights the enduring popularity and longevity of the franchise as a whole. One question that will undoubtedly be on the minds of many Star Trek fans, however, is whether the new Picard-led series will intersect with Discovery in any way. With both series being shown on CBS and Kurtzman having a hand in both, a crossover of some kind is certainly a possibility but the timelines may prove to be the biggest stumbling block, with the new series likely to feature a far older Jean-Luc Picard than the one seen in The Next Generation due to Stewart's age.

Despite the universal excitement at the prospect of Stewart returning to one of his most famous roles, there may be some disgruntlement from fans that the series will be exclusive to CBS All Access. One of the foremost criticisms surrounding the release of Discovery was that many people weren't willing to subscribe to All Access purely on the strength of one series. Perhaps it's this very issue that has led to the production of the as-yet-untitled Picard project but it remains to be seen as to whether Stewart's return is enough to convince Star Trek fans to sign up.

Star Trek: Discovery season 2 is set to premiere in January 2019 on CBS All Access and Netflix internationally.

More: William Shatner Congratulates Patrick Stewart On Return To Star Trek

Source: Sonequa Martin-Green (via Instagram)

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