When news of Patrick Stewart’s return to the beloved character of Captain Jean-Luc Picard broke at the Las Vegas Star Trek Convention in 2018, fans erupted into applause. One of the most well-respected actors was returning to one of the most well-loved characters in the history of the Star Trek franchise, and CBS was going to detail just what had happened to the intrepid Captain of the USS Enterprise-D in the twenty years since his last appearance.
While Patrick Stewart has said he would only return to the role if he felt the script and story were first rate, he surely isn’t the only one to feel that way. We’re sure there will be more than one familiar face from The Next Generation, Voyager, and even Deep Space 9 that will have reoccurring parts, cameos, or guest spots. Here are five of the characters we hope to see, and five we’d prefer not to.
10 HOPE TO SEE: WILLIAM RIKER
Can there really be a Picard show without Number One? William Riker was not only a staple character from TNG, but he was also Jean-Luc's surrogate son. It would be fascinating to see what new levels of maturity the charming Commander had gained in the twenty years since he served under Captain Picard.
When we last encountered Riker, he was Captain of the USS Titan, and given how reluctant he was to command his own starship, it would be fun to see how his Starfleet career played out with him in the captain's chair. Plus, we know Jonathan Frakes is scheduled to direct at least one episode, so it's not a stretch to think he'd be willing to put on a Starfleet uniform again.
9 HOPE WE DON'T SEE: WESLEY CRUSHER
In some ways, it’s not Wesley’s fault we hate him. Gene Roddenberry wrote him as a bit of a “boy wonder”, so his over-enthusiastic pluck was always going to be aggravating. When last we saw young Wesley, he was following the “Traveler” to unravel the mysteries of the universe and answer some of life’s most prescient questions.
The question about whether or not anyone really cares if Wesley got answers is entirely up to how you view the character. True, Wil Wheaton’s all grown up now and has been making self-effacing appearances on The Big Bang Theory (which recently had its series finale), but does anyone want to see a middle-aged version of Wesley?
8 HOPE TO SEE: Q
Can we really expect that Q has left Picard alone for twenty years? Even if Picard was given the position of Starfleet Ambassador, a role suited for his diplomatic and loquacious personality, are we to think Q wouldn't have still popped up unexpectedly to meddle in his bureaucratic affairs? Some of their best exchanges revolved around matters of morality and ethics, with Picard always a perpetual optimist in the tenacity of the human spirit.
The only possible issue is aging. As Q is immortal, he wouldn't have aged like Picard did. Unless of course he felt compelled to adopt an older appearance to make himself more relatable to his longtime verbal sparring partner.
7 HOPE WE DON'T SEE: KATHRYN JANEWAY
Captain Kathryn Janeway and Captain Picard have a lot in common - they’re both cultured, have dry senses of humor, and favor diplomacy. However, unlike Picard, Janeway became an Admiral (as far as Nemesis goes), and therefore may have little amiable contact with Picard given how much he didn’t care for the Starfleet admiralty.
There’s no doubt Kate Mulgrew still has the acting chops (Red on Orange is the new Black, anyone?), but Janeway has violated the Prime Directive so many times it would be a wonder she wasn’t in the brig twenty years later. Maybe a guest appearance to debate the real issues; Earl Grey Tea (Hot) vs Coffee.
6 HOPE TO SEE: DEANNA TROI
Always a bright light in every room, Deanna Troi was the epitome of a ship's counselor with her compassion and empathy for every crew member (even Barclay). After serving on Picard's ship, she married Riker at the end of Nemesis, and went on to be ship’s counselor aboard his ship, the USS Titan. It would be interesting to see if it wasn't a twenty year period of wedded bliss - their arguments were as legendary as their love, after all.
Troi and Picard often shared an affinity for deeply intellectual conversations where they discussed the complexities of human behavior. If Picard is going through any issues about the trajectory of his life, no doubt he’d want her input.
5 HOPE WE DON'T SEE: DATA
For not having a real one, Data was the heart of TNG. His poignant observations about the human condition through the eyes of an android gave the situations the crew of the USS Enterprise-D experienced perspective and nuance. He was also one of Picard’s greatest confidants and friends.
As great as it would be to have Data back, his appearance would be more for the fans than for the storyline. And besides, androids aren’t supposed to age, and Brent Spiner along with the rest of the cast clearly has. So unless he comes back as a Knightrider-like AI of a ship’s navigational computer, we can’t see it happening logically.
4 HOPE TO SEE: WORF
Being a full cast member on TNG as well as Deep Space 9, Worf has the distinction of being in more episodes of Star Trek than any other character. The stoic Klingon went through a variety of character-defining experiences to emerge from his chrysalis of stoicism a more loving, empathetic Klingon.
When last he had appeared on DS9, he was a Klingon Ambassador and proving to be a far cry more diplomatic and civil than any other Klingon in a similar position. It would be fascinating to see what twenty years have done to a warrior of his distinction in that role. Perhaps we’d even get to see his son, Alexander, all grown up and thriving as a Klingon warrior himself.
3 HOPE WE DON'T SEE: SEVEN OF NINE
Seven of Nine is another fan favorite character who, if she suddenly appeared on the series, would seem like the result of fan service rather than narrative arbitration. Like Picard, she survived being part of the Hive-mind of the Borg and has a unique perspective because of it. Still, would her presence even make sense outside of Borg related stories?
Seven of Nine was only brought onto the Voyager crew because the showrunners felt there needed to be some sex appeal on the show. Surely she deserves better than to be trotted out in this series for similar reasons, and hopefully the series doesn’t need that sort of a stunt to be successful.
2 HOPE TO SEE: VASH
From the moment Picard laid eyes on Vash while vacationing on Risa, he knew she was going to be trouble. She was hot-tempered, enigmatic, and loved archeology as much as he did. Unfortunately, Vash was never interested in the ancient cultures she studied, but the artifacts she could sell on the black market for profit. She had been kicked out of the Daystrom Institute Archeological Council for her ulterior methodology, something Picard didn't find out until he had already formed a romantic attachment to her.
Vash has appeared in and out of Picard's life over the years, but their reunions are always tarnished by her secret motives involving the procuring of artifacts. Perhaps they went on more ill-fated adventures together, or perhaps he finally made an honest woman out or her.
1 HOPE WE DON'T SEE: KIRK
For anyone who thought it was weird to see OG Spock randomly appear in the newest Star Trek movies, keep in mind that Star Trek has always played fast and loose with its temporal anomalies. Just like in the Marvel Universe, there are alternative timelines all over the place that serve two purposes; favorite characters can always come back, and certain events can overlap as necessary for the plot.
As much as Kirk is a fan favorite character, and arguably one of the most recognizable icons of the entire Star Trek franchise, finding a way to have him reappear to an aging Picard would be too much fan service, not enough substance.