Star Trek: Picard executive producer, Alex Kurtzman, and showrunner, Michael Chabon, have revealed some fresh details surrounding the upcoming Patrick Stewart series. Stewart's role as Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: The Next Generation propelled the actor to worldwide renown and definitively proved that there was life in the Star Trek franchise beyond Kirk and Spock. After 7 seasons and a handful of big screen appearances, Stewart stepped away from the role of Picard with Star Trek: Nemesis in 2002 but, in a surprise announcement, the actor himself confirmed in August 2018 that a Picard solo series was in development.
Slated to premiere on the CBS All Access streaming service later this year, Star Trek: Picard will focus on the iconic character during his retirement, following on from the destruction of Romulus that triggered the events witnessed in J. J. Abrams' 2009 Star Trek movie reboot. An early image highlighted the former Starfleet captain at his vineyard, but little else is known about the project. A Star Trek: Picard poster released earlier this month did introduce a new canine companion for Stewart's character, with the actor widely known as a keen dog lover. Star Trek: Picard is set to have a significant presence at this weekend's SDCC 2019 event and it's likely that CBS have some major announcements in store.
Speaking with EW, Kurtzman and Chabon have unveiled a few key details regarding Star Trek: Picard. The duo confirmed that the new series would adhere to a serialized format along the lines of Star Trek: Discovery, rather than the episodic structure seen in Star Trek: The Next Generation and also hinted that Picard's former Enterprise-D crew mates could potentially make cameo appearances. During the interview, it was also stated that, despite Picard's retirement, the character would be heading back into outer space, albeit not necessarily as a member of Starfleet. Also include was a new photo of Picard and his dog, as seen below.
Although CBS is probably saving the juiciest snippets of Star Trek: Picard info for SDCC, these details will come as positive signs for fans. The confirmation that Star Trek: Picard will be serialized isn't hugely surprising given that both Star Trek and TV in general has shifted increasingly towards this format in recent years, however this element is new territory for the Picard character due to Star Trek: The Next Generation's mostly episodic structure. The news that the Stewart's character will actually be rocketing back to the stars and not just tending to his grapes is a particularly welcome development and reaffirms that, despite essentially being a spinoff venture, Star Trek: Picard won't lose sight of the franchise's fundamentals.
The biggest takeaway for many fans, however, will be the possibility of cameos from the wider cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation. While this was perhaps always a probable inclusion in Star Trek: Picard, it's exciting to know that the story may expand beyond just the later life of Stewart's character, and also delve into some of Star Trek: The Next Generation's other heroes. One prime candidate to appear would be Jonathan Frakes, who's confirmed to be directing a block of episodes of the new Picard series. It certainly wouldn't take much for Frakes to hop in front of the camera for a bit, and many viewers would be thrilled to see Riker return to the franchise.
Star Trek: Picard is expected to premiere later this year on CBS All Access.