Star Trek: The Next Generation star Wil Wheaton hopes he gets to return as Wesley Crusher on CBS All Access' new Picard series starring Patrick Stewart. After the success of Star Trek: Discovery, CBS is going all-in on the Trek franchise as they continue to develop content for their All Access streaming service.
In addition to the return of Discovery for season 2, All Access will also feature several Trek shorts built around various Discovery characters. The first of these Short Treks features Ensign Tilly encountering a new, disruptive alien life form aboard the Discovery and forging a friendship. But of course the biggest new Trek series coming up is the one centered on TNG's Captain Jean-Luc Picard, with Patrick Stewart triumphantly returning to the captain's chair. But now the question is, will any other TNG characters get a chance to return along with their vaunted captain?
Speaking to the audience at this year's Baltimore Comic-Con, Wheaton discussed the new Picard series and the possibility he himself might return as Wesley Crusher. First, Wheaton expressed his excitement that Picard is back in the timeline established by Star Trek: TNG and Deep Space Nine, though he admitted he has a personal bias because that's the timeline he appeared in. Then Wheaton talked about whether he might appear on the new show, but didn't sound optimistic about his chances (via ComicBook):
“I think it is very unlikely they will ask me to participate in it. I mean, I think it is just extraordinarily unlikely that will happen. If they did, I would say ‘yes,’ of course. I think all of us would say ‘yes.’ I think all of us if we were given the opportunity to put on the spacesuits again and go work together and bring those characters back, as they would be thirty years later, we would all say ‘yes.’ And I don’t think it’s because we want the work. I don’t think it’s because we need the money. I don’t think it’s because we don’t have other things to do. It’s because we love each other so much and an opportunity, even for a day, to return emotionally to some of the best times of our lives, I think that we would jump at that opportunity.”
Indeed, Wheaton isn't the only actor with connections to Stewart who has expressed interest in joining the Picard series. James McAvoy, who of course took over for Stewart as a younger iteration of Charles Xavier in the X-Men movie franchise, has said he'd be willing to appear as a younger version of Picard. With CBS reportedly planning multiple seasons of their new Picard Trek series, McAvoy and Wheaton may both ultimately get their wish.
At the end of the day, would Trek fans actually be as thrilled as Wheaton to see Wesley Crusher return alongside Picard? Not everyone embraced the character of Wesley when he first began appearing on TNG, with some fans calling him a Mary Sue and others complaining he was just a cheesy way for Gene Roddenberry to write himself into the series. Indeed, many were happy when Wesley was written out of the show in season 4 as the character went on to attend Starfleet Academy (he would pop up a few more times over the course of the show's seven seasons but would never be a major player again). Fans no doubt have a long list of TNG characters they'd love to see reunite with Picard when the new show debuts some time in 2020, but Wesley Crusher is probably a long way down that list.