The Triumphant Return of Jean-Luc Picard

Star Trek: Picard showcases the return of the iconic Jean-Luc Picard to television after Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG) ended in 1994 and the film Star Trek Nemesis in 2002 and has an older and somewhat bitter former captain who is in retirement at his family winery in France. Spoilers will be included in this look at the pilot episode of Star Trek: Picard, which is called “Remembrance.”

This show takes place about 20 years after the events of Star Trek Nemesis, which featured the death of Data, an event that plays a part in what happens in this pilot episode. “Remembrance” tells us that Captain Picard led a rescue effort to save the population of Romulus from an impending supernova many years ago and was hailed as a hero for his actions. However, the episode also states that a group of synthetic humanoids went rogue and attacked colonies on Mars, killing thousands. This led Starfleet to abandon the rescue effort, which Picard saw as both dishonorable and criminal and he resigned his commission in protest, and also resulted in the Federation outlawing synthetic life forms. All of this is told during an interview with Picard during a commemoration of the rescue effort and shows Picard’s anger at Starfleet for their actions.

He is then visited by a mysterious girl named Dahj, who was attacked by Romulan assassins in Boston, but she fends them off and makes her way to Picard in France, who eventually finds out that she is the daughter of Data, which was accomplished through some kind of a cloning technique. The assassins eventually tracker her down in San Francisco where Picard was looking through his archives for information about Data. Picard later discovers that she has a twin sister Soji, who is a scientist working on a Romulan reclamation site, which at the end of the episode is revealed to be a Borg cube. All of this is setting up Picard’s return to action shown in the upcoming preview where he will attempt to help Data’s surviving daughter and unravel the mystery behind the assassins and along the way gather a new crew that will help him in his return to action.

Patrick Stewart’s return to his signature role is a real treat to see. He is much older now obviously but can still show Picard’s humanity and strength as well his regrets over how his life has ended up, after a self-imposed exile on Earth. The episode also has Brent Spiner returning as Data, in a dream sequence where Picard and Data are playing cards which is a nice shout out to TNG’s numerous scenes of the crew of the Enterprise playing poker and bonding. All of this hints that ideas like aging and a yearning for the past will be major themes that will be explored. This harkens back to previous Trek movies where Captain Kirk was struggling with his place in the galaxy after losing his ship and friend in Star Trek II and a return to form in later films. It will be interesting to see Picard go through this journey and show how he can get back to his younger, more idealistic self in a Federation that seemed to have lost its way.

The preview for later episodes also show both Will Riker and Deanna Troi returning to help Picard and is something to look forward too, as well as Seven of Nine, the former Borg from Star Trek: Voyager. Her role in all of this is unknown, but the revelation of the Borg cube at the end of the episode obviously means that TNG’s ultimate villainous race will have a role to play and Seven’s history as a Borg will no doubt be a major part of this.

Ultimately, it is great to see a sequel to TNG and to see the Star Trek timeline move forward after many years of series that were set in the past. This show is supposed to take place in 2399, so we will finally see the 25th century in the Star Trek universe, which is something new and highly anticipated. Having the Federation and Starfleet in a different place than what was shown in TNG is also interesting and timely. Meanwhile, Picard’s role in bringing them back to their original idealistic version should be a highlight for Star Trek: Picard.

C.S. Link

 

10 comments on “The Triumphant Return of Jean-Luc Picard

  1. I really enjoyed this first episode of Star Trek Picard. It set the stage for the events after Nemesis, hit all the right nostalgic and emotional beats, and was a great introduction to the compelling new storyline. Looking forward to the rest of the series!

    • This episode was exactly what we fans needed: a respectful return to greatness adorned with nostalgia. It was a great relief to see the return of the proper Trek timeline and characters and seeing the new developments.

    • Thanks, You’re review of the first episode was well put together and expressed how good this episode was. “Remembrance” did a bang up job of presenting Picard’s current state as well as the Federation and those teases of what is to come are guaranteed to keep us watching!

  2. Apparently in the years after Nemesis, the federation went through a brief period in which androids became common and then went bad or were hacked and the federation was forced to destroy them. One thing that Star Trek has continued to preach is that artificial intelligence is a bad idea, humans attempting to incorporate robotics and electronics into their bodies and brains is a bad idea, and humans attempting to become robots or computers to achieve immortality is a bad idea. Data is the only counter example.

    • This theme goes back to the original series and has been used in other Trek TV shows. Although usually AI is a bad idea, some episodes have shown that not all AI are evil just as not all humans are evil. Lord knows there are enough examples living and current to give the impression that humans should be destroyed!
      However, to its credit, Star Trek has shown through episodes and characters like Data and the Doctor that AI are complex and nuanced beings with rights and the newest show will most likely keep exploring this insight.

  3. My husband and I have really been enjoying this new Picard series. I’ve really struggled with the Discovery series (and my husband won’t watch it), but this one feels like coming home again to the Star Trek universe that I know and love. I’m really hoping for some more TNG cameos such as Captain Worf and I dearly am hoping to see a Picard & Beverly romance.

    • A reunion between those two would be the perfect cap on the feather for this show. It is remarkable how well this show is and how it blends in so well with the original TNG shows of that era. If this keeps up they should bring back other characters and possibly spin them off into their own shows.

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