Star Trek confirms the long-awaited return of its most legendary ship

By Vic Medina | Released

Star Trek: Picard Season 3 will finally give us the reunion that fans have been asking for since day one, and it looks like the Enterprise will be taking part as well. The Trek Universe panel at this weekend’s San Diego Comic Con not only showcased just how big the universe created by Gene Roddenberry has gotten (thanks to two new shows on Paramount+), it also confirmed that fans are eager to explore the past to visit the franchise. Perhaps the most discussed segment of the panel in question Picard, which starred Patrick Stewart, Gates McFadden (Dr. Beverly Crusher), and executive producers Alex Kurtzman and Rod Roddenberry, and offered some glimpses of the future, according to The full panel, hosted by Lea Thompson (who directed two episodes of Season 2), is included below.

The panel not only presented a new teaser trailer, but also revealed many new facts about the final season of the series. One of the more intriguing aspects is the confirmation that the Enterprise will not only be featured in the new season, but more than one. “There’s more than one Enterprise, and that complicates things a bit,” Stewart said when asked if he was back in the Enterprise’s captain’s chair. “But we’re going back to the original Enterprise for a while.” While we assume that means the Enterprise-E (last seen in Star Trek: Nemesis) is shown, it could mean that an older, possibly closed company is also shown. Picard Season 2 confirmed that the Enterprise-D’s saucer (which crashed into Star Trek: Generations) was brought back to earth for a museum display so that could be seen as well. Stewart mentioned going back to carpet on the bridge, a feature of the older ships.

It has also been confirmed that filming for the series is complete and will debut sometime in 2023, although no premiere date has been announced. 2022 marks the twentieth anniversary of the final adventure of the Next Generation crew on Star Trek: Nemesis, and the characters have changed noticeably. Worf in particular looks very different from the last time we saw him. Kurtzman also hinted that the season will feature a female villain who will dominate the entire season and have a similar impact to Ricardo Montalban’s Khan in the original series and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

Stewart and McFadden also had a sort of mini-panel with Entertainment Weekly discussing the implications of star trek and Picard and Crusher’s relationship. Stewart also pointed out to Entertainment Weekly that what we’re about to see isn’t just one Next Generation Reunion for nostalgia’s sake, but season three is a whole new story that will bring the entire Enterprise crew back together. In a surprising statement, Stewart seemed to hint that we might not see all the characters together until later in the season.

Picard has drawn the ire of longtime fans who felt the series deviated from the optimistic view of the future that Roddenberry created with the original star trek series and The next generation, and had become too cynical and dark. According to Rotten Tomatoes, while 86% of critics approved of Picard, only 40% of fans voted in favor of them. They were also upset that the only constant from the TNG was Stewart himself, who was also a cynical, almost depressing, Picard, a far cry from the character they once knew. They missed the dynamic of the original cast, and season three seems to be trying to rectify that. Thankfully, Kurtzman promises these won’t just be cameos from the TNG cast, as we’ve seen before, but more of “significant roles” in which they are crucial to the story. “We wanted to whet the appetite a bit to see them get back together. So at the start of the season, the crew is in different places in the galaxy… and slowly we’re starting to see them coming together,” he said. The panel also revealed that Brent Spiner (who doesn’t appear in the trailer) would indeed be returning in a new role, although it wasn’t said who he would play. He had played against Data, Altan Inigo Soong and Adam Soong in the first two seasons.

As we have seen in previous seasons, Picard Season 3 will explore the psychology and inner workings of Star Trek greatest captain (apologies to William Shatner). “We are breaking new ground in Picard‘ Stewart said at the panel. “We’re constantly breaking boundaries and reflecting life as it could possibly be,” he said. Stewart, as you may know, is executive producer of the series and has been instrumental in the narrative direction it has taken. He also hinted that he might play Picard again after this season, if a film with the right story comes together, he’d love to play him again.

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