It’s been one complete revolution around the sun (almost), and that means Star Trek: Picard is about to warp back onto our 21st-century viewscreens starting March 3rd. This season promises not-so-pleasant cameos throughout the character’s life from Q to the Borg Queen, and fans are eager to see how all of the past antagonists will fit into 2024.
The Three Musketeers Picard
Alexandre Dumas’ The Three Musketeers from 1884 is a swashbuckler novel about a chivalrous swordsman who fights for justice. In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Hollow Pursuits,” Reginald Barclay (Dwight Schultz) created a holoprogram based on the book, with Picard, Data, and Geordi La Forge portraying the three inseparables, to help him cope with the stress of adjusting to a new ship.
It’s almost as if Barclay sees Picard before Picard sees himself (eventually, we learn the captain identifies with the swashbuckler novel). What the audience gets in return is pure comedy and an episode nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Hairstyling for a Series. The Emmy nom is well deserved; Picard fencing as a Musketeer is must-see.
Season 8 “JL”
In 2022, Mike McMahan is best known as the creator of Star Trek: Lower Decks. But back in 2015, his parody Twitter account “TNG Season 8,” which he ran since 2011 before he got his big break, had just been turned into a book, Star Trek: The Next Generation: Warped, An Engaging Guide to the Never-Aired 8th Season, with illustrations by Jason Ho and Joel Watson, that contained lots of hysterical Picard storylines.
Hearing @MikeMcMahanTM talking about going from running a #StarTrekTNG fan account (@TNG_S8) to running an actual #StarTrek show is awesome and inspiring.#StarTrekLowerDecks #StarTrekNYCC #NYCCMetaverse #NYCC
— Star Trek on Paramount+ (@StarTrekOnPPlus) October 8, 2020
Some favorite plots include the good captain. Picard’s production of Macbeth becomes far too real. Picard wants racist aliens to stop being so damn racist; Riker accidentally sells Data to a prostitute. Worf guides Picard on a perilous Klingon captain’s safari. Then, for some reason, this one seems like something that would happen to someone as eloquent as the captain: Picard drinks water wrong, awkwardly coughs for ten minutes in front of an angry Romulan.
Planet X Picard
Star Trek: The Next Generation/X-Men: Planet X by Michael Jan Friedman is the event of the century. An eponymous crossover between Marvel Comics’ X-Men and the characters of TNG, the book was a New York Times bestseller and a follow-up to a Marvel Comics one-shot, Star Trek: The Next Generation/X-Men: Second Contact by Dan Abnett, Ian Edington, Cary Nord, Scott Koblish, Liquid! and Chris Eliopoulos.
A little back story for the curious: although the comic takes place in the 90s, the book takes place in the Star Trek timeline. But a fun fact about it taking place on Earth in the 90s, the crew of the Enterprise-E goes to Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, aka the X-Mansion.
In the book always a ladies’ man, Picard hits it off with Storm. As Picard says about Professor Charles Xavier on the holodeck (remember Friedman wrote the book in 1998, so how’s that for a precognitive multiverse of madness?), “As the doctor had warned him, he and the professor bore a passing resemblance to one another.”
Picard is not known for his poker skills. But in the third season episode “Allegiance,” Picard is replaced with a not-so-perfect duplicate. One of the first clues is when the fake Picard stops by Data’s quarters for a poker game. “Forgive this intrusion. I was, um… just passing by,” says Picard.
To the rest of the senior officers, Picard showing up for a poker game is the first tell of the duplicate’s bluff. The real Picard has never stopped in for a game of poker (and then he just wants to observe, geez, this isn’t the World Cup of Poker). Weirder still, fake Picard acts like a creeper with Dr. Crusher and then sings drinking songs in Ten Forward.
Robin Hood Jean-Luc
The fourth season episode “Qpid” sure seems to be one of the most talked-about episodes from TNG and in my opinion, all the hoopla is well deserved. John de Lancie is back as Q, and he wants to pay off his debt to the captain NOW. And he wants to do it by helping Jean-Luc win back the heart of Vash, a criminal mastermind he met on Risa but found irresistible.
When Picard rejects Q’s offer, he sends him and several members of the Enterprise crew to Sherwood Forest to play Robin Hood and the Merry Men (yes, it’s the episode where the famous Worf memes come from). To prove he has heart, or in Q’s twisted mind that love is a wasted human emotion, Robin Hood must save his Maid Marian (Vash). And the Picard does.
James McAvoy has played a young Sir Patrick Stewart before, and in 2021, he said he’s game to do it again if he’s not too old, anyway. “I mean, I’ve often talked about loving ‘Star Trek,’ and jokingly, but also kind of seriously been like, if you ever want to do a young Jean-Luc Picard, I’m your man. But I’m probably getting close to being too old to do a young Jean-Luc Picard now. So, there’s that,” McAvoy told Collider.
He is so into the idea that an Old McAvoy from the future came back to tell a young McAvoy that he better get on playing a young Picard before it’s too late, so he pre-auditioned for the part in 2020! Yup, that’s right. McAvoy made a Star Trek parody video called Star Force! Fun fact, Outlander’s Caitriona Balfe appears in the video as well.
Remember, Shinzon was just a clone, so there is still plenty of room for McAvoy’s version. See it for yourself below (and if you love it as much as me, here is a link to Star Force Part 2):
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in “Emissary”
In the DS9 series premiere, Commander Benjamin Sisko confronts Captain Jean-Luc Picard about the death of his wife. Sisko was the executive officer on the USS Saratoga when the Borg destroyed it at Wolf 359, led by Locutus. Although Sisko could save his son Jake, he could not save his wife and blames Picard for his loss.
In “Emissary,” Picard made a guest appearance on the new Star Trek series, which premiered during the seventh season of Star Trek: The Next Generation. During the show’s first episode, Sisko meets with Picard to discuss his role on the space station, brusquely mentioning that he has already “met” Picard (or rather Locutus). Then, throughout the entire conversation, the commander speaks with thinly veiled hostility toward the TNG captain.
Go into the mirror universe to meet the cold-blooded crew of the I.S.S. Enterprise-D and their captain, the ruthless Jean-Luc Picard in IDW’s Star Trek: The Next Generation: Mirror Universe by Scott and David Tipton, J.K. Woodward, Angel Hernandez, and Carlos Nieto. As Prime Universe Jean-Luc looks at his Mirror Universe crew, he mutters, “All our worst instincts and potentials brought to the light.”
Perhaps, Jellico Trek got it right; maybe the crew would better manage those worst instincts and potentials if Mirror Troi did more talk therapy and less torture.
— Captain Edward Jellico (@STDeltaShift) February 24, 2022
Fans never saw Mirror Picard on TNG, so finally seeing a Picard vs. Picard showdown in the comics (in the Season 8, Picard vs. Picard Copy debate to the death showdown) is a nightmare. It’s everything you hope it will be and more.
Plus, the best part is starting on Star Trek Day 2021, IDW launched Star Trek: The Mirror War, bringing back most of the creative team. Now, a few issues in, Mirror Sisko is ready to settle some debts for the Emissary’s loss at Wolf 359 (j/k, but it seems all The Siskos look out for each other) after a run-in with Mirror Picard.
Star Trek: Picard stars Sir Patrick Stewart, Jeri Ryan, Alison Pill, Isa Briones, Michelle Hurd, Santiago Cabrera, Orla Brady, Annie Wersching, Whoopi Goldberg and Brent Spiner. Season 2 drops March 3rd on Paramount Plus.
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