****BORG-CUBE SIZED SPOILERS!!!****
Last week, the new CBS-All Access Star Trek series “Picard” (streaming in “early 2020”) debuted a new trailer at San Diego Comic Con that promised a few more familiar faces than previously hinted.
Some of those familiar faces include Star Trek: Voyager alum “Seven of Nine” (played by a seemingly ageless Jeri Ryan) as well as a digitally de-aged “Data” (Brent Spiner). Seven seems a lot more ‘human’ than we last saw her on Voyager 18 years ago.
Given that Picard’s second officer Data was blown to bits in the last Next Generation feature film “Nemesis” (2002), there has been speculation over whether the Data we see in the trailer is
really Data. Perhaps he’s a holographic recreation of Data, or maybe he’s been physically resurrected using one of the other two inert Soong-type android bodies (Lore and B-4) as vessels for Data’s mind.
“Picard” trailer breakdown.
The following are my interpretations/theories/hunches about the images in the “Star Trek: Picard” trailer. However, opinions/theories can and
will vary. If you’d like to share yours, please feel free to comment below, and I will try to reply as soon as possible.
Chateau Picard, La Barre France. Sometime around the early 25th century. This new exterior is being shot at a real vineyard in Santa Clarita, not far from the popular movie location of Vasquez Rocks…
The Picard vineyards are tended by hovering ‘smart sprinklers’, which give a subtle hint of 24/25th century technology without screaming ‘Buck Rogers.’ I wonder if Picard’s late brother Robert (who eschewed modern 24th century advances such as replicators) would’ve approved…?
No doubt due to Sir Patrick Stewart’s involvement with various Animal Rescues such as Wags and Walks, Jean-Luc Picard finally trades in his lion fish “Livingston” for a pooch… in this case, a pit bull. While the dog is prominent in the poster (bottom of this entry), this is the only shot of the animal in the trailer.
Picard appears to live alone, which is in keeping with the solitary nature of his character. His narration suggests that he deeply regrets the sacrifice of his android Ops officer, Commander Data (Brent Spiner) “twenty years ago” in the feature film “Nemesis” (2002). It’s also implied that Picard, for some reason, was forced to leave Starfleet…
Picard keeps his “Nemesis”-era com badge in a small jewelry case, like a beloved family heirloom. This is fitting, since the crew of the USS Enterprise (D and E) were his family for many years.
Picard, gazing up at the stars, tries on his old com badge; is it for old times’ sake, or is he really trying to reach someone?
Picard, and one of his new colleagues (Alison Pill, from “American Horror Story: Cult”) look over a collection of Song-type android parts; since Data was obliterated in an explosion, I’m guessing these are either components of Data’s less sophisticated ‘brother’ B-4 (“Nemesis”), or his ‘evil twin’ Lore (TNG’s “Descent” parts 1 and 2). Perhaps Data’s memories will be downloaded into this body?
In a scene right out of an Edward Hopper painting, a mysterious young woman walks the rainy streets among strangers, while images of what appears to be an interview with Picard play inside of a corner eatery ( or pub….?)
The injured fugitive young woman to the right (Isa Briones) seems to be very important to the fate of the universe somehow. She finally meets up with the only man with whom she feels safe… Jean-Luc Picard. From what I glean from the trailer, the young woman’s story seems reminiscent of the young fleeing mutant “X-23/Laura Kinney” (who also sought Sir Patrick Stewart’s aid) in 2017’s “Logan.”
Familiar Location #1: Picard goes to Starfleet Academy to seek help in protecting the mystery woman. Starfleet HQ is shot on location at the Anaheim Convention Center in Southern California, which is right across the street from Disneyland. I know that particular location very well, since my wife and I go there every year for WonderCon: WonderCon 2019 in Anaheim: Star Trek, Superheroes, cosplay and Wam-Bam, Thank you, Shazam!
Picard makes a case for the young woman’s safety. From the look of the admiral, his pleas are falling on deaf ears…
Apparently, the mystery girl is not so helpless after all. She kicks one of her uniformed attackers in the chest and he falls over the rails…but is beamed up right before kissing the pavement. Picard watches her kick-assery from below (and from a safe distance…).
A relic from Picard’s glory days as the beloved captain of the USS Enterprise-D. The children aboard that ship made this banner for “Captain Picard Day” in the 7th season episode, “The Pegasus.” In that episode, Picard was forced to defend the banner ( and Captain Picard Day) during a subspace call with a rather humorless admiral. Through an embarrassed grin, Picard sheepishly tells her “I’m a role model…”
I figured it wouldn’t be long before Picard was back aboard a ship of some kind…
This appears to be Romulans using Borg technology. The rumor is that Jonathan Del Arco will return as the individualized Borg, “Hugh” (“I, Borg” “Descent” parts 1 & 2).
Closeup of either a dead or dormant Borg being examined closely by very interested parties…
Romulans oversee what looks like a prison labor camp. Note the gallows’ humor in the lower part of the image: “This Facility Has Gone 5,843 Days Without An Assimilation.”
Starfleet cadets. The cadet uniforms appear to be reminiscent of the bright red cadet uniforms worn by Starfleet Academy cadets in JJ Abrams’ “Star Trek” (2009), the first of three films made by Abrams’ “Bad Robot” production company. This fits, as Alex Kurtzman was a cowriter and producer on the three Bad Robot-produced Trek feature films, as well as “Star Trek: Discovery.” The overall aesthetic of both “Picard” and “Discovery” are more in keeping with the Bad Robot Star Trek movies than the TNG TV series.
Familiar Location #2. Vasquez Rocks, in north Los Angeles County, located in the town of Aqua Dulce (“Sweet Water”), between the suburbs of Santa Clarita and Palmdale. This rocky locale was used in many Star Trek productions, dating all the way back to the original series (“Arena” “The Alternative Factor” “Friday’s Child”) as well as TNG (“Who Watches The Watchers?”). It also doubled for Vulcan in “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home” (1986) and “Star Trek” (2009). In the trailer, Picard wanders a desert world, possibly Vulcan (?) where Romulan refugees might have resettled following the destruction of their homeworld in 2009’s “Star Trek.” The destruction of Romulus no doubt created a massive refugee crisis, of which Picard may have played a role. This is (presumably) related to the reason he was forced to resign or retire early from Starfleet. If there are indeed Romulans resettled on Vulcan, it’d be an ironic fulfillment of the dream of the late Ambassador Spock (Leonard Nimoy) from the two-part TNG episode, “Unification” (1991).
Picard appears to have rubbed some Romulans the wrong way…
Picard meets with a very stern Romulan woman who looks a bit like Katey Sagal.
This Romulan with whom Picard speaks appears to have vestiges of the heavily-ridged foreheads the Romulans had in TNG. Personally, I always thought the heavy-brow Romulans of TNG always looked a bit too monstrous. I realize that the TNG producers were trying to differentiate between the Romulans and their Vulcan cousins, but I’m glad the makeup is returning to something closer to the TOS aesthetic, which we also saw in 2009’s “Star Trek.”
Picard’s smile leads me to believe he’s friends with this particular Romulan, who advises him to “Be the captain they remember.”
Fleets of possible Romulan spacecraft in orbit over what appears to be the late Spock’s home world of Vulcan…maybe the reunification didn’t go so smoothly after all…?
“Jolantru.” Picard, ever the diplomat, formally greets a young katana-sporting Romulan (Evan Evagora) aboard a ship.
It appears that this Romulan and the human woman (Alison Pill) we saw with Picard earlier will form a de facto crew.
The young mystery woman (Isa Briones) at the center of this mystery. Is she some sort of Borg/Romulan hybrid? Maybe a human-Borg offspring of Chakotay and Seven of Nine? Or maybe she represents something wholly other. Whatever she is, she is of galaxy-wide importance for some reason. To be honest, I’m a little nervous by the implicit “Chosen One” story in the trailer. It’s a tired, overused sci-fi/fantasy trope. But of course, I prefer to first see “Star Trek: Picard” before I judge. Maybe there’s a new spin on it?
Harry Treadaway plays another member of Picard’s new crew. Since they’re not wearing Starfleet ( or any kind of) uniforms, it’s safe to assume that their mission with Picard isn’t exactly sanctioned by Starfleet Command. He warns the person he’s speaking to that Isa Briones’ mystery woman “has no idea who she really is.” Another indication of the tired ‘chosen one’ trope…
Taking the center seat of this mystery vessel is a character played by Santiago Cabrera (BBC’s “Merlin”), flanked by Sir Patrick Stewart’s Picard on the left and Alison Pill on the right. At the helm console is another new face, played by Michelle Hurd. We see Hurd’s character leveling a weapon at Picard earlier in the trailer, so it’s possible that this is an uneasy alliance of some kind… at first.
Picard, clearly relishing the chance for one more “Engage!”
A new Borg cube, with apparent battle damage, is glimpsed in the trailer as well…
Big Guest Surprise #1. Speaking of the Borg, Jeri Ryan’s “Seven of Nine” ( or possibly going by Annika Hansen these days?) pays a visit to Jean-Luc, and in a much more human manner asks, “What the hell are you doing out here, Picard? Saving the galaxy?”
Big Guest Surprise #2. Wee lastly see what appears to be a fully-reassembled Commander Data (who was obliterated at the end of 2002’s “Nemesis”) playing card games with his former captain. Picard tells Data, to which Data drily replies, “I don’t want the game to end,” We see some subtle CGI de-aging used on actor Brent Spiner, which makes him look a bit closer to his appearance of 20 years ago. “I can see that, Captain.” Jean-Luc’s melancholy manner in the scene leads me to believe that this version of Data is most likely a hologram of Picard’s sacrificed shipmate. Or he could also be an actual physical reincarnation of Data, using the inert bodies of either Lore or B-4 to carry Data’s surviving consciousness… like downloading one’s old settings into a new phone. For this scene, I’m guessing he’s a simulation.
There are also confirmed guest appearances from Jonathan Del Arco’s individualized Borg character of “Hugh” (“I, Borg,” “Descent” parts 1,2), and Captain Will Riker (Jonathan Frakes), along with his ‘Imzadi’/wife, Commander Deanna Troi-Riker (Marina Sirtis). I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Le Var Burton’s “Geordi La Forge” makes an appearance, or even John de Lancie’s “Q.” Despite my welcoming of these actors and their characters, my concern is that this new series (specifically titled “
”) might become awash in Next Gen nostalgia, and end up as more of a retread instead of its own thing. Picard
A new and much-improved version of TOS’ Enterprise arguably stole a bit of Discovery’s thunder during that show’s second season.
We saw something like this last season with “Discovery” and its inclusion of classic TOS characters Captain Christopher Pike (Anson Mount), Number One (Rebecca Romijn), and Spock (Ethan Peck), as well as a nicely revamped version of the original starship USS Enterprise itself. The confused, technobabble-heavy plot of Discovery’s second season was often easily overshadowed by the beautifully reimagined Enterprise and its smartly recast crew. Whenever the Enterprise and her characters were onscreen they had my full attention, often at the expense of Discovery itself. I’m not
against the notion of guest appearances from previous Trek characters, but too many all at once could turn “Picard” into a Next Generation reunion cruise. Such appearances should be used judiciously. However, with some restraint, perhaps we could see other smartly-used cameos from “Deep Space Nine” or “Voyager” as well. We’ll find out “in early 2020″….
The First Duty Starfleet Museum, Saluting Captain Jean-Luc Picard.
As mentioned in my posts on San Diego Comic Con 2019 (see the three prior entries to this one), there was a collection of artifacts, props and costumes from both “Star Trek: The Next Generation” (1987-2002) and the new “Star Trek: Picard” series (2019) at the Michael J. Wolf Fine Arts Gallery, in the Gaslamp Quarter of downtown San Diego. The exhibit is also expected to tour at the annual Star Trek convention in Las Vegas next week (
and I will be there, too).
I’ve included a few more pics here than I did in my previous Comic Con post, since this post is all about the new Picard series:
The First Duty Starfleet Museum, at the Michael J. Wolf Fine Arts Gallery in the Gaslamp Quarter of downtown San Diego…
As you walk into the Exhibit, you are greeted by this quote of Picard’s from Star Trek: The Next Generation’s 5th season standout, “The First Duty”: “The first duty of every Starfleet officer is to the truth, whether it’s scientific truth or historic truth or personal truth. It is the guiding principle on which Starfleet is based.”
Picard’s first command, the USS Stargazer, NCC-2893. This ship was seen in the S1 episode “The Battle”, as well as a model in Picard’s ready room aboard the Enterprise-D. The ship was mentioned many times throughout the course of the series.
Another angle on the USS Stargazer…
The other ‘star’ of Star Trek: The Next Generation. The USS Enterprise-D (1987-1994), which was destroyed after fatally wounded in a Klingon attack in “Star Trek: Generations” (1994). The surviving saucer section crash-landed on the surface of the planet Veridian III.
Another angle on the Enterprise-D…
The USS Enterprise-E, seen in the feature films “First Contact” (1996), “Insurrection” (1998) and “Nemesis” (2002). Pending the debut of “Picard”, her current fate is unknown…
Another angle on the Enterprise-E…
The captain’s yacht, which detaches from the lower saucer section of the Enterprise-E in “Insurrection” (1998). The Enterprise-D had one as well, but we never saw it detach during the run of the series…
The command crew of the Enterprise-D (from S7’s “All Good Things…”). From left to right, Commander Data (Brent Spiner), Lt. Commander Worf (Michael Dorn), Dr. Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden), Commander Geordi LaForge (LeVar Burton), Commander Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis), Commander William Riker (Jonathan Frakes) and Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Sir Patrick Stewart). It is confirmed that we will see Data (in some form), as well as Riker and Troi, in “Picard.” Other appearances may follow.
The ‘Ressikan flute’ from the deservedly revered S5 episode, “The Inner Light” (1992). The flute ( a nonfunctional prop) was the sole artifact launched into space aboard an alien probe from the extinct planet Kataan. The probe implanted a lifetime of memories into the brain of a temporarily unconscious Captain Picard. These memories allowed him to live an entire life as an iron weaver named “Kamen” on the long-dead world. This life was as ‘real’ to Picard as his life aboard the Enterprise… he even married and had children. He awoke from that virtual lifetime a changed man.
Picard’s duty uniform from the 1994 Star Trek film, “Generations.” The uniform is of the same kind used in the first 5 seasons of “Deep Space Nine” and all 7 years of “Voyager.” Redesigned costumes for “Generations” were rejected at the last minute, so the DS9 costumes were used instead. Many shots of the film see characters wearing both the new uniforms as well as their uniforms seen in Next Gen.
Picard’s two-piece uniform from Next Generation. The single-piece jumpsuits from the first two seasons were replaced with two-piece uniforms designed by Robert Blackman. The two-piece uniforms were mainly seen only on the male characters, as the women on the series still wore variations of the single-piece versions. Sexism in space…
The skull and broken spine of the Borg Queen (Alice Krige) from the Next Generation feature film, “First Contact” (1996); arguably the best of the TNG movies, and a direct sequel to the S3 two-parter “The Best Of Both Worlds” (1991). That two-parter ended the third season on a cliffhanger, with Picard being assimilated by the Borg; a nightmarish trauma revisited throughout the series.
Another angle on the mechanical spine and skull of the dead Borg queen…
Picard’s dress uniform, first seen in 1998’s “Star Trek: Insurrection” for a diplomatic mission earlier in the film. We also saw it worn at the Riker wedding in 2002’s “Nemesis.” The design also appeared in “Deep Space Nine” as well.
The cherished Picard family album with its edges singed following the fiery crash of the Enterprise-D in 1994’s “Generations.” It was in this film that Picard learned of the tragic deaths of his brother Robert and nephew Rene from an accidental fire at Chateau Picard. The opened album reveals a photo of Picard’s sister-in-law Marie with Rene. There is also a photo of a boyhood Jean-Luc Picard with his older brother Robert. The facing page has a marathon certificate of Cadet Picard.
Photos of Picard’s sister-in-law Marie (Samantha Eggar) and her son Rene (David Tristan Birkin). Rene was later killed in the fire mentioned in 1994’s “Generations.” That tragedy plunged Captain Picard into a midlife crisis of sorts.
From the new series “Picard.” Picard’s certificate into the “Speed of Light” club, first achieved aboard the starship USS Leondegrance, NCC-2176 (the name is a reference to the King Arthur legend). The Leondegrance has a very similar aesthetic to the sharper-angled 23rd century starships seen in “Star Trek: Discovery”, particularly the USS Shenzhou, formerly commanded by Captain Philippa Georgiou (Michelle Yeoh).
Various awards bestowed upon Captain Jean-Luc Picard, including a Vulcan “Dignified Person” award…
Civilian clothing worn by Picard in his vineyards, as seen in the trailer for the new series “Picard.”
The Grapes of Wrath ( of Khan?). Grapes from the vineyards of Chateau Picard, from Santa Clar–er, La Barre, France.
Cases of red Chateau Picard, vintage 2386…a very good year, I hope (?).
Preparing to enter orbit of Star Trek Las Vegas…
Next week, it’s off to Vegas where I hope to get more information on both “Picard” and the new Discovery “Short Treks” to air later this fall. I also hope to nab a couple of interviews for this site, including a follow up with Aron Eisenberg (whom I had the pleasure of interviewing last year for this site). Hopefully our schedules will allow us time for a decent sit-down, as they
miraculously did last year. Fingers crossed..
So stay tuned until next week, as I set a course for the
strange (not so) new world known as “Star Trek Las Vegas 2019.”