Star Trek Picard: SDCC Trailer Details
San Diego Comic-Con 2019 was pretty big, but especially for Star Trek fans. A wealth of new series information was revealed, even if some of it was somewhat cryptic. Season 3 of Discovery is in full swing, and the only really important thing we know is that it’s set in the future. Lower Decks, the animated series, is progressing quite nicely, and fans got a good look at some of the character designs.
But we all know what the best part of the CBS panel was: the Star Trek: Picard trailer. A short teaser was released a few weeks back, but it was nothing compared to this. So much information was revealed in the new preview, including the return of some familiar and seriously beloved characters.
Though some details are definitive, most of the plot remains under speculation. Thankfully, Sir Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, and most of the major cast shed some new light on the show in a series of Comic-Con interviews. From their words, we now have a much clearer picture of what this sure-to-be-loved series is all about.
Let’s break it down – a list of some of the trailer’s most important elements, backed up by some words from the cast members. Make sure you read the whole article, as the details get progressively juicier with every entry.
The Plot, the Vineyard, and a New Character
The show is set 20 years after Star Trek: Nemesis. Picard is no longer a captain, no longer in Starfleet even. Sometime after being promoted to Admiral, our favorite Shakespearean planet explorer settled down at his home in France. He tended to the vineyard of his family, Chateau Picard. One of TNG’s very best episodes (Family, season 4 episode 2) showcased this place as a peaceful producer of some of the best wine in the Alpha Quadrant.
Though Jean-Luc certainly prefers space to staying at home (a fact reiterated by all of TNG with his obvious longing for the stars), his family home was still very dear to his heart, especially because his brother, Robert, continued to manage it while Picard traveled the galaxy with the Enterprise (it is unclear if Robert will be in the new show, but Jeremy Kemp, the actor who originally played him, passed away earlier this month).
The vineyard is featured prominently in the clip, and Picard likely lives there at least in the beginning of the series. But something gets him back into space. We’re not exactly sure what it is yet, but we do know that it involves a young woman completely new (or so it seems) to the franchise.
Her name is Dahj and she is portrayed by Isa Briones. It’s unclear who she really is, but she seems to have a connection with Picard, stating in the trailer that she feels safe with him. She may end up having a connection to a certain hive mind of cybernetic beings (Yay!), but it’s too early to tell. We do know, however, that she’s important, and the fate of the galaxy may rest on her shoulders. She is likely either very good for the galaxy, or very bad. At least one Romulan sees her as a threat, calling her “the destroyer”.
Dahj is certainly important to Jean-Luc, and that makes her the driving force behind the whole plot. Apparently, Picard leaves the Earth in an effort to somehow help this person. He is a part of a brand new crew not connected to Starfleet, made up of humans, Romulans, and possibly other races.
From the trailer, it appears that this ensemble is something of a motley crew – they don’t wear Starfleet uniforms, they appear to be more casual, and they may be doing something that is against the law, or at least without the express permission of the Federation. This hasn’t been confirmed yet, but the Star Trek franchise has featured many examples where breaking the law could actually be considered the moral thing to do in certain situations. Whole organizations were inspired by this “outlaw” plot device, such as the Cardassian-fighting Maquis.
This whole truth about this crew has yet to be revealed, but they sure don’t seem like Starfleet officers.
The Borg, the Romulans, and Some Old Friends
A Borg ship was shown in the trailer. This was enough to make any fan scream with joy, but it’s unclear in exactly what manner they will return. They haven’t been seen in an official Star Trek series since 2003, though Section 31’s Control program in Discovery may be some sort of precursor (time travel would have to be involved, as the Borg were said to have existed for millennia).
For the Picard series, we know that both the Borg and the Romulans are involved in the story, and the two groups may directly connect to one another. The Romulan storyline could be quite interesting, as Romulus was destroyed in the JJ Abrams’ Star Trek of 2009, and that moment in time took place before the events of the new series. From the trailer, it appears that Picard knows many of the Romulans, and at least a few of them could conceivably be called his friends.
There are two things we can be absolutely sure on – two actual Borg characters will return, Hugh of TNG and Seven of Nine of Voyager.
An interview revealed Hugh to be a part of the show, played once again by Jonathan Del Arco. Hugh was freed from the grip of the Collective by the Enterprise crew, and he was last seen leading a group of Borg who had reclaimed their individuality. Hugh will certainly retain some Borg attributes, as no one who is assimilated is ever 100 percent normal again. This is even better exemplified by Seven of Nine.
The best episodes of Voyager focused on Seven of Nine, played by Jeri Ryan, exploring her humanity and struggling to become a whole person after her harrowing childhood with the Borg. She was cold and methodical in Voyager, always exact and always logical. She slowly developed elements of human personality throughout her tenure on Voyager, and she was more human than Borg by the end of the series.
Though her ocular implant still remains, the Seven featured in Picard is even more of a complete human. She says, and I quote, “What the hell are you doing out here, Picard? Saving the galaxy?”
Granted, that’s not extreme profanity, but it’s definitely a quote from a more casual Seven better integrated into society.
The dynamics between Hugh, Seven, and Picard should be quite interesting, as all three characters were Borg at one time. Seven and Hugh will definitely remember that Picard was once Locutus, a Borg who acted as a mouthpiece for the collective and unwittingly shared with them every bit of his Starfleet knowledge.
The very best thing about the new series, other than the fact that it’s about Picard, is the fact that Brent Spiner is returning as Data. This character was seen as a favorite by many, as every fan loved watching an emotionless android try his darndest to be a human.
It’s interesting that he’s back, especially since Spiner once said that he probably couldn’t ever return to the franchise due to his aging. Androids aren’t supposed to age, so what explanation could there be for a Data with facial wrinkles?
In all honesty, Spiner really hasn’t aged too much aside from his hair, and hair is easily changed in TV shows. In the trailer, Spiner actually looks pretty similar to the Data of TNG, with the exception that he may look even better. The colors are brighter, and the yellow eyes are more striking than ever.
But is this the real Data, or is it something simpler like a holodeck simulation or even his own brother, B-4?
Now, we know that Data sacrificed himself at the end of Star Trek: Nemesis, and there is seemingly no chance for him to still be in operation. During the recent series of cast interviews, Spiner reiterated the fact that Data is in fact dead, saying that the shot of a disassembled android in a drawer is actually B-4.
“Data died,” Spiner told IGN. “He is in the show, but I don’t want to give you the idea that he is every episode or in a lot of episodes. But he is in the show.”
This character has all of Data’s memories, but he still isn’t really considered Data – the memories are there, but not the personality, and he’s a much less advanced android than Data was. Perhaps B-4 has developed over time, coming closer to the real Data than he did at the end of Nemesis. He’s probably important to the new series – why else would they be pulling him out of storage if not to reassemble him for some sort of plan?
But Spiner did point out that the character shown at the end of the trailer was not B-4 – That was Data, in the flesh (circuits?).
He and Picard are shown playing cards. Picard states that he doesn’t want the game to end, likely referring to some grander scheme in life rather than just the deck of cards. Data looks at Picard and says, “I can see that, Captain.”
What could this scene mean? Of course, Data’s appearance may just amount to a series of flashbacks, or maybe even holo-program in which Picard pretends to visit his long-lost comrade. Either way, it will certainly be exciting to see Spiner resume the role.
There were other reveals in the trailer as well. The Starfleet uniforms are very similar to how they were at the end of TNG, and the Federation technology is much more subdued than it is in Discovery (A welcome change – how are we supposed to believe Discovery took place before the original series if everything in the past looks so much better than the future?).
All in all, Star Trek: Picard is set to be a smash hit, especially due to the fact that Patrick Stewart basically had to approve every idea for the series. He could rightly be called one of the kings of Trek, along with William Shatner and Jonathan Frakes. Also, Frakes will direct some of the episodes, so we know it will definitely be “Star Trek” enough. He’ll also at least briefly make a return as Commander Riker, and Marina Sirtis will once again portray his on-screen wife, Deanna Troi.
Star Trek: Picard also stars Santiago Cabrera, Michelle Hurd, Evan Evagora, Alison Pill, Harry Treadaway, and Isa Briones. The first season will premiere in early 2020 on CBS All Access.
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