Star Trek is riding high at the moment. One big factor in its current popularity is the return of Patrick Stewart to the role of Jean-Luc Picard. While season 1 of Star Trek: Picard wasn’t perfect, it still reminded fans just how great The Next Generation characters were. So, with everyone buzzing with Enterprise-D fever, why not give us a show that explores the past of Jean-Luc Picard?
The interesting period is probably his time aboard the USS Stargazer, his first command. These days were explicitly referenced in Picard as some of the happiest and most satisfying in his life. Picard began on Stargazer as a Bridge Officer, later describing the ship as an “overworked, underpowered vessel, always on the verge of flying apart at the seams.” After the Captain died, Picard took the bridge and impressed Starfleet with his captaincy.
His subsequent time aboard Stargazer shaped his personality and diplomatic style, including the first instance of the famed ‘Picard Maneuver.’ It wasn’t all sunshine and roses, though. At one point, Stargazer was facing off against a Cardassian ship and Picard, eager to solve the situation without bloodshed, lowered the shields as a gesture of goodwill. The Cardassians promptly disabled Stargazer’s weapons and damaged its engines, though the ship managed to beat a hasty exit and live to fight another day.
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All this would make great material for a show, and indeed Picard’s Stargazer days have already been told in a series of novels by Michael Jan Friedman published in the early 2000s. As for who could play the young Picard? Well, James McAvoy does have a good track record of portraying younger versions of Patrick Stewart’s most famous characters.
In the meantime, we have a new Star Trek show starting this week, when Star Trek: Lower Decks premieres on August 6th. Fan opinion still seems divided on whether the franchise needs a comedic animated spinoff, so that first episode had better be all killer no filler.