The Star Trek fandom exploded a couple of years ago when we discovered that Sir Patrick Stewart was returning as Jean-Luc Picard for a new show. The actor had left the franchise behind so long ago, in 2002’s Star Trek: Nemesis, that a comeback was the last thing we expected. In fact, it was the last thing Stewart himself expected, too. When he was first offered the opportunity to reprise his role for Star Trek: Picard, the star was all set to turn it down.
While speaking to NPR to reflect on the arrival of Picard‘s first season earlier this year, Stewart opened up about his initial reactions to getting the call about the show. First of all, the thespian recalled when he said goodbye to Trek in the first place and why he decided to put some distance between himself and his character.
“Star Trek had taken over my life,” Stewart said. “I got to a point … when I felt that I had said everything that I wanted to say about Jean-Luc Picard and his life on the Enterprise.”
So, when he was contacted by EP Alex Kurtzman and his team about Picard, Stewart knew he was going to turn down the offer point blank. Feeling like he owed them an explanation, though, the actor agreed to meet them in person.
“This may sound somewhat arrogant, but … I wanted to meet with these brilliant people face to face to tell them why I was going to say no to their show,” Stewart admitted.
What happened next, Stewart has opened up about elsewhere. Suffice it to say that he found himself surprised by the strength of their ideas and then enticed by the opportunity to play Picard in such a different time in his life. Stewart has frequently likened the appeal of Picard to Logan, the X-Men movie that also portrayed one of his iconic characters in a much more complex and complicated way.
The appeal of Star Trek: Picard is such that it’s expected to run for a few more years yet. Season 2 has been delayed by the pandemic, but it remains a priority for CBS and will head into production as soon as it’s feasible.