Star Trek: Picard was one of the most highly anticipated shows to come along in recent memory. And while no one seemed quite sure what to make of it when it was announced, everyone seemed excited to see the continuation of the Next Generation storyline. Debuting on CBS All Access this past January, the project easily met the lofty expectations placed upon it. Critics and audiences, alike, hailed the series as a success and Patrick Stewart, especially, was praised for his portrayal of an older, and slightly more jaded, Jean-Luc Picard.
Now that the entire season is complete, the titular starship captain has been opening up about the production. During a recent interview with Wil Wheaton (himself a former Star Trek alum), Stewart noted that it was particularly difficult to say goodbye to some of the established characters that wouldn’t be returning in future instalments.
Specifically, the actor revealed that the sendoff for Commander Data, as played by Brent Spiner, was quite hard, stating that:
The penultimate scene of the season was when I was alone with Data in a strange, rather grim, grey room and we were talking about his life and what he expressed as the one thing that he most missed in his life was knowing that he would die. Because of my relationship with Brent, which is very special, as are my relationships with the entire crew of the Enterprise, my principle colleagues, and there was a moment in that scene where I had to stand up out of the chair and prepare to leave the room knowing what I had agreed to do, the last thing I would do to help Data. And I had to turn and say ‘Goodbye, Commander.’ We did that shot several times because I’d get to my mark and I couldn’t say it because it was just too emotional. They’re both personal, in a sense. They’re both do with the actor that I was working with. But in the scene with Brent, it was also that we’d had such a long and complicated character history that, to be saying farewell to him for the very last time, was quite potent.
Many of the essential plots in the series dealt with the idea of legacy. Some of them were epic in scale, such as the Romulan scheme to restore their power in the universe. This certainly led to an action-packed set of episodes, but it was the smaller, and more personal stories that really set the show apart. The relationship between Data and Picard was definitely the emotional core of the entire production, so it makes sense that Stewart was a little torn to see it definitively conclude.
Star Trek: Picard moved the story forward in a logical and pleasing fashion, while also paying homage to the previous iterations and providing one of the most beloved characters with a fitting farewell. A second season is currently in the works, while the first is currently streaming, in full, on CBS All Access.