Star Trek: Picard became the most anticipated new Trek show the moment it was announced. It’s been way too long since we saw Patrick Stewart in the role of Captain Jean-Luc Picard, and the rubbish Star Trek: Nemesis was no way for the Next Generation cast to bow out. Since then, I’ve been hoovering up every bit of news I can about the series, hoping that it’ll capture some of the magic that had me running home from school to find out what the crew of the Enterprise had encountered that week.
One of the core mysteries that we’ve been trying to unpick is why Picard left Starfleet and set up his vineyard. The obvious answer is that he simply retired due to old age for a more sedate life, but the trailers have teased guilt behind the decision, and his sense that his career was ultimately a failure. The going theory was that he retired due to the destruction of the planet Romulus, but it seems that the actual answer may be a little more personal to him.
That’s being revealed in prequel comic Star Trek: Picard – Countdown #1, a three-issue miniseries that’ll conclude just as the CBS series begins. It shows us that just one year prior to the events of the show, Picard’s still in command. He’s Captain of the USS Verity and his final mission is to assist the Romulans in evacuating planets before their star goes supernova.
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Apparently, the core drama in the first issue is that some of the Romulans Picard’s tasked with evacuating have enslaved an indigenous species, and the Romulans are happy to abandon them to their deaths. Obviously, this doesn’t sit well with Picard.
We’ll find out exactly what happens in the next issues, but presumably, this situation resolves itself unhappily, leaving Jean-Luc guilt-ridden and sad about his failure as a Captain. But to find out for certain, we’ll have to wait for the two remaining issues and Star Trek: Picard itself.