New Star Trek Theory Says Worf Replaces Data In Picard Season 2

Star Trek Worf

Star Trek: Picard had a couple of wobbly episodes and made some odd decisions in the season 1 finale, but is generally considered a success so far. At the very least, it was nice to catch up with beloved Next Generation characters like Riker, Troi and Data, as well as see the aged Picard at odds with a new Starfleet. But there was one big absence from the first season that everyone missed. Yup, I’m talkin’ Worf.

Michael Dorn’s Klingon Chief of Security was one of the best characters on TNG and went on to make the jump to Deep Space Nine. In the last episode of that show, Worf was named as the Federation ambassador to the Klingon Empire, though he returned to the Enterprise for Star Trek: NemesisAfter that, books and comics have shown him taking over the Captaincy of the Enterprise-E and continuing on its voyage of discovery

All this makes him prime fodder for an appearance in Picard‘s second season, with a theory from ScreenRant saying that he could replace Data. It’d make sense, too, as his return would be a neat way to explore the Klingons’ relationship with the Federation in the wake of the destruction of Romulus. The warrior race hasn’t actually been seen in live-action since the second season of Discovery, with the last sighting of one coming in the animated Lower Decks.

As ScreenRant explains:

While Picard was probably closer to Data on the Enterprise, he had a deep and important bond with Worf. When Worf’s family honor was called into question by the duplicitous Duras family, Picard stood by his side as his cha’DIch, something akin to a combination of brother in arms and legal aide. Picard was a crucial player in eventually restoring Worf’s family honor, and even played a major role in choosing Gowron over Duras as the rightful heir to the Klingon Empire.

Worf, and the Klingons as a whole, were conspicuously absent from the first season of Star Trek: Picard. Part of this was due to the nature of Picard’s story; in a serialized tale full of Romulans and Borg, there simply wasn’t a space for the Klingons to have a major presence. Yet keeping the Klingons completely out of sight for the first season felt like a very specific choice. Having the warrior race waiting in the wings for a second season makes sense, as the Romulans and Borg are unlikely to be major players in season two, outside of La Sirena crew members Elnor and Seven of Nine.

In addition to all that, Michael Dorn is pretty vocal about his desire to reprise Worf. He’s been trying to get a spinoff show greenlit for a long time, though has said he’d only return to Trek if he were given a substantive and meaty role. What better way to do that than to hand Jean-Luc a mission that sends him deep into Klingon space and brings Worf along for the ride?

Star Trek: Picards second season will begin production in early 2021 and should start shooting not too long afterwards. For my money, the problems of the first run were down to rushed scripts, so hopefully the delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will allow the screenwriters to iron out any flaws.