Sir Patrick Stewart will return alongside many of his old co-stars for Star Trek: Picard, but the new show isn’t just a nostalgic trip down memory lane that’ll reunite the Enterprise-D crew for some old-timey adventures. As the legendary actor has said before, he only signed up for the project because it was doing something fresh with both his character Jean-Luc Picard and the Trek universe. And sure enough, his latest comments claim that the familiar world of The Next Generation no longer exists.
While speaking to Variety, Stewart spoke about how Picard explores how things have moved on in the past 20 years, much as our own world has changed in so many ways since TNG was on our screens in the 1990s. In fact, he teased that the Trek universe is no longer as safe and secure as it was back then.
“I think what we’re trying to say is important. The world of Next Generation doesn’t exist anymore. It’s different. Nothing is really safe. Nothing is really secure.”
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The star, while making clear that the show honors creator Gene Roddenberry’s original vision, noted that perhaps things were too safe on board the Enterprise. That’s definitely not the case in this new series, though.
“We are remaining very faithful to Gene Roddenberry’s notion of what the future might be like,” Stewart continues. “In a way, the world of Next Generation had been too perfect and too protected. It was the Enterprise. It was a safe world of respect and communication and care and, sometimes, fun.”
Stewart also teased that Starfleet will have taken a more isolationist stance by the time Picard is set, a change he was keen to make to again reflect the political positions taken by the UK and the US over the past few years.
“[That] was me responding to the world of Brexit and Trump and feeling, ‘Why hasn’t the Federation changed? Why hasn’t Starfleet changed?’ Maybe they’re not as reliable and trustworthy as we all thought.”
The actor serves as an executive producer on the show and helped contribute to the shape of the season in the writers room, with fellow EP Alex Kurtzman saying Stewart’s input was “invaluable.” And that certainly seems to be the case.
Get ready to experience this bold step into the future when Star Trek: Picard hits CBS All Access on Thursday, January 23rd.