SALT LAKE CITY — Alex Kurtzman has hinted plot details for CBS All-Access’ “Star Trek: Picard” series, which will see Patrick Stewart’s iconic character face new challenges following retirement.
Kurtzman, who executive produces the series, confirmed in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that the film will explore the fallout of Romulus’ destruction in J.J. Abrams’ 2009 “Star Trek” reboot and how the disaster has affected Jean-Luc Picard (Stewart).
But that doesn’t necessarily mean a “haunted,” older version of the character will be unrecognizable to fans.
“It was terribly important to us that he remains fundamentally Picard. You will not see a version that betrays the man we loved from ‘Next Generation,’” Kurtzman said. “But we wanted to put a character with that level of morality and leadership and who always does the right thing no matter how hard the circumstances… we wanted to put that to the test.”
I previously wrote for Deseret News how “Picard” could connect to Abrams’ “Star Trek.” Throughout “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” Captain Picard worked to encourage peace between the Romulans and a wider galactic community.
According to Gizmodo, Picard’s last canon appearance showed that he led a failed attempt to save Romulans from their planet’s destruction. It seems likely the failure will play into the admiral’s decision to retire.
Showrunner Michael Chabon also told EW that Picard and Stewart’s age acts as an asset to the show.
“He’s a lot older and we’re not shying away from that at all. … The quality of Patrick’s acting, if anything, has gotten even better over time and he was already a master,” Chabon said. “He has an ability to hold you riveted even when he’s just sitting and listening.”
Kurtzman also said the former Starfleet captain will return to space, despite the show’s initial trailer and poster showing Picard living at a French vineyard. However, he won’t have Starfleet’s resources behind him as he attempts to fight an “injustice.”
“In some ways, it’s easier to be (a great man) when you’re a captain. But it’s an entirely different thing when you don’t have an army behind you,” Kurtzman said. “When you want to get something done and fight an injustice, how do you do that when you’re really only one man?”
IGN also reports that CBS is hosting a “Star Trek: Picard” exhibit at San Diego Comic-Con that collects “Next Generation” costumes and props related to Picard while offering (ahem) engaging details into his professional career.
Photos from the event show a tea set, dozens of awards, original artwork from Data (Brent Spiner) and Picard’s Ressikan flute — along with a poster advertising a fictional concert headlined by Picard.