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Star Trek: Picard’s Akiva Goldsman On Q Altering The Prime Universe, And That Rick And Morty Reference

Picard in Star Trek: Picard
(Image credit: Paramount+)

Warning! The following contains spoilers for the Star Trek: Picard episode “Assimilation.” Read at your own risk!

Star Trek: Picard certainly delivered a lot to think about this week, and while fans mourn Elnor’s death and wonder whether or not he’ll come back to life once the timeline is corrected, there are other exciting things to consider. I spoke to creator and executive producer Akiva Goldsman about the massive revelation regarding Q's altering of the Prime Universe (and he has many possible motives for doing so). We also had a chance to chat about that Rick and Morty reference, which might’ve casually slid under the radar.

For those who missed it, Picard realized that Q’s reality-altering move wasn’t quite what some originally thought. Specifically, Picard realized that Q altered the events of the past rather than create an alternate reality, which means Q directly meddled in the Prime Universe timeline. The only problem with that is Star Trek: Picard isn’t the only show currently operating in the Prime Universe timeline, as there are several shows set to air in 2022 that feasibly would feel the impact of Q altering the timeline with a massive event in 2024. 

I asked Akiva Goldsman (who shared some awesome insight with us about Season 2’s premiere) if we could see the events of Picard play out across multiple shows and got an interesting answer in response. 

[laughs] I am not at liberty to share anything about those!

Akiva Goldsman wasn’t willing to comment further on the matter, but it’ll be interesting to see if the Confederation or any other timeline-altering activities that happen in Season 2 of Star Trek: Picard play out on other shows. After all, stuff like this is commonplace in the MCU, so why wouldn’t Star Trek get in on the fun? 

Speaking of crossovers, it’s worth noting that Star Trek: Picard had another exciting moment in Episode 3 when the on-call physician threatened her son Ricardo that if he didn’t finish his homework, he couldn’t watch Rick and Morty. I asked Akiva Goldsman if that was a small nod to the work of current Star Trek: Lower Decks showrunner Mike McMahan, who worked on Rick and Morty prior to joining the franchise:

It is. We are all one big, strange, bizarre Star Trek family, and whenever we can do that, we do.

Rick and Morty canonically exists as a show in Star Trek, and while I’d need to consult Mike McMahon on this one, I think that could mean the actual Rick and Morty universe is canon? There’s a popular fan theory that the show’s fourth wall breaks are a result of Rick and Morty being a show the characters watched on interdimensional cable, so I’m just saying there’s a path for the actual Rick and Morty to be canon in the Trek universe. 

We all have Star Trek: Picard to thank for this, and of course, potentially any other weirdness that might impact the show’s timeline. Perhaps Q’s timeline meddling will inadvertently lead to Rick Sanchez on Lower Decks? I doubt it with licensing rights between companies, which McMahan and Justin Roiland talked about when asked about a crossover between Lower Decks and Solar Opposites

Star Trek: Picard streams new episodes on Paramount+ (opens in new tab) on Thursdays. It’s just one of many Star Trek shows coming in 2022, so be sure to snag a Paramount+ subscription to get in on all the fun.

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.