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Star Trek: Picard Season 3 Is Bringing Back A Ton Of Next Generation Vets, Including LeVar Burton

LeVar Burton and Patrick Stewart in Star Trek: Insurrection
(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Although Patrick Stewart’s Jean-Luc Picard has been primarily accompanied by newcomers during the events of Star Trek: Picard, there have been a handful of familiar faces from this sci-fi franchise who’ve come along for the ride. Along with “several glasses of champagne” paving the way for Jeri Ryan to reprise Seven of Nine from Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: The Next Generation vets Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis, John de Lancie and Whoopi Goldberg have also popped up here and there. Well, get ready, because Picard Season 3 is gearing up for the biggest Next Generation reunion yet, including LeVar Burton coming in.

As a result of Star Trek: Picard Seasons 2 and 3 shooting back-to-back, Season 3 finished filming last month and is set to premiere sometime in early 2023 for people with a Paramount+ subscription. While it’ll presumably be a while until we learn the plot of what will be Picard’s final season, Paramount+ has announced that LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Jonathan Frakes, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis and Brent Spiner will all be appearing. Watch the announcement video below.

Throw in John de Lancie having already been confirmed to reprise Q, and that’s eight Star Trek: The Next Generation actors accompanying Patrick Stewart in Star Trek: Picard Season 3.  The only Next Generation mainstays missing are Denise Crosby, Diana Muldaur and Will Wheaton, but given that Crosby’s chief character, Tasha Yar, died back in The Next Generation Season 1, Muldaur only appeared as Dr. Katherine Pulaski in Season 2, and Wheaton doesn’t act as much anymore, their absences makes sense. I’m still hoping Wheaton might be able to make a cameo as Wesley Crusher, but if that doesn’t pan out, at least we can likely count on him interviewing most, if not all of his returning Next Generation castmates on the Ready Room aftershow. Also, if we get more of Whoopi Goldberg’s Guinan, we could end up getting 10 Next Generation faces in Picard Season 3 total!

It is worth noting that although LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Jonathan Frakes, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis and Brent Spiner will appear in Star Trek: Picard Season 3, don’t expect to see all of their Next Generation characters. Remember, Brent Spiner’s Data died in Star Trek: Nemesis, and in the Picard Season 1 finale, Jean-Luc Picard encountered a copy of Data’s consciousness with memories up until the original Data sacrificed himself in the final Next Generation movie. This Data copy requested that Patrick Stewart’s character terminate him, so unless there’s one final surprise way to loop Data back into Picard before the show’s over, expect Spiner to appear as a member of the Soong family, like Altan Inigo Soong, the son of Noonian Soong, Data’s creator.

As for how the rest of the Star Trek: The Next Generation gang fits into the Star Trek: Picard Season 3 picture, going off the brief footage screened in the announcement video, we know at the very least that Jean-Luc Picard and Jonathan Frakes’ William Riker will team up one last time. Both Riker and Marina Sirtis’ Deanna Troi didn’t hesitate to offer Picard and Isa Briones’ Soji Asha a place to lie low in Season 1’s “Nepenthe,” and Riker returned in the Season 1 finale to help the main characters out of a jam, so naturally he’d be ready to fight alongside his former captain again. Fingers crossed all the returning Next Generation have meaningful roles to play in Picard Season 3, especially Worf. The Klingon may be older, but that doesn’t mean he’s incapable of tearing into any enemies that get in his way.

For now though, we still have the latter half of Star Trek: Picard Season 2, with the events of last week’s episode, “Fly Me to the Moon,” possibly strengthening a fan theory about Agnes Jurati that’s been floating around, as well as being packed with First Contact references. New Picard episodes drop Thursdays on Paramount+, and you can keep track of what else is currently airing by scanning through the 2022 TV schedule.

Adam Holmes
Adam Holmes

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.