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There's still a few months to go until Star Trek: Picard airs on CBS All Access, but it feels anticipation hasn't wavered since Patrick Stewart first announced his character Jean-Luc Picard was getting a sequel series. Fans were excited because they understood Stewart's passion for his character, and probably knew his return meant the return of many other Star Trek: The Next Generation actors as well.
It isn't often shows like these happen, which is why showrunner Michael Chabon and staff wanted to make sure Patrick Stewart had a say in expanding the lore in a character he's made iconic in television and movies. Chabon recently revealed the team got a lot of valuable input throughout the process, and even went so far as to call it "priceless."
[We got] huge, huge just priceless input from Sir Patrick Stewart. ... The things he told us, the things he said he was interested in doing, and was not interested in doing. The acting challenges he was looking for, and the things that he felt were old challenges that he had already risen to and he was not interested in doing again. We took all that so seriously, like gospel. The word of God, really, and we obeyed.
As mentioned, Patrick Stewart is the man who made Jean-Luc Picard the iconic character that he is. If Michael Chabon and the Star Trek: Picard team didn't consult him, it would've been a big red flag for this show.
Fans had known Patrick Stewart had a role in the writers' room, and had been offering his input on Star Trek: Picard since the early stages. As for what all they've been talking to Stewart about, Michael Chabon shared some of the things they picked Stewart's brain about during those sessions.
We really tried to tailor the story to suit the actor, to suit the thinker, the man who had given a lot of thought over the long years that he had not played Jean-Luc Picard to what it was that made Picard interesting to him, and what he thought was going to be interesting about Jean-Luc Picard in this fairly late stage of his life. What was important to Patrick Stewart looking around at the world that we’re living in now.
It will be interesting to see what elements Patrick Stewart found more interesting than others, and it'd be even more interesting if we find out the things he wasn't interested in doing that were floated by him. Perhaps the first pitch was a buddy comedy with Wesley Crusher? If so, good on Stewart for breaking Wil Wheaton's heart and striking that idea down.
Jokes aside, there was one thing that Patrick Stewart wanted above all else. The story told didn't just have to be good, it had to be relevant to the age we live in.
He very much let us know he wanted the story to resonate to our times. I think Patrick sensed correctly or knew that Star Trek from the beginning from the very first season has always squarely, directly head-on grappled with contemporary issues.
Star Trek: Picard premieres on CBS All Access Thursday, January 23, 2020. Be sure to stick with CinemaBlend once the season gets underway for reactions and speculation on Picard's latest adventure, and for other goings on in television and movies.