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In late January, Patrick Stewart's return as Jean-Luc Picard will be available for Star Trek fans young, old, and highly opinionated to enjoy. Everyone who watches will likely draw comparisons to Stewart's past work as the Enterprise captain. Those hoping for a massive Star Trek: The Next Generation follow-up series will be happy to see all the former stars featured, but executive producer Akiva Goldsman has expressly stated that fans shouldn't go in expecting an official sequel to the beloved show.
Akiva Goldsman revealed that while there are shades of Star Trek: The Next Generation to be found in Star Trek: Picard, the upcoming CBS All Access series is altogether something different. Goldsman revealed the change is intentional, and that the idea was never to make this a direct successor to Patrick Stewart's prior Star Trek series.
Well, we pointedly wanted to not make a sequel to Next Gen. I think that tonally, it’s a little bit of a hybrid. Obviously it’s – you will see, I hope – slower, more gentle, more lyrical. It is certainly more character-based.
Many of the actors involved with Star Trek: Picard have previously stated that this series wouldn't be a return to Next Generation form, but rather a project that melds past and present incarnations of Star Trek. More specifically, that process involves adopting elements seen in Star Trek: Discovery, which entails some elements that current fans have deemed controversial.
Controversial or not, Akiva Goldsman told Hollywood Outbreak that this is the way of Star Trek. Each series has a certain responsibility with its story, and Star Trek: Picard has a little bit extra going for it thanks to its effort to modernize this chapter of the Star Trek franchise by taking on elements from more recent projects. According to Goldsman:
It also takes on the same thing that The Original Series took on, that Next Gen took on, that Discovery takes on, which is a hope for a future that is in many ways better than the world we live in today. Star Trek remains aspirational and what we get to do that DS9 got to do a little bit and Discovery got to do is to tell serialized stories, and in serialized storytelling, the characters can evolve in a way that makes it unique. So we think it’s a new kind of Star Trek show, made by a lot of people who love all the old kinds of Star Trek.
It will be interesting to see how older generations of fans respond to Star Trek: Picard, especially after the early backlash that Star Trek: Discovery faced. That being said, Discovery seemed to warm over a few formerly cold hearts with its jump to the future going into Season 3, as well as with how it wrapped up some key plot points that would've otherwise conflicted with original Star Trek canon. Picard presumably won't have similar story conflicts from the outset, but it still might inspire some fans to take issue with this series for not being similar in structure to past Star Trek efforts.
Star Trek: Picard premieres on CBS All Access on Thursday, January 23 at 8:30 p.m. ET. Stick with CinemaBlend for more on the series this winter season, and for more on what's happening in the world of television and movies.