Patrick Stewart References Star Trek: TNG's Finale In Explaining How Picard's Final Season Changes Up Dynamic

Patrick Stewart in Star Trek: Picard on Paramount+
(Image credit: Paramount+)

Star Trek: Picard’s final season has been labeled as a “proper send-off” for The Next Generation crew, and while it may be a “reunion” in the sense of the cast is coming back together, it won't just be a retread of what viewers have seen before from these characters. Patrick Stewart confirmed as much in a recent interview, in which he explained how Season 3 changes up the dynamic from the last time fans saw everyone together in the original TNG finale. 

Jean-Luc's beloved crew might be back together for another adventure, but it’s not all sitting around a campfire and singing kumbaya around the holodeck. In an interview with Den of Geek, Patrick Stewart shot down the idea of Picard's final season beting set up as a “family reunion” type of outing, and even referenced the TNG finale while explaining: 

It is not. It is not a reunion sequel, and this is one thing that I wanted to make clear. I didn’t want the show to be just sentimental: 'Oh, we all love one another, and here we are again, playing poker and raising our glasses and so forth.' I mean, I love every single one of my comrades from that show. I can’t get enough of them or see enough of them. But what the writers and producers have done with Picard is to create this different individual living in a different world than the one that we had been so familiar with in The Next Generation.

As one might expect, several decades of time can definitely change things. Since the time when Jean-Luc Picard last traveled with his crew, the characters grew apart and no doubt experienced major life changes in ways that will affect the reformed group in the Paramount+ spinoff. It doesn't mean everything will have a negative bent, though, as some characters may be able to reach new levels of comfort with each other that weren't present in The Next Generation. Patrick Stewart teased at that when referring to Picard’s scenes with Gates McFadden’s Beverly Crusher, saying both characters are “emotionally naked” in such moments. 

So, while fans of The Next Generation likely won’t be treated to any lighthearted poker scenes, they may finally get some answers on whether the Picard and Crusher romance will ever happen. They’ll also be treated to a bunch of other callbacks to the '90s series, as we’ve already seen in trailers that actor Daniel Davis will return as Moriarty, and that Brent Spiner will play Data’s potentially reformed brother Lore

Star Trek: Picard Season 3 should be a different feel all around, especially for fans who have been watching with their Paramount+ subscriptions since the beginning. Much of the cast members that were around the previous two seasons were written off to make room for the returning TNG cast. Though they’ll be losing the stories of Elnor and others, at least fans will get some much-needed updates on what’s happening in the lives of Geordi LaForge, Worf, and others. We’ll also get to see Seven of Nine officially in Starfleet, and more story beats with Raffi. 

There may even be some unexpected cameos as Star Trek: Picard has delivered some surprises throughout its run. One of the cameos we here at CinemaBlend have considered is Vice Admiral Janeway, which would mark a grand return from current Prodigy actress Kate Mulgrew to live-action. 

While no one has confirmed anything along those lines, comments about Mulgrew returning to live-action have been encouraging, and a recent Trek comic book made it seem like it wouldn’t be hard to work her into Picard Season 3. If such a magical moment would happen, hopefully Seven and Janeway would have a warmer reunion than it sounds like the TNG characters will have!

Star Trek: Picard Season 3 will premiere on Paramount+ on Thursday, February 16th. Be sure to check out the dates for it as well as other future Trek projects in our upcoming Star Trek shows guide.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick Joest is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend with his hand in an eclectic mix of television goodness. Star Trek is his main jam, but he also regularly reports on happenings in the world of Star Trek, WWE, Doctor Who, 90 Day Fiancé, Quantum Leap, and Big Brother. He graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Radio and Television. He's great at hosting panels and appearing on podcasts if given the chance as well.