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Star Trek: Picard Showrunner Says Season 3's New Direction Meant Cutting Significant Characters

There are plenty of things fans want to see in "Star Trek: Picard" season 3, including new characters and familiar faces from the franchise. Accommodating the extra space needed aboard the Paramount+ series on its final mission meant changing the approach, which, according to the showrunner, also meant that certain characters wouldn't make the cut.

Patrick Stewart has been portraying Jean-Luc Picard since the early '90s, and according to the folks at Rotten Tomatoes, he is successfully continuing to entertain both fans and critics in the role, especially in the Paramount+ series' third season. The last outing of the character's solo series has a lot to offer fans, including the titular icon reteaming with his old crew from "The Next Generation," Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) joining Starfleet, and all the new characters on the roster, played by newcomers Amanda Plummer, Mica Burton, and Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut. The final run for "Star Trek: Picard" arguably has all the makings of a wild ride for viewers that also provides a proper send-off in the process. There is a lot of action set to go down during the farewell tour for the infamous captain of the USS Enterprise, and in order to accommodate all these personalities, certain tough decisions had to be made. Given the excessive roster, the show would have to figure out a new flight path to make Picard's last journey less bloated and overwhelming for fans. The minds behind the series were able to solve this issue, but according to showrunner Terry Matalas, it came at a cost.

Some got left behind when Star Trek: Picard Season 3 launched

Any "Star Trek" fan has learned over the years that every bold mission sometimes comes with a big change in how things are done but also sometimes results in some less-than-ideal sacrifices along the way. Unfortunately, that is precisely what happened when it came to putting together the Paramount+ series's final outing. "It's really about real estate, right? You want every character to have its due and it was a very specific story we wanted to tell... in order to do that you have to have the room to do it," Terry Matalas told Digital Spy. "And so for those reasons, you needed to, you needed to have the room. So we sort of had to reinvent the show a little bit. And go a different direction."

Making concessions with certain personalities and changing things up direction-wise was probably the right move, especially since, in addition to it being the last season, it also had the arduous task of bringing back "The Next Generation" cast as well, which for Matalas proved to be another pressure-filled challenge. "The second I had the story in my brain as sort of a final 'Next Generation' story — the moment it became a reality — I didn't sleep for about nine months straight. Matalas said to Variety. "I was just too terrified of screwing it up."

Managing a large cast is no easy endeavor, and considering how many big-name franchise players are in the mix for this monumental occasion, it makes sense that there was a substantial amount of pressure involved and that, ultimately, sacrifices were made when the game plan had to change for Picard to get one last glorious ride with "Star Trek" fans.