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Casting Jack In Star Trek: Picard Was Not An Easy Feat For The Showrunners

"Star Trek: Picard" is boldly going away after its third season, and its showrunners seem determined to make its farewell lap an homage to "Wrath of Khan," a decision which has barely ever backfired in the past. Maybe the most blatant shared DNA is the protagonist's decision to share his DNA, with Picard (Patrick Stewart), like Kirk (William Shatner) before him, discovering that he whoopsed-up a few decades ago and made a baby with a pretty doctor.

This time around, the doctor is Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden), former chief medical officer of the Enterprises D and E, back to the series for her first live-action appearance since 2002's "Star Trek: Nemesis." Crusher and Picard's will-they-won't-they apparently evolved into a sweaty, verifiable will-they at some point off-screen, and the result was Jack Crusher (Ed Speleers), a bouncing bundle of joy who you just know got better Christmas presents than Wesley growing up.

Casting the next generation of "The Next Generation" is a daunting enough hypothetical prospect, but to try and find an actor who encompasses the quiet calm and warmth of Beverly Crusher as well as the gravitas and command presence of Jean-Luc Picard? It sounds next to impossible. That's not just us saying it, either — the makers of "Star Trek: Picard" agree.

Ed Speleers has big shoes to fill on Star Trek: Picard

Carrying on the astonishingly combustible genetic legacy of Jean-Luc was a monumental task for the writers of "Picard," and season three showrunner Terry Matalas said as much in an interview with TV Insider.

Casting the part of Jack Crusher took "months and months of scouring the universe," Matalas shared, going on to state that "Ed [Speleers] was really our only choice," given his combination of Picard/Crusher charisma and "his own kind of roguish charm. We wanted to find somebody who could carry on the legacy of both those characters but be something of their own, a new kind of hero, and have a charm, have a bit of danger, have a bit of villain in there too, like an uncertainty."

Complex, full of potential, and with expectations set to eleven, Speleers has big shoes to fill if he wants to live up to the Picard family legacy. The last time that we got a younger Picard, it came in the form of Tom Hardy as "Star Trek: Nemesis'" villainous clone-slash-nature versus nurture talking point Shinzon, to mixed critical reception. Will Jack outpace his predecessors and warrant the spinoff series that you just know the network is thirsty for? Keep watching the "Star Trek: Picard" final season, streaming on Paramount+ every Thursday, to find out.