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Star Trek: Legacy - Will It Ever Happen?

Recent "Star Trek" spin-offs have focused on bringing back fan-favorite characters, with "Star Trek: Picard" returning Patrick Stewart to the role of Jean-Luc Picard. In "Picard" Season 3, the entire cast of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" reprised their roles in an epic swansong that became one of the most celebrated stretches in the show's history. That season ended with the launch of an all-new USS Enterprise — and a clear tease for potential new adventures.

"Picard" showrunner Terry Matalas has talked about his idea for a spin-off centered on the USS Enterprise-G, commanded by Captain Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan). Titled "Star Trek: Legacy," the proposed series would be much more than just another "Trek" show following weekly starship missions, but would also serve as a vehicle to bring back more classic characters in guest starring roles. That could include actors from "The Next Generation" or even the '90s spin-offs "Voyager" and "Deep Space Nine."

Since Matalas revealed his eagerness for a "Picard" spin-off, "Star Trek: Legacy" has been the talk of the town, with actors, fans, and producers all expressing more than a little interest in seeing it come to fruition. However, since "Picard" ended there's been no official word on when we might see it, if ever, which makes us wonder: Will "Star Trek: Legacy" ever happen?

Why hasn't Star Trek: Legacy happened yet?

Some assumed that "Star Trek: Legacy" would get a quick green light after the finale of "Star Trek: Picard." After all, the reviews for the third and final season of "Picard" were out of this world, and with the show ending there is now room for a new series in the "Star Trek" lineup. Unfortunately, it isn't quite that simple.

As it stands, Paramount+ — like most streaming services — is going through a rough period, with cutbacks across the board. In 2023, it was confirmed that Season 5 of "Star Trek: Discovery" would be its last, and "Star Trek: Prodigy" was canceled then removed from the service (before Netflix snatched it up for a second season). The proposed "Section 31" series with Michelle Yeoh, meanwhile, was scaled back to a single streaming movie. With the high cost of producing a new "Star Trek" series, getting "Legacy" off the ground is not an easy decision, and Paramount probably wasn't ready to say "go" until execs knew that "Picard" Season 3 was a success.

Unfortunately for fans, Hollywood was hit with mass work stoppages not long after the finale of "Picard" Season 3, with the WGA and SAG-AFTRA both striking by July. It's going to be hard to develop the spin-off and hire a cast until both are resolved, though an agreement was reportedly reached in November 2023. It is also worth noting that "Star Trek: Strange New Worlds" didn't get a green light until a full year after Pike and Spock boarded the Enterprise in the Season 2 finale of "Discovery," so it may just be a matter of patience.

What Terry Matalas has said about Star Trek: Legacy

"Star Trek: Picard" showrunner Terry Matalas has an active presence on social media, and he's been more than vocal about his desire to make "Star Trek: Legacy" a reality. Even before the third season of "Picard" was over, he talked about his idea for a sequel on X (formerly known as Twitter), describing it as "a 25th Century show that explores the Last Generation and the Next." In the days and weeks that followed, the producer opened up about the idea in a variety of candid interviews.

Speaking with Collider, Matalas revealed how he wants "Legacy" to work should it get the green light. "I think I would want it right there with them," he said, referring to the crew of the Enterprise-G. "I think the idea of Captain Seven, Jack Crusher, Raffi as Number One, the La Forge sisters, and Esmar and [Mura], I would love to see the crew of that Enterprise out there as the next generation, mixed in with a lot of these legacy characters again."

In another interview, this one with Comicbook.com, Matalas said the show would "mix and match" episodic stories with serialized ones, adding, "I would love to go back to the spirit of 'Star Trek: The Next Generation.'" So, what's the holdup? According to Matalas, fellow producer Alex Kurtzman "has a plan for the 'Star Trek' universe" that he's still mapping out, as he explained to CinemaBlend. "At the same time, I think there's a demand for this," Matalas added. "I would say the fans should be loud and tell the world what they want."

What Alex Kurtzman has said about Star Trek: Legacy

With Terry Matalas unable to will the show into existence himself, all he can do is hope that franchise producer Alex Kurtzman sees the promise in "Star Trek: Legacy." Since word got out about the proposed sequel series, Kurtzman hasn't been silent on the issue himself. While he has assured fans that he's aware of how badly they want to see "Legacy" happen, he hasn't been as overwhelmingly positive on it as many might like, saying only that "Anything is possible" when quizzed about the proposed show by The Issue Is. Still, he made sure to let fans know that he's listening to them. "We've heard the fans loud and clear," Kurtzman added. "There's obviously more story to tell. So, we'll see."

Though somewhat noncommittal, it sounds like Kurtzman would be whole-heartedly behind the launch of "Star Trek: Legacy" if the demand for it is truly there. It sounds like it might be up to fans and viewers to show support, something that Trekkies are famous for: In the 1960s a letter-writing campaign convinced NBC to renew the original series for a third year, a petition for a Captain Pike spin-off encouraged Paramount to greenlight "Star Trek: Strange New Worlds," and more recently a fervent fan response to the cancelation of "Star Trek: Prodigy" convinced Netflix to pick up the series. So why not "Legacy?"

What Jonathan Frakes has said about Star Trek: Legacy

It's not just producers who want "Star Trek: Legacy" to happen. Jonathan Frakes — the actor-turned-director who's helmed episodes of numerous "Star Trek" shows, some "Star Trek" feature films, and even a "Star Trek" video game — is all for it. For "Legacy," Frakes envisions being even more involved, with hopes of serving as an executive producer alongside Terry Matalas. It also helps that the show would give him a chance to return as Captain Riker, and he wants to continue his character's story on "Legacy."

In an interview with Star Trek Explorer magazine (via TrekMovie), Frakes talked about the role he thinks Riker could serve on the series. "Riker would be a captain and have his ship, or he would be promoted to admiral and be a liaison," he explained. "It would be great for me if the show carries on and I'm like Charlie from 'Charlie's Angels.' They'd have to come to my office one day a week for a meeting with Riker. That'd be perfect. Then I could direct a bunch of the episodes and be around the show."

Frakes also sees a part for his on-screen daughter Kestra, who appeared in the first season of "Star Trek: Picard," played by Lulu Wilson. "She should come back and maybe be in Starfleet," Frakes said, suggesting Kestra could serve alongside the children of Geordi La Forge and Picard. For Frakes, this is the perfect "blueprint" for the franchise going forward. "It feels to me like there's a real opportunity for three of the legacy characters' children to carry on."

What Ed Speleers has said about Star Trek: Legacy

It's the potential cast members of "Star Trek: Legacy" that have been the most vocal in wanting to see the show come to fruition, led by "Star Trek" newcomer Ed Speleers. The English actor plays Jack Crusher, the son of Jean-Luc Picard and Dr. Beverly Crusher, in Season 3 of "Star Trek: Picard." The ending of "Picard" showed him taking a position beside Captain Seven of Nine on the bridge of the Enterprise-G, and it sounds like he wants to be a part of the "Trek" family for a long time.

"I would love to keep playing Jack Crusher," Speleers told Collider. "Terry and I have talked wistfully about it. [...] He completely swept me up in his dream and his vision, and I'm on board with it. I cannot wax lyrical enough about my experience on this project and playing this role. And I want to do it for as long as I possibly can." Terry Matalas is clearly a fan of the character. In fact, the writer and producer sees Jack as a kind of "James Bond in Starfleet," and what actor wouldn't be excited about that?

What Jeri Ryan has said about Star Trek: Legacy

Unlike Ed Speleers, Jeri Ryan is a "Star Trek" veteran, having first played her character Seven of Nine in Season 4 of "Star Trek: Voyager" back in 1997. She made a surprise return as a main cast member for "Star Trek: Picard," eventually joining Starfleet before being handed the captain's chair of the Enterprise-G in the series finale. Now, she might be ready to take the starring role in "Star Trek: Legacy." 

"I always hedge on this because there's a lot more to [it than] saying, 'Oh yes, I'm into something' than the reality of shooting a television series and being a working mother," Ryan said in an interview with Screen Rant. "Would I love to continue working with these people and this character? Absolutely! 100%. We could not be in better hands with Terry and this writing staff." Despite her excitement, though, Ryan knows that bringing "Legacy" to life is not as simple as pressing a button. "There's a lot more that has to go into that to make that a reality."

What would be explored in Star Trek: Legacy?

With a former Borg drone as captain, a renegade and agent of Starfleet intelligence as first officer, and an interstellar rogue by their side, there's plenty of potential for interesting stories on "Star Trek: Legacy." And, aboard the newest flagship of the Federation, where classic characters might pop in for regular guest appearances, there's any number of exciting new adventures that can be told. But there's one that has already been prepped to kick off the series, as a post-credits scene from "Star Trek: Picard" teased. In the stinger, the recently-deceased Q (John de Lancie) returns to playfully taunt Jack Crusher. A sequel series would almost certainly pick up right where that scene left off.

Terry Matalas has also mentioned that he has an idea for Todd Stashwick, who played Captain Shaw in "Picard," to return in some capacity. Shaw was killed off in "Picard," so does this mean we may be in for some flashbacks that would explore Seven of Nine and her relationship with her former commander?

With Matalas keen to get back to the spirit of "The Next Generation," the series would (in part, at least) return to the concept of standalone stories rather than one sweeping, season-long epic. That format opens up all kinds of possibilities as Captain Seven and the Enterprise explore strange new worlds and seek out new life and new civilizations every week, encountering new problems, new enemies — and maybe even old friends.

Who would star in Star Trek: Legacy?

At the end of "Star Trek: Picard," we witness the launch of the Enterprise-G. As previously mentioned, Seven of Nine, Raffi, and Jack Crusher sit in the command chairs, while USS Titan bridge crew members like Mura and La Forge work the forward stations. Raffi essentially describes the premise of the potential new series when she says, "I still can't believe Starfleet saw fit to give a thief, a pirate, and a spy their own ship." In response, Crusher is bemused, casually referring to the threesome as a "bunch of ne'er-do-wells and rule breakers," all of whom would have to come back if "Star Trek: Legacy" is to happen as Matalas envisions.

Jeri Ryan and Ed Speleers have expressed their desire to return, though actor Michelle Hurd — who plays Raffi — has remained relatively quiet. That, however, might be due to her prominent role as a leader in the union SAG-AFTRA. Understandably, she's been much more focused on fighting for a new, fair contract that protects actors' rights than drumming up excitement about a new "Trek" series. Now that the strikes appear to be nearing an end, it's likely that Hurd — as well as fellow stars Ashlei Chestnut, Mica Burton, Joseph Lee, and Jin Maley — will start discussing "Star Trek: Legacy."

Who else wants to be involved in Star Trek: Legacy?

The core concept of "Star Trek: Legacy" is returning stars. A number of franchise veterans have openly spoken about their desire to come back, whether it's a part of "Legacy" or not. So, who else might we see turn up if "Star Trek: Legacy" actually happens?

For one, Robert Picardo — who played the Doctor on "Voyager" — wants to return in live-action. "They've established the precedent with 'Star Trek: Picard,'" he told The Companion's podcast "To Boldly Ask" (per TrekMovie). "There's a passion in the audience out there to see the legacy actors again in new stories mixed with wonderful, younger, new actors. So, it's certainly something I'm open to and the character lives on inside me." Picardo could also see himself coming back as the doctor's inventor, Lewis Zimmerman, who he has played before. "Zimmerman is in the same timeline as certain of those Star Trek series," he pointed out.

Picardo's co-star Kate Mulgrew, whose Admiral Janeway was namedropped more than once in "Picard," is also open to returning — if the story is right. "The writing is going to have to be absolutely exquisite," Mulgrew said at New York Comic Con (via TrekMovie). "And I think [it should be] some sort of extraordinary adventure. Even greater than 'Voyager.'" Armin Shimerman, who played the Ferengi bar owner Quark in "Deep Space Nine," has also confirmed that he would happily reprise his role.

There's a grassroots campaign for Star Trek: Legacy

If Alex Kurtzman wants proof that fans will support "Star Trek: Legacy" in big numbers, he doesn't have to look very far. With Season 3 of "Star Trek: Picard" came an outpouring of fan support for a sequel series. The hashtag #StarTrekLegacy flooded the "Trek" corners of social media, with fans urged to get involved. A petition was launched on Change.org to convince the powers that be to green light the proposed series, and it's still going strong (over 62,000 people have signed it at the time of this writing).

With fan-driven campaigns gaining more attention in the media these days, it's possible that a vocal outcry for "Legacy" could lead directly to producers giving it the go-ahead. That's what the people behind the campaign Letters 4 Legacy are hoping will happen. According to its website, Letters 4 Legacy is "a dedicated grassroots fan letter-writing campaign to support the potential realization of 'Star Trek: Legacy,' as proposed by 'Star Trek: Picard' Season 3 showrunner, Terry Matalas. Just as the original 'Save Star Trek' campaign shaped the franchise's future, we aim to honor that spirit by calling upon the power of our collective voices."

How Star Trek: Legacy could expand the franchise

Starring a mix of old and new characters, "Star Trek: Legacy" has the potential to be something special — and, for it to succeed, it probably needs to be. There's already another "Star Trek" show on the air in "Star Trek: Strange New Worlds," which follows a different USS Enterprise. But, while that series helps flesh out a period in "Trek" history we've never seen before, "Legacy" has a chance to expand the franchise by charting a new path into an unseen future that's ripe for new stories.

In addition to exploring a fresh future, the episodic nature and return of prominent guest stars offers further opportunities. Bringing back fan-favorite actors presents producers with the chance to test out ideas for more sequels featuring classic characters (if an episode returns to the setting of "Deep Space Nine" and proves as popular as "Star Trek: Picard" Season 3, then more spin-offs could materialize). Just as "Discovery" paved the way for "Strange New Worlds," "Legacy" could serve as the perfect springboard for the future of the franchise.

Why there is no better time for Star Trek: Legacy

Paramount didn't rush in when it came to making "Star Trek: Strange New Worlds." However, while the delay didn't hurt the show (which managed to hit all the right buttons and become a huge hit three years after being teased on "Discovery"), the time to strike on "Star Trek: Legacy" is now. The actors are fresh off "Star Trek: Picard" and clearly enthusiastic about reprising their roles, but that may not stay true forever.

Since "Picard" launched in 2020, Jeri Ryan has taken on parts in "Dark Winds" and "MacGyver," and her previous stint on "Bosch" proves she's never that far from a regular gig. Michelle Hurd already has several projects lined up, while Ed Speleers is seemingly always in demand, currently starring as Rhys on the critically acclaimed Netflix drama "You." The legacy actors aren't getting any younger, either, so there doesn't seem to be much sense in hanging around.

What's more, fan interest in "Legacy" may never be higher. This could wane the longer the studio waits. A lengthy delay while other "Trek" projects like "Starfleet Academy" and "Section 31" begin production may serve to frustrate fans. If Paramount wants to leverage the popularity of "Picard" Season 3, it would be wise to move ahead with "Star Trek: Legacy" sooner rather than later, giving fans what they want while ensuring a future for its biggest stars.