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John De Lancie's Q Was Almost The Star Of A Beloved Star Trek Movie

There are a handful of "Star Trek" villains who have remained inimitable and iconic throughout the franchise's long run, and none of them are more playful — or have a bigger fan following — than the chaotic and unpredictable Q (John de Lancie). A frequent thorn in the side of Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Sir Patrick Stewart) on "Star Trek: The Next Generation," Q pops up in multiple other "Star Trek" series — including a famous episode of "Deep Space Nine" in which he gets punched out by Captain Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks).

And yet Q has never been the focal point of a "Star Trek" movie, not even when Picard was at his lowest and in need of a bit of that Q-ish razzle-dazzle. It turns out, however, that Jonathan Frakes — who directed "Star Trek: First Contact" and "Star Trek: Insurrection" – told a panel at 2020's GalaxyCon (as reported by TrekMovie.com) that he'd suggested Q as the main villain for "First Contact," but the idea never came to fruition. "That was my pitch. Well, from my good fortune of getting involved with the movies. I kept saying, 'When is our finest nemesis going to be in the movies?' I'm still surprised that wasn't so," he told fans. 

De Lancie himself admitted that he has no idea as to why Q  had never been used in a "Star Trek" film. "Yeah. I have no idea what the story is there," he said at the same panel. Luckily for "Star Trek" fans and de Lancie alike, Q's story has continued outside the franchise's movie world.

Q's legacy has continued onward

After making three guest appearances on "Star Trek: Voyager," making a single appearance on "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine," and voicing Q for multiple video games, John de Lancie has had the opportunity to bring the character's story full circle thanks to "Star Trek: Picard." The main antagonist for "Picard" Season 2, Q bursts back into his frenemy's life once more to prove his worth and mettle as an opponent for all time, spiriting him away to a different timeline. The season-long odyssey pits Picard against the inhabitants of an earth that has enslaved all other alien races across the galaxy. While the captain battles to get home with his friends and crew, he also must fight the very recesses of his own mind — horrible childhood memories and feelings of self-doubt about his ability to love. There's also another clash with the Borg and its queen in the offing, as well as an evil version of Adam Soong (Brent Spiner) to be dealt with.

It soon turns out that Q has a personal stake in the contest — he is dying, and this last duel with Picard is part of a quest to prove that his own life has purpose. It also has a sub-point — to convince Picard he's worthy of love and needs to let go of his emotional scars. Ultimately, Q accepts Picard's victory and transfers him and his crew back to the proper timeline before his apparent death. One can't assume that his passing is permanent — it's the "Star Trek" universe, after all — but if it's the last time audiences ever see Q, it's certainly a fitting farewell.