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Star Trek: Picard trailer, cast, story and release date

Most Star Trek fans can agree that there are few characters in the greater Trek-verse quite as revered (or as engaging) as Star Trek: The Next Generation's Captain Jean-Luc Picard. Those fans would also agree a big part of the character's popularity can be attributed to the actor who played him over the course of 176 television episodes, four feature films, and several video games. That actor is, of course, the one and only Sir Patrick Stewart. And even if most modern audiences are more familiar with Stewart as Charles Xavier from a slew of X-Men films, for Trek fans, Stewart will forever be the fearlessly elegant captain of the USS Enterprise

So it was that when CBS All Access announced that Stewart would return to the captain's chair and reprise his most iconic role for a shiny new Star Trek series, well, Trek fans across the globe were left giddily picking their collective jaws up off the floor. That joyous announcement was followed by a little over a year of comm silence on the Star Trek: Picard front. But as its release approaches, we've finally gotten some concrete news on Picard's return to the stars. So set course, Trekkers, because we're about to go warp speed on what we know (and don't know) about Star Trek: Picard

What's the release date for Star Trek: Picard?

When it comes to any news about a new Jean-Luc Picard story, the most important bit of information to be had is when fans will get to lay eyes on it. While Star Trek: Picard producers were surprisingly forthcoming with info regarding the series in that Comic-Con appearance, mum remained the word for a long time on exactly when Star Trek: Picard would be beaming onto the CBS All Access streaming platform. 

The wait has been difficult for die hard Picard fans who've been waiting since 2002's disappointing Star Trek: Nemesis to see what's become of their beloved captain. During a thrilling panel at San Diego Comic Con's Hall H in July 2019, the show's producers did finally unveil the full trailer for the series, but even that only promised that Picard would once again boldly go where no man has gone before sometime in 2020. Picard-loving trekkers were left to worry that they still had at least another year before their captain's return.

That made the show's panel at New York Comic Con a few months later all the more surprising — that's when it was revealed that Star Trek: Picard would run for ten episodes on CBS All Access beginning January 23, 2020.

What's going on in that Star Trek: Picard trailer?

The biggest treat to come out of the SDCC Star Trek: Picard panel was, undoubtedly, the release of the series' first full-length trailer. That trailer dropped just a couple of months after a juicy Picard teaser gave a brief glimpse at the show's probable timeline, and also revealed an older, wiser Picard clearly struggling with his post-Starfleet life. The full trailer doubled-down on the "Old Man Picard" concept glimpsed in the teaser, and it finally gave us a legit peek at what may be in store for the Starfleet icon. 

Just for the record, there really is a lot to unpack in that jaw-dropping trailer. There are also a lot of questions still left unanswered. What we can glean from the blistering two minutes of footage is that Jean-Luc Picard will begin the series in retirement, overseeing his family's vineyard in the French countryside. We also see that it's Picard's desire to help a mysterious (and possibly dangerous) young woman who leads him back to the hallowed halls of Starfleet. 

In turn, the aging Captain quickly finds himself aboard a vessel headed back into the fabled "final frontier." Along the way, Picard will get a little help from some fresh Starfleet faces and a couple of oh-so-familiar ones in the guise of The Next Generation's beloved android Data and Star Trek: Voyager's not-quite-Borg, not-quite-human crewman Seven of Nine. There's also Borg ships, Romulan ships, and all manner of super Star Trek-y stuff to ogle.

What time period is Star Trek: Picard set in?

One of the most pressing questions on the minds of The Next Generation fans when the news of a new Picard series first broke was when exactly the series would take place. It has, after all, been almost 20 years since we last saw Picard on the bridge of the Enterprise, and that came in TNG's cinematic swan song, Star Trek: Nemesis. When last we left the crew, they'd narrowly escaped a galactic beat down at the hands of the ruthless clone Shinzon, seen Jonathan Frakes' Will Riker leave the Enterprise to take command of the USS Titan, and witnessed the tragic demise of Brent Spiner's Data.

We can now tell you that Star Trek: Picard will, in fact, take place two decades after the events of Nemesis. We can also confirm that the years may not have been particularly kind to Jean-Luc, who seems more than a little haunted after retiring to his family's vast wine fields with just his (cleverly named) dog keeping him company. So it's probably good news for Picard that the peculiar young woman shows up and sets him on a far more adventurous path.  

Who are the new crew members in Star Trek: Picard?

To the dismay of pretty much every TNG fan on the planet, we now know that Jean-Luc Picard will not be returning to the bridge of the Enterprise with his TNG crew in tow. It's safe to imagine, of course, that Picard's former crew are still around, but it's just as certain most of them have moved on to bigger, better things with Starfleet in the two decades since they took to stars under Picard's command. As it happens, Picard may not be rolling with Starfleet at all for this secretive mission.

While we're not 100% certain how (or if) Picard will eventually return to Starfleet proper, we know that he will find himself aboard a space bound ship, and there will be a few fresh faces among that ship's crew. Now, we don't know much about that crew's titles or roles, but we can confirm that Picard producers have enlisted some very talented actors to bring the characters to life. The new faces in Picard's life include Santiago Cabrera (Big Little Lies), Alison Pill (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World), Michelle Hurd (Ash vs. Evil Dead), Harry Treadaway (Penny Dreadful), and newcomer Evan Evagora. With talent like that on board for Picard's latest adventure, you can rest assured that there will be plenty of intrigue among the show's supporting players — who, for the record, are not wearing Starfleet badges.

How will Data and Seven of Nine factor into Picard's story?

We've long suspected that at least a few ghosts of Star Trek past would be making appearances opposite Patrick Stewart in the upcoming Picard series. That mammoth trailer drop finally confirmed that both TNG's Data and Voyager's Seven of Nine will appear opposite Picard in the series. Needless to say, for Trek fans, the appearance of those two characters in particular raises a few questions about how they fit into the Picard series.  

Of course, the return of Brent Spiner's humanity-loving android makes sense. Data was, after all, one of the best-loved characters throughout The Next Generation's run. Given the character's complex relationship with his Captain (and the android's all-too-human sacrifice in the waning moments of Nemesis), it would've been a bit odd to tell a new Picard story without Data. That's especially true given the revelatory final scene of Nemesis, in which it's hinted that the outwardly-identical android B-4 can access the memories and personality of his "brother."  Now that we know Data (and/or B-4) will make a return, the real questions become how and why?

As for Seven of Nine, well, we have not a single clue what role the former Borg and current Starfleet stalwart will play in Star Trek: Picard. Though she and Picard have never shared screentime, they share the struggle of having once been part of the Collective. What we do know is that a Borg ship is prominently featured in the trailer, so there's some potential that Seven of Nine will offer some insight on the state of her former Collective. However she factors into Picard, it's nice to have Jeri Ryan back in character, as she was frequently the most interesting part of Star Trek: Voyager.

Will any other familiar Star Trek faces be appearing in Star Trek: Picard?

While we got a good look at Data (or at least parts of Data) and Seven of Nine in the first Star Trek: Picard trailer, it's been widely speculated that a few more faces from Picard's past would likely turn up in the series. Along with Spiner and Ryan, we now know Jonathan Del Arco will also appear, reprising his role as Borg scout Hugh from The Next Generation.

For those who don't remember Hugh's memorable TNG arc, the Borg scout was found stranded and critically injured in deep space. He was brought aboard the Enterprise (under protest from Picard no less) and nursed back to health. Picard initially sought to use Hugh as a weapon to destroy the Borg once and for all, but Hugh's surprising ability to comprehend human individuality led Picard to cancel his xenocidal plans, with Hugh eventually returning to the hive-minded Borg for the sake of protecting the Enterprise.

Aside from Hugh, TNG alum Jonathan Frakes (who's also directing two episodes of Picard) will indeed appear on screen as the Captain Picard's trusted "Number One," Will Riker. To the absolute delight of TNG fans everywhere, Frakes will also be joined by Marina Sirtis — aka TNG's beloved empath (and Riker's betrothed) Deanna Troi. Hey, anyone know what Levar Burton, Gates McFadden, and Michael Dorn are up to? 'Cause it sure feels like Picard is trying to get the TNG band back together.

Who's the woman Picard is trying to help in the trailer?

Of all the burning questions raised from the Star Trek: Picard trailer, one of the biggest surrounds the identity of the mystery woman Picard is trying to help. After all, one would have to assume that — after a two-decade absence — not just any mystery woman would lead Picard back to Starfleet. She appears to have a particular affinity for Jean-Luc, even stating, "Everything inside of me says I'm safe with you." Of course, we promptly see her putting the smack down on a couple of armed guards, and we also get some ominous warnings about her from a couple of characters, so we're not entirely sure how much protection she actually needs.

For now, that's really all we know about the new character, outside of the fact that her name is Dahj. But if we were to speculate on Dahj's background, we're inclined to think she may be using next-next generation android tech derived from the consciousness Data downloaded to the Enterprise. That, or she's a descendant of the Romulan Empire. Of the actor portraying the ass-kicking mystery woman, her name is Isa Briones, and aside from a "blink and you'll miss it" appearance in 2018's American Crime Story series, she doesn't have many big credits to her name. From the looks of it, Briones is bringing some serious heat to her Picard role, and looking to make the most of her Star Trek debut.

Will Jean-Luc reclaim the Captain's chair in Star Trek: Picard?

Fans are clamoring to know just how Jean-Luc's new crew will be addressing him on his new adventure. We've already noted that Picard has officially been retired from Starfleet for a couple of decades now, so the idea that he'll step right back into the Captain's chair (with or without Starfleet's backing) seems a bit far fetched. On that note, it's worth noting that the brief glimpse we get of Picard meeting with Starfleet brass in the trailer sees the retiree actually sporting a "Visitor" badge. Ouch. 

That means we can assume Picard will not be calling the shots on his latest trip to the stars — at least not at the start. From the looks of things in the Star Trek: Picard trailer, Santiago Cabrera's character Chris Rios is likely to be the Captain of the ship Picard and Dahj find themselves aboard. While it will certainly be interesting to see Picard taking orders from, well, anyone in the Star Trek universe, the former Captain does get some sage advice from an ally in the trailer who presses Jean-Luc to "be the Captain they remember." In other words, we can probably assume Jean-Luc will take the reins at some point in the action. 

Will the USS Enterprise show up in Star Trek: Picard?

We haven't yet gotten a good look at the ship that takes Picard back into the final frontier, but it certainly does not appear to be some future version of the USS Enterprise. In fact, the ship looks a bit smaller than what Picard would be used to, and possibly better suited to smuggling or other illicit activities. As noted earlier, the crew of that ship are not wearing Starfleet badges, so their status in the vast Trek-verse would appear to be less than official. 

That means Picard may not only be working outside the bureaucracy of Starfleet for this adventure, he may also be in league with some sort of do-gooding space bandits to boot. While it seems impossible to tell a legit Jean-Luc Picard story outside the cozy confines of the Enterprise, that seems to be the brave new world we're entering with Picard. Here's hoping the Enterprise still makes at least a cameo appearance at some point in the action. 

Who will be the villain in Star Trek: Picard?

Of course, any discussion of a Star Trek film, series, or even video game will eventually circle around to who the bad guys are going to be this go 'round. Over his legendary career with Starfleet, Picard went toe-to-toe with literally every Star Trek villain you could conjure, with TNG's writers even finding room to throw a bevy of previously unknown baddies into the mix as well. As far as who Jean-Luc and company will be facing off against in Star Trek: Picard, well, we still aren't entirely sure. 

Yes, we clearly see one of those dreaded Borg cubes in the trailer. Yes, Picard has a very specific past with the ever-feared Collective. And yes, appearances by Seven of Nine and Hugh would lead us to think the Borg will figure prominently in whatever ruckus Picard finds himself entwined in for this adventure. But it's important to note that we also get a clear shot of what appear to be re-designed Romulan warbirds in that trailer too, and Picard has more than a prickly past with the Romulans after, ahem, laying waste to Romulus and all. Will Picard find himself in another standoff with the Borg? Are the Romulans trying to make a fearsome comeback? It's hard to guess. For now, we'll just have to wait and see who's breaking bad in Star Trek: Picard. Until that becomes clear, it's maybe worth asking how Dahj might factor into the mix.

Will Star Trek: Picard have a Star Trek: Discovery tie-in?

It's true that both Star Trek: Picard and Discovery were sharing the stage for that Hall H panel at Comic-Con. It's also true that both series are being produced by Alex Kurtzman, that they'll be streaming partners on the CBS All Access platform, and that Picard will take the same stylishly cinematic approach as Discovery. On paper, those connecting factors would seem to make the shows fit for a crossover, and many Trek fans have been wondering whether or not the disparate crews might one day cross paths on the small screen. 

While Kurtzman and company may have some sort of crossover in mind down the road, it's a safe bet that Picard and Discovery will not be interweaving their narratives in the immediate future. A lot of that has to do with the current plot arc of Discovery. The series is now shooting its third season and — after a seriously head-spinning twist in the season two finale that saw Discovery's crew leap 1,000 years into the future via a handy wormhole — the timelines of the two series are undoubtedly too far apart for the moment. That being said, we wouldn't be surprised if Kurtzman and his writing team found a clever way to bring the series together down the road.

Are there multiple seasons planned for Star Trek: Picard?

It may seem way too early in the game to even be discussing a second season of Star Trek: Picard — after all, we know so little about where the first season will bring our hero. Nevertheless, one thing that's been obvious to the series' producers, even in early stages, is that Star Trek fans have clearly been clamoring for more Trek stories featuring Patrick Stewart's Jean-Luc Picard. Even with the show's crew initially playing cagey about the probability of a second season, it almost seemed like a foregone conclusion given the character's popularity. Of course, the potential for more episodes would hinge entirely on the willingness of Sir Patrick Stewart to keep playing the part. 

Fortunately, the venerated actor must have felt good stepping into Picard's shoes once again, because in December of 2019 — a month before season one would even premiere — CBS announced that they would indeed make it so. Just as with the first season, it's expected that the sophomore run would comprise of ten episodes, slated to arrive weekly on CBS All Access in late 2020 or early 2021. Picard and his friends, both new and old, could be back in front of the camera as early as spring 2020.

Picard's NYCC trailer

October's annual New York Comic Con doesn't usually feature quite the same slate of high profile panels and trailer drops as its West Coast summertime cousin, but sci-fi enthusiasts still got a sweet, sweet Star Trek treat during the show's prime-time panel on October 5. And that treat was an action-packed new trailer for Star Trek: Picard — which also confirmed the series will make its premiere much sooner than most people anticipated. If you missed the announcement, Picard will land on CBS All Access on January 23, 2020.

But an exciting release date revelation wasn't the only gift the NYCC trailer had in store. First and foremost, fans of Star Trek: The Next Generation should welcome the appearance of a few very familiar faces. While we've known since SDCC 2019 that the series would feature the returns of TNG faves Brent Spiner (as Data), Jonathan Frakes (as Will Riker), and Marina Sirtis (as Deanna Troy), the new trailer offers our first real look at those characters returns. Most notably, Data has been put together and is officially in the mix (though possibly only in a dream sequence), while Riker and Troy are quietly enjoying married/retired life (with a child to boot), and Jeri Ryan's Seven of Nine appears to be quite the ass-kicker. Among the new faces to Picard's orbit is veteran character actor David Paymer playing an unknown alien ally. 

As far as new story clues in the trailer, well, there's not a ton of new plot info to glean. Again, we know "Old Man Picard" starts the series in retirement. We know the arrival of a desperate young woman takes him back to the hallowed halls of Starfleet. And we know Picard will have to go rogue for this new mission. Beyond that, all we really know is that things will likely not be quite what they seem in Star Trek: Picard, and that the series looks extremely Star Trek-y. Let's hope it's all that and more.

Another Star Trek: Picard trailer teases some hard-hitting action

In case there was any concern about whether or not Jean-Luc Picard might have gone soft in his old age, CBS dropped a shiny new 30-second Star Trek: Picard teaser as 2019 drew to a close, ensuring fans that the former Starfleet badass is not coming back into the fold to suffer suckers. While we still don't know exactly what Picard's mission is, Star Trek fans will be certain to key on the opening image of this new teaser, as it appears to be unfolding in the familiar confines of the USS Enterprise's Ten Forward Lounge — and also because Jean-Luc appears to be watching Romulus explode just outside the lounge's windows. This may or may not be some sort of dream sequence, but it's immediately followed by glimpses of a Borg drone, and everyone's favorite sentient android Data in what appears to be old-school The Next Generation attire.

If there was any doubt left about just how much Picard's complicated Starfleet past might factor into Star Trek: Picard's narrative, you can now be beyond certain that said past is far from done with the man himself. That fact is hammered home throughout the new teaser with shots of Romulan Birds of Prey, a big bad Borg Cube, and an appearance from old Number One himself, Will Riker. There are also a couple of shots of Jeri Ryan's Star Trek: Voyager fan fave Seven of Nine, who's role in Picard is still a bit unclear — even if its quite obvious she's on Jean-Luc's side.

Aside from those familiar faces, we get a couple of fleeting glimpses at the Picard's new crew, with Evan Evagora's Vulcan Elnor about to throw down with some baddies, Allison Pill's Dr. Agnes Jurati getting into some mind-melding action, and Isa Briones' mystery girl Dahj kicking some serious ass along the way. Whatever battles lay ahead for Jean-Luc Picard and friends, this teaser finds the former Starfleet Captain ensuring one and all that he "will do what needs to be done."