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New Picard Season 2 Poster Teases The Return Of A Classic Star Trek Character

The return of "Picard," which follows its eponymous "Star Trek: The Next Generation" captain on his adventures after decades of retirement, is one of the most anticipated events of the year for fans of the space-exploring franchise. The 1st season found Patrick Stewart back in his beloved role as Jean-Luc Picard, many years after the events of 2002's "Star Trek: Nemesis," as he uncovered a long-buried secret that changed the fate of the galaxy.

As the release date for Season 2 draws closer, nearly two years after Season 1 concluded with a galactic slate of unanswered questions, fans are hoping the new batch of episodes will reveal more about the fate of the "Star Trek" universe. The 1st season saw the return of beloved "Next Generation" characters such as Jonathan Frakes as William Riker and Brent Spiner as Data. It ended with the near destruction of all organic life in the galaxy and the revelation of a vast Romulan plot by a cult of religious extremists. And as seemingly confirmed by a bit of promotional material, it looks like an even bigger — and to fans' delight, very familiar — antagonist may soon join the growing list of threats to Picard and his crew.

Picard Season 2 will feature the return of John De Lancie as Q

Though his return was first teased in 2021, a new promotional poster for "Picard" Season 2, which premieres on Paramount+ in March, seems to solidify the return of John De Lancie as the iconic Q, a nearly omnipotent being introduced in 1987 with the "Star Trek: The Next Generation" pilot episode "Encounter at Farpoint" (via Paramount+ on Twitter). An agent of chaos, Q has always been determined to prove that humanity is not nearly so noble as "Star Trek" would imply, and in the new season of "Picard," it appears he will go further than ever to make his point. The Twitter caption for the poster references that initial episode, reading, "The trial never ends."

The ostensible plot of "Picard" Season 2, based on its promotional materials, appears to be Q's creation of an alternate timeline in which Earth becomes a totalitarian hellscape at some point in the 21st century, prompting Picard and his new crew to travel back in time to set things right. This sort of storyline is familiar ground for "Star Trek." Some of its most classic tales have dealt with time travel and branching timelines. In the iconic "The Original Series" episode "The City on the Edge of Forever," written by the late Harlan Ellison, Kirk (William Shatner) and Spock (Leonard Nimoy) are thrust back to New York City in 1930 and must make difficult choices to preserve the course of history.

Picard himself has seen his fair share of time travel, though never while facing off against as wily an opponent as Q. For instance, the "Next Generation" two-parter "Time's Arrow" saw the crew travel to Earth in the 1980s to solve a time-loop mystery. Fans are sure to be on the edge of their seats as they figure out how he will emerge victorious in the new season of "Picard."