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Star Trek: Picard Season 3's Villain Takes A Cue From The Wrath Of Khan

One of the most beloved figures in the "Star Trek" franchise is Captain Jean-Luc Picard. Played by Patrick Stewart, Picard is first introduced as the captain of the USS Enterprise in "Star Trek: The Next Generation." He appeared in all seven seasons of the show, as well as four feature film movies and several video games (via IMDb).

Thus, news of the character's return was met with enthusiasm by fans of the franchise. Titled "Star Trek: Picard," the show's first season sees Picard drawn back to Starfleet when he is asked to help provide rights to synthetic beings, like the daughter of his former crewmember Data (Brent Spiner). The second season sees the return of the God-like being Q, with John de Lancie reprising his role from "The Next Generation."

The third season will see a number of characters from "The Next Generation" appear on "Picard." Some, like William Riker (Jonathan Frakes) and Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis), had already made their appearance on the new show, while others like Worf (Michael Dorn) and Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden) would be returning for the first time. Ahead of the third season, producer Alex Kurtzman has spoken about the villain the fans can expect in the show's third season, and the specific aspect they drew from "Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan" when writing the season.

The dynamic between Kirk and Khan guided Picard's third season

During the "Star Trek" panel, which included coverage of "Star Trek: Picard" at SDCC 2022 (via audio obtained by Jacob Hall of Static Media sister site /Film), series co-creator Alex Kurtzman spoke about what fans can expect with the show's third season, which was previously confirmed by Patrick Stewart announced as its last. "Terry [Matalas] was very taken with the idea of kind of doing a final 'Next Gen' movie," Kurtzman began, continuing that the writing crew wanted to dive into what the crewmembers of the USS Enterprise from "Star Trek: The Next Generation" would be like after all these years.

The discussion of the movies led Kurtzman to segue into "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan," as he acknowledged its landmark status in "Star Trek" lore before elaborating on why the team gravitated towards it. "One of the things we love most about 'Wrath of Khan' is the mind games between Kirk and Khan and the one-upmanship. And that has been, I think, a real North Star for us this season in the villain that we created," he said. He added that the third season will have a single villain, finishing with, "I won't say too much, other than to say that she's amazing," to the crowd's excitement.

Given the mention of both "The Wrath of Khan," which saw the presence of a villain who had previously appeared in "Star Trek: The Original Series" and had a personal connection to Kirk, as well as the return of many of Picard's Enterprise crewmembers, it's likely that the villain for the third season of "Picard" will be a familiar face as well.