We’ve known for a while that the upcoming Jean-Luc Picard series wasn’t going to be about the glory days of an older Jean-Luc still captaining his way to adventures across the stars. But here’s your latest reminder that, well, this is not going to go the way you think.
Speaking to the LA Times as part of a wide-ranging piece about Star Trek’s current franchise resurgence, Alex Kurtzman — the architect behind much of said resurgence — took a moment to tease the more cerebral approach the new Picard series is taking with the character:
The mandate was to make it a more psychological show, a character study about this man in his emeritus years. There are so few shows that allow a significantly older protagonist to be the driver... It’ll be very different than Discovery. It’ll be slower, more meditative. It speaks to the rainbow of colours we’re playing with in all these different shows.
This is great for a multitude of reasons. Yes, differentiating from the Star Trek we’re already getting in the likes of Discovery or the myriad other series on the way is a good thing. What’s the point of all this Star Trek if it just hits the same beats?
Another reason is one that Kurtzman himself eludes to — that in challenging the ideals Picard so proudly represents, they are ultimately reinforced in turn:
What happens when circumstances have conspired to not give him the happiest of endings? Hopefully, it’s a reinforcement of [Trek creator Gene] Roddenberry’s vision of optimism. He’s going to have to go through deep valleys to get back to the light.
An iconic lead character in a beloved sci-fi franchise being examined in their later years about how a great challenge in their life brings them to disillusion, before something comes along and reforges the optimistic ideals of their young years ever stronger, you say?