Before Discovery launches itself into a far, far future, Star Trek: Picard will give us a glimpse of the furthest we’ve been in the main Star Trek timeline in quite a while. That doesn’t just mean old friends and changed heroes, it means some fancy new threads for Starfleet officers. And this weekend, we got a glimpse at one of Picard’s latest looks.
At Destination Star Trek this past weekend, fans were treated to the first official look at a new costume from Star Trek: Picard—Jean-Luc’s old Starfleet Admiral uniform. Well, old to him, because by the time the show’s begun, he’s retired from Starfleet. New to us, because it’s quite an update to what we’ve seen from past Admirals among the Federation’s ranks.
Included as part of a Picard-themed exhibit at the con—similar to one that cropped up at San Diego Comic-Con earlier this year—the new uniform was included alongside props new and old depicting the life and times of Jean-Luc Picard, from his academy days to his retired life as a vintner at Chateau Picard. Yes, there was wine, of course. But you’re here for the costume!
It’s quite a divergence from the Admiral uniforms we saw in The Next Generation and eventually Deep Space Nine and Voyager, with the command red taking a backstep to the general black. There’s more in common with the formal dress uniforms worn by Starfleet officers of that era, with the lines of red taking cues from the shape of the jacket cut in the TNG and Voyager eras, more so than the stark white and gold uniforms eventually seen in the later years of DS9 and the TNG movies.
The date given for this version of the Admiral’s uniform was 2385, placing its use in Starfleet around 14 or so years before the events of Star Trek: Picard, itself set in roughly 2399—20 years after the events of Star Trek: Nemesis.
The timing is just a few years before we know Picard leaves Starfleet behind. One of the things we’ve known for the longest about the series is that he retires in the wake of the destruction of the planet Romulus, an event that happens in 2387. Whether we actually see Jean-Luc suit up in this uniform, however, remains to be seen.
Speaking at a panel at the convention, Stewart told fans to only expect to see Picard in Starfleet uniform for a couple of important scenes in the season—he’ll primarily be wearing civilian clothes, denoting his retired life. Given the trailers have shown at least one of them is during some kind of dream sequence with Data, whether we see this uniform on Picard himself or merely hanging up in his wardrobe at some point is unknown.
Where we likely won’t see it, however, is on the Starfleet Admirals of 2399. The trailers for Picard have given us brief glimpses at the uniforms Starfleet have adopted by that late 24th century time period to show that this design has now itself been replaced, a return to a similar grey jacket and coloured undershirt that is more reminiscent of the uniforms seen in the second half of DS9.
It would seem that, even in a time of uncertainty like the one we’re set to encounter in Star Trek: Picard, one constant you can count on is whichever tailor Starfleet Command hires certainly likes to keep busy! You can check out a few more pictures from the exhibition below.
Photo: James Whitbrook/io9
Star Trek: Picard begins on Amazon Prime Video in January 2020.