Sir Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard of the the CBS All Access series STAR TREK: PICARD.

Sir Patrick Stewart and Akiva Goldsman Talk Nostalgia in ‘Star Trek: Picard’

Yes, I kept my cool talking to Sir Patrick Stewart. I don't know how I did it though.

Star Trek: Picard is a masterclass in marrying the idea of nostalgia with the beauty of fresh storytelling. In season 1, we were given a look into Jean-Luc Picard’s life decades after we last saw him as the famed Starfleet captain. In preparation for season 2, I was lucky enough to join the roundtable discussions with the cast and crew of Picard to talk about where we’re heading with the characters we know and love, and bringing Picard back to us after all these years.

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Talking with Sir Patrick Stewart, I asked him about bringing nostalgia to life with the roles he plays (from his work on stage with Shakespeare to roles like Charles Xavier and Jean-Luc Picard) the balance of the connection fans have to them with newer storylines for the character. His answer was very much exploring his own aging and growth through Jean-Luc Picard’s.

“There is one condition in the work we are doing now, which is an absolute understanding that the 32-33 years that have passed since I took off the captain’s uniform for the last time, that time has also passed for Jean-Luc Picard and Commander Riker and Deanna Troi and everyone,” Stewart said about the show’s ability to blend nostalgia in with a new storyline. “And therefore it’s not just aging, it’s comprehension. It’s understanding it’s compassion. It’s being brave enough to change one’s life by linking it to another person, all of these things, which most of them have happened to me. So we are not looking at Jean-Luc Picard in the future. We’re actually looking back over the last 30 years as well. We’re doing both things in fact.”

When I got to ask EP Akiva Goldsman about the marriage between nostalgia for the old and the new journey with these new characters, I asked if that nostalgia is reliant on the return of Q (played by John de Lancie) in the second season. “No. No, I, I think you’re gonna find that for in large parts,” Goldsman said. “You know, we set the action in motion and then it’s mostly the characters you’ve met in season one.”

Heading back with Jean-Luc

What I loved about season 1 was how the show balanced characters we knew and loved from The Next Generation with completely new characters to push the story forward. When we finally got the return of my favorite Trek boy William T. Riker, we’d been with these characters for so long that it felt like coming home to see an old friend—same with the return of Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine.

And season 2 seems to have that same kind of balance, where we’re still with the new people in Picard’s life while having instances with characters from the past. With John de Lancie coming back as Q and Whoopi Goldberg returning as Guinan, we’re seeing more of those we know from The Next Generation tied into this new world. I can’t wait to see where Star Trek: Picard takes us in season 2, and hopefully we get even more familiar faces in the future.

Star Trek: Picard returns on March 3rd.

(image: CBS)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.