Imagine being a lifelong fan of a certain property, only to find yourself in the position of dictating how some of the most adored characters in all of fiction will bow out of the series. That’s the potential no-win scenario that showrunner Terry Matalas dove headfirst into with season 3 of “Star Trek: Picard.” In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the writer revealed that there was never a fallback option should the original “The Next Generation” actors prove either unable or unwilling to return. For better or worse, this was the one and only route to bring Picard’s arc to a satisfying close. As Matalas put it:
“It was this or bust, so I had to go hard. The good news is I think everybody really wanted to do it. It was something that was in their hearts. The cast certainly wanted to return. They’re all lifelong friends. And another chance for them to be reunited on a starship? Who wouldn’t say yes to that? The pressure is really finding a story that’s worthy of that.”
Season 3 will see Picard come into contact with long-lost friends such as LeVar Burton’s Geordi La Forge, Gates McFadden’s Beverly Crusher, and many more in yet another epic and rather intense adventure that may come as a surprise to anyone expecting a “The Next Generation” redux. Only time will tell if Matalas and his writers’ room succeeded in giving the classic crew a fitting sendoff, but at least it all came together the way it was originally meant to. Picard himself would have to respect the moxie of taking such a big leap of faith.
Season 3 of “Star Trek: Picard” premieres on Paramount+ on February 16, 2023.