TNG cast's story must end with Picard season 3
After two seasons of Star Trek: Picard explored Jean-Luc's twilight years, the stage has come to a perfect close for the cast of Star Trek: TNG.
Season 3 of Star Trek: Picard will reunite the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation for one final adventure, and it feels like the perfect time to wrap up their stories. The Patrick Stewart-helmed TNG spinoff has been meant as a trilogy farewell to the legendary Enterprise captain, but it's unclear if that's the end of Picard's crew as well. The TNG cast all talked about the final film outing, but Picard showrunner Terry Mataras said that Picard season 3 is essentially a major finale movie.
Dedicating Picard's final season to the book that ended the TNG era of Star Trek felt right. Jean-Luc takes an existential and emotional journey in the spinoff, ending with the revelation of his mother's death in Picard season 2. These revelations had a fundamental impact on Picard, and reuniting with his former Enterprise crew would complete his evolution. The return of characters like Worf (Michael Dorn) and Riker (Jonathan Frakes) could be a future spin-off, but Picard season 3 should wrap up their stories rather than extend them beyond their natural ending.
Picard Season 3's Reunion Is A Perfect End To The TNG Era
TNG and The Picard ending means that the Season 3 reunion would be the perfect way to wrap up the Enterprise-D crew's story. The TNG finale sees Picard shattered between his past, present, and future to save the universe from being destroyed by a catastrophic time anomaly. Picard followed a similar structure -- season 1 saw Picard deal with the current threat to artificial life from the Romulans, while season 2 saw him deal with his own past and that of his ancestor Renee. Picard season 3 seems to be a fight over the future of Starfleet and the Federation, continuing that trend.
Ultimately, "All Good Things" and Picard seasons 1-3 dealt with the TNG characters' twilight years, which didn't leave much room for further spinoffs. A Klingon-centric series about Old Wolf is certainly an attractive prospect, as is the Riker-led USS Titan series. However, once Star Trek started spinning off each member of the bridge crew into their own show, it was hard to see where it would end. Worf's time on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine did allow for the character to return in the DS9 follow-up, but the truth of the matter is that Picard The focus of season 3 should be an emotional goodbye to the TNG cast.
Strange New Worlds Proves Star Trek Is (Finally) Moving On
Star Trek: Strange New Worlds shows how the franchise can move into the 21st century while remaining true to Gene Roddenberry's core philosophy. While the show features classic Star Trek characters like Kirk (Paul Wesley) and Spock (Ethan Peck), it also has a diverse cast, mostly in black and white, young Enterprise crew. New characters like La'an Noonien-Singh with Khan bloodlines, or being able to properly explore short-lived characters like One (Rebecca Romijn) and Christopher Pike (Anson Mount), allow SNW to explore classic Star Trek world twists in a modern style , rather than relying on the same old characters and actors.
In addition to Strange New Worlds, there is a real next-generation Star Trek, in the form of the children of Star Trek: The Prodigy. The show made the core ideas of Starfleet and the Federation ideal for kids to watch, while also quietly serving as a Star Trek: Voyager sequel for their parents. Most importantly, Star Trek: Discovery really took the franchise into the next generation, sending Captain Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) and her The crew explores the 32nd century of Star Trek. With Picard season 3 also introducing Jody's daughters, both of whom are Starfleet officers, it's clear the franchise is ready for the next generation.
Continuing The TNG Story Would Risk Another Nemesis
Star Trek: Nemesis started off promisingly, with Will Riker and Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis) finally married and ready to move on. From there, however, it became an arduous process that failed to properly shut down key Enterprise workers. Riker assumes the commanding role, and Data proves his humanity by sacrificing himself to save his friends, but nothing more. In its defense, Nemesis was never originally intended to be the last film for the TNG cast, but the poor response to the film from critics, audiences, and actors meant that Nemesis effectively killed TNG movies.
If Picard season 3 was written as a proper farewell to Picard and his team, it would eliminate the risk of another disappointing return later. That's not to say it's a very satisfying solution for every character, as season 3 could be criticized. However, the failure of Nemesis deprived Star Trek: The Next Generation of its official farewell. revisiting In his later years, Jean-Luc had laid the groundwork for Star Trek: Picard, so much so that it was finally time to wrap up the Enterprise-D story and finally pass the torch firmly to the next generation.