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As sequels go, Star Trek: Picard is fairly straightforward, assuming you have followed the stories of Star Trek: The Next Generation's crew from the very beginning. In 2002, Star Trek Nemesis became the final feature film to feature the TNG crew and famously ended with Data's death. Now, in 2020, Picard picks up where Nemesis left off. In real life, 18 years have passed between Nemesis and Picard, and on the show, it's pretty much the same amount of time — Nemesis was in 2379 and Picard happens in 2399.
Unlike previous Trek sequels, Picard has taken a fairly naturalistic approach to the passage of time, one which series co-star Harry Treadaway compared to the movie Boyhood. Still, no one has been continuously filming Patrick Stewart as Picard in the interim, so, the series leans heavily on flashbacks to give us a sense of what's happened in-between.
So, what exactly happened in those 20 years between 2379 and 2399? Here's a breakdown of everything we know.
**Spoilers ahead for Star Trek: Picard, Episodes 1-7.**
By just focusing on the gap between the TNG era and Star Trek: Picard, everything starts here.
Before Picard, the movie Star Trek Nemesis was the furthest we had gone in the regular Star Trek timeline. Data died in this film. Will Riker and Deanna Troi were married this year and subsequently transferred off the Enterprise to the starship Titan. Jean-Luc Picard was also very concerned with making peace with the Romulans in this film, partially because his younger clone, Shinzon, tried to screw everything up.
At the end of this year, Picard is still in command of the Enterprise, Data is dead, and B-4 — an inferior android "copy" of Data — was still hanging around.
2380 - 2384 (Approximately)
Based on what we've seen in Picard, we can infer — or outright pinpoint — several events that happened between 2380 and 2384.
For one thing, we can guess that around this time, the Daystrom Institute obtained B-4 from Picard. It's also a good guess that Dr. Jurati started working with Bruce Maddox somewhere around this time. This could have been earlier, but because she tells Jean-Luc that Maddox "recruited me out of Starfleet," it stands to reason this was before the Synth ban, otherwise, Jurati would have never worked with B-4. Jurati's backstory is still unfolding, but there's a good bet she was working at Daystrom around this time.
We also know for a fact that Riker and Troi's son, Thaddeus "Thad" Troi Riker, was born in the year 2381. And we know that for sure because in "Nepenthe," Trio says Thad would have turned 18 that year, which is in 2399.
Starfleet also changed their uniforms at some point in the early 2380s, and again, we know that because in "Nepenthe," we see a photograph of Jean-Luc holding Thad as an infant, and Picard is rocking the same uniform style he and Raffi are wearing in the 2385 flashbacks. So, in the two years in between 2379 and 2381, Starfleet got rid of the "First Contact" uniforms and switched these. (They switched again before Picard gets going, but we'll get to that.)
In terms of the Borg Artifact, we also know that somewhere in the 2380s is when a Romulan Ship called the Shanor was assimilated, which lead to one Borg cube getting cut off from the Collective. This year isn't pinpointed, but it seems like the Artifact and the Romulan's "ownership" of it predates the supernova.
Speaking of the Romulan supernova, it's a good bet that the Federation is aware of this impending disaster sometime around 2384, if only because nearly all of 2385 is spent talking about it.
Because so many episodes of Picard begin with flashbacks "14 years" in the past, the year 2385 is freaking huge. This is year Picard teams up with Raffi to try and evacuate a ton of planets in the Romulan Empire, to save them all from the impending supernova. And, thanks to the exact day of the Synth attack on Mars (also 2385), we know that most of Picard and Raffi's evacuation plans happened between January and late March of 2385. (Though, they could have started in late 2384, maybe.)
During this time, Picard was in command of a starship called the USS Verity and teamed up with former Tal Shiar agents, Laris and Zhaban. They'll later come to work for him on his family vineyard. Missed this detail? It all happens in the Star Trek: Picard: Countdown prequel comic book miniseries.
And the reason we know this is because as established in "Children of Mars," and "Maps and Legends," the Synth attack happened on First Contact Day, which is April 5. So, from January 2385 to April 2385, Raffi and Jean-Luc are helping the Romulans. This includes the relocation of refugees to the planet Vashti, including Elnor when he was a little kid.
But after April 2385, the Federation bans all synthetic life forms, Picard resigns from Starfleet, and Raffi is "fired."
And, as Riker says in "Nepenthe," this is also the point where Bruce Maddox disappeared.
This was a rough year for Seven of Nine! Because the opening flashback of "Stardust City Rag" happens "13 years" before Picard, we know this is 2386, and we know that at this point, the Romulan supernova has not happened yet, but that the Federation has given up trying to help keep the peace in certain areas near the Beta Quadrant. So, sometime this year, or maybe slightly before, Seven of Nine joined the Fenris Rangers. Presumably, this is the year she meets Bjayzl and is tricked into thinking she's found an ally and friends.
Of course, the big news is, this is the year Bjaylz's black market Borg-part harvesters capture Icheb. This event, and Icheb's death, obviously changes everything for Seven and puts her on the path that leads to where she's at emotionally in 2399.
Bet you forgot about this! That's right, while Picard was sitting around depressed in his Chateau and Seven was busy becoming a vigilante, Spock was desperately trying to figure out a way to stop the Romulan Supernova. As we saw in the 2009 Star Trek reboot film, Spock tried to use something called "Red Matter" to absorb the supernova all together, but it didn't work. Like. At all.
Instead, Spock ended up creating a rift in spacetime and getting himself and a ship full of angry Romulans sent back into the distant past, thus creating the alternate timeline of the Kelvin Universe. One note: A non-canon 2009 comic book called Star Trek: Countdown mentioned that Nero's ship, the Narada, was retrofitted with Borg tech. Considering that Picard has now established that the Romulans have been harvesting Borg tech for a few years at that point, this checks out.
Bottom line: This is the year the supernova hits the planet Romulus.
For a huge stretch, after the Romulan supernova destroyed the planet Romulus, we don't really know exactly what happened. Based on dialogue in "Maps and Legends," we know that the Romulan Star Empire became the Romulan Free State.
We also know that at some point, Starfleet switched to yet another, newer uniform design. And that's because, by Picard in 2399, everyone in Starfleet is wearing a streamlined version of the familiar DS9/Voyager-era uniform, but rocking the Starfleet insignia first glimpsed in the alternate future of "All Good Things..." and later seen in DS9's "The Visitor" and Voyager's "Timeless" and "Endgame."
What does that mean? Well, simply that in all the possible futures we got a glimpse of in past Star Trek, the only prediction they got right, according to Picard canon, was the new Starfleet insignia.
Based on material Jurati uncovers in "Maps and Legends" and Soji's investigation into her own possessions in "The Impossible Box," it's pretty well confirmed that Soji and Dahj were "created" three years prior to the events of Picard, meaning the year 2396. Narek even mentions this year as the date Soji was supposedly onboard the Ellison en route to the Artifact.
In theory, Soji and Dahj were created by Bruce Maddox — using particles from Data — which seems to be outright confirmed. But there could still be a wrinkle there.
We know that Star Trek: Picard begins in 2399, but what time of year? Well, we have one clue. When Jean-Luc departs from his family Chateau he and Laris talk about the fact that it is "harvest time." According to wine experts, this generally happens between August and October. Assuming that wine harvest happens in the same time in the 24th century, we can theorize that Star Trek: Picard occurs sometimes in the late summer or early fall.
And if that's true, then it seems very possible that Star Trek: Picard will conclude at the very end of the 24th century, and perhaps, boldly go into the 25th.