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Ranking the (remaining) legacy characters that we'd love to see on Star Trek: Picard

By Brian Silliman
Jean-Luc and Beverly (Star Trek: Insurrection)

One of the most exciting parts of the reveals made about Star Trek: Picard during San Diego Comic-Con was the confirmation that certain beloved Trek characters will returning for a piece of the action. Not only did the trailer feature Data (Brent Spiner) and Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan from Star Trek: Voyager), but we also got information that both William Riker (Jonathan Frakes) and Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis) will be appearing. And if that weren't enough, Hugh will also be beaming in — he's the Borg drone who memorably debuted on Star Trek: The Next Generation in "I, Borg."

That's all fantastic news! Welcome back to all! That said... yeah, we want more.

We are petulant toddlers on Christmas morning in this instance: We've just gotten the much-desired G.I. Joe aircraft carrier, but now we want 10 more of them. The riches are confirmed... we're now asking for more riches. It's entirely unfair and completely selfish, but so what? If the sky's still the limit, then we have some further requests. Take us higher. This is Star Trek, after all.

The inclusion of Seven of Nine makes it clear that the show is not going to solely focus on characters from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Theoretically, anyone could pop up from any of the Trek shows. That opens up a stable wormhole that leads straight to the systems of possibility and wish fulfillment, so here's our ranking of the 10 most desired "legacy" character returns that we'd love to see on the series.

10. L'Rell (Star Trek: Discovery)

This is a long shot, but it would tie the new series into the events of Star Trek: Discovery in a wonderful way. Because of how the second season of that show ended (and where the third season is going), we are not likely to see High Chancellor L'Rell again on that series. This is a shame; Mary Chieffo excels in this role, and we only just got to know her.

How could she return? Klingons have a long life span, for one. If three original series era Klingons could come back for DS9's "Blood Oath" so many years later, then that same thing could happen here. L'Rell is younger than Kor, Kang, and Koloth were, so that might help. Also, if the Chancellor ever went to Boreth to go and see her timeless son, then she could still exist there. If the new series ever decides to visit that "point of light," then she could theoretically return that way too.

Honestly? We don't care how they do it. We just want more L'Rell. Giving her a spin-off of her own would also be acceptable. See? We're flexible.

09. Sela (Star Trek: The Next Generation)

If the loss of Romulus (and Picard's lingering guilt over it) are a part of the series, then the Romulans would need a firm presence. Sela would be a great choice to be that presence, whether she's still involved in Romulan politics or not. She would likely have a vendetta against Picard (and Starfleet) either way.

How do you create a character that could become the living embodiment of the loss of Romulus, and also give Picard some additional baggage to deal with? Put all of the Romulan stuff in the character that has the same face as a crewmember that Picard lost all the way back in Season 1 of TNG. Sela only exists because Picard allowed the Tasha Yar of an alternate timeline to join the existing timeline in the past (in TNG's "Yesterday's Enterprise") and Sela (still played by Yar actor Denise Crosby) was the unexpected result... causing plenty of trouble for them after that.

We never saw Sela die, so she could still be out there. This would be a great character to bring in, as it would force Picard to face not one, but two of his failures at the same time. As the pirate once said, "Yar!" Not sorry.

08. Jake Sisko (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)

Does the timeline of this show need some snap reportage on all things Picard, Borg, Romulus, etc.? Look no further than Jake Sisko, top writer and, potentially, ace reporter.

Cirroc Lofton would be the right age to return, and if someone is documenting the life of Jean-Luc (we do see someone interviewing him on a screen in the new trailer), it would be great if it were Jake. Keep in mind, Jake lost his mother during the Battle of Wolf 359 — though Picard was assimilated at the time, he still (technically) killed Jake's mother.

Another benefit here? Jake could give Picard (and everyone else) an update on what is going on in terms of Bajor... as well as the Emissary himself, Benjamin Lafayette Sisko. Has his father returned, or is he still working with the prophets within the celestial temple? The son of Sisko could give us these answers... or at least allude to them.

Jake proved himself a capable reporter during the Dominion War, so perhaps he continued to go down that path. If so, we'd love to see it.

07. Miles O'Brien (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: The Next Generation)

Picard could definitely bring back Geordi LaForge (LaVar Burton) if it needed anything that is remotely related to engineering, and yes, Geordi is one of the only TNG originals who hasn't yet been announced. That seems like the easy path, however, and when it comes to engineers, there's someone else we'd rather see.

Miles Edward O'Brien had a life on both TNG and DS9, and the last time we saw him, he was going to teach at Starfleet Academy. He could still be there, or retired... doesn't matter. Either way, it would be fantastic to have Colm Meaney back in Trek. O'Brien and Picard always had a special bond, and they were the only two people we ever saw who respected the noble art of building ships in bottles. It's great fun!

If Picard needs some engineering expertise, maybe he shouldn't go to the guy who let the Enterprise D get whacked by a single Klingon Bird of Prey. Go to the guy who turned an old, stripped-to-the-bones Cardassian space station into a battle base that handed an entire Klingon fleet its bottom. If he brings Keiko and the kids along? So much the better.

06. Kathryn Janeway (Star Trek: Voyager)

This is a no-brainer. Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) was last seen as an Admiral in Star Trek: Nemesis, and was on a first-name basis with Picard. She's fierce, formidable, and Trek in general is screaming for Janeway's return in some way, shape, or form.

She doesn't necessarily have to be an Admiral anymore, though Starfleet should definitely have kept promoting her as far as possible. Whether she's the Grand High Admiral or just a civilian at this point, few characters know the Borg the way Janeway does. The Borg appear to be a major presence in Picard show, so Janeway's unique knowledge would definitely come in handy.

Aside from that? We don't have much other than "Janeway is great, we want more." She's got her bond with Seven, and Kate Mulgrew has finished her work on Orange Is the New Black. She might have an opening in her schedule. Set a course to bring Janeway home!

05. Worf (Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)

Here's another TNG legacy character who hasn't been announced yet, but whose return is much desired. When Worf left DS9, it was to work with Chancellor Martok as his ambassador to the Federation. Star Trek: Nemesis never brings this up — Worf is back on the Enterprise E in the beginning, and he's there at the end.

Either way, bring him back. Michael Dorn created a legend here, both on TNG and DS9. If the show is going to bring in the new Klingon perspective, then it would be logical for Worf to come into the mix. If an older L'Rell comes with him (or they all reunite on Boreth, who knows), then that would be fantastic as well. What's that? You also want Martok? Okay! Twist our arms.

Today may be a good day to die — it is also a good day to bring Michael Dorn into the new series. It's always a good day for that.

04. The EMH Doctor (Star Trek: Voyager)

Don't give us that look, you know you want it.

If the new show is bringing in Seven of Nine, then Robert Picardo's holographic doctor would tie into her storyline perfectly. Like Janeway, this EHM has a huge knowledge of the Borg, and he was also constantly upgrading and adapting.

Who knows how far the EHM technology has grown in the years since we last saw everyone? Is the Zimmerman form still the template, or has it been replaced? Is the original Voyager EMH still writing, singing, tinking, tailoring, tenoring, spying, etc.?

It would be fine if they just brought Picardo back to play the EMH creator, the cantankerous Louis Zimmerman. It would be even better if they brought him back to play another version of the EMH, such as we saw in Star Trek: First Contact.

But the best, all-win scenario here? Picardo comes back as the same EMH, and we see just how far he's come. Now that we think about it, we'd like him to be a series regular.

We'll be glad to state the nature of this medical emergency: We've got a fever, and the only prescription is Robert Picardo. Picardo for Picard.

03. Q (Star Trek: The Next Generation)

Come on. Seriously, just come on. How do you not do this? Q was a major part of the beginning of Picard's TNG journey, and he was a major part of the end. He remained a constant presence throughout, and we (kind of) also have him to thank for the Borg being aware of humans in the first place.

There was talk about one of the TNG-based films focusing on John DeLancie's unforgettable character, but that never happened. It's a shame because few character pairings in Trek are as endlessly delightful as Picard and Q. Janeway barely tolerated him, and Sisko just punched him in the face, but we have a sneaking suspicion that Jean-Luc's destiny involves Q to a higher degree than that of his counterparts.

What exactly was Q talking about at the end of TNG's finale? What was all of that stuff about Picard's destiny and so forth? He said that Picard would find out, and he also said that he'd stop in to say hello. Neither of these things has happened yet.

You want us to say it? Damnit Q, WE NEED YOU!

02. Guinan (Star Trek: The Next Generation)

This one seems like it's just a matter of time. There's nobody that Picard trusts more than Guinan, and Whoopi Goldberg displayed incredible wisdom in her portrayal of the character. 

From what we're seeing in the trailers, Picard is going to need guidance. He's going to need some serious wisdom, too, and who better to give it to him than Guinan, who once told Riker that her relationship with Picard was "beyond friendship, beyond family?" What did that even mean, now that we think about it? Time to find out.

Any appearance from Guinan would be a "jump up and cheer" moment. She could tie into a story with Q if he appears (they weren't on good terms, and that was never really followed up on), but we'd also pay good money to see her talk with characters that we've never seen her with before, such as Seven, Janeway, or Jake.

We're put some serious money on the Dabo table that she'll show up at some point... it might just be for a single line, but she'll be there. We're calling it now.

01. Beverly Crusher (Star Trek: The Next Generation)

This is not a request. This is not an "oh, this character should be in there too, it would be cool" kind of thing. This is a full-on, no holds barred, the sky's the limit DEMAND. We are demanding that Beverly Crusher appears on the series.

The line must be drawn here. This far, and no further. Gates McFadden and Patrick Stewart have had an electric, romantic chemistry from day one. TNG toyed around with it, finally did a little with it in later seasons, and then the TNG films completely and utterly bailed on it. As was the case with the Q-based movie, fans were told that the Picard/Crusher relationship would be explored. It was not explored, it was ignored... and Beverly Crusher had almost nothing to do in the TNG films.

Not this time. We want Crusher back, and we want drama between her and Picard. Jean-Luc is not Captain Kirk, we don't need to see him with a different love interest in every movie or episode. There's more than enough evidence to show that Picard's one true love is Beverly, the biggest evidence being that he SAYS IT at one point.

The shipping aspect of this is a big one, we admit it. That's not the only reason we want Beverly back, though. She was a brilliant doctor, and arguably knows more about Picard's medical history (post-Borg) than anyone. Additionally, as we've mentioned, she also completely got shafted in the TNG films. Gates McFadden and Beverly Crusher deserve more.

All of that said? Yeah, we ship Picard and Beverly... and we ship it hard. Whether they were married, are now divorced, and this show will see them reunite, whatever, we don't care. Get her on the show, and get them on the road to reconciliation. If they aren't kissing like Steve and Peggy in the final shot, then what has any of this been worth?

Don't care how, we want it now. Seven and Data are great... more than we ever could have hoped for. Thanks for that, but we want this too. If you don't mind, kindly make it so.

Janeway's catchphrase might suit us better here: Do it.