In just a few weeks, Patrick Stewart will finally reprise the iconic role of Jean-Luc Picard in Star Trek: Picard on CBS All Access. But the celebrated actor didn't originally want to come back to play a character he had portrayed in seven seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation, as well as four spin-off movies.
Eventually, Stewart came around to the idea after inhabiting the role of Professor Charles Xavier for the very last time in James Mangold's Logan. Yes, the touching X-Men swan song for Hugh Jackman's Wolverine convinced Sir Patrick that TNG deserved a better send-off than its poorly-received final outing in 2002's Nemesis.
“Hugh and I were so thrilled when the last thing we did for X-Men was Logan,” Stewart told Variety for a lengthy profile piece. “It was the best X-Men experience we both had, because we were the same characters but their world had been blown apart.” He adds, “Next Generation didn’t end like that. In fact, our last movie, Nemesis, was pretty weak.”
Set 20 years after the events of Nemesis, Star Trek: Picard finds ol' Jean-Luc retired from Starfleet and living a quiet life on a vineyard with his pet pittbull. Haunted by the loss of Data (Brent Spiner) and the destruction of Romulus (seen in J.J. Abrams' 2009 reboot), Picard returns to duty, but without the help of Starfleet, which he now views as morally corrupt.
“[It] was me responding to the world of Brexit and Trump and feeling, ‘Why hasn’t the Federation changed? Why hasn’t Starfleet changed?’ Maybe they’re not as reliable and trustworthy as we all thought,'" added Stewart about the core analogy of the new series.
Season 1 of Star Trek: Picard premieres on CBS All Access Thursday, Jan. 23. A second season was already ordered by the subscription streaming service in mid-December.