Stewart broke the story in person to a throng of devoted fans at a Star Trek convention in Las Vegas earlier this month, before posting it on social media on Aug. 4. While bootleg footage of the moment has been floating around on the net, CBS All Access clearly realized that there is nothing like seeing the man deliver the news himself, and has made the video of the moment officially available:
It's evident from watching the video just how dear the role of Picard has been to Stewart, and what an effect it's had on "every corner" of his life, as he says in his nearly 12-minute speech. After recounting his experiences before, during and after the initial run of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Stewart declares that Picard is coming back, and it's clear that the ecstatic fan reaction is almost overwhelming on an emotional level to the 78-year-old actor.
But then again, whether he's playing Captain Picard or Professor Charles Xavier, Stewart's commanding, Shakespearean surface has always been supported by a core of humanity and heart that seems part of not just those characters but the beloved actor himself.
We still don't know very much about the series that Stewart will star in, except that it will take place in real time — meaning nearly 20 years after we last saw Picard in the 2002 feature film Star Trek: Nemesis — and that Stewart himself promises it will be something "very, very different" from what has come before in the franchise.
There's no official title or premiere date yet for the show, but we speculate here about the paths it could take and here about what characters we'd like to see come back. In the meantime, watch the video above again and see if you don't get a little choked up too.