Star Trek Guide

Star Trek: Picard's Teaser Returns to a Key TNG Setting

The teaser trailer for Star Trek: Picard provides a first look at the upcoming CBS All Access series, which follows Patrick Stewart's Jean-Luc Picard nearly two decades after he was last seen in 2002's Star Trek: Nemesis. No longer a Starfleet officer, Picard has retired to a location familiar to fans of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

Picard is now living the quiet life at a vineyard in LaBarre, France, maintained by his family for generations. The location was introduced in The Next Generation Season 4 episode "Family," as Picard's refuge as he recovered from his traumatic assimilation by the Borg. At the time, the vineyard was run by Picard's older brother Robert, his wife Marie and their son René.

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It's revealed in the episode that Robert harbored a deep resentment toward his younger brother, who abandoned the family business to him to join Starfleet and explore the cosmos. Most of the Picards prefer a comfortable life on Earth to gallivanting across the galaxy, which contributes to the gulf between Robert and Jean-Luc. However, the brothers finally reconcile in the family home, where they admit an appreciation for each other's life.

The vineyard was revisited during The Next Generation's acclaimed finale "All Good Things...," which depicted an alternate future for the main characters, including Picard, 25 years after the series. This vision of Picard was retired from Starfleet and quietly runs the family vineyard in LaBarre, Robert presumably having passed away, while René has followed through with his childhood ambition to join Starfleet. Having divorced from Beverly Crusher some time before, Picard lives alone and has recently been diagnosed with Irumodic Syndrome after a noted career as an ambassador. While that future is altered by Picard solving a temporal anomaly affecting three time periods, it suggests Picard has designs to return to the family business following his Starfleet and diplomatic careers.

While not seen, the vineyard is mentioned one final time in 1994's Star Trek: Generations, the first film to star the cast of The Next Generation. It's revealed an accidental fire claimed the lives of Robert and René, leaving the grief-stricken Jean-Luc to mourn their deaths and lament to Deanna Troi that he joined Starfleet with the understanding that his brother would maintain both the family business and the bloodline by settling for the domestic life he himself could never have.

It has been alluded to previously by series executive producer Alex Kurtzman that Picard would be "radically altered" by the dissolution of the Romulan Star Empire, and the destruction of its home world Romulus, as seen in the prime timeline of 2009's Star Trek. A tie-in comic book miniseries Star Trek: Countdown, co-written by Kurtzman,revealed Picard had left Starfleet to become a United Federation of Planets ambassador to Romulus before the planet's destruction. We don't know whether that story element is still canon, but Kurtzman's role in producing Star Trek: Picard certainly makes it a strong possibility.

With the vineyard largely abandoned after the deaths of Robert and René, the destruction of Romulus could be the tipping point that drives Picard back to his family home. While it's unknown if Jean-Luc has since contracted the neurological disorder seen in the series finale of The Next Generation, it could mean the former captain may be facing more than a crisis of conscience at the beginning of the series.

Debuting later this year on CBS All Access, Star Trek: Picard stars Patrick Stewart, Alison Pill, Michelle Hurd, Evan Evagora, Isa Briones, Santiago Cabrera and Harry Treadaway.