What Star Trek: Picard's Logan Influence Could Mean For The Series
Star Trek: Picard has taken influence from the Logan movie, but what does that reveal about the forthcoming Star Trek series? After almost 20 years, Patrick Stewart is reprising his role as Jean-Luc Picard in the Star Trek franchise. The legendary actor has previously been reluctant to revisit this particular former glory but was convinced otherwise after hearing the concept for Star Trek: Picard. Part of the franchise's expansion on the CBS All Access streaming service, Star Trek: Picard will reunite members of The Next Generation's cast and pick up the story in a previously unexplored era of Trek mythology.Click the button below to start this article in quick view. Start now
Picard aside, Patrick Stewart's most famous role has been that of Professor X in the X-Men movies. Having first played the psychic headmaster in 2000, Stewart gave the character a fitting send-off in 2017's Logan. A distinctly unique, R-rated offering, Logan was a departure from the standard superhero format, charting the weary duo of Wolverine and Charlies Xavier on a road trip to protect a sought-after young mutant. Despite being a riskier take on the genre, Logan was a critical and commercial success, and arguably the strongest X-Men installment Stewart has been a part of.
Logan and Star Trek: Picard already shared a number of parallels from the off. Both center around aging heroes coming out of retirement to make one last heroic stand and both are aimed at a more mature audience than their first gig in the role. However, Patrick Stewart has since confirmed (most recently at last month's Destination Star Trek convention) that co-starring in Logan did have some influence on Star Trek: Picard's story. Exactly how that inspiration will tell when the series premieres remains to be seen, but pairing this information together with the footage seen in the trailer, elements of Logan begin to come to the fore.
Most prominently, the Star Trek: Picard trailer strongly suggests that Jean-Luc's reason for coming out of retirement is to aid a young, powerful girl who comes to Picard's door seeking his protection from shady pursuers. This directly mirrors the plot of Logan, in which Wolverine is dragged out of his mundane existence to save X-23, a young girl who comes to Wolfie's door seeking his protection from shady pursuers. While the parallels may or may not extend so far as to reveal Picard is the girl's father (via the Borg), the Logan connection could definitely suggest that Star Trek: Picard will be more of an intergalactic road trip than it might've first appeared. Being on the run was a defining quality of Logan and with the Star Trek: Picard trailers showcasing a variety of settings, the new series could follow a similar format.
Another key theme of Logan was Wolverine revisiting (and, indeed, paying for) the sins of his past. While not explicitly shown, the scenes featuring Data in the Star Trek: Picard trailers do hint at some kind of redemption angle for Jean-Luc. In contrast to Wolverine, however, Picard's sins aren't exactly clear. It's possible that some residual feelings of guilt are tied to the death of Data, but if Picard is feeling some sense of shame, the source is more likely to be the destruction of Romulus as depicted in the 2009 J. J. Abrams Star Wars movie and the Countdown prequel comic. Thought this event was not at all Picard's fault, the Ambassador did try and fail to prevent the catastrophe, and lost his friend Spock in the process. Just as Logan's title character was trying to wash the blood off his hands, perhaps Picard is attempting something similar.
The final, and most significant, potential Logan parallel in Star Trek: Picard is whether or not the lead character will die at the end. A major factor behind the strength of Logan's story was how the film definitively ended both Wolverine and Xavier's character arcs, with both men giving their lives for a noble cause. If Star Trek: Picard is aiming for a similar impact, Patrick Stewart's return to the franchise could be both tragic and brief. Conversely, there have already been rumblings of a second season but, this could be simple misdirection. Certainly, it would be difficult for Star Trek: Picard to be influenced by Logan but opt for a happy ending. The two just aren't compatible.
Star Trek: Picard premieres January 23rd on CBS All Access and Amazon Prime Video internationally.