Star Trek Guide

Star Trek: What The Next Generation Crew Are Doing When Picard Begins

New information about Star Trek: Picard's late-24th-century era has been revealed thanks to IDW's tie-in prequel comic Star Trek: Picard Countdown. Featuring the return of Patrick Stewart to his iconic role as the Starfleet hero, Star Trek: Picard picks up after the events of Star Trek: Nemesis and, at long last, it moves the franchise forward into the early 25th-century era. Naturally, fans are dying to know details of what became of Star Trek: The Next Generation's beloved characters.

Written by Kristen Beyer, who is Supervising Producer of Star Trek: Picard, and Mike Johnson, Star Trek: Picard Countdown's canonical prequel story is set in 2285 - two years before a supernova destroyed the planet Romulus, as seen in J.J. Abrams' Star Trek 2009 movie. The comic miniseries details Admiral Jean-Luc Picard's difficulties as he tries to help the Romulans evacuate their empire, which is faced with certain destruction. Since Star Trek: Picard Countdown takes place six years after Star Trek: Nemesis, which is referenced in the comic when the Romulans refer to Jean-Luc as the "vanquisher of the traitor Shinzon", a great deal has changed in Picard's life in the half-dozen years since the final TNG movie, which ended with the death of Commander Data (Brent Spiner).

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Star Trek: Picard Countdown's events occur 15 years before Star Trek: Picard begins and at this time, Jean-Luc is still riding high as one of Starfleet's finest. Now an Admiral at last, Picard has given up the command seat of the U.S.S. Enterprise (it's unclear whether it's still the Enterprise-E or if the starship has been recommissioned yet again) but whoever her new Captain is, Jean-Luc is confident he left the Federation's flagship "in good hands". To oversee the 2385 Romulan rescue mission, Admiral Picard commands the Sovereign-class U.S.S. Verity (NCC-97000) and his First Officer is Lieutenant Commander Raffi Musiker (played by Michelle Hurd in Star Trek: Picard). Musiker is Starfleet's foremost analyst on Romulan affairs, which makes her invaluable, but it seems the yet-to-be-revealed perils of this critical Romulan evacuation will take their toll on Raffi just as they did on Jean-Luc when Star Trek: Picard kicks off.

The only other Star Trek: The Next Generation character seen in Star Trek: Picard Countdown's first issue is Commander Geordi LaForge (LeVar Burton), who now oversees Utopia Planitia Shipyards on Mars. Utopia Planitia is one of Starfleet's prime starship production facilities (the Galaxy-class U.S.S. Enterprise-D was built there) and Geordi, the Enterprise's former Chief Engineer, is the ideal person to oversee the construction of a new relocation fleet to save the Romulans.

In their brief chat, Picard tells Geordi that he's glad Captain Will Riker (Jonathan Frakes) and his wife, Counselor Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis), are still aboard the U.S.S. Titan. In Star Trek: Nemesis, Riker and Troi finally tied the knot and they both left the Enterprise for the Titan, Riker's long-awaited command. Riker and Troi, along with Star Trek: Voyager's Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) and Hugh Borg (Jonathan Del Arco), will appear in Star Trek: Picard, which leaves the whereabouts of Worf (Michael Dorn) and Dr. Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden) as the last TNG crewmembers unaccounted for.

Meanwhile, the secretive and duplicitous Romulans aren't making their own vital evacuation easy for the Federation. In Star Trek: Picard Countdown, the Admiral discovers that the Romulans only intended for Starfleet to evacuate Romulans from the supernova - they are content that the countless other species who live in Romulan space will die in the cataclysm. Picard's mandate is to save all life but he learns that because of the Romulans' deceit, Starfleet will still be woefully unequipped to save potentially billions of souls from the supernova. Perhaps the fact that he simply won't be able to rescue everyone in need - and that Starfleet could allow the Romulans to get away with this callous genocide - is what has shattered Jean-Luc's faith by the start of Star Trek: Picard.

Star Trek: Picard premieres January 23, 2020 on CBS All-Access and internationally on Amazon Prime Video.