Star Trek Guide

Star Trek: Picard Prequel Reveals What Happened to Two TNG Favorites

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Star Trek: Picard—Countdown #1, by Kirsten Beyer, Mike Johnson, Angel Hernandez, Joana Lafuente and Neil Uyetake, on sale now.

Next year, Star Trek: Picard will see Patrick Stewart boldly go where he’s gone before by reprising his iconic role as Jean-Luc Picard. While the adventures of the Star Trek: The Next Generation star won’t start streaming on CBS All Access until January, IDW Publishing’s Star Trek: Picard—Countdown has already started filling in some missing pieces about Picard’s history.

As things stand, Picard and the rest of the Next Generation crew last appeared in 2002’s Star Trek: Nemesis, which takes place roughly in the year 2379. As Picard is set in 2399, that leaves about two decades of Picard’s life unaccounted for.

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Now, Star Trek: Picard—Countdown #1 has revealed more details about one of Picard’s final Starfleet missions in 2385 before he retired to his family’s vineyard. While trailers for the upcoming series have revealed that Picard became an admiral who led the effort to evacuate the Romulan Empire before a star went supernova, this issue reveals a little more about what happened to Picard and some of his TNG crewmates.

As this issue establishes, Admiral Picard led the effort to evacuate Romulan worlds from the U.S.S. Verity, a massive Odyssey-class star cruiser. Although the Romulan Empire initially kept quiet about the forthcoming supernova and the threat it posed, the Romulans eventually acknowledged its existence and accepted the Federation’s help.

In Star Trek: Nemesis, Picard defeated Shinzon, his genetically engineered clone who launched an unsuccessful attempt to take over the Romulan Empire. Despite the tense history between the Federation and the Romulans, this seemingly bought Picard enough goodwill to operate on both sides of the Neutral Zone that divides the intergalactic powerhouses.

On the Verity, Picard is accompanied by his new first officer, Lieutenant Commander Raffi Musiker, who’s set to be portrayed by Michelle Hurd in the upcoming live-action series. In this issue, she is introduced as Starfleet’s leading analyst on the Romulan Empire and shows a distinct distaste for formality.

However, Picard isn’t the only former member of the U.S.S. Enterprise crew to play a crucial role in evacuating the Romulans. As this issue reveals, Commander Geordi La Forge was tasked with overseeing the construction of a new fleet of starships to help with the evacuation at the Utopia Planitia Shipyards above Mars.

During his conversation with La Forge, Picard also confirms that Will Riker and Deanna Troi left the Enterprise for the U.S.S. Titan, where they were headed at the end of Nemesis. Although a name was never mentioned, Picard and La Forge also alluded to the Enterprise‘s new captain, who seemed to be familiar to them both.

While developments like these have occurred in Star Trek novels and comics for years, they’ve never really been a part of the Star Trek franchise’s core canon. Traditionally, anything that happens outside of a Star Trek movie or TV series has been relegated to a side story that might be vaguely acknowledged in live-action.

However, Picard—Countdown was solicited as an official “direct lead-in” to the upcoming series. While the events of this miniseries could always be overwritten by the show, the comic is co-written by Kirsten Beyer, a veteran Star Trek: Discovery writer who’s one of the chief creative minds behind the Picard streaming series. With that kind of creative pedigree, this series seems to have better-than-normal odds of becoming an established part of Trek lore.

Despite the best efforts of Picard and the Federation, the supernova still exploded and destroyed Romulus itself, as depicted in 2009’s Star Trek. While that knowledge gives this comic a foreboding sense of doom and a firm point in history to work towards, Picard—Countdown has already started filling in the historical record with glimpses of familiar faces and introductions to some new Trek characters. Although there’s no telling how much of this story will become part of official Trek lore, the series has already offered hints about what Picard’s new world might look like.

Star Trek: Picard stars Patrick Stewart, Alison Pill, Michelle Hurd, Evan Evagora, Isa Briones, Santiago Cabrera, and Harry Treadaway. The series is set to premiere on CBS All Access on Jan. 23, 2020.