Star Trek Guide

Star Trek's Patrick Stewart on How Picard Differs From Next Generation

After 18 years since last portraying the character, Patrick Stewart is reprising his iconic role as Jean-Luc Picard in the upcoming CBS All Access series Star Trek: Picard, and the actor wanted to change the franchise's futuristic world in addition to his own character.

Inspired by current events around the world, Stewart wanted to make the setting and institutions within the Star Trek franchise less comforting and utopian than they had been depicted in his previous series, Star Trek: The Next Generation.

"In a way, the world of Next Generation had been too perfect and too protected. It was the Enterprise. It was a safe world of respect and communication and care and, sometimes, fun," recalled Stewart in an interview with Variety.

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Instead, Stewart sought to use the new series to reflect current events, noting Picard "was me responding to the world of Brexit and Trump and feeling, ‘Why hasn’t the Federation changed? Why hasn’t Starfleet changed?’ Maybe they’re not as reliable and trustworthy as we all thought.”

With that in mind, Stewart hoped to bring the social commentary of Star Trek in a new, more dangerous and timely light when crafting the world of Picard, working closely with the series' writers.

"I think what we’re trying to say is important. The world of Next Generation doesn’t exist anymore. It’s different," observed Stewart. "Nothing is really safe. Nothing is really secure.”

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 Jan. 23, 2020.