Those watching the AFC Championship Game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Cincinnati Bengals were treated to the final trailer for the third season of Star Trek: Picard, most likely its last. This time around, Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) has assembled his old crew from Star Trek: The Next Generation to take on a new adversary out to destroy not just Picard but Starfleet as a whole.
(Some spoilers for the prior two seasons below.)
As we’ve reported previously, Picard is set 20 years after the events of Star Trek: Nemesis. The first season’s notable guests included Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis, reprising their roles as William Riker and Deanna Troi and sparking rumors about the possible return of other Star Trek: The Next Generation characters. Patrick Stewart personally invited Whoopi Goldberg to return as Guinan in S2, with John DeLancie also returning as Q, keen to stage one last trial with his old friend Jean-Luc. We even saw the Borg Queen (played by Annie Wersching, who just died after battling cancer) and were treated to the briefest of cameos by Wesley Crusher (Wil Wheaton).
At the end of the season, we said goodbye to three main cast members: Agnes Jurati (Alison Pill), who became the new Borg Queen; Chris Rios (Santiago Cabrera), who chose to stay on Earth in a past alternate timeline with the woman he fell in love with; and the Romulan Elnor (Evan Evagora), who was shot and eventually died early in S2 but turned up alive in the final moments of the finale in a new timeline.
Those farewells cleared the stage for the third and final season. The showrunners have pulled out all the stops in the name of fan service, reuniting the old TNG gang for one final mission. In April 2023, Paramount+ confirmed that LeVar Burton (Geordie LaForge), Michael Dorn (Worf), and Gates McFadden (Beverly Crusher) would reprise their TNG roles, along with Frakes and Sirtis. Brent Spiner returned as Data in S1 before morphing into Data’s creator, the human cyberneticist Dr. Noonien Soong in S2. In the third season, Spiner will reprise his role as Lore, a prototype android and Data’s “brother,” first introduced in TNG. Daniel Davis will also return to guest star as the holographic Professor Moriarty (“Elementary, My Dear Data,” “Ship in a Bottle”).
New cast members include Mica Burton (daughter to LeVar) as Ensign Alandra La Forge and Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut as Sidney La Forge, conn officer of the USS Titan—both Geordie’s children. This final trailer confirmed the casting of Ed Speelers as an aide to Beverly Crusher, as well as Todd Stashwick in a recurring role as the captain of the USS Titan. Per Deadline Hollywood:
The sci-fi series’ third season follows a desperate message from a long-lost friend, draw[ing] Starfleet legend Admiral Jean-Luc Picard into the most daring mission of his life, forcing him to recruit allies spanning generations old and new. This final adventure sets him on a collision course with the legacy of his past and explosive, new revelations that will alter the fate of the Federation forever.
Paramount+ debuted an extended teaser trailer for Star Trek: Picard during New York Comic Con last October. That teaser gave us our first look at the new villain for S3: Vadic (Amanda Plummer), captain of an alien ship called the Shrike. Judging by that teaser, Vadic has a major grudge against Picard and his crew and seems hell-bent on exacting revenge not just on him but on Starfleet as a whole.
This new trailer opens with what appears to be a Federation inspection that’s supposed to be “boring,” according to Stashwick’s Titan captain: no blowing things up, engaging in firefights, or “crash landing expectedly… or unexpectedly”—all punctuated by scenes showing all those things happening. It’s clear that some kind of attack is coming to target Starfleet, with mentions of an “all-consuming darkness” that keeps getting stronger. Add Beverly Crusher’s ominous video message warning Picard to “trust no one,” and you’ve built up sufficient dramatic tension to finally introduce Vadic. Some might think the TNG alums are merely “pathetic old warriors,” but we’re betting they’ll prove up to the challenge, whether it means life or death.
The third season of Star Trek: Picard premiers on February 16, 2023. New episodes of the 10-episode season will release every Thursday through April 20.
Listing image by YouTube/Paramount+