Even since the long-rumored Star Trek series focusing on the legendary Captain Jean-Luc Picard was confirmed last summer, fans have been left to wonder what, exactly, the CBS All Access show might be about. Obviously, it’s going to be about Patrick Stewart’s iconic Starfleet officer in his old age, but at what point? And in what context of the greater primary Star Trek timeline, in which the story is set? We still don’t know, but the first teaser trailer for Star Trek: Picard does offer a few scant clues.
The teaser, which dropped on Thursday, is more atmospheric and moody than not. It consists of several shots of the Picard family winery in France, where the series finale of Star Trek: The Next Generation, “All Good Things,” found the retired Starfleet officer. A voiceover from an unknown female character offers some context for what we’re seeing:
“15 years ago today, you led us out of the darkness. You commanded the greatest rescue armada in history. Then, the unimaginable. What did that cost you? Your faith? Your faith in us? Your faith in yourself? Tell us, why did you leave Starfleet, admiral?”
Taken by itself, very little of this will make sense to Star Trek fans and novices alike. However, thanks to a recent Los Angeles Times interview with Alex Kurtzman, the show’s executive producer, we do know a few things that might help to explain it. For starters, we know that Picard takes place 18 years after the events of Star Trek: Nemesis, Stewart’s final appearance as the character before the current show’s announcement. Also, we know that this is going to be “a more psychological show, a character study about this man in his emeritus years”:
“There are so few shows that allow a significantly older protagonist to be the driver… It’ll be very different than [Star Trek: Discovery]. It’ll be slower, more meditative. It speaks to the rainbow of colors we’re playing with in all these different shows… What happens when circumstances have conspired to not give him the happiest of endings? Hopefully, it’s a reinforcement of [Gene] Roddenberry’s vision of optimism. He’s going to have to go through deep valleys to get back to the light.”
Maybe Picard’s leadership of the “greatest rescue armada in history” resulted in a deeply personal loss of some sort, something akin to the loss of his extended family in Star Trek: Generations. Whatever the case may be, audiences will find out when Star Trek: Picard premieres sometime later this year on CBS All Access. Here’s a poster as well.