Rejoice Next Generation fans! Although there have been rumors of this; now it’s official. Sir Patrick Stewart will be returning as Jean-Luc Picard.
Alex Kurtzman had Stewart come out to make the announcement at Star Trek Las Vegas today.
“I have spent a lot of time recently, watching Star Trek: The Next Generation, including episodes I’ve never seen before, which was fun and exciting,” Stewart told the crowd.
“And gradually it became clearer and clearer to me…the power of that show, the success of that show, the benefits that it gave. I have never, ever grown tired of hearing from people who stop me in the street, or in a restaurant…who say to me, ‘Your show changed my life. Without Star Trek: The Next Generation, I might not be here.’
“A detective’s son…wrote to me about his life and his work and towards the end he said, ‘Do you know – there are days I love my job and there are days when I go home but all I have seen, what I have experienced; the cruelty, the barbarity, the viciousness, the nastiness of what I’ve experienced; makes me despair for the future of our society and the world. But when I feel like that, I go to my video shop. I take down Star Trek: The Next Generation, and I know we’re going to have a future.’
“And that lies at the very center of what I have to tell you now.
“Jean-Luc Picard is back!”
“However, he may not, and I stress may not, be a captain anymore,” said Picard. “He may not be the Jean-Luc that you recognize and know so well. It may be a very different individual. Someone who has been changed by his experiences. Twenty years will have passed, which is more or less exactly the time between the very last movie – Nemesis – and today.
“We have no script as yet. We’re talking, talking, talking, storyline. It will be, I promise you, I guarantee it, something very, very different. But it will come to you with the same passion, and determination and love of the material and love of our followers and our fans, exactly as we had it before.”
Stewart also posted on his Twitter account, saying “It is an unexpected but delightful surprise to find myself excited and invigorated to be returning to Jean-Luc Picard and to explore new dimensions within him.”
Ted Sullivan also posted on Twitter, saying that the idea of bringing back Picard comes courtesy of “our dear friend and lifelong Trek ‘keeper of the flame’ #KirstenBeyer.”
Kurtzman said that “with overwhelming joy, it’s a privilege to welcome Sir Patrick Stewart back to the Star Trek fold. For over twenty years, fans have hoped for the return of Captain Jean-Luc Picard and that day is finally here. We can’t wait to forge new ground, surprise people, and honor generations both new and old.”