Patrick Stewart discusses new season of ‘Star Trek: Picard’

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By María Estévez, MWN 

It has been 21 years since he hung up the uniform, but now the legendary Patrick Stewart has returned as Jean-Luc Picard. 

In a new season of ‘Star Trek: Picard’, he sees the opportunity to explore certain aspects of his character’s nature, his personality and his ambitions. Stewart recognized that it was important to appear as a co-producer in an attempt to shape the narrative.

“This is the first time that I work as a producer. They never gave me this opportunity before. They even let me participate as a screenwriter. They listened to my ideas and some of them were included in the first season. I’m very proud of what we’ve done,” he acknowledged.

According to the actor, “Next Generation” captain is as much a tale for the early 21st century as it is for the late 24th:

“The marginalization of others, not being open-hearted or seeing with empathetic eyes, this seems to be a pervasive problem we all saw as ripe for healing. Star Trek does its bit to heal social illnesses. I’m not saying we are turning Picard into a political show, not at all. We are making entertainment. Perhaps it should reflect the world that we’re living in, and that’s what ‘Star Trek’ has always done.” 

Season two takes the legendary Jean-Luc Picard and his crew on a bold and exciting journey into the past. Picard must enlist friends – both old and new – to confront the perils of 21st century Earth in a desperate race against time to save the galaxy’s future and face the ultimate trial from one of his greatest foes.

“We think of Jean-Luc as someone who is always helpful. But now, there are other elements of that helpfulness. Caring, perhaps even loving, and taking responsibility in ways that he hasn’t quite before. I must admit that I did not expect to return to this character. I was very proud of the work I had done for years on the series and the four movies. But when Alex Kurtzman and Akiva Goldsman called me, I was immediately sold on it. It has been very easy to return to this role 20 years later because the man existed within me. Picard never abandoned me. We maintain a relationship in which it is easy for me to cohabit with him, I am happy to return,” he explained to Metro.

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Stewart added: “The series is more focused on the characters and less on the technology. It takes us back to the original science fiction tradition. Among the issues that we will see is the marginalization of others, hardness of heart and lack of empathy, problems that permeate today’s society right now. ‘Star Trek’ puts its grain of sand trying to cure the disease that we suffer from.”

Aware of the legacy of his character, Stewart confessed that it does not weigh him down.

“It doesn’t bother me, it’s not a burden. There are some people, like Bill Shatner, who might take a bit of offense, but it’s true that I discovered shortly after getting involved with ‘Nemesis’, that he had hung a shadow around my neck. I met with a director to play a small role in his film, and he said, ‘Why would I want Jean-Luc Picard in my film?’ Since that moment I have dedicated myself to looking for different roles. It has taken me a while to absorb the impact of this work. In a sense, I am a symbol, and I am happy because it is a high-quality drama.”

While Stewart was not a part of the original series, his iconic character Jean-Luc Picard made his debut in 1987’s ‘The Next Generation’, arguably one of the biggest sci-fi TV series of all time. He played that character until his final appearance in the 2002 film ‘Star Trek: Nemesis’.

“I have always been very proud of the work we did on the series and in the movies,” the actor admitted.

Returning to the character was not an obstacle for Stewart, as Picard is as much his as he is the Captain of Starfleet:

“It has been much easier than I expected to make this transition. Little bits of backstory will be introduced into the series because it’s important for our audience to know why we’re living in the world we’ve created.”

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