Everything We Learned From The New Star Trek: Picard Season 3 Trailer

The first full trailer for the third season of "Star Trek: Picard" was released today, the 56th anniversary of the U.S. premiere of the original "Star Trek." The third season of "Picard" has already been announced as the show's last, and it will see the return of more familiar faces from "Star Trek: The Next Generation." Patrick Stewart will return as the title character, and Jonathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis, and Brent Spiner have also already appeared on "Picard." Joining them will be LeVar Burton, Gates McFadden, and Michael Dorn. Apart from Wil Wheaton (who did reprise his role as Wesley Crusher in "Picard" last season) and Denise Crosby, all of the central cast members from "TNG" will return. 

The last time audiences saw this cast in the same place, it was at the end of "Star Trek: Nemesis," where Picard and the crew were sadly toasting the passing of Data (Spiner) who had just sacrificed himself to save a damaged Enterprise-E. The ship was poised to be destroyed by the Scimitar, a Romulan ship armed with a doomsday weapon, and Data threw himself through the vacuum of space in order to rescue Picard and destroy the Scimitar. 

Data would return in the first season "Picard" as ... Well, it's complicated. Evidently, some remaining charred specks of Data were salvaged from the Scimitar wreckage by an enterprising cyberneticist who was able — sigh — to make android clones out of them. Data's mind was resurrected, but left to languish on a computer server, while his specks were grown into the semi-organic android women Daj and Soji (both played by Isa Briones). Spiner would also play a descendent of Data's creator.

Now that there is scant information available, the opportunity has come to engage in that nerdiest of pastimes: speculation. 

The U.S.S. Titan

Namechecked throughout the "Picard" trailer is the U.S.S. Titan, a Luna-class vessel that Cmdr. Riker (Frakes) took command of when he was promoted to captain. Also during "Nemesis," Riker and Troi (Sirtis) finally tied the knot and the "team" split up to allow the couple to serve on a new vessel. Worf (Dorn) had already departed years earlier, as he served on Deep Space Nine for several years, and then, at the conclusion of that show (three years prior to "Nemesis") became the Federation's official ambassador to Chronos, the Klingon homeworld. 

The U.S.S. Titan would also become an important vessel on "Star Trek: Lower Decks," as one of that show's main characters, Ens. Boimler (Jack Quaid), would briefly serve on it. As a captain, Riker proved to be just as lusty and foolhardy as one might assume, laughing in delight as he piloted the ship into increasingly dangerous territory. "Picard" takes place many years after "Lower Decks." 

From what was revealed in the "Picard" trailer, not only would Riker return to the Titan, but Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) would be serving as the ship's first officer. It seems she was exonerated for all the murders she committed during the first season of "Picard." While one might assume that Riker is the captain of the Titan, there are actually no shots of him in the captain's chair, and no one calls him captain. In fact, it's safe to assume Riker is not the captain of the Titan, as he was in command of a ship called the U.S.S. Zheng He in one episode of "Picard," and then only as acting captain. 

Where have they been?

The final episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" — called "All Good Things..." and first aired on May 32, 1994 — saw Picard becoming unstuck in time and experiencing the present, the past, and the future at random intervals. The future timeline as presented in "All Good Things..." was, of course, a speculative timeline and was by no means a definite written history of the characters. Indeed, the events of "Picard" have already contradicted that future. 

But there will be, as Trekkies might sense, a temptation to take elements from that episode and apply them to "Picard" season 3. Notably, Geordi LaForge (Burton) may very well be married to Dr. Leah Brahms (Susan Gibney) a potential love interest Geordi had met in a few past episodes. The LaForge/Brahms coupling almost seems like an inevitability at this point. Also needing backstory is Dr. Crusher (McFadden) who, in "All Good Things..." had married — and divorced — Jean-Luc Picard, and taken command of a souped-up Enterprise-D. The Enterprise-D, one might recall, was destroyed in "Star Trek Generations." In the "Picard" trailer, she wields guns and contacts Picard about a mysterious mission he is required for. An exciting thought: Dr. Crusher has gone rogue.

Also needing backstory is Worf, who was an ambassador, yes, but surely something else by now. Living on the Klingon homeworld would likely allow for some interesting new tales to tell. We do know that Worf has aged quite a bit since last we saw him, now sporting completely white hair. Klingons, through some fan extrapolation, seem to live about 150 years on average. Provided they don't die in battle for the glory of the Empire.

Whither Spiner?

All told, throughout the Trek franchise, Brent Spiner has played seven different characters. 

In addition to Data and Altan Soong on "Picard," Spiner also played a very elderly Noonien Soong, Data's actual creator, as well as Data's evil android twin Lore. He also played a rudimentary Data prototype named B-4 in "Nemesis." In a fun multi-part episode of "Star Trek: Enterprise," Spiner played Arik Soong, a geneticist who was trying to illegally perfect the human genome. In that episode, it was established that Soongs are typically villains. Eventually Arik would come to the conclusion that genetics is no way to perfect humanity, but that he could get started on an android project... 

On the second season of "Picard," set in the year 2024, Spiner played Adam Soong, an ancestor of Arik, who was also keen on tinkering with genetics. He would fall into league with Q (John de Lancie), and then later a Borg Queen (Annie Wersching in Allison Pill's body) in an effort to kill off an ancestor of Picard's. It's all very complicated. Just know that Arik was also a villain. 

At the outset of "Picard" season 3, however, most of these characters are dead. Spiner was credited in the "Picard" teaser trailer, so he will return, but it's impossible to say as which character. A possibility: the last time audiences saw Lore, in the episode "Descent" (September 20, 1993), he was apprehended and dismantled for various crimes. Lore could handily be recovered and reassembled to go about his villainous ways. B-4 also seems to have been left in tact, and Spiner could handily play a stripped-down, personality-free android as well. 

"Star Trek: Picard" season 3 will debut February 16, 2023, on Paramount+.