Star Trek: Picard Season 3's Villain Was Inspired By Wrath Of Khan [Comic-Con]

"Star Trek" is having a moment. The half-century old franchise is going through an unexpected Rennaisance period. There's not just one or two popular shows airing on Paramount+ but five. The beloved franchise went to warp speed at Comic-Con today with an extra-long panel delivering new details about all the shows "Trek" fans love. /Film was there to cover it, and the first big news of the day? "Star Trek: Picard" is going the "Wrath of Khan" route.

Rest assured, this doesn't sound like it'll be another "Star Trek: Into Darkness" bait-and-switch. Rather, series co-creator Alex Kurtzman says the new season will take some cues from the classic "Trek" film when crafting its own villain. "Obviously, Wrath of Khan is a massive touchstone for anybody who loves 'Star Trek,'" Kurtzman told audiences in Hall H today, "But I think one of the things that we love most about Wrath of Khan is the mind games between Kirk and Khan and the one-ups-manship. That has been, I think, a real north star for us this season in the villain that we created."

Picard is in for Khan-like mind games

The presence of a Khan-like figure in the third season of "Star Trek: Picard" shouldn't come as a total surprise, as last season's finale included a moment in which Dr. Adam Soong (Brent Spiner) pulls out a paper file titled "Project Khan" with stardates from the 1990s on it. At the time, some "Trek" fans felt the series was set to jump the shark by bringing Khan Noonien Singh, the iconic villain played by Ricardo Montalban in "Star Trek: The Original Series" and "Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan," into the mix.

Based on Kurtzman's comments at Comic-Con, "Star Trek: Picard" may have a different plan in mind. "We do have a singular villain this season," the executive producer says. "I won't say too much other than to say that she is amazing." While there's no telling who this villain will be as of right now, recent "Trek" series have also shed some light on Khan's family tree, introducing the decidedly heroic character La'an Noonien-Singh in this year's "Star Trek: Strange New Worlds."

Also at the panel today, Kurtzman also talked about looking at the series like "a final 'Next Gen' movie," add, "It was really exciting to approach this from a place of...who would these characters be now so many years later?" The showrunner says that the team behind "Star Trek: Picard" very much "wanted to honor the legacy of these extraordinary characters" with the new season.

"Star Trek: Picard" season 3 will debut on Paramount+, but the release date has not yet been announced.