Sir Patrick Stewart boldly returns to the saga of The Next Generation in the first official footage from Star Trek: Picard—and it turns out he’s not the only familiar face. During the show’s panel at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday, Next Generation cast member Brent Spiner and Voyager‘s Jeri Ryan made a surprise appearance to reveal they would be appearing in Picard as their respective characters Data and Seven of Nine.
In the trailer, Picard is seen looking over Data’s disembodied parts when he’s asked if he’s “ever been a stranger” to himself.
“Many, many times,” Picard answers. “Nearly two decades ago, Commander Data sacrificed his life for me. These past few years, I’ve really tried to belong here [away from Starfleet]. But it never truly felt like home.”
The trailer reveals that when a mysterious young girl with an intriguing destiny seeks him out, Picard returns to Starfleet intent on protecting her at all costs—and that means manning a Federation ship with his own crew of young recruits. But his crew seem to know more about his ward than meets the eye, and her destiny becomes clearer when the trailer builds to a shot of… the Borg cube! That’s where Seven of Nine comes in to lend a hand.
Earlier this week, Star Trek guru Alex Kurtzman also dropped hints that some of Sir Patrick’s former Next Generation co-stars would eventually guest star in Picard. “What we don’t want to do is just throw in cameos,” he said to Entertainment Weekly. “There would have to be an incredibly specific story reason [for them to be there].”
Jonathan Frakes (Commander Riker) has directed an episode of the spin-off series, and will also guest star along with Marina Sirtis (Deanna Troi). Jonathan Del Arco will also reprise his classic Borg role.
Kurtzman previously dropped some hints about the tone of the new series when he revealed on Deadline‘s “Crew Call” podcast that Picard had made some questionable choices since he was last on screen. “A lot has happened to Jean-Luc Picard in the intervening years,” he said. “There’s been a lot going on and he’s had to deal with some new things, he’s had to deal with some old things, and both of those things kind of come colliding together.
“He’s made choices that he’s not necessarily feeling great about—and yet I think the audience will understand exactly why he made them.”