Today, Patrick Stewart announced his return to the role of Jean-Luc Picard in a new Star Trek series on CBS All Access much to the delight of fans and Star Trek alum alike, including Wil Wheaton. However, while Wheaton is thrilled his former Star Trek: The Next Generation co-star is returning to the franchise, there's one particular fan reaction that the actor isn't quite as excited about.
Shortly after Star Trek: Discovery co-creator Alex Kurtzman made an unexpected appearance at the Star Trek Las Vegas convention to announce the new Star Trek series with Stewart joining him onstage to confirm his return to the beloved character, fans took to social media to celebrate. Among the posts on Twitter were numerous fans calling on some of Picard's more iconic phrases including "shut up, Wesley". While that might have been one thing on its own, it quickly became problematic for Wheaton after he shared his own, exuberant reaction to Stewart's news and quickly had the phrase thrown back at him.
*sigh* Listen, folks. I was a Star Trek fan before I worked on TNG. I remain a Star Trek fan to this day. I am as excited as any other Trekkie in the world about this, and telling me "Shut up Wesley" when I'm excited about this is shitty and cruel. Please don't do that.— Wil 'this account mocks fascists' Wheaton (@wilw) August 4, 2018
"Listen, folks. I was a Star Trek fan before I worked on TNG. I remain a Star Trek fan to this day. I am as excited as any other Trekkie in the world about this and telling me "Shut up Wesley" when I'm excited about this is sh***y and cruel. Please don't do that," Wheaton wrote on Twitter.
For those who might be unfamiliar, Wheaton played Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation, the young son of Dr. Beverly Crusher. Wesley is a highly intelligent young man, though early in the character's appearance he is frequently portrayed as being irritating to Picard. While Wesley evolves over his time on the series, there's a scene in the episode "Datalore" where Picard notably yells "shut up, Wesley" at the young man that stuck with fans and has followed Wheaton ever since. Wheaton has been clear that the phrase isn't funny to him the way it is for many fans. Instead, he's written and said numerous times the phrase is hurtful to him. As he explained last December after a set of custom LEGO minifigs depicted Wesley crying, the phrase has represented three decades of people hating on the character because of the way he was written for one season.
"This is about thirty years of people kicking Wesley Crusher around because the writers in the first season of Next Generation (who gave us such memorable gems as Angel One, Code of Honor, and The Last Outpost) didn't write him as well as writers in later seasons, and once the fandom narrative was fixed, no amount Final Mission or Starfleet Academy-like episodes could change it."
However, even with the problematic phrase coming back yet again Wheaton's exuberant excitement for Stewart's return as Picard really is only one of many very enthusiastic responses to the news. Anson Mount, who is joining the franchise as Captain Pike in Star Trek: Discovery's second season, shared that he had "just screamed like a little girl" at the news himself and Wheaton also has many supporters himself who want him to remain vocal -- particularly today.
"Wil - please never shut up," one fan wrote. "Especially about [Patrick Stewart] reprising Picard."
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