Star Trek Head Reveals Event That "Radically Alters" Picard's Life in New Series

Patrick Stewart will return to his role as Jean-Luc Picard in a new Star Trek series on CBS All Access. While the series is still shrouded in secrecy, we now have our first clue as to what Picard is like 20 years past the last time fans saw him on screen.

According to Star Trek head Alex Kurtzman, there’s one major event that transpired in the Star Trek universe that has changed the course of Jean-Luc Picard’s life.

"Picard's life was radically altered by the dissolution of the Romulan Empire," Kurtzman tells The Hollywood Reporter.

The Romulan homeworld of Romulus was revealed to have been destroyed by a supernova in the 2009 Star Trek reboot film, which Kurtzman co-wrote. Kurtzman’s statement here seems to confirm that the destruction of Romulus led to the fall of the Romulan Star Empire.

Picard dealt with the Romulan Empire on multiple occasions throughout Star Trek: The Next Generation. Most notably, he teamed with Spock in an attempt to reunify the Romulans with the Vulcans, the people the Romulans’ progenitors left behind. The reunification attempt proved to be a ploy by the Romulans, which Picard and Spock ended.

The last time fans saw Picard was in Star Trek: Nemesis. In the film, Picard was invited to Romulus by Shinzon, a clone of Picard created by the Romulans. Shinzon was created to replace and impersonate Picard on behalf of the Romulan Empire, but the plan was abandoned when some in the Romulan government decided the risk was too great. Shinzon instead grew up among the Remans on one of Romulus’ moons. He eventually led a coup against the Romulan Senate, but his plans were foiled by Picard and his crew.

Kurtzman also co-wrote the plot for Star Trek: Countdown, the comic book prequel to 2009’s Star Trek. Whether the comic should be taken as canon has never been confirmed, but it shows at least one version of Picard’s life after the events of Nemesis. Picard leaves the Enterprise and becomes the Federation's ambassador to Vulcan. He works closely with Spock to try to prevent the destruction of Romulus. If this material is to be considered canon, perhaps Picard’s failure to prevent the disaster has left him with feelings of guilt and changed his outlook.

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The new Picard series is expected to premiere in late 2019.