Star Trek fans are hyped about Picard Season 3 bringing back a lot of the main cast members of Star Trek: The Next Generation for what is being (ominously) touted as the final story of the characters. But how final is "final" when it comes to Star Trek? Across various Star Trek series and lore we've seen time and again that even when it seems the finality of death has come it's rarely a true ending – but this time could be decidedly different.
Star Trek: Picard showrunner Terry Matalas recently did a big interview about all the finer details of TNG canon and lore to know going into Star Trek: Picard Season 3. After the interview was finished, Matalas continued taking fan questions via Twitter. One fan was quick to express his anxiety over Picard's Final Season, and the possible fates of key Next Generation characters:
"Spending my Saturday night alone with my own thoughts," wrote Twitter user @pockets_13 Unfortunately that has led me to freaking out that one of the TNG characters is going to die in #StarTrekPicard S3. Please, @TerryMatalas, let these guys live happily ever after!"
Well, Terry Matalas couldn't make that promise, letting the fan know, in no uncertain terms, that "safety not guaranteed".
A follow-up from a different fan came with the warning that killing beloved TNG characters "would be a major risk Terry...".
Star Trek: Picard's Final Season will bring Patrick Stewart back together with his Star Trek: The Next Generation castmates Worf (Michale Dorn), Geordi La Forge (LeVar Burton), Will Riker (Jonathan Frakes), Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis), Denise Crosby (Tasha Yar), and Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden), with Brent Spiner also returning (in some capacity). Trailer and rumors have all definitely lent credit to the notion that some of these characters won't survive; Spiner can play any number of alternate characters to Data that could be killed off; Picard Season 3's trailer also makes it look like McFaddens' Beverly Crusher could possibly be a death that actually sets the larger seasonal story in motion. While fans are giddy about the reunion angle, they should indeed keep in mind that some (all?) of these actors may well be doing this to firmly punctuate their Star Trek exit (and free them from fan obsession).
In his lengthier interview with TrekMovie, Matalas explained how Star Trek is upping its technical scope for this very special final season of Picard:
"It is very different," Matalas said. "We really wanted to make this as cinematic an experience as possible. If there wasn't going to be a final Star Trek: The Next Generation movie then this 10-episode series would serve that and feel like that. So when it comes out, my recommendation would be to turn off the lights, pop some popcorn, and you got 10 chapters ahead of you that should feel as cinematic as possible."
Star Trek: Picard Season 3 premieres only on Paramount+ on February 16, 2023.