Today during the Star Trek Universe panel in Hall H of San Diego Comic-Con 2019, Star Trek: Picard showrunner Michael Chabon revealed that Star Trek: The Next Generation stars Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis will reprise their respective roles as Will Riker and Deanna Troi in the new series. Frakes was already confirmed to direct the third and fourth episode of the new series. Last Riker and Troi were seen in Star Trek: Nemesis, they were newlyweds leaving the Enterprise as Riker took command of the USS Titan.
The trailer revealed during the panel also showed that Next Generation character Data (Brent Spiner), Star Trek: Voyager's Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan), and the Borg will all play roles in the new series. The trailer focused on Data's sacrifice to save Picard's life in Star Trek: Nemesis, and fans will remember how the Borg factors into the lives of both Picard and Seven of Nine.
Executive producer Alex Kurtzman told ComicBook.com at the TCA 2019 Winter Press Tour about the group of creatives working on the series and how the new show differs from Star Trek: The Next Generation. "Everybody in that room loves Jean-Luc Picard very deeply, and obviously, the benefit that we have is that Jean-Luc Picard is in the room with us," Kurtzman said. "And so, as we're breaking story, we're asking ourselves, 'How do we live to the spirit, and to the character, and for the tone that Next Gen set, but also make it something very, very different in other ways?' And Patrick was really clear with us from the beginning. He did not want to repeat what he had already done. And by the way, it's been 20 plus years, so he couldn't possibly be that same person anymore.
"And so, the question becomes, 'What has happened to him in that period of time? Have there been occurrences that forced him to reckon with choices that he's made in his life? How do you hold on to being the person everybody loved when the circumstances around you may have changed so radically?' And those are the big questions that we're asking."
In addition to Stewart, the new Star Trek series also stars Alison Pill, Harry Treadaway, Isa Briones, Evan Evagora, Santiago Cabrera and Michelle Hurd. The first two episodes of the series were directed by Hanelle Culpepper. The third and fourth episodes of the series will be directed by Frakes.
"Eighteen years later. I think the fans are going to be thrilled and excited and surprised," Frakes previously said of the series. "I have had the privilege of reading the first couple of episodes and I have spent some time with Patrick who is so engaged [laughs] Sorry. It's wonderful. It's smart. I'm excited about it. He is obviously more excited. His announcing of it at Las Vegas — which I believe was his idea —was very smart. You know he is 78, and he is going to be carrying the show on his shoulders, his considerable shoulders.