Patrick Stewart is returning to his beloved Star Trek: The Next Generation role as Jean-Luc Picard. Before that, he returned to his role from the X-Men movies as Professor X in the film Logan. In a new profile piece in Variety, Stewart explains how starring in Logan helped convince him to return to Picard. The James Mangold-directed X-Men movie opened Stewart's mind to the idea that he could give Picard a better ending than the one he got in Star Trek: Nemesis. "Hugh [Jackman] and I were so thrilled when the last thing we did for X-Men was Logan," he says. "It was the best X-Men experience we both had, because we were the same characters but their world had been blown apart." He adds, "Next Generation didn't end like that. In fact, our last movie, Nemesis, was pretty weak."
This follows comments Stewart made about the connection between Logan and Picard at a recent convention appearance, saying that he brought Logan up while discusses his return with the producers of Picard. "I asked to meet them all again and at the second meeting, I had specific terms and conditions that I said would allow me to think about reviving this world," Stewart said. "Much of it was about what the world would be that you were going back to. I referenced X-Men and particularly the final movie that Hugh Jackman and myself did, Logan, as [to] what I had in mind. Logan was nothing like any of the other X-Men movies that had come before. It was very, very different. The world had changed. And so, I challenged Alex Kurtzman and Akiva Goldsman to come up with ideas for a completely different world than the one that we had known 17 or 18 years earlier."
Stewart also said in the interview that the world of Star Trek: Picard will be as changed from the world of Star Trek: The Next Generation as the world of Logan was from the world of the X-Men movies. "I think what we're trying to say is important," he says. "The world of Next Generation doesn't exist anymore. It's different. Nothing is really safe. Nothing is really secure... We are remaining very faithful to Gene Roddenberry's notion of what the future might be like. In a way, the world of Next Generation had been too perfect and too protected. It was the Enterprise. It was a safe world of respect and communication and care and, sometimes, fun."
Star Trek: Picard debuts January 23rd on CBS All Access.