Star Trek: Picard brings Jean-Luc Picard, once of the USS Enterprise, back into action. In his new adventures, Picard is no longer a Starfleet officer. Even before that, he left his position commanding Starfleet’s flagship vessel to focus on the Romulan relocation efforts. As an admiral, he took the USS Verity as his flagship. But The USS Enterprise-E didn’t disappear from the galaxy once Picard beamed off of it. Someone else took command of the vessel. It’s someone who has long been close to Picard and yet is still a surprising choice for the position. SPOILERS for the novel Star Trek: Picard -- The Last Best Hope by Una McCormack follow.
In the prequel comic book Star Trek: Picard -- Countdown, fans learned that Picard worked with Geordi La Forge to build the Romulan rescue fleet. During one of their conversations, they hint that they left someone they both know and trust in command of the USS Enterprise when they left. The Last Best Hope reveals that someone to be Worf.
It is still surprising to Worf in command of Starfleet vessel, let alone one as storied as Enterprise. Fans who followed Worf’s story after the end of Star Trek: The Next Generation and into Star Trek: Deep Space Nine may recall the episode “Change of Heart.” In the episode, Starfleet sends the newlywed Worf and Jadzia Dax on a mission to rescue a Federation spy from behind enemy lines. When Jadzia receives a wound that will be fatal without proper treatment, Worf chooses to save his wife’s life. He abandons the mission and leaves the spy to die. Upon returning to Deep Space 9, Captain Benjamin Sisko tells Worf that this incident will leave a black mark in his record. That mark would prevent him from ever getting his own command.
Picard puts Worf up for consideration to take command of the Enterprise anyway. Despite Worf’s record, Starfleet decides to go along with Picard’s recommendation. Having Starfleet’s first Klingon officer in command of Starfleet's flagship sends a message of unity to the Klingon Empire. That’s not a bad look when the impending destruction of Romulus threatens to throw the balance of power in the galaxy into disarray.
The Last Best Hope begins almost 20 years before the events of Star Trek: Picard. We don't’ yet know if Worf is still in command of the Enterprise during the events of the show. If he is, then that puts him in a position where he could play a major role in future seasons of the show. That’s exactly the kind fo role Michael Dorn wants to have if he’s to reprise his role as Worf.
New episodes of Star Trek: Picard streams Thursdays on CBS All Access.