Star Trek: Picard is shaping up to be unlike any Star Trek series before it. Executive Producer Alex Kurtzman said at San Diego Comic-Con that the new series will be different from its forebear, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and from modern Star Trek as defined, so far, by Star Trek: Discovery.
"It's entirely different [from Discovery]," Kurtzman says. "It all started with Patrick [Stewart], actually. When we went to him, as he said, he was reticent for all the right reasons, mostly because he did not want to repeat what he had already done, which he had done perfectly, so why do that again? And we had several conversations with him and you really challenged us, you challenged us beautifully. And it forced us to think outside the box and yet it also forced is to look at what is important about the box as it existed for people who loved Next Gen. And what is it about this great captain that everybody loved so much? And Kirsten [Beyer], and Michael [Chabon], and Akiva [Goldsman], and Patrick, and James Duff and all of us all sat down we asked lots of what Trek meant to each of us and what Trek meant to Patrick and from that, these really interesting storylines began to emerge about Picard. And Picard is at a point, for sure, that he's questioning many of the choices he's made, and yet he's very certain about many of the choices he's made. And I think it's allowed us to shake the character up in ways that allow us to give [Stewart] new things to play while also honoring and respecting everything that has already been done so well."
Producer Akiva Goldsman brought the topic back up again later in the panel. He noted that the style is different from Discovery, and yet the storytelling has similarities. Also, it is not a sequel to The Next Generation but does tackle familiar Star Trek themes.
"We pointedly wanted to not make a sequel to Next Gen," Goldsman says. "Tonally it is a little bit of a hybrid. Obviously, it's, you will see — I hope — slower, more gentle, more lyrical. It is certainly more character-based. It also takes on the same thing that The Original Series took on, that Next Gen took on, that Discovery takes on, which is a hope for a future that is in many ways better than the world we live in today. Star Trek remains aspirational. What we get to do, which DS9 got to do a little bit, then Discovery got to do, is tell serialized stories and in serialized storytelling, the characters can evolve in a way that makes it unique. So, we think it is a new kind of Star Trek show made by a lot of people who love the old kinds of Star Trek shows."