Star Trek Gives Picard a Hip New Nickname

Captain Jean-Luc Picard is known for giving all of his first officers the same nickname. He liked [...]

Captain Jean-Luc Picard is known for giving all of his first officers the same nickname. He liked to refer to them each as "Number One." Now it seems his final Starfleet first officer decided turnabout was fair play. In the third episode of Star Trek: Picard, "The End is the Beginning," we learn that Raffi Musiker had a nickname for her commanding officer. From the first scene they share together, Raffi refers to Picard only as "JL." It's an abbreviation of Jean-Luc, but it is also far more familiar than Commander Wil Riker ever was with him aboard the Enterprise in Star Trek: The Next Generation.

The nickname first appeared in the Star Trek: Picard prequel comic Star Trek: Picard — Countdown, published by IDW Publishing. That series takes place before the supernova that destroys Romulus. Picard is an admiral and the Odyssey-class USS Verity is his ship. He's heading up efforts to relocated the Romulan people living within the supernova's blast zone. Raffi is his first officer because she's one of Starfleet's foremost experts on Romulan culture. In one of their first panels together, Raffi calls Picard "JL" and the admiral laments the fact that she's never going to stop doing that. It seems to have become such a habit that she continues to use the nickname 14 years after they last spoke and despite how angry she is at him.

This is but one sign of how different Picard's relationship with Raffi is from his relationship with Riker. "It's completely different from Riker's, for sure, absolutely," Michelle Hurd, the actress who plays Raffi, told during an interview ahead of the show's premiere. "Much more complicated, actually. And they also had a falling out, so there's a lot of issues there and a little bit of baggage and, you know, I'm a woman. He's not."

Hurd revealed a bit more about the character in a Star Trek: Picard behind-the-scenes featurette. "Raffi's a really interesting character," Hurd says. "She's a security chief. She's been a spy. She's probably one of the most intelligent creatures when it comes to science and to mathematics. When it comes to sort of personal interactions, maybe she doesn't score quite as high."

What do you think of Raffi's new nickname for Picard? Let us know in the comments. New episodes of Star Trek: Picard become available to stream Thursdays on CBS All Access.

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