Star Trek continues its big TV comeback in 2020, with the premiere of Star Trek: Picard, a series that will bring back Sir Patrick Stewart as Star Trek: The Next Generation's iconic captain, Jean-Luc Picard. Star Trek: Picard is set in the year 2399, which is 20 years after we last saw Picard and the crew of the Enterprise battle Picard's clone Praetor Shinzon in Star Trek: Nemesis. It's already been teased that the world at the end of the 24th century will be a much different one than we saw in TNG, with a much different Jean-Luc Picard to go with it. Now we can confirm that there will definitely be one iconic Star Trek race missing from Picard's world when season 1 kicks off.
In a new video interview with Variety, Patrick Stewart reveals that the Cardassian race hasn't yet been factored into Star Trek: Picard's storyline yet. As you can see below, Stewart drops the reveal after being asked about the famous Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes "Chain of Command":
"There's not been a sign of a Cardassian in this first series. And they were the ones who put me through that particular torture."
To explain the statement in full context, "Chain of Command" saw Jean-Luc Picard captured and brutally tortured by Cardassian commander, Gul Madred (David Warner) tries to break Picard by making him admit to seeing five lights, when there are only four. Jean-Luc held out against the torture (if only barely) and was returned to the Enterprise without further harm. The interviewer asked if, in this modern era when truth is optional, there are till just four lights that Picard would see.
The Cardassian Union was brought to the brink of extinction during the Dominion War of 2373 - 2375 (as chronicled in the final arc of Star Trek: Deep Space 9). The series left the question hanging about whether or not the Cardassian's were capable of adopting a different philosophy for their culture besides war and conquest. Needless to say, it's a question that will now be looming over this new Star Trek: Picard series - even if it's not addressed in season 1. It shouldn't upset too many fans; after all, Star Trek: Discovery has bothered with doing a checklist of alien race cameos, and seems to be doing just fine. There's definitely a way to connect Picard back to the Cardassian race organically, given the timeline and themes - so let's let the showrunners get their in due time.
Star Trek: Picard premieres on CBS All Access on January 23rd.