Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon served as the showrunner of the first season of Star Trek: Picard. It turns out bringing Picard back to the Star Trek universe yielded challenges even for a writer of his caliber. In a new video posted on StarTrek.com, Chavon revealed the most challenging scene of the season to write. It turns out to be one of the final scenes of the season, Picard's conversation with Data after Picard's death in the season finale episode, "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2." He spoke a bit about it and about the pressure of trying to write such a scene loaded with both history and meaning.
"I think the biggest was a scene in the last episode between Picard and Data that's taking place in what we call the 'Dataverse," in this sort of simulated reality in which we learn that Data has been existing as sort of simulacrum of himself for a long time," Chabon says. "And Picard entering into this simulation and getting to write this scene, a long scene between these two amazing actors playing these two incredible characters talking about really serious and the most important thing of all, talking about life and death and the meaning of life.
"When I got to it, I remember I was actually in San Diego for San Diego Comic-Con in our hotel room, and starting that scene and having this sudden feeling of like, 'What made anyone, including me, think I could do this? I have to write Picard and Data.' You know, we'd had Data earlier in the series but in those sort of dream scenes. This is like Data as Data. This is my first time writing that character not as a dream Data but as the actual Data, in a sense, and Picard together. All that history, all those episodes, and then these two amazing actors. I knew so well by that point what Patrick could do, knowing what Brent can do, hoping I could rise to that occasion and say something meaningful about life and death and put all that together. That was really hard to do."
Chabon remains an executive producer on Picard and will write two episodes of the upcoming second season. He's handed over showrunner duties to Terry Matalas. Chabon will focus most of his energy on developing the television adaptation of his Pulitzer-winning novel The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.