Star Trek: Picard Brings Back Jean-Luc's First Ship With a Major Upgrade

Star Trek: Picard's second season premiere had plenty of Easter eggs, as well as a new romance and the loss of a character. Additionally, the episode called back to the first ship that Jean-Luc Picard commanded before he took command of the USS Enterprise. SPOILERS follow for Star Trek: Picard's season two premiere episode, "The Star Gazer." In the episode, it is revealed that Cristobal Rios has rejoined Starfleet after the events of the first season and is now a starship captain. The ship under his command is none other than a new version of the USS Stargazer, Picard's first command. 

Picard served aboard the Constellation-class Stargazer, with its distinctive four-nacelle design, for 22 years before transferring to the Enterprise. It was aboard the Stargazer that Picard first devised the "Picard maneuver" during a battle with the Ferengi. It's this history that led Star Trek: Picard's writers to bring the ship back for season two.

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(Photo: Paramount+)

"We brought the Stargazer back because it's not the Enterprise and yet Picard has a deep emotional attachment to it and we wanted to reach backward in time," says Star Trek: Picard co-creator/co-showrunner Akiva Goldsman in a video on StarTrek.com. "This show, this year is about reaching backward in time. It's about trauma. Because the closest thing that human beings have to time travel is trauma. I guarantee you that a piece of you is stuck in the worst moment you've ever had. That's what human nature is. That is how we survive loss, and we work through it, or we don't. And if we don't, we're trapped in time, and that is the thematic truth of the season. And so anything that could be seen both yesterday and today is useful for us. Whether it be seen literally or in somebody's heart and imagination."

Of course, the ship's design needed a little upgrading to fit into Star Trek: Picard's 25th-century setting. In the same video, production designer Dave Blass explains that they still wanted to keep what was iconic about the original Stargazer.

"In creating the newest, greatest Starfleet technology, we wanted to move the technology further, but also kind of keep in the world that we understand," Blass says. "We looked at the change from the Next Generation era to the original series and it was like, how much of an upgrade? And kind of played in that realm. We didn't want to change everything, but we wanted to keep it iconic, so we looked at the original Stargazer. We wanted to keep that idea of the four nacelles. We wanted it to feel like the old Stargazer, but a newer, upgraded version where it's sleeker, newer, and more modern."

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The second season of Star Trek: Picard will debut a new episode weekly on Thursdays on Paramount+. The entire first and season two premiere, "The Star Gazer," are now streaming on Paramount+. Star Trek: Picard's third season has completed filming.