How Star Trek's New Picard Series Got a Pulitzer-Winning Author on Board

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon has joined the Star Trek franchise. He made his Star Trek debut writing the Star Trek: Short Treks episode "Calypso," released in 2018. He's currently working on Star Trek's new Picard-focused series, starring Patrick Stewart.

So how did Star Trek get Chabon on board? According to producer Alex Kurtzman, it actually wasn't all that difficult.

"It came about because he's a crazy Star Trek fan, and he knows absolutely everything there is to know, and he happens to be one of the greatest novelists of all time," Kurtzman told at the TCA Winter 2019 Press Tour. "And I am completely and totally obsessed with Kavalier and Clay. I read it on my honeymoon cover to cover, and I have not stopped thinking about it since, and I've been married for almost 20 years, so it's very present for me still.

"So the second I heard he was interested, I kind of stalked him," Kurtzman continued. "And to my great delight, found that he didn't require any stalking. He was already in, and I talk to him every day. I talk to him several times a day as we build this thing. His voice has been really critical, and he's so brilliant. He's so thoughtful. He truly understands the core of what Trek is and what Picard and Next Generation is specifically. So, he is one of the many wonderful voices we have in the room."

In a previous interview, Chabon himself revealed why he believes Jean-Luc Picard is the hero the world needs right now, and the value he finds in the Star Trek franchise.

"To me, dystopia has lost its bite," Chabon said. "A, we're living in it, and B, it's such a complete crushing series of cliches at this point. The tropes have all been worked and reworked so many times. There was a period where a positive, optimistic, techno-future where mankind learns to live in harmony and goes out into the stars just to discover and not to conquer, that was an overworked trope. But that is no longer the case. A positive vision of the future articulated through principles of tolerance and egalitarianism and optimism and the quest for scientific knowledge, to me that feels fresh nowadays.

"Captain Picard is the hero we need right now. He exemplifies in some ways even more than James Kirk -- and I'm not gonna get into the Kirk vs Picard argument because I love Captain Kirk, he was my first captain -- but Picard is even more of an exemplar of everything that is best about Star Trek's vision for the future...And he wasn't such a hound dog as Captain Kirk."


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