Star Trek: Picard Showrunner Promises Passing the Baton to New Generation In Season 3

While the Star Trek: The Next Generation cast have hinted that they don't want Star Trek: Picard Season 3 to be their last adventure, showrunner Terry Matalas did say that the season will include the passing of the baton moment that has marked other transitional moments in the franchise. Matalas and the Next Gen crew were guests at New York Comic Con, appearing during the Star Trek: Picard portion of the Star Trek Universe panel. A fan asked Matalas about the possibility of Picard's final season having such a moment, in which the TNG crew would pass the torch to the new generation of captains, noting its difficulty given that the current crop of Star Trek shows is spread out through periods of time. Matalas offered no details but did confirm that such a scene is in store. Given the hurdles, it'll be interesting to see what form that scene takes.

These passing the torch moments have happened since the Star Trek: The Next Generation premiere, when DeForest Kelley reprised his role as Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy from Star Trek: The Original Series to tour the USS Enterprise-D during "Encounter at Farpoint," with Data (Brent Spiner) as his guide. Then, when Star Trek: Deep Space Nine premiered, Patrick Stewart appeared as Capt. Jean-Luc Picard in the show's first episode, "Emissary." Picard's presence was notably more than a cameo as his conversion to Locutus of Borg in "The Best of Both Worlds" had been woven into Cmdr. Ben Sisko's (Avery Brooks) backstory. Deep Space Nine also took on a recurring Next Generation cast member on a permanent basis, recruiting Colm Meaney as Miles O'Brien. 

Then, when Star Trek: Voyager launched, its premiere included members of the crew hanging out a Quark's Bar on Deep Space Nine, with Armin Shimmerman as Quark making an appearance. Perhaps the ultimate handoff was Leonard Nimoy reprising his role as Spock and taking the character into the Kelvin Timeline in 2009's Star Trek movie.

Star Trek: Picard sees Patrick Stewart reprising his role as Jean-Luc Picard, the character he played for seven seasons on Star Trek: The Next Generation. In the series' third and final season, he's joined by the rest of Star Trek: The Next Generation's core cast -- LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Jonathan Frakes, Gates McFadden, Marina Sirtis, and Brent Spiner -- along with Jeri Ryan and Michelle Hurd.

Star Trek: Picard Season 3 debuts on Paramount+ on February 16th. The first two seasons of the series are streaming now on Paramount+.