'Star Trek': William Shatner Congratulates Patrick Stewart on Return

Yesterday, Star Trek fans received the news that Sir Patrick Stewart will be returning to his [...]

Yesterday, Star Trek fans received the news that Sir Patrick Stewart will be returning to his beloved role as Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation in a new Star Trek series on CBS All Access. Now, the original Star Trek star, William Shatner, has offered his congratulations on Stewart's return.

Shatner retweeted Stewart's return announcement on Twitter.

"It's wonderful news!" Shatner tweeted. "Congratulations my friend!"

Shatner played James T. Kirk in the original Star Trek series. Stewart's Picard became captain of the USS Enterprise-D in Star Trek: The Next Generation. The two captains shared the screen together in the 1994 film Star Trek: Generations, which showed the death of Kirk and made the Star Trek: The Next Generation crew the new leads of the Star Trek film series.

Stewart played Picard through four Star Trek movies in total, beginning with Star Trek: Generations and ending with Star Trek: Nemesis in 2002. In his announcement, Stewart notes how he truly thought Nemesis was the end of his involvement with the Star Trek franchise.

"I will always be very proud to have been a part of Star Trek: The Next Generation, but when we wrapped that final movie in the spring of 2002, I truly felt my time with Star Trek had run its natural course," Stewart wrote. "It is, therefore, an unexpected but delightful surprise to find myself excited and invigorated to be returning to Jean-Luc Picard and to explore new dimensions within him. Seeking out new life for him, when I thought that life was over.

"During these past years, it has been humbling to hear many stories about how The Next Generation brought people comfort, saw them through difficult periods in their lives or how the example of Jean-Luc inspired so many to follow in his footsteps, pursuing science, exploration and leadership. I feel I'm ready to return to him for the same reason – to research and experience what comforting and reforming light he might shine on these often very dark times. I look forward to working with our brilliant creative team as we endeavor to bring a fresh, unexpected and pertinent story to life once more."

Few details about Picard's return are known at this time other than that the new series will take place approximately 20-25 years after Star Trek: Nemesis and that Picard may no longer be a Starfleet captain. The series is being developed by Alex Kurtzman, James Duff, Akiva Goldsman, Michael Chabon, and Kirsten Beyer.

Are you excited for Stewart's return as Picard? Let us know in the comments!