Michael Chabon on the season finale and future of Star Trek: Picard
MAJOR SPOILERS for the season finale of Star Trek: Picard. The first season of Star Trek: Picard wrapped up several days ago, and for the most part, I greatly enjoyed it. Getting to see Patrick Stewart back in action as the iconic character was a treat in and of itself, and the season finale was full of twists and turns which have set the stage for the already announced second season.
The season finale of Star Trek: Picard found its main character sacrificing himself for the greater good in order to save Soji (Isa Briones) and her people from a Romulan fleet. However, Picard didn’t exactly die as his crew were able to save his consciousness by moving it to a synthetic lifeform. While speaking with THR, series showrunner/writer Micheal Chabon said that Picard’s death, and subsequent resurrection, was always part of the plan.
It was the plan from early on, but in the beginning, you start out — it’s sort of like a tree, but you’re going backwards down the tree. As you make choices, you end up with fewer and fewer ones, and each choice leads to a fewer range of fewer possibilities. At some point, we probably talked about 25 different ways to end it. And then we were down to like eight different ways, and then six different ways. And then, landing on this way.
“There was a moment where we had a conversation, Akiva, (co-creator and writer) Kirsten Beyer and I, and we went to talk to Alex Kurtzman,” Chabon continued. “We had this realization that if we want to put our money where our mouth has been all season — if we’re saying that since synthetic lifeforms are real and legitimate and they have their sentence, and they have the right to life and existence, if we’re going to be putting Picard out there, where he’s going to stand up and be willing to sacrifice his own life to prove that point? Then he needs to prove it with his life.” The final moments of the episode found Picard and the crew of the La Sirena heading off towards a new adventure, but what form might the second season take? From what Michael Chabon says, they won’t be ignoring Picard’s new body nor the implication which comes with it. “We definitely don’t want to pretend like these events never happened,” Chabon said. “So, whatever the implications are going to be for Picard having this new body, and essentially a new brain structure, too — although his mind and his consciousness are the same — all of that is going to be part of [the character’s] way of thinking going forward.“
The Star Trek: Picard showrunner also dropped a few hints about the second season while speaking with Variety, saying that it will be “different in some ways” as well as go in “directions that we didn’t see in season 1.” As the series has been quite successful, Chabon says that the team feels “emboldened” moving forward.
Season 1 was in many respects about learning how to make “Star Trek: Picard.” Both in a production sense, but also in terms of storytelling and who our cast is, how these characters end up forming surprising links and attachments to each other. It’s in a way that I think was probably true back with “TNG” and what I was talking about — everyone agrees, once Riker grew the beard, the show got better. It was because they learned what they had. Going forward, we’re only going to be doing more of what we did, with greater confidence and with a greater sense of what this show feels like when it’s firing on all engines.
What are your hopes for the second season of Star Trek: Picard?