Warning: This post contains spoilers for the series finale of Star Trek: Picard.
Star Trek: Picard wrapped up its three-season run with an immensely satisfying series finale — but that doesn’t mean we don’t still have plenty of questions.
The finale served as a proper send-off to Jean-Luc and his Next Generation pals, giving them one final victory over the Borg as well as one more chance to play poker together. (Read our finale recap here to get the full rundown.) But it also looked like it was introducing a new story, with Seven of Nine captaining a new Enterprise and Raffi, Jack Crusher and Sidney La Forge all aboard as well. Plus, that trickster god Q showed up again to annoy Jack just like he used to annoy his dad Jean-Luc. So is Star Trek: Picard really finished? And will the story of Seven’s new ship continue in a new Trek series?
TVLine reached out to Picard showrunner Terry Matalas, who wrote and directed the series finale, to get the scoop on a possible continuation of the story, what it was like shooting that final poker scene with Patrick Stewart and his Next Generation co-stars and why a number of key characters didn’t return for the finale.
TVLINE | Let’s start at the end, which seemed to set up a new story with Seven, Raffi, Jack and Sidney on the new Enterprise. Would that be a fourth season of Star Trek: Picard, possibly, or a new series altogether?
Well, really, it was an ending to Picard, which was a proper beginning. That was what was designed to be the most satisfying thing: the passing of the torch. So having said that, it does feel like something new, with Captain Seven and her crew. It feels like a new mix. I don’t know how much everyone would be involved, but it definitely feels like a mix and match of old legacy and new. But again, there’s nothing in development, currently. It’s just a pie-in-the-sky sort of fan wish at the moment.
TVLINE | What’s the vibe like on that new Enterprise? Jack called them a bunch of ne’er-do-wells and rule breakers.
It is a little different, isn’t it? It does feel like Starfleet has seen that this particular crew has a very particular set of skills that’s a little bit different than your typical Starfleet flagship. So that kind of gives you a glimpse as to how this Enterprise might be different than previous incarnations.
TVLINE | What made you decide to bring back Q, after we got what we thought was a farewell to him in Season 2?
It felt like a really amazing way to honor the beginning of Next Gen by seeing him once again at the very, very end, and also pass the torch to Jack. It was the first thing, literally the first encounter, so to speak, with Jean-Luc. And how amazing would it be for Jack to have that same encounter at the beginning of his journey?
TVLINE | This finale definitely served as a very fitting goodbye to Jean-Luc and the Next Generation cast, but if this did continue, would we possibly see them pop into whatever continuation comes about?
Definitely. Everybody wants to come back. Even Patrick said he’d love to come check in on his son, and I think he used the phrase, “provide some comedy.” And that’s unique. You don’t often get that, where everybody wants to come back.
TVLINE | That final scene with Jean-Luc and the crew playing poker was such a great callback to the Next Generation finale, and we could feel the love in the air among the castmates in that scene. What was it like shooting that on set that day?
Very natural. What I wanted to do is make this a little different than “All Good Things…” because so many years have passed. At this point, they’ve been playing poker, they’ve played it hundreds of times, I would imagine. So I wanted to capture what it’s like to really be in the room with that cast. So I just rolled the camera for 45 minutes and just caught them really playing the game. So that’s a lot of improv. A lot of genuine smiles, real laughs. The only bit of scripted dialogue are the last few lines.
TVLINE | It felt inevitable that Jean-Luc would have to face the Borg again, but how did you come up with them resurfacing in Season 3, and specifically having Jack be sort of their unwitting conduit?
That was the logline of the season. “What if Jean-Luc found out he had a son and had inadvertently passed on the Locutus gene to him?” That was essentially the core question that I asked right away, and we built it from there.
TVLINE | OK, some quick questions about some characters who were missing. Why didn’t Jean-Luc reconnect with Laris at the end of the season? Was that to leave the door open for him and Beverly?
Two things: The first answer is time and money. At that point, Orla Brady [who plays Laris] had returned to Ireland and was no longer stateside. So we couldn’t really wrap that up. It would have been amazing to see her again mid-season, to come in and help out. The second reason is I think none of us were really sure exactly where Jean-Luc would end up. I think that included Patrick. And the season wasn’t really about that. It wasn’t a particularly romantic season for any of the characters, whether that was for Jean-Luc and Beverly, or for Seven and Raffi, or for Jack and Sidney, or the Rikers. So we deliberately left it open for the audience to decide, and if we are coming back, we can dig into it.
TVLINE | What about Wesley Crusher? We know he’s zipping through the universe somewhere as a Traveler, and it seemed like Beverly already considered him a lost son.
We definitely would have loved nothing more for Wesley to return again. It’s one of those things where he has a lot of omniscient power that would have helped them if he turned up too early. So if he were to have turned up, we would have had him turn up very, very late. So a tricky character to drop in.
TVLINE | And what about Guinan? We kind of expected to see Whoopi Goldberg in the bar at the end there.
Again, I’d love nothing more than to have the time and money. Whoopi lives on the East Coast, and to get her to leave her amazing show The View to get out here in time to shoot is no easy feat.