For fans who have dreamed about the return of Captain Jean-Luc Picard to Star Trek, actor Patrick Stewart might as well borrow his character’s classic catchphrase and say, “Make it so.”
It’s a role that he hasn’t stepped into since 2002, and fans are elated.
Stewart said in a statement that it is “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.”
He surprised fans at a Star Trek convention in Las Vegas when he appeared on-stage with Alex Kurtzman, executive producer of CBS All Access’ Star Trek: Discovery, to announce the new series.
“Gradually it became clearer and clearer to me that the power of that show, the success of that show, the benefits that it gave… I have never grown tired of hearing from people … who say to me, ‘Your show changed my life,'” Stewart told the cheering crowd.
“And that lies at the very center of what I have to tell you now,” he said. “Jean-Luc Picard is back.”
Watch the happy moment here:
Stewart started playing Captain Picard in 1987, on the TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation. He was also featured in four Star Trek movies: Star Trek Generations, Star Trek: First Contact, Star Trek: Insurrection, and Star Trek: Nemesis.
“With overwhelming joy, it’s a privilege to welcome Sir Patrick Stewart back to the Star Trek fold. For over 20 years, fans have hoped for the return of Captain Jean-Luc Picard and that day is finally here. We can’t wait to forge new ground, surprise people, and honor generations both new and old,” Kurtzman said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.
The New York Times reminds us where we left Picard in 2002:
“The last time we saw Picard, he was saying a farewell of sorts to crew members of the Starship Enterprise E. For the first time in years, he had a new first officer, since William Riker, Picard’s longtime deputy, and Deanna Troi, Riker’s wife and the ship’s counselor, were heading to the U.S.S. Titan. It was after Data, the trustworthy android, had died to save the ship.”
CBS has not yet released details about what the focus of the new series will be, or when it will premiere.