The Return of Patrick Stewart Could Save The “Star Trek” Franchise

Matthew Loffhagen
(Photo: CBS)

“Star Trek” fans, this is not a drill! If current talks with Patrick Stewart go well, Captain Jean Luc Picard could be returning to a brand new TV show.

This is basically the best news ever.

It’s also exactly what “Star Trek” needs right now.

It’s no secret that “Trek” isn’t in a great place at the moment. For a while earlier this decade, the franchise enjoyed an uptick in attention as JJ Abrams attempted to turn it into a “Star Wars” knockoff.

Once Abrams got his hands on “Star Wars” itself, the “Trek” movie universe died pretty much immediately. Now we’re in a position where a Quentin Tarantino project is pretty much the best thing we’ve got to look forward to.

That doesn’t feel right.

Things looked promising when “Star Trek Discovery” finally brought the classic franchise back to the small screen. Perhaps with longform episodic storytelling, we could finally get solid character development and nuanced political debate!

Turns out, nope. Everyone on “Discovery” acts like their own evil twin, because (spoiler alert) at least one of the characters is actually their own evil twin.

But now, there’s a ray of hope on the horizon. Rumors have begun to circulate that suggest Patrick Stewart is in talks to return to television for a new show that will star his famous character, Jean Luc Picard.

Stewart himself is stirring the rumor pot, by hinting in at least one article that he has good cause to take a look at “Discovery” up close very soon.

This is possibly the best move anyone at CBS could make right now.

Stewart the Savior

What “Star Trek” needs is stability, and familiarity.

Attempts to reinvent the wheel, albeit with a darker, edgier tone, have by and large failed to win over audiences.

What we need is a good, wholesome continuation of classic “Star Trek”.

It doesn’t hurt that, unlike, say, William Shatner, Patrick Stewart still wholly looks the part as his iconic character.

Sure, he aged up a bit for “Logan”, but don’t let that fool you – Stewart is as sharp as ever, and he can deliver a captivating, powerful performance.

“Star Trek” could use a bit of the classic Stewart charm.

The only danger in bringing back Jean Luc Picard is that if the writing isn’t up to scratch, this could end up ruining a beloved fan favorite character.

The Power of the Writer

“Discovery” did a great job of producing wholly unlikeable characters. The movie universe has some significant quirks too, with many classic “Trek” heroes acting completely out of character.

I’d hate to see Picard similarly tarnished.

So, here’s what I want: a return of Jean Luc Picard, with a solid team of writers who know what they’re doing in order to make an engaging, interesting show that isn’t all about explosions and corrupt leaders.

Maybe I’d be better off just watching “The Next Generation” on Netflix.