Season one of Star Trek: Picard had high and low points and some people wondered that Jean-Luc Picard is really Jean-Luc Picard more. It is a case of metaphysics and questions best left to saints and philosophersOr perhaps best left to Q, who returns in Season Two in 2022.
Spoiler alert: if you haven̵
In the show’s season finale, Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) died. And not in the sense “he died off the screen and maybe he actually survived”. Picard suffered from Irumodic Syndrome, a deadly neurological disease in the Star Trek universe. At the age of 94 he had no hope of a future, no possibility of a cure. In the last episode, he sacrificed himself to save the day, and the disease killed him.
Shortly after his death, Altan Inigo Soong (son of Data’s creator, Noonian Soong, all three played by Brent Spiner) transferred Picard’s consciousness and memories into a golem – an android that looked exactly like the original Picard. The body acts like Picard’s organic body and will eventually age and die.
And that promises the question: is this golem Picard really Picard? It’s a question derived from Theseus’s ship. At its simplest you can think of a broom. You replace the brush when it is worn out. Later you replace the handle. Then you replace the brush again, followed by the handle. Do you still have the same broom? You have replaced every part, but functionally it is the same.
You can ask similar questions with Star Treks transporters, which take a person apart at the molecular level and reassemble it elsewhere. But Picard is a more extreme case because his thoughts and memories are essentially a copy and his body is an entirely different entity.
But if your thoughts, experiences and memory make you who you are, Picard will live on in a new body. And if that’s enough, this golem Picard is a pseudo clone at best. The show doesn’t come to a full answer, except that Picard feels like he is still the original person.
And that’s where Q comes into play. During First Contact Day (a pseudo-holiday in which Vulcans first make contact with humans on April 5, 2063), Paramount announced some Star Trek news, including a short tease for Season 2 (see above). Obviously, Q is returning, and the teaser ends with the famous words “The Trial never ends”, a clear callback to the series finale of Star Trek: The Next Generation
In an all-day Twitch stream (also seen above), Patrick Stewart confirmed that Q’s return would delve into season one Picard final consequences. Production is already underway, but it is still too far off to promise a start date. But we now know that season two of it Star Trek: Picard debuts on Paramount +, the replacement for CBS All Access. Considering the first season that debuted on CBS All Access, that’s no surprise, but still good to know.