Star Trek: Picard | Why Nostalgia doesn’t have to mean a hard reboot

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With remakes of Aladdin, Mulan, Cinderella, Star Trek and Halloween still fresh in our minds, Hollywood seems to think that, in order to reach the nostalgic wallets, it must perform hard reboots of beloved franchises. Sequels are usually seen as cheap and lazy, often because the effort/manpower behind them in comparison to the first simply isn’t there, so studios believe the easiest route is to simply redo a story or narrative that they know will garner attention and be a box office hit.

Star Trek: Picard, as we see in the first teaser trailer released today, reminds us that nostalgia doesn’t have to mean a hard reboot of a franchise. Sometimes an old character returning for a new story is enough.

Though the short, one minute teaser doesn’t give us many concrete details, there are a few hints as to what Picard has been up to since the end of the main canonical Star Trek timeline (remember that the Abrams movies are set in a parallel timeline and are not the same as the Picard timeline.)

Since Picard defeated his clone, he has, for some reason, returned to Earth, retired from Starfleet and begun to work in his family vineyard. He’s being interviewed by an unknown voice, who remarks that Picard commanded the “greatest rescue armada in history.” The thing is, we have no idea what this really means. Picard has commanded large armadas before (like when he led a force against the Borg), but that wasn’t exactly a rescue mission.

The only other possible explanation we know of would be the destruction of Romulus, which (as fans who have seen the Abrams movies will know) was a major reason for Spock’s time traveling and parallel universe antics. As Spock raced to Romulus to try and save its people, perhaps Picard joined him?

If this is true, and Picard tried and failed to rescue Romulus, then it would make sense that the next line his interviewer says is “Then, the unimaginable. What did that cost you?” Whatever happened weighs heavy on Picard’s mind, and was a major factor in his retiring. But it is not the only reason, as the voice then says “Tell us, why did you leave Starfleet, Admiral?” before the camera zooms in on an old, tired looking Picard.

“The End Is Only The Beginning” briefly shows on screen before it goes black. Something terrible happened to one of the most beloved captains in the Star Trek continuity that caused him to leave the fleet, and now something is causing him to return. There’s no hard reboot, no real details, and yet the star trek nerd in me was immediately interested.

Characters don’t need to be reinvented to gain new and old audiences, and the latest teaser trailer for Picard proves that. Interesting stories involving our favorite characters are all that we really want. Hopefully “Star Trek: Picard” will live up to the hype. We’ll find out when it premieres later this year on CBS All Access.

Caleb Edwards is a senior studying professional writing with a focus in editing and publishing. When he isn’t working or writing you can find him tending his fish, taking care of his cats and dogs or trying to find free time that he can waste (there never is any). You can follow him on Twitter @CEdwardsSam or find him at his website CalebMEdwards.com

Tags: CBS, star trek, star trek: picard, television, TV, tv shows