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Patrick Stewart is saying goodbye to Jean-Luc Picard... again.
The actor stopped by EW's Comic-Con suite Saturday with Gates McFadden, who returns as Dr. Beverly Crusher in Star Trek: Picard season 3, and discussed the last day of filming the final batch of episodes of his spin-off.
"There was just too much work going on to feel sad or a little bit sorrowful that it was over, but when they called 'and that's a wrap, folks,' I felt quite emotional because Picard has been a wonderful experience," Stewart tells EW. "Yes, I know I turned it down to begin with, but I was convinced by what I was told by our wonderful writing team and executive producers what was going to be different about it — and it proved to be even more different than I was told."
The actor insists he's "not walking away" from Jean-Luc. "He's here," the actor says, pointing to his heart. "And he has been here for years and years and years. There was a point around season 3 of Next Generation when I no longer knew where Picard began and Patrick Stewart left off."
Paramount+ Patrick Stewart's Jean-Luc Picard returns in the teaser for 'Star Trek: Picard' season 3.
"This happens a lot with the kind of work that actors do," he adds. "The higher the quality of the writing and the production and so forth increases that. It comes to exist in a part of you, not just in the memory but in the emotional life that you lead."
The third and final season of Picard is bringing a Star Trek: The Next Generation reunion to the screen, as McFadden joins LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Marina Sirtis, Jonathan Frakes, and Brent Spiner. The Trek Comic-Con Hall H panel at the San Diego Convention Center revealed a first look at the actors' return.
McFadden teases what viewers can expect from the relationship between Picard and Crusher.
"I feel that Picard and Crusher have had this very particular love relationship," she says. "It's very unique and it's almost Shakespearian to me. It's almost like in the sonnet of 'looks upon tempests but is never shaken.' It is that sort of thing. I always thought that but to be in a situation where we have to rediscover and reanalyze 'how do we feel about each other?' ... We haven't seen each other 20-25 years… that was really strong."
Picard season 3 will start streaming on Paramount+ next year. Watch the full interview in the video above.
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