Why Star Trek: Picard Season 3 Will Probably Be The Final Adventure For Patrick Stewart's Title Character
Star Trek: Picard Season 3 is just around the corner, and while we know a good deal about what to expect from this upcoming season, we're still in the dark about where this series will leave most of The Next Generation's beloved characters. While I can't predict the fates of every returning character, like Geordi, Beverly and Worf, I do have a pretty good feeling about where things will end up for Admiral Jean-Luc Picard. It seems fated that while other characters may continue to live on after this series, Picard will not.
I could be completely off base, and I will note that I have no insider knowledge of what to expect this season. With that said, I have a few key things for readers and Star Trek fans to consider, all of which point to the fact that this series might've always been pointing toward the death of one of Star Trek's greatest characters.
Picard Has Frequently Teased Jean-Luc's Death The Past Two Seasons
It may not be too hard for some to assume Jean-Luc Picard will die at the end of Star Trek: Picard, and that could be because he's almost died twice now in two seasons. In fact, Picard's body technically died in Season 1, which led to his consciousness being transferred over to a Synth shell indistinguishable from a normal human body. It was a bit of a silly twist in hindsight, but it did take care of that terminal illness the character was first diagnosed with in The Next Generation.
Star Trek: Picard Season 2 once again put Jean-Luc Picard's life in peril, as he was put into a coma after being hit by a car. Again, he ultimately pulled through and lived to fight another day, but how much longer can we realistically expect him to get this lucky?
This brings us to Star Trek: Picard Season 3, where the threat is so big that one of Starfleet's most decorated crew is getting back together to stop it. Jean-Luc Picard has almost died from much less, so am I really supposed to believe he'll escape high-stakes space battles and reunions with Lore and Moriarty unscathed? Give me a break!
Patrick Stewart Has A Notoriously Spotty Track Record Hinting At Character Reveals
I will concede that my theory that Jean-Luc Picard will die was briefly derailed by executive producer Alex Kurtzman and actor Patrick Stewart when they spoke about the possibility of Star Trek: Picard Season 4. Per TV Line, Kurtzman stated another season was possible if Season 3 is a massive success, and Stewart said he'd be willing to return provided the show maintained the quality it has had in previous seasons.
Patrick Stewart signaling he'd be open to returning might convince some Star Trek fans Jean-Luc Picard will 100% survive Picard Season 3, but not me. Stewart has a spotty record when it comes to speaking to the press about his characters and his willingness to return. Case in point, remember when he said he'd never play Professor X again after Logan?
Actors can change their minds, of course, but Patrick Stewart literally changed his mind on that not a month after when he appeared on The Late Late Show With James Corden and signaled his interest in playing Professor X on Legion. That cameo never did happen for what was said to be corporate reasons, but the fact remains the same, so perhaps we shouldn't always take Sir Patrick's word in interviews at face value.
Maybe I'm taking this too personally, of course, because I was also someone that Patrick Stewart told a little white lie to back during Picard Season 2. The actor directly told me that he didn't believe Professor X would appear in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness when he knew that was happening. I don't hold it against him because I know it's taboo for actors to reveal spoilers to the press, but at the same time, I'm not going to sit here and believe that Picard will survive Season 3 just because Stewart signaled an interest in appearing in Season 4.
Picard Deserves A Hero's Ending
Those who revisit Star Trek: Picard Season 1 with their Paramount+ subscription will be reminded that retirement was not a great time for Jean-Luc. Sure, he had his family vineyard and a dog, but the then-retired admiral was disillusioned with Starfleet and discontent living out the rest of his years being ok with that.
In Season 2, Jean-Luc was firmly back in the saddle as an admiral within Starfleet and seemingly loving every bit of it. He wasn't content to go back to his quiet life, which might be why he's once again trying to get the band back together for this latest adventure in Season 3 despite them all moving on to other things. Picard doesn't handle the quiet life well, and I doubt even a life with Beverly Crusher would change that.
Star Trek: Picard Season 2 taught us that Jean-Luc was always a man of duty beyond himself, and while the lesson from Q was to "know thyself," old habits die hard. It's hard to imagine that Picard will ever put himself before the greater good of humanity or the others in his life that he cares about. As long as he's physically able to keep fighting and do as much as he can to help others, it's doubtful he'd ever stop serving Starfleet and humanity.
It's a noble attitude to have and part of the reason why he's one of Star Trek's best characters. With that being said, those who live by that attitude are bound to see their life on the line more often and be more willing to risk it than those hoping to die of old age at a luxury cottage in France.
I would also argue that while it would make some Star Trek fans happy to see Jean-Luc Picard ride off into the sunset and retire in peace, it feels like a disservice to the character that he is and the story told throughout Picard. Jean-Luc Picard is a hero and one of the most celebrated characters in the franchise. Sending him out with a bang should've been the top priority of this series from its inception, and it would be very disappointing for me if it's anything less than some heroic sacrifice or meaningful death. We'll see if that happens or not, but I'm feeling pretty good about my prediction.
Star Trek: Picard premieres on Paramount+ Thursday, February 16th. Tune in to see The Next Generation crew back in action and for what should be one thrilling adventure regardless of who lives or dies.