‘Star Trek: Picard’: What’s Jean-Luc been up to since ‘The Next Generation’?
In Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, a major plot point hinges on the fact that Danny Kaye and Bing Crosby’s old military commander, Major General Thomas F. Waverly (Dean Jagger), was relieved of command.
The group have a serendipitous meetup in Vermont years later, at an inn Waverly has been running since his retirement. He attempts to reenlist in the military once more, but is brutally rejected by the people he probably once trained. This bums everyone out, so Danny Kaye and Bing Crosby sing “White Christmas” to him, which helps to take away some of the sting of his rejection.
We mention a 66-year old film because the new CBS Star Trek: Picard trailer makes use of another Irving Berlin classic, “Blue Skies.” That song has had some mileage in the Star Trek universe: Data (Brent Spiner) sang the number at William Riker (Jonathan Frakes) and Deanna Troi’s (Marina Sirtis), right before the Romulans and Tom Hardy decided to ruin everything.
There is an interesting parallel between Major General Thomas F. Waverly and Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart). Both are celebrated leaders, with years of experience and the earned admiration of almost everyone who served under them. However, while the U.S. top brass took one look at Waverly at were like, “lol, no,” apparently, the good folks at Starfleet do not have the same limitations on age requirements.
For context, Jean-Luc will be about 94 years old at the time of Star Trek: Picard.
It is a testament to the earl gray tea he spent years chugging that he has maintained his good looks and vigor. But we are curious about what he has been up to in the interim. This was a man who commanded ships! He made first contact with dozens of alien species! The Romulans cloned him! He fought the Borg on multiple occasions and won!
What could he have been doing in between the 20 years of Star Trek: Nemesis and Star Trek: Picard?
Taking up the family business
For those unaware, Jean-Luc Picard was a spoiled little rich boy who grew up in La Barre, France. In a time where natural resources must be more valuable than gold, Jean-Luc was born into the lap of luxury with a generational vineyard that has been his to control since birth.
He gave that life up to join Starfleet, but the trailer suggests the past few decades have been spent dedicated to winemaking.
We have no idea why, though. Isn’t everyone drinking synthehol in the future?
There’s no way The Next Generation crew could have held as many concerts as they did at Ten Forward without the direct approval of a superior officer, which makes us think that Picard was the one organizing all of these events.
This is a man who practiced the “A British Tar” duet from the Gilbert & Sullivan comic-opera H.M.S. Pinafore with his robot friend so regularly that he was able to use the song to regain control of a malfunctioning Data, as evidenced by 1998’s Star Trek: Insurrection.
It would make sense for him to continue in the musical arts, following his retirement.
It remains to be seen if he would be successful at it, though.
Local instructor at the YMCA
In a brief, split-second scene from the Comic Con trailer, we see Jean-Luc fencing. For those unaware, the local YMCA offers a range of educational courses for health and fitness, ranging from taekwondo to aqua aerobics to gymnastics.
Based on his background and training, he could probably provide instruction in Y courses from now until the day he died, and based on his new fencing ability, it makes sense that he would have spent the past several decades teaching bored 12-year-olds armed combat.
Bonjour, monsieur ambassador
In the Star Trek universe, the French language went the way of the dinosaurs. Oh sure, everyone has to make sure their pronunciation of Klingon for “hello” is exactly perfect or else they’ll get skewered with a bat’leth, but the people on Earth one day decided the language of millions of people wasn’t worth it anymore.
Sacre bleu, the French people need a hero, and there is no better choice than their distinctly English-sounding native son!
Jean-Luc Picard could have traded his Starfleet uniform for one of diplomacy and become an ambassador to the French people. He would have so much to share with the rest of the universe! Wine? Cheese? French New Wave? These are things that could end wars and facilitate lasting friendship.
Also, it would give us the opportunity to see Patrick Stewart speaking French, which is something we’ve wanted ever since the day we realized Jean-Luc Picard was supposed to be a Frenchman.
Nothing at all he’s just been in the Holodeck cosplaying the whole time
You know that one guy from college who was really smart and funny and had a lot of potential, but rarely came to class because he was always high on something? That’s Jean-Luc with the holodeck, and his drug of choice is solving mysteries as a Dick Tracy knockoff.
He very well could have been doing that for the past 20 years. We think there’s at least a 37% chance that’s going to be the explanation for what he’s been doing all this time.
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