Jean-Luc Picard’s biggest tragedy in life may not be only the Borg, or his family’s death, or the fact that he never really dated Beverly Crusher. Instead, the latest trailer for Star Trek: Picard teases a new crisis for Picard in the form of a huge cataclysm on Mars, a planet in the title for the Short Treks episode that happens to drop right before Picard debuts.
Watch the new trailer!
Okay, so right off the bat, Picard is talking about how he was “haunted by his past,” and we see him freaking out about explosions happening over a red planet. Now, conventional wisdom would tell us this planet could be Vulcan, or maybe even Romulus because we know about Picard’s history with those planets. But…the next Short Treks episode is called “Children of Mars,” and when you look at this planet, and you look at pictures of Mars, they’re basically identical.
For reference, here’s an actual photo of Mars.
The big dark spot in both photographs is the Syrtis Major Planum on Mars, a giant land feature on the planet.
In Trek canon, Mars is the site of the Utopia Planitia Shipyards, which is where the Enterprise-D was actually built. So what are we seeing in this trailer? Is Picard remembering something that happened before his Enterprise-D days, or something more contemporary? He seems unaffected by the conflagration outside. Is this a surprise attack? A geological calamity? Did he CAUSE it?
There’s a good bet that, whatever this calamity is, it ties in with the entire plot of Picard. We see Jean-Luc thinking about the Borg and Data in this scene, too, which could imply the Romulans or the Borg are responsible for some kind of attack on Mars. Later, we even see an old-school Romulan warbird ship again, which really makes you wonder what role those classic Trek baddies will play in the new series.
But either way, it looks like Picard’s assimilation isn’t the only thing he’s still traumatized by. Something terrible happened on Mars, it seems like. But what?
Star Trek: Picard hits CBS-All Access on January 23.
Short Treks: “Children of Mars” — which is a prequel to Picard — debuts on January 9.