Jean-Luc’s got a squad!
In episode 8 of Star Trek: Picard, “Broken Pieces,” Jean-Luc Picard reaches out to his buddy Admiral Clancy, and eventually, gets what he wanted way back in episode 2. But now, because of that very specific request, it seems like Picard may have slyly set-up several cameos to occur in either episode 9 or episode 10 of this season. Will the finale of Picard end with a massive Next Generation reunion? Here’s who could come back and why.
Spoilers for Star Trek: Picard episodes 1-8 ahead. Plus speculation for episodes 9 and 10.
After telling Picard to “shut the fuck up,” Admiral Clancy authorizes an entire “squadron” of starships to meet Picard at space station Deep Space 12. By the end of episode 8, it doesn’t look like La Sirena is headed to DS12, and instead is on course for Soji’s android homeworld. That said, why would Picard tease the existence of an entire squadron of Starfleet ships if those ships don’t appear in either episode 9 or 10?
The hopeful answer is simple: This was a deliberate foreshadowing, and sometime, before the end of episode 10, we’ll see that squadron, and perhaps some familiar faces. Operating under the assumption that we will see the squadron on screen before the end of episode 10, here are eight potential cameos, ranked from least likely to most likely.
8. Wesley Crusher, back in Starfleet
Because Wil Wheaton hosts the official Star Trek aftershow, “The Ready Room,” it feels unlikely he’s filmed a cameo for the finale. Plus, although we saw him in uniform for Riker and Troi’s wedding in Star Trek Nemesis, there’s no reason to believe Wesley has given up hanging out with the Traveler fulltime. So, Wesley is on the table for a cameo, mostly because yes, last time we saw him in canon, he was in a Starfleet uniform. But, it would be really complicated to explain to him.
7. Harry Kim, Admiral Janeway, and all your favorite Voyager peeps
It makes legit sense for Kate Mulgrew to return as Admiral Janeway, and have her in command of this squadron. I mean, how cool, right? But… Mulgrew herself has gone on record saying she hadn’t “entertained” the idea. This doesn’t mean she’s not secretly in the show, although it seems like it would be a lot to pack in another Voyager cameo — including crewmembers like Tom Paris or Harry Kim — into an already complicated finale. Then again, nobody expected Icheb! So, who knows? Let’s all hope for adult Naomi Wildman to be flying one of the ships in this squadron!
6. The Defiant
Like Voyager, it seems unlikely that a bunch of Deep Space Nine stuff would show up in the finale. But then again, this is a squadron of ships, meaning a quick Easter egg of the Defiant could happen. Sure, the Defiant would be a pretty old ship by the time of Picard, but the NCC-1701 Enterprise was in service for like three decades before getting a freaking refit in The Motion Picture. So, Defiant cameo? Not insane.
5. Miles O’Brien
A bunch of Deep Space Nine-only characters feels fairly unlikely, but the chances of a quick cameo from Miles O’Brien (even a voice-over cameo?) feels like 50/50 odds. On the one hand, he’s a TNG character, and everyone loves him. On the other hand, wouldn’t Miles—like Riker and Troi—be retired by now?
Similar to O’Brien, having Worf show-up as part of the squadron feels cool, but his status post-Deep Space Nine is confusing. We were told he became an ambassador in “What You Leave Behind,” but in Nemesis (like Wesley) he was just back in uniform again. Could Worf potentially come to help Jean-Luc? In “Maps and Legends,” Zhaban suggested calling Worf up specifically, meaning, whatever Worf is doing, he’s around to kick some ass. Plus, Michael Dorn was spotted in Isa Briones’ Instagram feed, hanging around the set during the filming of “Nepenthe.”
3. Geordi La Forge
In the Star Trek: Voyager episode “Timeless,” Harry Kim found himself in an alternate future where Geordi La Forge was the captain of the USS Challenger. In the Star Trek: Picard: Countdown comic book prequel series, Geordi was straight-up helping Picard build the Romulan rescue armada before it got canceled. So, we know Geordi was still in Starfleet 14 years prior to Picard, and one bizarro flash-forward had him as a captain of his own starship. And, like Michael Dorn, Levar Burton was chilling on the set of “Nepenthe,” too.
2. Beverly Crusher
Overwhelmingly, the most important person in Jean-Luc’s life is someone we haven’t seen or even heard about: Dr. Beverly Crusher. When Picard needs to get certified to fly in space, he calls his old doctor from the Stargazer days. Why not Crusher? Like in “All Good Things…” are they on bad terms? Assuming Beverly is alive, its possible that, just like in “All Good Things…” she became a starship captain. From the point of view of fan nostalgia alone, having Crusher show-up in the final episode of Picard feels like the right kind of fan service. Everyone would love it. And, as Star Trek.com reported, Gates McFadden attended the red carpet premiere of Star Trek: Picard back in January.
1. A new USS Enterprise
In 2379, twenty years prior to Star Trek: Picard, the USS Enterprise-E was still in service. But what about 2399? Is there a new Enterprise out there or is the Enterprise-E still in service?
When the navigation hologram chats with Rios about Picard’s resume in episode 3, “The End is the Beginning,” he refers to the Enterprise-E in the past tense. Now, this doesn’t mean this ship is no longer in service, but we could perhaps say, that this means that version of the Enterprise is no longer a thing, and perhaps, hasn’t been for a while. We also know Picard left the Enterprise to take on the rescue armada project sometime around 2384, so it’s reasonable to assume the Enterprise-E kept going with a new captain. Or maybe not.
If the squadron does appear, then it seems like not having a new Enterprise in it is a missed opportunity. In 2018, Discovery season 1 ended with the reveal of an old Enterprise. As Picard looks toward the future, it feels right for it to end with the unveiling of a totally new version of the ship. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a new Enterprise, and right now, that would be the perfect Trekkie gift.
Ryan Britt is a longtime contributor to Tor.com and the author of the book Luke Skywalker Can’t Read and Other Geeky Truths (Plume 2015.) His other writing and criticism have been published in Inverse, SyFy Wire, Vulture, Den of Geek!, the New York Times, and StarTrek.com. He is an editor at Fatherly. Ryan lives with his wife and daughter in Portland, Maine.