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Picard says goodbye with a mysterious hint at Star Trek’s future

The finale has one of Star Trek’s only credits scenes

Patrick Stewart as Jean Luc Picard, sitting in his captain’s chair and making his classic “engage” gesture, in Picard. Photo: Sarah Coulter/Paramount Plus
Susana Polo is an entertainment editor at Polygon, specializing in pop culture and genre fare, with a primary expertise in comic books. Previously, she founded The Mary Sue.

Never let it be said that Paramount Plus hasn’t brought the Star Trek franchise into the modern era of interconnected television: Star Trek even has credits scenes now.

And while the award for “first credits scene in Star Trek” would go to Star Trek: Lower Decks, with its season 3 finale, “The Stars at Night,” the award for “first Star Trek credits scene to point at a mysterious future installment of the franchise” can go to Star Trek: Picard and its finale.

[Ed. note: This piece contains spoilers for the final episode of Star Trek: Picard season 3, “The Last Generation.”]

Jack Crusher, in his Starfleet ensign uniform, standing in his quarters, raises his phaser and looks confused in Picard. Image: Paramount

The denouement of “The Last Generation” makes sure we know exactly where our faves old and new have wound up. While the Next Generation crew largely wound up with promotions, renewed relationships, or just a return to their peaceful lives, Picard built a new future for some of its younger old characters.

Former borg drone Seven of Nine was promoted to captain of the Titan, which was renamed Enterprise. Thanks to some calculated intelligence leaks, her girlfriend Raffi’s record was cleared, freeing her up to act as Seven’s first officer, and Jack Crusher — son of Jean-Luc Picard and Beverly Crusher, interstellar adventurer, recently freed from Borg control — was fast-tracked to the rank of Starfleet ensign to serve as captain’s counselor.

The credits scene takes us right back to Jack, in his quarters on the newly christened Enterprise, as he’s visited by none other than the cosmic being known as Q (John de Lancie). Q was thought to have died at the end of Picard season 2, but when Jack points that out, Q admonishes him for thinking so linearly. The long and the short of it is: Q is eternal, and he has something in mind for the progeny of his longtime fixation, Jean-Luc Picard.

Does this mean Star Trek: Legacy is real?

Ltr: Jonathan Frakes as Will Riker, Patrick Stewart as Jean Luc Picard, Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine, and Gates McFadden as Dr. Beverly Crusher in season 3 of Star Trek: Picard. They stand abreast in a line, smiling. Riker and Seven are in uniform. Image: Paramount

About a month ago, Picard showrunner Terry Matalas tweeted that “#StarTrekLegacy is what I’d call a spin-off show from #StarTrekPicard. A 25th Century show that explores the Last Generation and the Next.” Since then, he’s been either teasing an upcoming show or just having a hearty good time retweeting coverage of his tweet and clips of veteran Star Trek actors agreeing that a nostalgic spinoff for 1990s Trek fans sounds like a good idea.

So it’s not entirely clear whether “Star Trek Legacy” is a real show or what. But it’s hard to imagine what else Picard’s final moments could possibly be pointing to. The next Star Trek show on the Paramount Plus lineup is the second season of Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, then the fourth season of the animated series Star Trek: Lower Decks, and then the second season of all-ages cartoon Star Trek: Prodigy. None of those seem like a good fit for Picard’s hints, being set in completely different eras or produced in a completely different medium.

Paramount has also confirmed at least two more future Star Trek projects, but they also don’t seem likely as answers either — Starfleet Academy will take place the better part of a millennium after Picard, while the recently announced Section 31 film starring Michelle Yeoh just simply doesn’t seem particularly relevant.

It’s possible that Paramount is sitting on a Star Trek: Legacy show about Jack Crusher, Seven of Nine, Raffi, and Sidney La Forge (the Titan/Enterprise’s helmswoman and daughter of Geordi La Forge) going on some epic Q-uest. But we won’t know until it’s actually announced — and so far, Paramount is keeping quiet.

Update: Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Matalas said “Jack’s got a lot to do, let me tell you.” The showrunner confirmed that Paramount does have a plan for Jack Crusher’s character moving forward, but declined to elaborate or confirm the existence of another new Star Trek show.

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