The creators of Star Trek: Picard put to rest one of the biggest fears fans might have about the show
There was a very Last Jedi-esque change felt in the trailers for the new show.
Over the decades and different iterations of Star Trek, there has always been one constant: the Federation has been a signifier of hope and optimism for the future.
It represented something close to a utopia of ideals, never aiming to get into fights, but to expand cultural horizons, meet new life and make space friends with new civilisations.
Jump forward to Star Trek: Picard and that looks like it has all changed.
From the trailer alone, we know that Jean-Luc has parted ways with the Federation, concerned that it no longer represents what he believed it once did. That will be delved into further across the season, but it does ring some The Last Jedi alarm bells in the minds of the fans.
Is this new show going to take something fundamental about the show, and turn it completely inside out? Sometimes that can be a good, useful, invigorating change. And sometimes that can entirely piss off your fanbase.
It was a question we put to executive producer (and Pultizer Prize winner!) Michael Chabon when we met him in the run up the show's release. Are they completely changing what people have always loved about Star Trek?
"I don’t think that's accurate," Chabon tells JOE.
"I think to the extent that it has been reported as such, or the fears of fans that are worried that it might be that, almost imagining that it must be the case. I think the Federation, in spite of the fact that Picard says it is no longer the Federation, I think he means something very specific by that. And what has gone wrong with the Federation is exactly what has gone wrong with Picard, in that they both made promises that terrible circumstances – almost impossible circumstances – forced them to break.
"And that is a situation that any of us can find ourselves in, at any time. And what do you when you have made a solemn promise – in this case to help someone – in every way you possibly can, and then something happens that you feel, rightly or wrongly, makes it impossible for you to keep that promise.
"That is a tragic thing, it is a painful thing. It is something that a governmental entity, like the Federation, is bound to encounter many times over the course of its history, those kind of moments. I mean, the United States certainly has. And Picard has, too. And Picard will come to reckon with the effects of his having failed to keep his promise that he made, over the course of the season."
Check out our previous chats with Picard himself (Patrick Stewart), Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan), and some more of his co-stars discussing the impact of Brexit and Trump on the new show, as well as the executive producers of the show talking about the strong Irish connection in the series.
Star Trek: Picard launches on Prime Video on Friday 24 January.
Clip via Prime Video UK