LeVar Burton Expects ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation’ Cast To Appear On ‘Picard’ …Eventually

The upcoming CBS All Access series Star Trek: Picard is about halfway through production on its first season and so far there has been no indication that any of Sir Patrick Stewart’s Star Trek: The Next Generation co-stars will appear on the show. But at least one of those stars thinks it will happen.

LaForge and Picard reunited?

Speaking to CNN at the premiere of Disney’s new version of The Lion King, when asked if he could see himself and other Star Trek: The Next Generation stars appearing in Star Trek: Picard was possible LeVar Burton seemed optimistic:

Each of us, I would say certainly, right? It is unreasonable to assume that he doesn’t know those people anymore, or that he stopped talking to them. And if he did there’s good storytelling in why.

Burton co-starred with Patrick Stewart as engineer Geordi LaForge for all seven seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation,  plus four feature films. Burton’s optimism for a potential appearance is noteworthy as his fellow TNG co-stars have remained skeptical about appearing on the new series since it was was announced last August

Even with optimism, Burton doesn’t expect to see a TNG reunion on the Picard show, as per the CNN report:

But while the actor speculated that Geordi, Data, Worf, Riker, Troi and the Crushers would likely appear one or two at a time, and he was cautious about expecting a full-blown cast reunion to occur on the new series.
“Are you gonna see all of us together, again, in a scene or episode? I don’t know,” said Burton, anticipating a high degree of contract negotiation and budget discussion to get the entire cast back on deck together. “There’s a lot of paper that needs to be papered, before we get there.”

LeVar Burton and his Star Trek: First Contact co-star Alfre Woodard along with John Kani at The Lion King premiere

Burton also joked about Geordi’s struggles with a love life on TNG, hoping the Picard show could improve things:

I’d settle with him having a date with somebody he didn’t invent on the Holodeck. If he could just have sex with a real person, I’d be so happy!

The new Star Trek: Picard series began shooting in California in late April and is expected to wrap up in mid-September. Along with Stewart, the show will feature a cast of actors new to Star Trek, including  Santiago Cabrera (Salvation), Michelle Hurd (Law & Order: SVU), and Alison Pill (Newsroom), all presumably playing new characters.

One TNG cast member known to be involved in Picard is William Riker actor Jonathan Frakes, who directed the third and fourth episodes.

Poster for Star Trek: Picard

On Saturday more news should emerge about the Picard show at the Star Trek Universe panel at San Diego Comic-Con. TrekMovie will be there to bring you all the news.

Keep up with all the news about upcoming Star Trek TV projects at TrekMovie.com.

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That mirrored picture for this article is doing my head in – the kind of absolute stuff-up reserved for TV Guides (eg upside down Enterprise, mirrored images, etc)

OMG, I didn’t even see that until you mentioned it. It looks very weird.


Did they remove it? Because every picture I see is properly aligned. I ask only because I enjoy bizarre editorial choices like that! They’re so funny, because in most cases they’re entirely unnecessary.

Yes the image was corrected a few hours later :)

Ok, I was VERY confused by your comment!!

It could be like what TNG did with its TOS cameos and references. Not all at once but sprinkled across the series.

My thoughts exactly Baldy…

And I’ve been somewhat befuddled that anyone expected anything different.

Pretty much all of the actors have said that they would prefer to appear for something meaningful.

Unless some important event in Picard’s storyline would warrant a reunion, interactions with former crew over time makes much more sense, and offers opportunities for new stories instead of cameo.

A massive reunion scene would guarantee Riker and Data most of the lines, Geordi and Worf some of the lines, leaving Crusher and Troi to go all rock-paper-scissors-lizard-Spock over the rest of the lines. No, bring them in in meaningful scenes across the season. Let these people shine!!!


Yes…that’s exactly what Burton said. Kudos for reading the article I guess.

I was only pointing out how TNG did it with TOS cameos. Hey, maybe try to have conversations here with people instead of just snarky nonsense. How about that?

I think every Cheers character appeared on Frasier at least once over the course of the show. They all didn’t show up at the same time, either. Only Rebecca Howe and Ernie “Coach” Pantusso didn’t do it. (Yes, I know, Nick Colasanto passed in the middle of the show’s run, replaced by Woody Harrelson.)

And those special visit episodes feel dated and unnecessary 20-ish years later.

I wouldn’t say they were “very special” but it was nice to see them pop by that one time. I think they milked Diane a bit much but Lilith showing up periodically was warranted as she was the mother of his son.

Except there won’t be 100+ episodes — and it’s serialized storytelling. Shoehorning in TNG characters would be distracting (The One Where Geordi Comes Back).

They’re also not particularly interesting characters — or great actors, other than Stewart and maybe Goldberg.

Frankly, they were the weak link in the TNG movies. There was no reason for any of them to be there, apart from Data and, maybe, Worf.

Picard is an interesting, complex character and Stewart is a terrific actor. I’m hoping the show doesn’t drown them both in nostalgia and fan service.

(I was never a fan of the special visit episodes in any of the series).

I agree with much but I have to disagree on the concept of Picard being an “interesting” and “complex” character. Quite the opposite, in fact. He was only watchable due to the acting prowess of Mr. Stewart.

You keep repeating that refrain as if it’s a widely accepted fact, but I don’t think it is. The fact is, most audiences found him to be an engaging and interesting character.

You keep saying that as if it is a fact, yet it is absolutely not. You do not get to speak for “most audiences” and I have never made that claim myself.

I doubt we’ll see any of Picard’s old crew in season 1, with the possible exception of a Riker cameo. If Geordi and the others do come back, we’ll probably have to wait a few years.

Oh.. shame… I’d love to see them all in there, even if it’s just something crazy like Geordi sticks his head around the corner and says hi, or Worf is wandering somewhere in the background of a scene, haha

I wouldn’t mind one physical appearance (Crusher visiting him at his vinyard?) maaybe one more via viewscreen (Admiral Riker inquiring about his rogue mission?), but beyond that, I think a parade of cameos, even parsed out over a season, will quickly become a distraction. It was bad enough when “The Family Season” (TNG Season 7) felt like every episode had a family member play a role in every episode, but a cavalcade of old favorites would become corny if not handled perfectly.

Agreed. I don’t think even one appearance is necessary. Imagine Logan with Halle Berry, Rebecca Romjin and Kelsey Grammer popping up on FaceTime.

I wish some of them would stop griping about it (I know: they’re being asked constantly). Let Stewart have his show and don’t make it about you, Marina. :)

Marina is basically saying at this point that anything and everything is covered by her NDA, so please respect that she can’t say anything one way or the other.

She’s got her play this summer and a solid role in a web series.

I wish folks would stop dissing her for doing the regular self promotion and generosity to fans that comes with the business of being an actor.

It makes sense for them to show up once perhaps. But the short seasons make such frivolities more difficult. Do you really want to waste valuable episode time with “How have you been?” moments? The only way they might get away with it would be if that character was important to the overall story arc. And they ALL can’t be that.

Or they might just throw in a wistful ‘memory flashback’ using some NEXT GEN footage of the ‘E’ bridge showing Picard with a few of the gang in his younger days… ;)

indeed a flashback to Nemesis. all of them on the bridge with forced smiles collectively thinking ‘this director doesn’t understand Trek!’

While “The Way We Were” plays in the background. ;)

No flashback to the movies, please…

Maybe Riker gave him the dog? I hope we get some TNG reunion moments. That last moment in “All Good Things” would seem to require his reintegration into that group of people to feel whole again. Of course, it’s possible one, or some, will have passed or perished. Can’t wait to have a look!

My guess is if we really don’t see any of them in season 1 they will pop up in season 2. I think they want to focus on the new cast and with just 10 episodes in the first season its probably the right call. I still think we could get a cameo in the first season someone, they are just keeping it under tight wraps.

If I were a betting man, that is how I would think it would go. No cameos first season. One maybe two tops in the next season. But never all of them together. And almost certainly no Data.

I could see it ending, like Discovery, with the appearance from a familiar face.

Perhaps a Klingon flagship decloaks, and a message from Ambassador Worf, asking for Picard’s help with Klingon internal matter ahead of the Empire’s joining the Federation– setting up the story for the second season.

Jean Luc must’ve have gone and TimeSquared it

Admiral Janeway: Jean Luc, you think that you can’t make mistakes, but there’s going to come a moment when you realize you’re wrong about that and you’re going to get everyone under your command killed.

Why isn’t Levar Burton directing some of the Picard episodes? At the very least Kurtzman et al. should make that happen.

How do we know that Burton’s not directing this season?

From her profile it looks like Maja Vrvilo has one of the blocks, but that still leaves a couple of directors unidentified.

Did I miss something?

It would really be nice if he is. I would think if he were involved that it would be highly publicized as it has been with Frakes. I’ve been surprised that he has not been part of Discovery yet. IMDB shows that he is still actively directing shows like NCIS and Scorpion (isn’t that a Kurtzman show?).

Scorpion was a K/O show. But its been off the air for a few years now.

Burton started a recurring role on NCIS New Orleans last season, his character is now dating the ME on the show, so he is probably busy filming next season. He was awesome by the way, came in an antagonist and built a relationship the hard way.

Well, the last time these officers were off on their own and Picard had to deal with a universe-shattering threat, he moved Heaven and Earth to get them back together to go with him to the Devron system to deal with the problem. So, yeah; logic dictates Picard would at least attempt to gather his old bridge crew if the situation necessitated it, whether they were available or not or willing to help him or not.

“if the situation necessitated it”

It necessitated it because it was the series finale and they were all on the payroll.

Stewart can carry a show on his own.

Need to see Captain LaForge of the USS Challenger, Galaxy-class.

Yes, this is what I want: to see LaForge, Riker, Crusher and Worf promoted and with their own commands…

They deserve to grow and achieve great things on their own.

Who knows, perhaps some of Picard’s regrets come from inevitably distancing himself from his Starfleet ‘family’ when he ‘left’ Starfleet.

I will be deeply sad if the crew isn’t reunited or involved because they were my family for 7 years, & it’s that simple.

Just as long as it’s not stereotypical racist marriage Miles O’brien and Kiko. This is perhaps one of the low points in Star Trek TNG; the continuing participation in sci fi Hollywood’s agenda that the East Asian man is extinct in the future. Never mind that it took an East Asian man to help make Kiko; he won’t be seeing any screen time. Nope, better that the East Asian man is perceived as extinct instead of being sexy to the female audience. Think I’m being too sensitive? Then let’s have an East Asian man married to an Irish female. Now let’s hear your opinion. Welcome to the 24th century.

George Tekai would like a word with you when you have a moment.

That’s just it; Gene Roddenberry’s baby the original Star Trek was trying to break away from social norms but the show still had it’s faults ie how women of the future were portrayed. TNG was supposed to be the upgrade to show how far we’ve come and yet the episodes proved that they further perpetuated sci fi Hollywood’s agenda that East Asian men are extinct in the future.

Since O’Brien was on the show first, and Keiko was introduced onto the show to be his wife, I don’t think it has anything to do with them not thinking that Asian guys are sexy enough. I think the idea is that, in the future, nobody even bats an eyelid when an Irish man marries an Asian woman. I’m sure it wouldn’t have been a big issue if Harry Kim (who stayed on the show because he was too handsome) or Sulu married an Irish woman.

OMG not 7 years an Ensign Harry Kim. After TNG fumbled the East Asian male representation Voyager treats us with Harry Kim; the sci fi Hollywood’s version of the emasculated East Asian male that gets used by every female on the show as a punching bag, made out to be the stereotypical shy nerd that never gets the girl who needs the advice from gets all the ladies white paste Tom Paris and the always will be an Ensign because that’s where all East Asian men belong: beneath the white man/ woman.

Okay, I admit that Harry does suck. But, they ended up not killing him off because Garret Wang was listed as one of the world’s 50 most beautiful people in People Magazine. So, the Trek producers did at least understand that Asian men can be attractive.

Discovery has had a African-American female lead with a South Asian romantic interest (Burnham and Tyler).

Voyager had an Indigenous North American with a Scandinavian (Chakotay/Seven).

Yes, Trek could do more represent a broader range of ethnic identities, and nationalities across the genders to make it a more global show, but for an American show it is stretching.

I’d like to see more of Discovery’s diverse bridge crew, including Gen Rhys, but one can’t say there’s no representation.

The way I see it, they could use two ways to bring back the TNG crew. First either as a hologram on the holodeck as part of a flashback or a training exercise and second as captains of their own ships. Riker might have been promoted to an admiral by now, unless he still wants to command the Titan after 17 years. He could appear as a talking head admiral, maybe he could be the one who starts the chase after Picard if those rumors about Picard becoming a fugitive are true.

Geordi was a captain in an alternate future on Voyager, and Crusher was a captain in the alternate future in All Good Things. I can’t really see Troi as a captain though.

We know that Troi was with Riker on the Titan, I don’t know if counselors are promoted to admirals, but if Riker is an admiral by now, I think Troi could be one too.

Does everybody get to be an admiral eventually? How many are there?

Archer’s prized Beagle missed out because of Scotty’s transporter accident…

Well it seems to be only way to go if they are still a part of Starfleet, that is the highest point you get to. Of course some of them might have retired and that can be a good way to not have them in the show.

The Admiral on Discovery started as a counselor.

I’d prefer that we don’t see any of them. It’s a big galaxy and nearly 20 years have passed — things change.

Easter eggs, cameos and fan service are distracting.

I dunno. I love episodes like Relics and Unification. They shouldn’t do that immediately, but it would be cool to see some of the TNG crew back.

G’day Gowron – can I just say you are one of the coolest Klingons around, especially those bug-eyes you pull LOL :)

And yes those were both legendary episodes and done fantastically well!

Gowron is pretty bad ass.

I’m honored.

I highly doubt you’d see the entire cast. I still feel you’ll see 1 or MAYBE 3 of the cast sprinkled in.

I find his remarks on Geordi’s love life delightful and funny.

I always thought Picard was at his best when he was bouncing humanity and lofty Starfleet ideals off Data. I hope the first series ends with him meeting a post-nemesis data. Or better yet, the whole series is the search for Data. His positronic brain is probably floating in space somewhere near the Romulan border.

There is no way anything survived that explosion. His consciousness might still exist in B4, but his original brain and body are gone.

And good digital de-aging is expensive.

I wish we could let TNG go and be open to new stories that aren’t retreads of things we’ve seen before.

He doesn’t need to find Data (who’s been dead for 20 years – apart from whatever’s in B4). They were never Kirk/Spock halves of a whole.

Reuniting with the crew 25 years later made sense for the TNG finale. It doesn’t make sense for this, IMO.

But his skull was composed of “cortenide and duranium”.

Yeah, and he was feet away from the thalaron generator, which destroyed an entire starship. Data’s gone.

When someone moves to another continent, even with social media, you realistically lose most contact with them. When you’re talking about people who exist in a civilisation spanning quarter-to-half a galaxy, travelling faster than light speed, with extended lifespans and a population numbering in trillions, it’s very likely that if you retire you’ll lose contact with everyone you worked with in no time at all. I’d be surprised if Jean-Luc got much more than the occasional Christmas card from his Enterprise coworkers once he quit. Certainly, he clearly had a close relationship with the crew of the Stargazer, but they barely figured in his life once he joined the Enterprise. At distances of trillions of miles, with issues surrounding relativity (even with warp and subspace radio) it’s extraordinarily unlikely Picard would ever see his former Enterprise crewmates again unless one or two of them were deliberately reunited. The chances of all of them being reunited or Jean-Luc meeting more than a couple of them ever again must be minute.

This makes sense to me. Was the Enterprise crew, or the Enterprise for that matter, ever as important to him as the Stargazer and crew (his first command?). Maybe he has gained different people he can trust/call comrades over the past 20 years. I’d still like to see him bring he Stargazer out of mothballs for his last/est mission. Love that clunky old bucket.

Did they ever say what happenned to the Stargazer after Bok returned it?