Patrick Stewart Invites Whoopi Goldberg To Join ‘Star Trek: Picard’

Sir Patrick Stewart and Michael Chabon have been out giving interviews in support of the premiere of Star Trek: Picard. We’ve rounded up key bit from the interviews as well as social media posts.

Stewart invites Whoopi for season 2

Once character that almost certainly should be on Picard is Guinan the long lived confidant of Jean-Luc Picard. Today while doing the talkshow rounds, Stewart came to Whoopi Goldberg’s show The View where he asked her to be in season two of Picard.

Whoopi Goldberg in her last appearance as Guinan in Star Trek Nemesis (2002)

Why Picard Left Starfleet

Stewart was on the Late Show with Steven Colbert and he brought a new clip — Picard is being interviewed by a reporter from the Federation News Network who grills him about why he left Starfleet.

Chabon in Rolling Stone

Executive producer and season one showrunner Michael Chabon gave an extensive interview to Rolling Stone that’s well worth a full read. We’ve pulled out some excerpts about his work on Picard.

Expanding canon in Picard

We really tried with this season to do, to some degree at least, for the Romulans what TNG did for the Klingons. To take a really familiar, well-known, antagonist alien species, and open them up a little bit beyond the mustache twirling and the swarthy, glowering looking across space through the view screens. Like, what’s going on with Romulans? What’s their culture like? To be able to do that, to be empowered, suddenly, out of the blue, to create canon about Romulans… Wow, incredible.

A Borg corpse in a Romulan lab

Working with Sir Patrick

It’s incredible, the things he does over the course of the season. Because it’s not just him playing the Picard that you know when you think of Picard. He’s playing Picard who’s decades older, has been through a lot, has aged physically, is looking at his life in the way that someone who’s middle-aged wouldn’t. In canon in our story, Picard is I believe 92. So he’s older than Patrick is, but someone who’s been alive that long, looking at his life, is going to be behaving very differently than someone who’s however old Patrick was when he started doing TNG. Patrick had all of that. He presents the character of Picard very much as the same guy. And yet, he’s changed, inevitably. He’s older, he’s wiser, he’s sadder, he has more regrets and more to regret. All of that just emerged on day one of shooting.

Moving focus to his new project

As TrekMovie reported last month, Chabon has a new production deal with CBS Studios to develop his acclaimed book The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay into a TV series. So he won’t be showrunning the second season of Picard. He spoke to Rolling Stone about the bittersweet decision:

It would be great if I could do both. I don’t want to leave Picard. I’m not leaving — I’m sticking around. It’s been renewed, so we’ve already started planning for the second season. I’m every bit as involved in that process, and I’m going to stay on as an executive producer, and I’m going to write episodes. But at some point, the focus of my time and attention and love is going to slide over to Kavalier & Clay. But exactly how and where and when, it’s not clear. This is a transitional period for me. But I’m definitely reluctant and sorry to ultimately be leaving this behind. It’s still incredibly exciting. Talking about Season Two is already fun all over again. It won’t be easy for me. Star Trek’s not going anywhere, and hopefully, I’m not going anywhere either.

Stewart – “Picard is under stress”

Stewart spoke to USA Today about his career and Trek, he mentioned a few new bits about where we find Jean-Luc Picard 20 years later:

Seeing Picard under stress and not knowing if he’s doing the right thing or did the right thing (indicates) he feels very insecure. These were not challenges that had arisen in Next Generation.

The show opens with Jean-Luc Picard back on Earth, USA Today asked about seeing him return to the bridge of a spaceship, he replied:

We do have a ship, although it’s smaller than the Enterprise and definitely not a starship. There’s one moment when I sit in the captain’s chair and I have to acknowledge I don’t know how to drive the ship and I have to get out. New technology, you know.

Picard onboard Rios’ ship named La Sirena (The Mermaid)

New commercial

“The past is written, but the future is left for us to write.”

A new promo was shared by Patrick Stewart, it features a few new seconds of footage.

New photos

Entertainment Weekly posted three new photos today. They’re included below:

Star Trek: Picard – A New Chapter Begins

CBS released a new featurette featuring Patrick Stewart and producers Alex Kurtzman and Akiva Goldsman discussing Jean-Luc’s state of mind when we first reconnect with Picard 20-years later.

NOTE: sorry, CBS region locks their videos.

London premiere video

Sir Patrick Stewart shared a nice video montage of the Picard celebration in London last week.

Fun Stewart moment on Graham Norton

While not specifically about Star Trek: Picard, this is a fun moment from Stewart’s UK media tour last week, on The Graham Norton Show he recounts an embarrassing hotel story about him watching a repeat of TNG.

How to watch Star Trek: Picard

Star Trek: Picard will premiere on January 23, 2020. It will be available on CBS All Access in the USA and on the CTV Sci-Fi Channel and CraveTV in Canada. It will premiere on Amazon Prime Video for the rest of the world on January 24. Episodes will be released weekly.

Keep up with all the Star Trek: Picard news at TrekMovie.

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Always liked the relationship between Picard and Guinan.

Great idea, if she’s written in correctly. Picard and Guinan had this deep bond with each other based on events only vaguely referred to during TNG’s run. It would be good to get more insight as to why they trust each other as much as they do. And, it would be neat to learn more about her species. We only know they live very long and the very little Q told us.

That was something that really bothered me. First, I always had a difficult time with the addition of the ship’s bartender. Seemed a weird thing to have on a star ship. And then they threw out this phantom history Picard had with her that was NEVER expanded upon or even dealt with in any kind of substantial way. We, the audience, were just supposed to accept this “bond” only because Guinan said it existed once. It felt like it was just something that was brought out only when writers felt it served their story. Then ignored again. So I had a hard time buying whatever relationship it was they supposedly had. Those were two major strikes against the addition of the Guinan character.

guinan’s past with picard is something the show should tease us with but never fully reveal.
like the dr’s backstory on ‘dr who’.

and this enterprise was more like a cruise ship so a bar seemed obvious to add.

Well, in The Neutral Zone Picard seemed annoyed when one of the unfrozen past humans compared the Enterprise to a cruise ship. But I do not disagree with your assessment although I always thought the E-D was more like a hotel.

Regarding the “teasing” of Guinan’s past, they barely even did that. I would argue this is quite a bit different from the Doctor. Although I think his (now her) backstory has been fleshed out pretty darn well at this point. But it seems more appropriate for the Doctor character as an individual than it is for a pair. It’s difficult for the audience to get on board with that relationship if you don’t define it or show it in any way.

Wow, seeing the Enterprise D in that trailer fills my heart with joy! Obviously it’s a dream or flashback of some kind but its still so great to see. I never thought we would actually see it on the show. And it probably won’t be the only Enterprise we see either. ;)

And I love this comment Chabon made about Romulans, which is literally something I been saying I wanted once we were going back to the 24th century:

“We really tried with this season to do, to some degree at least, for the Romulans what TNG did for the Klingons. To take a really familiar, well-known, antagonist alien species, and open them up a little bit beyond the mustache twirling and the swarthy, glowering looking across space through the view screens. Like, what’s going on with Romulans? What’s their culture like? To be able to do that, to be empowered, suddenly, out of the blue, to create canon about Romulans… Wow, incredible.”

That’s literally why I was hoping they were going to explore the explosion of Romulus because it could open up more stories about the Romulans beyond just doing something bad in an episode to start a fight with the Federation. I always wanted a real Romulan story arc and development that we seen time and time again with the Klingons and the Cardasians and we are FINALLY getting it with them!

As yes Guinan is coming back!!!!! That was so cool of what they did to invite her back. I hope it happens, I can’t wait to see her again and we will probably gets tons more familiar characters in second season.

I always thought the Romulans were the better villains in Star Trek, which is weird that the Klingons were used so much. In TOS, the Klingons were used more often because their make-up was cheaper than the Romulans, then with the movies and TNG, the Klingon make-up became more elaborate and expensive, but they still used them more than the Romulans. I know that there was some development for the Romulans in TNG and DS9, but no where near the level for Klingons.

Maybe we will get Marc Okrand in to create a Romulan language?

I think it was more-so always easy to go to the Klingons. They’re the iconic villains and a warrior species so you could throw out story after story after story. The Romulans are a lot more nuanced. On the one hand, they’ve been taken down the Roman Empire path – very bluntly unfortunately – and then they’ve played the role of ‘China’ in Trek superpowers struggle. There were a couple good Romulan stories in TNG but then they threw in Sela and they really became mustache twirlers. Enterprise did what they could but without exploring the Romulan war, it fell flat by the end. Ironically enough, it seems the final battle in Nemesis plays as a catalyst just as the Battle of Narendra III did.

What’s also crazy about the movies is that we known at least in TWO of them Romulans were originally suppose to be the main villains, first in TSFS and then again in Insurrection. The Klingons were fine in TSFS and that’s where we first got their ‘modern’ look from but still curious how different that movie would’ve been if it were the Romulans instead. But it’s a shame we didn’t get them in Insurrection, what they wanted to do with them sounded more interesting. And they certainly would’ve been more memorable instead of the Son’a, which, and I kid you not, sometimes I have to look up their names to remember who they are lol. Them and the Suliban. I literally can’t remember those guys at times.

And also why I loved them in DS9. It was the ONLY time we another side of them, still deviant and all of that but we saw them working with the Federation and got a few characters as well even if they were still mostly in the background on that show.

TOS hinted that the Romulans were a race that could perhaps one day be allies with the Federation – even while they were fighting each other in Balance of Terror. They became the main villains for TNG, but returned to help Picard in Nemesis. (I forgot about that as I put that movie out of my mind, but forced myself to watch it to prepare for Picard haha!)

LOL I rewatched Nemesis yesterday too! It was the last piece of my rewatch. And yes like you I try to put that movie out of my mind. BUT also like you, I completely forgot the line at the end of the movie where Riker said they were sending a task force to the neutral zone to have talks with them. I honestly forgot that part but the movie did end up on a positive note.

So yes, maybe Picard will hint that they were becoming more friendly to each other already and why the Federation was trying to help them evacuate before the super nova arrived.

The only bit that one could say “hinted” at that sort of thing I can think of was when the Romulan commander told Kirk before self destructing, “In a different reality I could have called you friend.” I do not read that as suggesting the two governments become allies one day. Is there another instance you are referring to that I have missed all these years?

BTW… If watching Nemesis is such a chore then I would recommend not doing it. I can’t stand watching The Voyage Home so I skip it every time I do a rewatch of the TOS features. Why put myself through that? Best to keep it out of mind.

I actually think TSFS had the potential to work work BETTER using Romulans. My main beef with SFS after bringing Spock back to begin with (I like that he’s back but it always felt like a cheat to do it) was they didn’t bother to change the story elements when they changed the group from Romulan to Klingon. The retained the Bird of Prey as well as the cloaking device. Elements that one would think SOMEONE involved in the production would have spoken up about.

Regarding Insurrection, I’ve heard recently that there was a version of it where Data was the antagonist. I’d be very curious to learn what that story line was. Again, I think there is potential there to end up with a better result that what we got. Insurrection was easily the weakest of the TNG features and it isn’t even a close race.

I always hated how TNG reversed the honorable Romulans and blood-thirsty back-stabbing Klingons of TOS. Fast forward 100 years to TNG and now it’s the Romulans who are scheming bad-guys and the once-upon-a-time world conquering Klingons are now honorable. Add to that the new Frankenstein head ridges on the Vulcan’s sister race and cookie cutter Spock wigs on everyone and it’s like, what alternate universe is this, anyway? lol

“We really tried with this season to do, to some degree at least, for the Romulans what TNG did for the Klingons. To take a really familiar, well-known, antagonist alien species, and open them up a little bit beyond the mustache twirling and the swarthy, glowering looking across space through the view screens”

YES! He took the words right of my (and your) mouth. Now we only have to wait and see if they can actually make up on this. If Discovery and the Klingons “24 houses like you’ve never seen them before” is anything to go by, they have a habit to overpromise and underdeliver. Hopefully they learned it this time.

Too bad TNG got the Klinks and Rommies mixed up, though. TOS Rommies were the ones with honor. Klinks were the true “mustache-twirling” villains. I mean, you can picture a TOS Klink tying Rand to railroad tracks!!

TNG turned Klinks into Space Vikings with bad teeth. Rommies morphed into an insidious enemy because… cloaking devices? Who knows.

The little hollogram of the Enterprise D was a cute touch. And it showed that either the producers of Picard either learned from their mistakes on Discovery (Changing the entire look of the era) or they just have a ton more reverence for the TNG era than the TOS era. Of course, I still think seeing the old TNG style of uniforms some 30 years later is a bit odd especially since they were changed for the later feature films. Odd that Star Fleet would go retro.

They should do a show about Guinan in the much more exciting 23rd century. Put her with Pike / Number One and Spock on the 1701.

There was a story written with Guinan for ST: Enterprise, but the series was cancelled after Season 4 (the author intended it for their 5th Season). News of her invited to appear in ST: Picard S2 is amazing – and WELCOME.

Really? I would’ve loved to seen her on Enterprise. It sounds like they had so many ideas for that show in its fifth season. It really sucks it didn’t happen.

And agreed, her and Picard being back together is great news! This show is sounding better and better. :)

If we do get a Pike show I hope to all that is holy Guinan is NOT a part of it.

That was an excellent Rolling Stone interview, and thank you for including the link to it.

The interview with Chabon was quite excellent and despite him leaving as showrunner, it looks like he will still be quite involved with the show and he said he will be writing at least one S2 episode.

Picard: What happened? Did you Will go on an interstellar Foody Pilgrimage?

What was that, a fat joke at the expense of Jonathan and Whoopi?

The deal is already probably done and that was just something to wet your appetite before anything official gets announced later. I mean SERIOUSLY how could you not get even a cameo from her – it just feels like she’ll pop up somewhere to be cryptic and comforting and keep him going when he’s at he’s struggling. I’ve even always expected Guinan to be the person at Picard’s side when he dies. Like out of everyone, it just would feel fitting to me for the way their relationship/history has been sort of explored.

When I was doing my TNG rewatch and followed all the basic ‘Picard’ episodes I forgot just how much Guinan was in those. She wasn’t in every pivotal episode but in most of them. They really used the character wisely and whenever she was there it was for a real reason and it was rarely for a plot one.

she was honestly stunned and happy… sad we can’t recognize that or trust it anymore

Guinan is amazing. A great character. The writers did a great job adding her to many of the TNG episodes. Whoppi has said that Guinan is the last character created by Gene Roddenberry. One thing is Whoppi as a person and the other is Whoppi as Guinan. She is brilliant, wise, a great person to have a thoughtful conversation. I love to listen what she always have to say. And like Stewart, right now both are very sad about our current political challenges.

I’m sure they spoke to her agent first.

I’ve been wondering whether her contract with CBSAA for The Stand provides some options for Goldberg to do recurring roles in other series.

That is, they may already have some legal relationship in place that for such a spontaneous offer.

In fact, I took Goldberg’s obvious based joy, but silence after the initial ‘yes’ in response to Stewart as an actor being smart and letting her agent complete the negotiation after an expression of interest-in-principle.

But the thing is their relationship/history was NEVER explored. Only a few vague lines of dialog were spoken about it. To this day, I as a viewer, have no clue what their relationship is. Is she a mother figure? Did they date? Did they have an adventure together years before? Did one of them save the other’s life or the life of a loved one? It’s a mystery the audience I guess is never supposed to question. Just accept.

I wonder if anyone is going to watch this at 3am on the East Coast USA when it drops. I will try get up an hour earlier tomorrow. I hope it’s good!

LOL plenty will. Trust me.

Just in case I am up at midnight ET, I will log into Crave up here in Toronto, just to see if they are streaming it a little earlier than expected. If I was in the US, I would also check CBSAA, just in case someone flipped the switch a little early haha.

I checked. They didn’t.

I could probably just ride my typical insomnia wave right into it!

I wish I didn’t have work tomorrow. I would love to stay up till 4 in the morning to watch Picard, but then I’d only get less than three hours of sleep.

If you value your sleep more than watching Picard right when it drops clearly you are not a true Star Trek fan!!!
(In case anyone cannot tell I’m joking)

I am stoked, joiced, hyped and so very excited! So much so that I can’t managed more than these few words.

There’s another part of the Chabon Rolling Stone interview that really leapt out at me:

“When I came aboard, they were talking about two possible series — one would be a Picard series, and the other one I don’t want to say, just because I’m not supposed to. We were actually sort of leaning more toward that other one initially, just because getting Patrick to come back seemed too unlikely.”

Wait! What? TWO possible series were in discussion in early 2018?

Now, that could be the S31 Michelle Yeoh series, but it would seem odd for him to be mysterious about that and say that he’s not supposed say anything. All the more, I can’t imagine it being the Academy series that has seemed to stall out.

With Kurtzman’s recent statements that they have two more live action series beyond S31 in development, I’m totally curious. Between Chabon’s and Kurtzman’s comments, I’m really wondering if there is another idea for a show that’s been percolating in secret.

Kurtzman has been saying in interviews that there are live action series in development beyond Picard and Discovery. One of them he said was the Section 31 show, but has not said what the other is. Speculation is that it may be the Starfleet Academy show that was rumored earlier. There is also speculation that it might be a Captain Pike on the Enterprise series.

There are TWO in development PLUS Section 31. We’ve heard about Pike, Khan and Academy…

Well, let’s see…. Discovery S3, Picard, TWO animated shows, S-31, and…. maybe Pike’s Enterprise. Hopefully. They’re doing so well now, there might even be more ‘Trek beyond even those!

What is the second animated show? The Nickelodeon project?

Yes, your right Salvador.

I’d be surprised if Pike was envisioned as a possibility in early 2018.

So, I’m wondering if there is yet another surprising idea that we’ve heard nothing about yet.

I hope they’ve put money aside in their budget to pay for oversized hats.

Patrick Stewart said that she didn’t need to wear the hat. Basically, whatever she wants.

Well, if she comes back, then I hope she wears the hat. She wouldn’t be Guinan without a ridiculous hat.

I feel like a Little Kid on Christmas Eve, waiting for Santa! So exciting! All Fans, enjoy the first episode tomorrow!

Must’ve missed a few trailers as I saw more than a few seconds of new footage in that trailer,lol! Saw it a few days ago though,looks good. And region locked still sucks! Good thing there are always ways to watch it outside the US,lol!

If you need a good reason to get a international VPN, this is it. Whenever I get blocked video by region, I just change country!

It’s what I usually do as well. Sometimes,for episodes and such,I use other means,lol! And no,I don’t download illegally,before anyone gets any ideas again,lol,but I do get whatever I want to watch. I have to,since I have no tv channels,lol!

Not wild about that being what her hair is going to look like in “The Stand.”

Wild about Guinan coming back.

Wow, isn’t that great? I hope she brings Meghan McCain along for the ride. I can’t get enough of that woman also. She could play Captain Pike’s daughter, praising her father all the time and complain how the Federation has screwed her.

Never liked Guinan. All in all, the wisdom-spouting bartender was pretty dull.

I found it to not only be cliche (the ships bartender did a better job at counseling than the ship’s counselor!) but seemed weird there was a bartender on the ship to begin with. It seemed like they wanted to add Whoopie so bad they didn’t think about the character at all. It’s rarely a good idea to add a character to accommodate an actor rather than adding a character to accommodate the story/show.

Loved her in “First Contact”! /sarcasm

I think that was her best performance in all of TNG!

First, I really hope Patrick was just being polite to Whoopie. That last thing Picard needs is a return from Guinan.

Next, this quote “And yet, he’s changed, inevitably. He’s older, he’s wiser, he’s sadder, he has more regrets and more to regret.” sounds like Picard has turned into a grumpy old man telling kids to get off his lawn.

I do, however, like reading this… “Seeing Picard under stress and not knowing if he’s doing the right thing or did the right thing (indicates) he feels very insecure. These were not challenges that had arisen in Next Generation.” It is true and would be a good step towards making the character a little interesting. But I think what they REALLY need to do is have the Federation and world move on while Picard stands still. Or something like that. He needs to be out of touch with what is going on and perhaps his decision to leave was based on him being stuck in the past while the rest of the universe moves forward. Would be nice if eventually he realized this and makes the effort to continue to grow and change even at his advanced age.

Funny story about him in the hotel, BTW.