Production on the second season of Star Trek: Picard remains on hold, but work continues for the writers, one of whom is talking about how they are being impacted by current events.
Goldmsan: Star Trek aspires to be the future we want
Star Trek: Picard executive producer Akiva Goldsman gave an update to Backstage on how work is being conducted remotely, as he talked about what it’s like to work with star (and executive producer) Sir Patrick Stewart:
He’s fun, he’s funny, and he’s great to have a glass of wine with, or two. And he’s a collaborator. Literally this morning, Michael Chabon, Terry Matalas, Patrick, and I were on a Zoom talking about the first three episodes of next season. We have different life experiences and different ages, but we were kind of like four kids in a sandbox.
While he didn’t offer any details on the storyline for the second season of Picard, Goldsman did point to how Star Trek has always told topical allegories:
“I like carnival mirrors. I like the idea that we see ourselves more clearly by seeing slightly altered versions of ourselves. I think that there’s something very interesting about that ability to generate empathy… ‘Star Trek’ in particular has always been good at that.”
And he went on to say that like other Star Trek shows, Picard has a point of view:
“[Star Trek is] not value-neutral… We aspire. We create the future. We fabricate the future we aspire to. It’s multicultural, diverse, empathetic, democratic, and all the things that we who make ‘Star Trek’ want it to be, which it could be. Certainly, what’s happening culturally right now is resonant for us and we’re trying to be very thoughtful and aware of how that speaks to storytelling.”
Goldsman didn’t specify what aspects of today’s world the team is finding resonant, but it’s likely he isn’t talking about doing a pandemic storyline, as Patrick Stewart has already ruled that out, saying he would be “uncomfortable” if that was a theme in season two. However, Stewart has also been outspoken about how as a political activist, it is important for him that Picard take on topical issues, like the first season storyline about the Romulan refugees, inspired by the European refugee crisis.
As far back as early May, Goldsman said the team of writers were using the hiatus to “refine” the scripts for season two, and so it’s possible they are now seeking ways to make the upcoming season more relevant. Goldsman’s comments about a “multicultural, diverse, empathetic, democratic” future indicate he is referring to the current cultural issue of race relations and Black Lives Matter that have come into sharper focus since the murder of George Floyd in late May.
Star Trek has, of course, confronted this issue throughout the franchise, starting with the original Star Trek in the 60s, during the height of the Civil Rights Movement. Diversity has been emphasized with the modern Star Trek shows, starting with Star Trek: Discovery. And the first season of Picard did confront the issue of civil rights and societal stigma of a minority group in the treatment of the Synths, who were granted protection and rights at the end of the first season. Now that Picard himself is a Synth, the continuing struggles of this group could be picked up in season two.
Perhaps we will learn more at the virtual Star Trek: Picard panel at Comic-Con@Home on July 23rd.
Keep up with everything Star Trek: Picard at TrekMovie.com.