There were three trailers released on Star Trek Day and we have already analyzed the ones for Star Trek: Prodigy, and Star Trek: Lower Decks, but the Star Trek: Picard trailer is the most complex, which is a clue that we are headed into a complicated second season. The following analysis is based on our own observations along with previous reporting and interviews, as well as some educated speculation. And it contains spoilers.
Season two is all about time
The two previous trailers (First Contact Day teaser and the Captain Picard Day trailer) hinted at what has now been confirmed, season 2 of Picard will deal with both time travel and an alternate timeline. Based on everything we know so far, it appears it will primarily take place in three different time frames. The first will be a continuation of the Prime Timeline after the events of season one. Assuming some time has passed, we are guessing this is now the year 2400 in the Prime Timeline; we saw a bit of this in the Picard Day trailer, notably the scene of Picard and Raffi at Starfleet Academy.
But our assumption is that there isn’t a lot of this Prime 2400 in season two, as the crew soon finds themselves in an alternate fascistic version of 2400. And in the Star Trek Day trailer, it’s implied Q is the one who sends Picard and his companions into this different reality. We expect a good amount of the season takes place in this alternate 2400. The third major time frame is contemporary Los Angeles somewhere in the early 2020s, before the start of World War III in 2026. This contemporary Los Angeles would still be part of the Prime timeline, shortly before the divergence point that creates the alternate fascistic timeline.
The new trailer appears to include moments primarily from the Alternate 2400 and Prime early 2020s. The following analysis flows mostly as presented in the trailer, but does move around a bit so we can group things into what we believe are the different time frames and moments.
As we saw in the previous trailer, the main characters of Star Trek: Picard find themselves in a different reality and appear aware of the change.
Rios notices the problem
A couple of shots of Cristóbal Rios exemplify the transition from Prime 2400 to Alternate 2400. First, we see him in a regular outfit at the back of La Serena saying, “Guys, we got big problems.”
Cut to Rios on the bridge of a transformed La Serena, part of an alternative Starfleet. Wearing an Alternate Starfleet uniform, he declares, “Something moved us.”
Picard faces himself
Picard is aware of the change, and is also in the Alternative Starfleet uniform, possibly with the rank of Captain (four bars). In his chateau, he sees a portrait of himself in an alternate version of an older Starfleet uniform.
Seven of Nine stares at a mirror and notices she has no Borg implants, implying this timeline diverged well before she was assimilated as a child. So she was never Seven, and has always been Annika Hansen. In the previous trailer we also saw this Annika Hansen has her own badge showing she is part of what is likely an Alternate Federation (but not part of the Alternate Starfleet).
Elnor on the run
Elnor can be seen running through a marketplace, pursued by a couple of heavily armored security officers firing phaser rifles.
Elnor gets into a fight with a different pair of security officers, possibly in a Starfleet facility or ship.
Elnor in trouble
Elnor’s various troubles with security seem to catch up with him, as we see Raffi react to something wrong with him.
Q arrives at Chateau Picard asking, “Do you recall what I said, Jean-Luc, when we last parted ways? The trial never ends.” This refers to their last scene together in the series finale of Star Trek: The Next Generation, which recalled the series premiere when Q first put humanity on trial.
A frustrated Picard (now outside at his chateau) says, “Q, I am way to old for your bulls—”
With a nasty look on his face, Q responds with his trademark snap.
Picard reveals “Q went back in time and turned our world into a totalitarian nightmare.” We can see him and Seven participating in an Alternate Federation rally.
Forming a plan
Picard, Seven, Elnor, and Raffi gather outside a Starfleet building. Seven asks, “Do you understand what this means? Time has been broken.”
Picard takes charge, declaring, “I will get us home, together.”
Picard along with Seven, Raffi, and Elnor head to what we think is a lab at the Alternate Timeline version of the Daystrom Institute.
Like in the Prime Timeline, Dr. Jurati works at Daystrom. Picard explains the goal to her and the team, saying, “The only way to heal our future is to go back and repair the past.”
He now reveals why they are there: “There are ways of traveling through time.” And apparently one of those ways is at the Daystrom Institute.
Jurati asks, “Great, now what?”
Plugging in the Queen
It appears that in this Alternate Timeline, the Federation has captured the Borg Queen and has been studying her at the Daystrom Institute. Our team removes her from the Institute to plug her into La Sirena, somehow using her to allow the ship to travel back in time.
While the Queen is being used by Picard for time travel, she may have a trick up her sleeve, as we see her reach out to Jurati and what looks like little bots crawling on Jurati’s head.
The voyage home
La Sirena has a bumpy ride, presumably due to the stresses caused by time travel.
There are some moments in the trailer that are hard to pin down in terms of where they fit in the timeline, but they involve Picard and Jurati visiting what appears to be a ruined old house, likely part of the Chateau Picard estate. However, these moments in the trailer do deliver some important exposition and possible character motivation. Picard tells Jurati, “We have three days before the future is changed irrevocably.”
The trailer actually starts with Picard entering a ruined atrium, and Laris in voiceover asking, “I first saw you as a man who chose the stars. But after all this time, I have come to wonder, have you been seeking, or running?” We see Picard pick up a piece of broken glass…
This triggers other moments in the trailer, showing a young boy and woman in the same atrium, presumably young Jean-Luc and his mother. The boy is shown in reverse, another indication of the time travel involved in season two.
There is another shot in the trailer that is hard to place on the timelines but possibly shows the same young boy with two others in a dark forest.
Another shot that is hard to place shows a Hong Kong skyline that appears to be contemporary early 2020s, although there are also some flying cars or drones that could indicate this is in the future, possibly a near future. This might be the event the team goes back in time to prevent.
Much of the second half of the trailer takes place in the other major timeframe, in the early 2020s of the Prime Timeline, before the timelines diverge. As noted earlier, Picard says they have three days in this era to stop the change.
Welcome to Los Angeles
Establishing shots show the team arrives in contemporary Los Angeles, featuring some iconic locations with Jurati in voiceover saying, “Welcome to the Earth of the 21st century.”
The crew gets to work
The team has gone back in time to change things. In voiceover, we hear Rios ask, “You’re saying we can undo this nightmare?” Picard replies, “Let’s go to work.”
The crew is dispatched across LA, as part of the plan.
In a moment that appears to be an homage to the original Star Trek episode “A Piece of the Action,” Raffi reacts to Seven’s struggle with “You can pilot a starship, but you can’t drive?”
Q is here too
Of course, Q is back in time too and keeping an eye on the team. He is blending in with the locals, here seen wearing a NASA Europa mission patch.
As Raffi works her way around Los Angeles she comes across a “Sanctuary District,” which was established in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode “Past Tense” where Sisko, Dax, and Bashir travel back to the year 2024. According to Sisko, encampments like this were established in “every major city in the United States” by the “early 2020s.”
Trouble with the law
As the crew tries to fix time, they encounter some issues with the local law enforcement. In one shot we see Jean-Luc Picard under police investigation. He is interrogated by a detective or agent played by Jay Karnes, who played the 29th-century Starfleet officer Ducane on the time-traveling ship USS Relativity on Star Trek: Voyager. We suspect he is not playing Ducane on Picard, and was cast in a new role, possibly by new showrunner Terry Matalas who had worked with Karnes on his show 12 Monkeys.
Rios has a more violent run-in with Homeland Security.
A formal event
Part of their time in the past includes attending some kind of formal event—possibly a concert, as we saw shots of Soji at the LA Music Center in the previous trailer.
In voiceover, we hear Picard say, “Even in the darkest of circumstances, there is a light.”
It’s all in the cards
The trailer’s title cards tell the story.
Coming in 2022
Picard season two arrives in February 2022. It will be on Paramount+ in the United States, in Canada it will air on CTV Sci-Fi and stream on Crave, and for the rest of the world, it will be on Amazon Prime Video.
More to come
There is still a bit more to come from Star Trek Day, including red carpet interviews. So keep reading TrekMovie for our full Star Trek Day coverage.
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