Even though he has said he won’t be part of the Star Trek: The Next Generation reunion in season three of Star Trek: Picard, Wil Wheaton has put a lot of thought into the fate of Wesley Crusher. Speaking at a panel at Mission Chicago, the former TNG actor and current host of the official Star Trek aftershow (The Ready Room) offered up his thoughts on what Wesley has been up to, and where he would like to see him show up in the future.
Wesley and Wil’s parallel paths
Wil Wheaton was already a well-known young actor by the time he boarded the USS Enterprise-D at the age of 15 for the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation. After appearing as a series regular he left the show early in the fourth season, returning periodically as a Starfleet Cadet until the seventh season when Wesley became a “Traveler,” with the ability to move through space and time via his thoughts. During his panel in Chicago, Wheaton talks about how his personal story parallels Wesley’s:
One of the things that I and Wesley really have in common is that we were placed on paths without our consent or consultation and then expected to ride those paths all the way to the absolute end. Wesley was supposed to be a captain… and I was supposed to be this famous actor that would make you pay attention to my mom… And there was a moment in both of our existences where he the character and I the person said, “This is just not right. I don’t like this. I don’t feel fulfilled here. This is anything that I want to do. I gotta go walk around a little bit and see what’s important to me.” Wesley the character did that and I have no idea where he is at the moment. I know where he is in my head, but I have no idea where he is in Star Trek canon. I know where I am right now.
Wesley is a Traveler Time Lord
Wil Wheaton appeared again in the 2002 film Star Trek: Nemesis, where Wesley was seen wearing a Starfleet lieutenant uniform at the wedding of William Riker and Deanna Troi. When a fan asked if this meant Wesley stopped being a Traveler, Wil revealed he had the same question for the screenwriter:
I asked exactly that question when I met John Logan—the screenwriter of Star Trek: Nemesis—on the day that I went to shoot that scene. I said people are going to ask me is Wesley a Traveler or is Wesley in Starfleet? And he said, “I’m going to let the audience decide what choice they want to make. Because explaining that takes just too much time in a script that’s already too long.” And I was like, “Awesome!”
As this was an open question, Wheaton developed his own thoughts on Wesley and how he ended up at that wedding, as he explained to the crowd:
Well, here’s what I think. I made the following choice. Wesley is, of course, a Traveler. Wesley learned a very long time ago that space, time, and thought are interconnected in ways that the vast majority of sentient beings do not understand and don’t know how to utilize to its full extent. And he has then been able to effectively be a Time Lord and kind of move through space and time. I have decided that whatever species you are from as a Traveler, your physical body will continue to age at a normal rate that is consistent with your species of origin. As I said, I spent some time thinking about this. I have been known to write my own fan fiction about my character.
So Wesley really wanted to be at this moment. He knows that this moment happens. He knows every moment that happens. It’s just part of the terrible knowledge that comes with being a Traveler guy, I guess. And Wesley made a choice: How will they expect me to appear? What will make them comfortable? If I show up as a god-being, it’s going make everything weird and make it all about me and I don’t want it to be that. If I just show up as like a lieutenant… that sounds like a thing that would make sense. Sure, let’s do that. But I get to be at the wedding of my very closest friends and family and I get to see them.
It was also important to Wheaton for fans to know the deleted scene (which you can see below) about Wesley joining the crew of the Titan was not canon:
I will also add, because I know this to be true, this is an official Star Trek declaration: the piece of Wesley in Star Trek: Nemesis in the stuff that’s been cut from the movie is not canonical. Very important… The impression that a certain amount of fandom has that Wesley is a lieutenant about to serve on the Titan is not canonical because it was cut from the movie… Which means, that my headcanon, that Wesley as a Traveler is a little bit closer maybe actually being more like what, if anything, the people who do Star Trek might have in mind.
A Lower Decks Pitch For Mike McMahan
When asked, Wheaton made clear that he is ready, willing, and able to return to the franchise as Wesley:
As you can imagine, this is something I’ve thought of. If you watch The Ready Room, you have probably heard me make the not-really-a-joke joke to the showrunners of all the different series to just gently remind them that Wesley Crusher as a Time Lord can sort of be available for anyone on any series.
When asked about a preference between one of the new shows, he not only identified which one but outlined a specific pitch:
I have this idea—just because it’s fun. You know how you watch Star Trek and can just imagine what would I do if I can be there? What’s weird is that I do that but I was once in it. So it makes things a little strange when I talk about it. I would love to see Wesley on Lower Decks. The story is that Wesley just thinks Mariner is like super cool and just wants to impress Mariner so much. And Mariner could not be more annoyed and just bored and unimpressed with this fucking guy. But Boimler is like, “Do you have any idea who’s on the Cerritos!” Boimler is running around like an incredibly excited dog. He’s like, “I can’t believe it’s happening!” And he just keeps inadvertently cockblocking Wesley. Now Wesley isn’t trying to have anything romantic with Mariner, he just wants her to think that he’s cool. That’s all he cares about. And he just cannot get it done.
And this wasn’t just idle talk, Wheaton explained he is going to try to make it happen:
I haven’t really fleshed it out beyond that, but it is an idea that I had that was extremely amusing to me. And don’t doubt for a second that I will be pitching this to Mike McMahan over the course of the weekend.
TrekMovie has confirmed with Mike McMahan that Wheaton was able to pitch his idea to the showrunner during the convention weekend. However, he couldn’t say if there were any specific plans to bring Wesley into the series.
And while he does have his Time Lord headcanon and this Lower Decks concept ready, Wheaton again noted how he is ready for anything:
In a broad sense, I can honestly say that I absolutely adore Star Trek. I love it. I’m so grateful that it is maybe the biggest thing in my life outside of my family. I’m so grateful to be part of it. I’m so grateful that I get to be this character. And I get to be the actor who played this character and I get to own that for the rest of my life. That is so freakin’ cool! I love the new Star Treks. I love all of them. And if anyone, ANYONE said we would love you to come do this teeny little thing, I will be there in a heartbeat.
More from Chicago
That is the last of our panel coverage from Mission Chicago. Click here for all our Mission Chicago coverage so far.
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