Wil Wheaton Has Post-‘Nemesis’ Wesley Headcanon, And A Detailed ‘Star Trek: Lower Decks’ Pitch

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.

Wil Wheaton in Star Trek Nemesis

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.

Wil Wheaton at Mission Chicago (Photo: TrekMovie.com)

More from Chicago

That is the last of our panel coverage from Mission Chicago. Click here for all our Mission Chicago coverage so far.

Find more Lower Decks news and reviews.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Good for Mr. Wheaton, he seems to know his center, and seems pleased with the balance in his professional life. That he gets paid for a project that he seems to have near endless enthusiasm for is a bonus.

Wes makes an appearance in the excellent Cold Equations trilogy and it’s well done imo

He’s central to the Coda Trilogy too

I always liked Wesley as a character. Mostly because I was a few years younger than the character was on TNG when it started so I could relate to him. I do agree they shouldn’t have made him a prodigy and just more of a regular kid but I was fine with it. Having a teenager fly the ship was a little ridiculous though but we live in an age now where you can go from cadet to captain of the flagship in a week and the navigator also on said ship was just 17 years old, so not so weird anymore lol.

I think he would be fun on Lower Decks. I remember reading an article here where Mike McMahan said he would love to bring Wesley on the show, so I don’t see it being an issue. The show will probably go 5 seasons minimum if not longer, so lots of time. He could still be a traveler as Wheaton said or back working in Starfleet. I actually could see him being a science or engineering professor at Starfleet Academy. Or just working in one of those fields on a colony somewhere. Not everyone has to be on a starship. And that’s the great things about sequels you can do pretty much what you want with an old character if enough time has passed.

Whereas I would say that taking a plot hole from 1987 and ballooning it into a huge plot hole in 2009 justifies neither.

That’s not really a plot hole though just questionable story development. There is a difference. And I don’t think Wesley had anything to do with the character development in the 09 film, but just a crazy coincidence.

And I wasn’t excusing it, just joking about it.

He doesn’t need to flesh that idea out AT ALL. That is absolutely a LD idea in conception & execution.

That is absolutely a LD idea in conception & execution.

On that Lower Decks point, for once, I have absolutely no disagreement.

I sense a Great Need for Wesley to return.

I admire Wil Wheaton and his talents. I’m happy that he’s come to grips with his childhood and gave up drinking. He needs to be careful about airing or rehashing his gripes with Rick Berman and William Shatner. He runs the risk of being compared to George Takei and his ongoing feud with Shatner. Even though Wil has made his peace with Berman and Shatner, the media picks up on these long ago feuds and makes headlines out of them, whenever Wil brings them up.
I’d LOVE to see Wesley on LD but he shouldn’t have advertised that he was going to pitch the showrunner on his idea while he was on stage. It puts MM in a tough position.
Some Producers or showrunners don’t like the actors pitching story ideas. If Mike McMahan accepts Wil’s pitch? Expect to see the cast of LD lined up, outside Mike McMahan’s office, pitch in hand, centering on their character. It runs the risk of the writers room becoming annoyed with the cast and MM has to calm everyone down. If he doesn’t accept Wil’s pitch? Some fans will accuse Mike McMahan of being a dick. Again, I’d like to see Wesley on LD. I just think he should have been more professional about getting his opportunity to pitch his idea.

He needs to be careful about airing or rehashing his gripes with Rick Berman and William Shatner. 

The thing is, I believe Wheaton when he said his parents were pushing his acting career (“I was supposed to be this famous actor who would make you pay attention to my mom”). But he also seems to enjoy his involvement with TNG, right up to the present day. Does he not get that he never would have had that opportunity absent his pushy mom?

Why do I get the feeling Picard S2 is going to now end with Wesley bringing Picard and crew home now LOL

I think Wesley should be a HUGE part of Picard S3 and I really hope they are just keeping this secret until the end of S2 or in the beginning of S3! Wouldnt it make sense that Wesley could also be the reason why Q is dying since he is a “traveller ” now through Time and Space. Could be leading up to an epic ending of S2 where Wesley is behind all of this which somehow will cliffhang into s3 and is the reason why the old crew gets back together to save Wesley from something or someone!

Star Trek: Wesley

Same cast as Star Trek: Picard except for replacing Patrick Stewart with Wil Wheaton.

Paramount can contact me about my cheque.

And Patrick Stewart can host the aftershow.

The deleted scene is forever canon. Rick Berman’s name is on it.
Anyway the Traveler was always creepy.

People spend too much time worrying about what is and isn’t canon. It’s so weird. Canon is stupid and meaningless.

Canon is stupid and meaningless.”

Herr Pachelbel would disagree.

If only more people agreed with you and I on this. Sigh.

My prediction is Wesley will show up in S3 Picard for an episode or two and the villain will be Sela. Denise Crosby will show up too. It will be a fanboy extravaganza.

Not just boys are fans ;) <3

Hey, at least got to save the multiverse (well most of it) in the Star Trek Lit universe. ( See Star Trek Coda Books 1-2-3)

I love Wil. I’ve had a crush on him since I was a teenager and am about the same age. My dad used to jokingly call me Wesley whenever Trek was on because I would site directly in front of the TV and not allow anyone to make any noise or even talk when it was on. Time Lord Wesley? Bring it.

You have to admit he definitely has enthusiasm for trek. He really should get something back for all the good things he has done for the show.

He already does: He’s the host of the Ready Room. With so much Trek on at the moment, he might have the gig for decade or more.

Yeah and he gets to watch all the episodes in advance too! Tough job there!

Exactly!! Wil’s doing A-OK

He may get to watch the episodes early but he has also mentioned that he often only gets unfinished episodes.
I do wonder how far in advance After Trek is produced. My guess is they don’t actually shoot it weekly but in blocks. Probably wouldn’t make sense financially to book a studio and crew for only an hour a week.

Funny enough Will Wheaton was on Reddit last week and answered some questions about the show. And you’re right, they usually just shoot it in blocks and spread the interviews out depending on the upcoming episodes.

He also said he get episodes 1-3 weeks in advance and why some are still not totally done FX wise.

I really liked the way they treated him in Star Trek Coda. I wish those novels were canon, apart from Coda of course.. give it a different ending to continue from that.

i feel sorry for wil that the show did not get the idea of having a teenager grow up in a ST show.
it was done so much better with jake, nog in ds9.

both those characters also forged their own path from what was intended for them

Thing is, his character really was the one thing that went irredeemably wrong with the first reason writing.

The character improved immensely in the second season (actually probably starting with “Coming of Age” at the send of the first season, when he finally failed at something), when his mother was no longer on the ship, which made it look we was there on merit rather than nepotism. In “Pen Pals,” we actually saw the senior offices *guiding* him, as you would a young intern, rather than having him save the day. And with “Evolution” in season three, we actually saw Wesley, in addition to making another serious mistake, starting to question his career path. The character would have been well-served to be something like that teen on the old SeaQuest DSV, who was on the bridge as a prodigy, or Chekhov in Star Trek 09.

yeah, lucas was one of the few things DSV got right.

It would be wonderful to see Wil Weaton as Wesley Crusher/Traveler on Picard. An evolved Human/Traveler… What perspectives and talents he could share?

The Ready Room was okay at first, but once they added Will the show became a must-watch. He’s fantastic at it. His enthusiasm is contagious. And the actors he interviews take him seriously because he’s a Star Trek alum. A very smart move by the producers to make him the host.

Lower Decks makes perfect sense for Wesley’s return. Ditto for Lwaxana, Gorgan, Neelix, Kai Winn, Keiko and Kara. This show is the perfect venue to bring all of these characters back.

PS: Also, let’s get Allan Miller to reprise his TSFS role in Lower Decks too!

I remember being so pissed off when Wesley left with the traveller… and so happy when he returned in Nemesis. To the powers that be, give this character something to do! There are so many possibilities!

I had to miss this panel because I was on the train from Boston and it was two hours late.

Careful Will, sounding a bit Andrew Garfield there. Certainly doesn’t sound like an actor who has been working for the Trek franchise for the last few years and got “snubbed” on the big TNG cast reunion.

To be fair I expect Wes to be a “suprise” reveal in season 3, so my bias may be lending to the read.

He took a sabbatical from Starfleet, went with the traveler outside of time and learned what he needed… returned and continued with starfleet… keeping it simple… lol