LeVar Burton Says ‘Star Trek: Picard’ Season 3 Is About The Next ‘Next Generation’

At Comic-Con we got our first look at what the Star Trek: The Next Generation crew is going to look like in the upcoming third and final season of Star Trek: Picard. LeVar Burton is part of that crew, joining Sir Patrick Stewart along with his TNG co-stars Jonathan Frakes, Marina Sirtis, Gates Mc Fadden, Brent Spiner, and Michael Dorn. Burton is talking about reprising his role as Geordi La Forge for the upcoming season and dropping some spoilers too.

TNG crew is looking good

LeVar Burton appeared at a panel at Orlando MegaCon in Orlando Florida, which was actually held before Comic-Con, and the actor had a good amount to say about the upcoming season. He started by talking about what it was like to be back together with his Next Generation co-stars:

It was an absolute blast being together again… you guys have heard how close we are, right? When I got married, Brent was my best man, Patrick, Jonathan and Michael were my groomsmen. We’ve seen each other through the birth of our children, through marriages, death of parents, divorces… And so the opportunity to be together again, and to be together again in spacesuits and play these characters that we all–we love these people as much as you do. Trust me. And you will see, I’m so proud of us because I think we all look pretty damn good. Not only are we aging and aging gracefully, but we’re aging appropriately. And that’s not always the case.

Burton also said that the passage of time has helped when it comes to their performances:

And then there was the acting which, if you can imagine how good the chemistry is, it’s better now because our shared experiences are deeper and richer and have lasted longer, stood the test of time. And to be able to come in at the end of what has been a very long journey for Patrick and sort of seeing his energy level rise. because he was dead-dog tired when we got there. I really do believe that we helped carry him to the end in fine fashion, because he was surrounded by love.

Geordi LaForge poster for Picard season 3

Geordi’s kids and the next ‘Next Generation’

News that Burton’s daughter Mica will appear playing Geordi’s daughter in season three has already been reported; at MegaCon the actor offered some more details about how that all fits in with Picard:

One of the blessings of this journey was that in the story… it’s about the next generation of the Next Generation. And Geordi has two daughters, one of whom is being played by Mica Burton, my daughter. She’s grown up with—these are here aunts and uncles and they’ve known her since before she got here. And to be able to work with all of us in a professional environment for my kid, and I got to go to work with it every day. I dragged us to work, and we carpooled every day because she lives under my roof again. And it was glorious… You know actresses have earlier makeup and hair calls than actors, but I would get up early to drive my kid to work because when is this going to ever happen again?

LeVar and Mica Burton at Star Trek Day 2021

Coming home to the Enterprise?

The San Diego Comic-Con Picard panel already kicked up some discussion about how season 3 will feature at least one USS Enterprise. Burton offered some more details about this at MegaCon:

We spent three days on a bridge that they built that was a replica of the Enterprise that we had during the series because we moved on from that ship soon as we got into the features. When Marina crashed it [Star Trek: Generations] it was all over. So we got to get a new ship and we did, we got a succession of them. We went back to our bridge. It wasn’t exactly–the ramp was a little steep, but the feeling that it invoked in us, that sense of coming home was real. So we spent three days on this bridge and it was magical. It was like being in a time machine. We were transported back to the late ‘80s and the ‘90s. It was magical, it really was.

While showrunner Terry Matalas has indicated that season 3 will feature the USS Enterprise F (the unseen successor to the Enterprise-E from the last three TNG feature films), Burton appears to be indicating the bridge of the Enterprise-D  (from the Star Trek: The Next Generation television series) could play a role in the season as well. As Burton notes, that ship was mostly destroyed, with the saucer crash-landing in Generations.

When another site reported on Burton’s comments proclaiming “The Enterprise-D is back,” showrunner Matalas replied on Twitter with a simple “NOPE.” He followed that up:

It is not what is being reported here. There are many nods to the past, but not what people are expecting based on this. All I will say.

So for now, which Enterprises and how they are seen in season 3 seems to remain a bit of a mystery. Of course, Picard has already featured the USS Enterprise-D, starting with the series premiere and a scene with Patrick Stewart and Brent Spiner as Jean-Luc Picard and Commander Data playing poker in a dream version of Ten Forward. In addition to a visual effects establishing shot of the ship, the production team recreated much of the original Ten Forward set.

USS Enterprise-D featured in series premiere of Picard

There is no official word yet on when season three of Picard will debut, but Brent Spiner recently said it could be February 2023.


Find more Star Trek: Picard at TrekMovie.com.

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February is the month to look forward to the Super Bowl. But this February of 2023, for me, it’ll be Picard Season 3.

Make It not So!

Makes sense if they salvaged the bridge / command module from Veridian III and put it in a museum or something.

My thought as well. It’s likely in the Fleet Museum referenced by Picard in RELICS. I’d prefer that over a holodeck recreation, but either way, it will be good to see it again. It would have to match the upgrade seen in GENERATIONS unless they called it up on the holodeck. Looking forward to this.

It’s going to be a holodeck recreation…..

Picard season 2 said that the saucer section was recovered.

I sense a holodeck similar to how Scotty used it in Relics. Only this time the TNG crew are the relics. Ugh.

This is definitely what is going to happen, someone (most likely Beverly) will invite Jean-Luc to the holodeck for some sort of surprise moment, and the doors will open and the whole gang will be on the bridge of the D with Chateau Picard filled wine glasses in hand. Just need to figure out if it will be at the beginning or the end of the season….

Terry’s response about the D leaves a lot of room for interpretation. It seems pretty clear that they’ve built the bridge set. Maybe it is for another Galaxy class ship, and not the D. Burton just says they built the replica bridge. My money is still on the D appearing, but it won’t be a prominent thing for the season and they are trying to temper expectations.

This season can’t come fast enough, especially with the uptick of leaks and all that seem to be happening lately.

It could very well be in a museum, somehow several of the characters happen to meet at this museum, but clearly the starship they are on in action/battle scenes is the Enterprise F – Matalas said as much, but he also did say there are many ships in season 3, but that could mean any number of things, including the Titan with Riker (we KNOW he is Captain of the Titan, or was until he went on active reserve per Lower Decks and season 2), Seven is a commander on some ship, Raffi probably also, so Crusher, Troi, Worf are still a mystery.
I agree 100% with you season 3 cannot get here soon enough! I know I sound very strange and it is not reality, but I am looking forward to the TNG folks back together as much as I have wanted to see humans step foot on Mars before I die – I “should” make it to see TNG crew together again, and if humankind can make it to Mars by the mid-2030’s I hopefully will live to see that also, I will be pushing 70 by then…

One of the other things it could be is it is Captain LaForge’s Challenger, but I doubt it… Despite portions of that timeline being able to still occur, it may be confusing.

Holodeck of Enterprise D bridge.

This all sounds fantastic! We are (slowly) getting to the bottom of the Enterprise(s) mystery and Burton has confirmed we will at least be on the bridge of the D but it could just be a holodeck/museum situation. I think the F will be the main Enterprise now (if not the main ship of the season).

Although I was never begging for a TNG revival show I have to admit this is probably what they should’ve done from the start. Because after two lackluster seasons (and that’s being kind) this feels more as a way to get fans excited about the show again as well as just wanting to go out big. But if it wasn’t for this cast coming back and a promise of it feeling like a true TNG season I don’t think I would care at all about next season at this point. Crossing my fingers.

The only issue I had with S1 of PIC was it was too short. The first three episodes were essentially one giant pilot. The last two episodes were a two-part finale. That only left five episodes in the middle to flesh out the story and get to know everyone. If S1 had been 12 episodes instead of 10, then those two extra episodes in the middle would have allowed the season to flow better without feeling rushed at the end.

Fingers crossed S3 is as awesome as I’m hoping/expecting.

“When Marina crashed it [Star Trek: Generations] it was all over.” 😆

The Enterprise-D bridge most likely than not appears as a hologram. Like when Scotty recreated the bridge of the Enterprise (“No bloody A, B, C, OR D”). In this case, it’ll have the bloody D…

Honestly I would be totally happy with just that. And of course we just got a hologram of the bridge not too long ago in Prodigy! So it will be fun to see it again in live action.

I never thought we would see the Enterprise D again in any form in terms of canon and she’s been popping up again in small but fun ways. To see the original crew all back together again on the original will be great. We never got that with the TOS crew of the original ship after the show ended outside of Scotty being on the holodeck version. I still remember how cool that was at the time because I don’t think anyone expected it.

I hope the sequence is a celebration of all Starships Enterprise. I’d really enjoy seeing them go through all of them in holographic form, starting with the NX-01.

They mostly could show all of them at this point; Archer and his crew, Pike and his crew, Kirk and his crew (both in TOS and the movies), Harriman and his crew, Garrett and her crew, and Picard and his crew.

The only one missing a crew and a ship is April, but how cool would it be if they showed them in such a hypothetical celebration of the Enterprise?

They could cast a crew around Holmes’ April as Captain and Pike as his first officer.

That would be amazing but I think that would be fanboy overload lol. And think of the crazy costs and logistics to get all those actors to show up for one scene.

I would like to at least see the ships themselves though, especially the NX-01 and Enterprise A since those are more important to the franchise for obvious reasons. That would be more feasible even in just holographic form.

I wouldn’t expect to see the actors, but certainly their holograms, even if it is through stock footage made to look like a hologram as was done with Nimoy’s Spock in Discovery.

Oh gotcha! Yeah that could work too.

That would be wonderful

Fingers crossed.

I’d be inclined to think Starfleet Salvage Command salvaged the D’s primary hull, popped it onto a star drive hull, renamed her, and pressed her back into service during the Dominion War. That makes sense in universe, and doesn’t require some technobabble CGI f**kery to explain it way to the point of distraction in a short season.

I do have a feeling it could be the real saucer they salvaged but I think it would be more of a museum piece like Voyager ended up being since it holds a more iconic presence being the former flagship. But your theory can definitely work too.

Troi also crashed the Ent E in Nemesis, wonder if they’ll have her crash the F (with no survivors) 😄

Lol

I agree with others that it sounds like it might be a holodeck recreation of the D bridge…. I also have been wondering if Data is brought back in the holodeck with his memories downloaded into the computer. That kind of fits the statement made that he is a playing a “new” old character.

Oh, that’s a good call. I hadn’t connected those, but it could make sense. I could also see him being PIC’s version of “Zora” (from Discovery) somehow. As long as we don’t get another distant Soong relative, I’m all good.

Building on this, they could just slap a mobile emitter on holo Data and he could travel with the crew

I missed the “new, old character” reference. His voice/verbal inflection sounded to me like Dr. Soong or a relative. But if it is going to be a “proper send off” as Matalas has said, and the crew has said, it would be critical you would think for him to play the character Data in some fashion! Great information – thanks!

Data memories + Voyager memory gel (updated) + Holo-emitter = Enterprise F?

Yes. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees until golden brown.

How epic would it be to pick Worf up at Deep Space Nine?

If its a holodeck version of D, that is how they can bring Data back with all of them present on the bridge. :)

So… maybe Starfleet carefully tractor-beamed the D saucer from the surface and placed it in the fleet museum? In any event, I would like to see that museum.

Likely they all congregate on the enterprise D holodeck when they first all come together or they are on it in the end….

We already have in-canon evidence that the Enterprise D’s Saucer Section is in a museum. In the first season of Picard season 2, there is a scene at Starfleet Headquarters that features some plaques detailing the histories of several famous ships. One of those is the “D”, and it includes a footnote that the saucer successfully landed on Veridian III and it was later relocated to the Starfleet Museum. My money is on this being the “actual” bridge, not holodeck. And it’s either some sort of reunion in the show that brings them together at the Starfleet Museum, or one of those inspirational Trek moments where a character is re-inspired to go back “out there” to save the universe by remembering the past.

https://twitter.com/DaveBlass/status/1501055817088335873

Nice! Thanks for posting.

I have to admit I get a little nervous when they try to recreate anything so beloved like the set of the Enterprise D bridge. It’s pretty easy to get the details wrong and spoil the whole illusion. At least we know it has carpet, based on what Patrick Stewart said at SDCC.

I think they did an amazing job recreating the original Enterprise/Constitution ship in Relics, In a Mirror, Darkly and definitely Trials and Tribble-ations. That was the old regime, but still. I have faith (of the heart) they will get it right. Burton said the ramp was slightly steep but sounded like they got it right overall.

If they mess it up though…people will be moaning about it as long as they still do about white Khan. ;)

Maybe the ramp just felt a little steep because the actors have gotten older ;-)

LOL harsh!

Haha that was a good one!

It’s coming from a place of love ;-)

I recently went hiking in Ecuador and the mountains are definitely not getting easier as the years go by…

Haha “White Khan” complaints always make me laugh so much… as if JJ should have got another Mexican actor to play Khan instead.

Getting Montalban to play a south Asian is typical 1960s casting… like getting John Wayne to play Genghis Khan or Micky Rooney playing the Chinese neighbour in Breakfast at Tiffanys. Too funny!

Quite the opposite, they should’ve cast an Indian actor. Bollywood wasn’t a thing back in the 60s. But today, er well, a decade ago, they had access to quite a few Indian actors. It’s a world market. There’s really no excuse now.

But an even better way to go about it — stop using Khan. Enough with Khan.

Agreed. Khan has never been an overly interesting character, and the producers’ obsession over him is weird.

Congratulations. You have completely failed to understand the issue.

Sorry, just to clarify – I laugh at those who dont like Bendict Cumberbatch beinģ cast as Khan simply because he is British – but most of those people had no issue with a Mexican playing Khan in Space Seed and TWOK. The irony is humerous, that’s all.
Btw, Montalban obviously did a great job playing Khan and IMO so did Cumberbatch.

It’s also about casting in the 1960s vs the 2010s. Casting a real Indian actor back then probably would be harder but there is zero excuse for it today. And they actually tried to make Montalban appear Indian in Space Seed. Couldn’t do that by the time TWOK came around. But with STID its like they completely forgot where the guy came from lol. It’s still just mind boggling that they thought Cumberbatch could be Khan when he doesn’t sound, act or look like him in any way, Indian or not.

At least get someone who can look a bit like Montalban if nothing else. They went out their way to find people to look like the original cast, odd they wouldn’t do the same for such an iconic villain. OMG, I’m ranting lol. Sorry, still bring up harsh memories I guess. ;)

A bit curious on how they’re going to bring Data back…as a hologram…is the only way unless they travel back in time 🤔 the elimination of the holographic Doctor was a HUGE mistake. He
had all the ingredients of an outstanding character as did the young blond scientist and the guy who escorted Picard around. What were those producers thinking? 😵‍💫 they needed good stories lines that made sense not what was so haphazardly delivered. Star Trek: Picard turned out to be more an occurrence as opposed a television event. Picard was great but the stories were in need dire restoration.

There is no evidence Data will be back, at least not yet. But yeah a hologram would work best if he did appear. Of course they could always just BUILD another Data since Soong are now building clone Synths, but I guess that would be ‘controversial’. But that’s possible too.

Bringing back Data would be kind of undoing the sendoff they gave him in the season 1 finale.
I know it’s a different showrunner now and season 2 already ditched most open plot points from season 1 so I guess they could do it.

I never thought about that , but yeah – using the technology from S1 there is no reason why they could not build another Data. I am not sure if I like that idea! Oh well we shall see what happens.
Btw, soooo many leaks about S3. I guess the producers got the message about how much they messed up S2. Even I gave it a 4 or 5 at best and that was after the 8 and 9 they got for the first 2 episodes. Man, E5 to E8 were horrifically bad – epic fails! It should be fun to see what Terry Matalas can do without meddling from the others. Let us all hope he can salvage the show and end things on a spectacular high note!

Maybe now IDW will publish another series about the real TNG crew instead of wasting so much time on the mirror universe. The never-ending mirror TNG crew saga is getting so boring and drawn out. I miss when IDW used to offer a variety of stories involving Kirk’s crew, Picard’s crew, the Kelvin crew, and others. These days, the company is a pale imitation of what it once was, and after spending way too much time on pointless crossovers with other franchises, now they’re spending way too much time on the mirror reality that many fans are getting sick of.

Ultimately, I think what I want is this to be TNG season 8. I think Rafi is an annoying character, and I don’t need to see Seven anymore. What I would LOVE to see is them encounter the nexus, which should be lapping the galaxy, and bring Kirk out of it, but that will never happen.

My personal (but unpopular) belief is that Picard has been in the Nexus since the moment he got pulled into it in Generations. Everyone else on Veridian III died, and every instance of Star Trek that’s involved someone from TNG post-Generations has been Picard’s fantasy in the Nexus. That would include the three other TNG movies (which gets rid of Nemesis), Worf’s seasons on DS9 (which eliminates Jadzia’s death), and Picard season’s 1 and 2. Voyager could still exist because, beyond Q, there really wasn’t any TNG connection. Geordi’s appearance in “Timeless” could be considered an alternate timeline, and he could still be alive there. And there’s no evidence Barclay was on the Enterprise during Generations (he’s only in First Contact), and he doesn’t mention anything specific to the post-Nexus timeline.

As you can tell, I’ve thought about this quite a bit over the years.

I’m okay with Seven (minus that Rangers garbage) but I think they should just reference an offscreen death of Rafi and make it a really senseless death. Like she slipped in the sonic shower and they didn’t find her for 2 weeks.

if this was really the next next generation, i wish soji would be a part of it. it’s as close to a child as data has. wonder if worf’s son will also appear.