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’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?
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.
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.
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.