Star Trek has been an almost continuous fandom, either on TV, on the big screen, even on the internet since 1966. Each incarnation of Star Trek has had a captain and crew that upholds, for the most part the ideals and principles of The United Federation of Planets. A dedicated team who’s goal was the explore new life and go where no one has gone before.
But things have changed.
Twenty years later after the events of Star Trek: Nemesis, Admiral Jean Luc Picard has retired from Star Fleet to the very place he swore he would never return to, the Chateau Picard Vineyard. He has lost his faith in the Federation who, in his mind, acted in a criminal way when the Romulan homeworld was threatened with extinction. On the eve of the greatest rescue mission ever mounted, Star Fleet pulled the plug and left Picard high and dry possibly looking like he let everyone down. That even caused a chain reaction that caused Picard to lose his faith in Starfleet and became his reason resign the cause he dedicated his life to. He replaced his Admiral uniform for the simple outfit of a country farmer.
As we all know, everyone has a cause they fight for and that never leaves a man or woman who have the God-given burden placed on them. Picard’s call came from a lost young woman named Dahj. She is fleeing from Romulans mandated to end her existence. As Picard comes to realize, she is the daughter of his dear departed friend Commander Data which makes her an android ( or synthetic) to her own shock. The fire to help a lost soul reignites Picard’s calling to help others in their hour of need. Sadly, he witnesses Dahj’s death and begins his quest to save her twin sister, Soji from facing an untimely demise.
Thus begins a journey that a number of broken people are wrangled into. Jean Luc Picard begins to pick up the pieces of lives he once touched much like picking a few surviving grapes after a storm or a wild fire’s has left a wake of destruction. Who are these imperfect vulnerable people Picard attempts to recruit?The value of one soul and their impact on the world.
Raffia Musiker-was once a communications and technology Starfleet officer who worked tirelessly with Picard as part of the Romulan relief effort. When Picard resigned from Starfleet Rafi was let go as well. That led to choices that cost her family and career.Rafi is a very angry, lost, and empty soul longing to connect with others again. She has history with the former Admiral. You can tell my her nick-naming Picard , “JL” short for Jean Luc.
Captain Cristobal Rios was recruited by Picard for his ship the mercenary La Sirena because he was basically told to F-off from Starfleet Command. Rios, like Rafi once wore their Starfleet uniform with great pride. However, after loosing the Captain he loved in a tragic accident, Rios only companions (before Picard) are various holographic crewmate incarnations of his personality. It’s like seeing a once mighty man fight a mental battle with multiple personalities.
Dr. Agnes Jurati has never left Earth. She has spent her time studying and assisting in the development of synthetic life. Agnes appears to connect with androids and other artificial life more readily than human companions. Her social awkwardness coupled with her naive view of the dire espionage Picard has exposed her to, pushes Agnes into a galaxy of mystery. She is torn when both sides in this human vs synthetic conflict need her to play her unwilling part in the coming war. A war that could mean the end of all sentient life inthe galaxy. That puts just a LITTLE pressure on this fragile and very emotional young woman.
Elnor is a young man from Picard’s past. After the events that lead to the once-sworn-enemy of the Federation, the Romulans becoming refugees, Picard becomes a mentor to a lost boy. He teaches him about being a wonderful mix of traditional Romulan warrior and a three musketeer chivalrous swashbuckler. Can you see that imagery of a hero in your head? Okay, now imagine your hero and mentor leaving you without a goodbye and maturing from a lost boy to a forgotten man. After fourteen years Picard, like a long-lost absentee father, tries to reconnect with Elnor. Can a father/ son relationship be whole again? Only time and stint on a Borg cube, a few sword fights, and a run in with possibly malignant living synthetic race will tell.
Seven, once Annika ( Seven of Nine) Hansen, who as a child was taken from her mother and father and made to serve the Borg Collective as a drone. She once had a family again with Captain Janeway and the crew of the U.S.S. Voyager. But after the Voyager returned home and Seven reassimilated (or is it unssimilated?) into life in the a single human in the Alpha Quadrant she got lost. We don’t really know she lost her connection with her Voyager family, but she lives as a space ranger ( hey, is that an homage to Tom Paris’ Captain Proton’s holonovel?). Seven spends her tome rescuing former Borg friends and family and dealing out her own brand of Western sense of justice on evil dooers. When Picard runs across Seven ( or should I say she rescues the rag tag La Sarena crew from mortal danger?) her sense of right and wrong has been fried and burnt. Seven after her momentary ascension as a reluctant Borg Queen and the router of a vicious Romulan invaders. questions her purpose in life. Seven knows the value of being part of a family and a tram. The thought of being alone and cut off others is more of a death sentence for her.
Soji is the surving member of a twin sister act. Loosing Daj is what broke Picard from his early retirement. Finding and saving Soji becomes Picard’s sole mission. However Dr. Soji Asha lives a perfect ordinary human life as an expert in Ex-Bee (Ex Borg Drone) and the de-assimilation process. She had no clue her life was in danger because she was not only a synthetic android and daughter of Data, but also targeted by an entire Romulan fleet for being “The Destroyer of Worlds”. Soji’s life breaks in peaces as she discovers another life with a huge fork in her future path. Whatever path Soji decides to take Picard will take along with her to the uncertain end.
The Riker Family
Yes, I cheered, got a little teary-eyed, and goosed up a bit when Picard caught up with his old crew mates, now husband and wife, Will Riker and Deanna Troi Riker along with their pre-teen daughter Kestra. What a wonderful renuion. It is a reminder that a real crew can be a family when adventure, trials , time, and life are shared collectively. The Rikers bring Picard and Soji into their home, reminding them all what a real family looks like. The connective tissues and blood that unites people don’t have to be genetic at all. Really, the unifying factor brings all the broken pieces of people is the simple and powerful element of love. Underneath the wonderful smiles and embraces of the Rikers is the remnants of a deep scar with the loss of their elder son. But that pain and sorrow becomes a broken door that will always stand open for the lost to have a family again.
Amazingly all the broken people and the ragged, uneven pieces they bring fit in this new crew. It’s not the clean cut, by the book, Federation commissioned team in the least. Yet, they have bonded a forge in battle that won’t be easily broken again. Picard, with a new (literal) lease on life, is more like a father to a loving dysfunctional family. Who knows where this crew will go next? But these reshuffled players in the deck of Star Trek playing cards will definitely bring a new game level. I can just hear JL Picard guffawing in the corner of bridge. He’s shaking his head looking at his new crew and still amazed at each person’s journey getting onboard. As they all look around, taking their seats and their respectful roles there is a pause in their conversations. Each person looks at Picard and waits for the “official word” officially setting a new course in their once disconnected, broken, and uncertain lives.
“Oh, yes, engage… make it so.”