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Everything we learned about Star Trek Picard at New York Comic Con 2019

(Image credit: CBS)

The official release date and season length

Before this year's New York Comic Con panel, the only clue we regarding the Star Trek: Picard release date was that the series would debut at some point in 2020. Even the eponymous captain himself, Sir Patrick Stewart, remained coy regarding an announcement, saying "sometime soon" before debuting the exclusive New York Comic Con trailer. But about halfway through the sneak peek, we finally got a release date: January 23, 2020. Later, during the Q&A portion of the panel, showrunner Heather TK said the season will be ten episodes long. 

There's a brand new trailer

Sir Patrick Stewart himself debuted the brand new Picard trailer, mentioning that it was only fair if New York got new footage considering San Diego Comic Con had gotten their own sneak peek. “It is quite unseen, except by those of us sitting up here on the stage,” he said, before turning and announcing loudly, “Cue trailers number two!” 

We laid out more of what we saw in the trailer in our initial post, check it out here.

Until now, Picard has been enjoying retirement

Based on the trailer (and subsequent panel chat), it's clear that Picard has been living in peaceful solitude for quite some time. He’s holed up on a rather large estate in what looks to be Northern California (“It’s because of the wine” co-executive producer Heather Kadin joked at the panel), spending his spare time with his dog.

According to the trailer, however, Picard has a vision that drags him back into the world of Starfleet. He approaches a painter on his estate, who turns to reveal himself as Data. Data asks him to finish the painting, which is of a young woman, but Picard responds with “I don’t know how.” Clearly, Picard’s Star Trek story isn’t finished yet. 

When a mysterious woman shows up at his estate begging for his help, he picks up the mantle again and heads out to gather an ensemble to explore space and save the universe.

Patrick Stewart initially refused to join the show

In fact, he was dead set against it, according to executive producer Alex Kurtzman and writer Kirsten Beyer. “We knew he had said he was not coming back,” said Kurtzmann. They got his agent to set up a meeting, anyway, but after pitching the idea, Stewart was still a resounding (but gracious) "no." A few days later, however, Stewart called them back with some interest, but he wanted to see some ideas on paper.

Showrunner Michael Chabon was meant to send Stewart three pages to review, but instead sent him over thirty. Turns out being overzealous is something Sir Patrick Steward can respect, as he agreed to join the show.

Picard's pet pit bull was all Patrick Stewart's doing

Fans noticed a dog that looked suspiciously like the pit bulls Patrick Stewart and his wife have famously fostered and campaigned for. The new trailer showed that dog never leaves Picard’s side. A fan asked Stewart if the decision to make Picard’s dog breed be the wrongfully maligned pit bull was his. “Once the dog issue had been agreed upon,” Steward said, “I campaigned vociferously for it to be a pit bull.”

For Stewart, real world space exploration isn’t all that important 

A writer from Space.com asked Stewart if he had any advice for the people (especially women) who would eventually be heading into the final frontier on Space-X and NASA expeditions. “We have issues on our own planet that need so much attention and adjustment and endorsement.” Yes, captain.

Picard takes place well after Star Trek: The Next Generation. Make sense of it all with our handy Star Trek timeline