While plenty of upcoming Star Trek shows are confirmed to be on the way, a project that doesn't officially exist yet is a frequent topic on social media and beyond. Picard fans want a follow-up, but despite Paramount acknowledging the constant calls for what's been dubbed Star Trek: Legacy, franchise recurrer John de Lancie doesn't think it's in the cards, and laid out why he no longer thinks the project will come to be.
The Q actor appears in the post-credits scene of the Picard ending, telling Jack Crusher that he needs his assistance. It was quite a surprise for Star Trek fans, considering the character supposedly died in the previous season, and the moment sparked assumptions that it would be followed up on in a follow-up project of some kind, which is where all the Legacy talk started.
But when John de Lancie spoke about the scene during an appearance on TrekMovie's All Access Star Trek podcast, he cast doubt on the possibility of a spinoff series ever happening, saying:
Well, most post-credits scenes are [a setup for something else], so I took it as that. In reading it, I went, ‘Oh well, there it is! There is the baton. There’s the jump-off for the next show.’ I don’t think, at this point, it will happen. There was a fun period of time that it looked like it could happen. But then there was the writers’ strike, which took a lot of people’s attentions away. I don’t think that they expected that Season 3 was going to be as good and as well-received. They had already decided on another show. They were already moving in another direction. But it was certainly a really valiant and well-appreciated finale to The Next Generation.
While Star Trek: Picard might have concluded with only the possibility for more adventures, the creatives behind the scenes have always have plans for more spacefaring shows and other projects. In addition to the currently active series, the youth-oriented Starfleet Academy is on the way, and the movie Section 31 just kicked off production with a fresh cast. With those fresh projects on the horizon alongside Strange New Worlds and Lower Decks, it doesn't seem as though there's room for much else. (Not to ignore the final season of Discovery.)
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John de Lancie also referenced the WGA writers' strike, which happened later in the year as fans campaigned to unable-to-respond ears for a Picard spinoff. That would have made it all the more difficult for creatives to sit down and hash ideas out, let alone bring them to greenlit fruition.
The strikes have long been over, of course, with the immediate focus put on getting completed scripts filmed and animated. So even if something like Star Trek: Legacy did come together, it could be years before deals are made and scripts are written and filmed. Shows like Daredevil have had staying power and actors who were able and willing to return years later, but could Picard do the same?
Showrunner Terry Matalas made me optimistic about the chances when he noted the stories continue for characters regardless of when the show ends. So maybe we may see a follow-up despite John de Lancie's opinion. Perhaps all it will take is another round of fans at their most vocal.
Star Trek: Picard is available to stream with a Paramount+ subscription. Even if no follow-up happens, it's still a great addition to the franchise, especially for hardcore fans of The Next Generation and Patrick Stewart.