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Patrick Stewart Discusses the Next Chapter: 'Picard'

Gettyimages | CHRIS DELMAS
By Emily Reily

TNG Characters Had To Return, Damn It

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The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Sir Patrick Stewart spoke during the Television Critics Association winter press tour to say that at first, he didn't want to include too many characters in the upcoming sequel in the "Star Trek" television series.

In a new trailer about CBS All Access' upcoming show, "Star Trek: Picard," Stewart says: "It's not Next Generation."

"Almost 20 years have passed. Things have become more complex...it's different, and it's not all good," Stewart, who executive produces "Picard," continues.

Delicate Balance

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Either way, Stewart now says revisiting other legacy characters from Star Trek: Nemesis, which was released about 20 years ago, was a vital piece to the new puzzle. At the same time, he hoped the series would still focus on his character, Picard, since his name is in the show's title.

Stewart says he hoped the previous two decades could “be reflected insofar as it affected Jean-Luc and what had happened to him," recognizing that his character's name is in the show's title.

Things Do Change

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In a trailer, Stewart explained how his perception eventually changed of what "Star Trek: Picard" should be:

“I was so obsessed with this idea that we must leave 'Next Generation' behind," he said during the tour.

"We must pull the curtain down on that and explore new things. And then little by little, the more we talked — and luckily as a co-executive producer, I was involved in meetings I’ve never been involved in as an actor before — and I began increasingly to feel that my colleagues from 'The Next Generation,' we need to see them.”

Look At Him Now

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Other returning characters include Marina Sirtis as Counselor Deanna Troi and Brent Spiner as Data.

“We spent days just talking about the backstory, which … you might see glimpses of now and again, but the backstory of those 19 years is very, very important," Stewart says.

"But the great thing about it is, and I wasn’t prepared for this, as I discovered it is I’d also lived through those 19 years, Patrick had lived through them and I had changed. I’m different. I feel differently about the world that I’m living in, and in subtle ways — and these will be subtle ways, we are not writing a political program — will be reflected in what we do in Picard.”

What's the Latest With Troi and Ryker?

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Stewart also revealed a few details about Counselor Deanna Troi and William Ryker -- namely, their personal relationship.

“[The other original cast members] too kind of reflect how the times have changed, so Ryker and Counselor Troi are now living together. They’ve lost a child and have another child and they’re impacted by the world, but they’re the same people that the fans loved and adored when we were first showing it and I think it was the right thing to do. And I hope with time, we are able to see more of them too.”

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