The greatest Starfleet captain in history has returned to the small screen.
The first episode of Star Trek: Picard has debuted on CBS All Access, kicking off the new series centered around Patrick Stewart's Jean-Luc Picard. Episode 1, Remembrance, sets up what's to come this season, but years of journeys with the beloved character already exist in both Star Trek: The Next Generation and its four sequel films, during which he's had plenty of badass moments. Below, we've rounded up some of the very best to remind you of some of what makes Picard the character so great.
Star Trek: Picard marks the return of the fan favorite Star Trek character, and finally, longtime Trekkers have a sequel to the original television Prime timeline, as opposed to the more recent Kelvin timeline of the films.
It's what fans have wanted for years; Star Trek: Enterprise and Star Trek: Discovery, while new "Treks," were predecessors to the original, Kirk-led series. Kirk had the guts and the heart, but Picard had the intellect, discipline, and diplomacy skills.
Star Trek: Picard News and Features
Our world needs more of Picard's firm leadership, ethical principles, and unshakeable resolve, and it seems like we're getting it in Star Trek: Picard. Here are Captain Picard's 10 Most Badass Moments, whether he was in the field, in the ready room, on the bridge, or in his quarters. His greatest weapon was his ability to speak eloquently and forcefully to truth.
For more on Star Trek, check out the history of Jean-Luc Picard, how Quark became a fully realized Ferengi on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and the latest on the next two Star Trek movies.
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10. Picard Defends Data's Humanity
Episode: "Measure of a Man" (Season 2, Episode 9)
In what is widely considered the show's first "classic" episode, Picard defends Data's life against a Starfleet scientist who wants to dismantle him, seeing him as little more than an advanced machine. But Picard ends all argument by challenging anyone to define and quantify what it means to have a consciousness. He also asks the court to consider what future generations will think of them: "Are you prepared to condemn him and all who come after him, to servitude and slavery? Your Honor, Starfleet was founded to seek out new life; well, there it sits!"
9. Picard Invented A Tactical Maneuver
Episode: "The Battle" (Season 1, Episode 9)
Picard invented the badass "Picard Maneuver" as a younger man. His ship, the Stargazer, was attacked by a Ferengi vessel. Picard responded by going into warp (faster than light speed) and then immediately dropping out of warp. Thus, there appeared to be two ships, and the Ferengi sensors couldn't accurately target its weapons. Cadets studied the maneuver in Starfleet Academy; it wasn't until years later that Data devised a defense against it.
8. Alternate Timeline Picard Is Willing To Die For a Better Timeline
Episode: "Yesterday's Enterprise" (Season 3, Episode 15)
Alternate timeline and time travel stories are integral to Star Trek. And one of the best TNG episodes to deal with these themes is "Yesterday's Enterprise." In an alternate timeline, Starfleet is at war with the Klingon empire; the Enterprise's bridge is a well-oiled battle station. But when alternate Picard learns that there is a better, more peaceful future than the one he's living, he's willing to sacrifice himself to make it possible. Before leading the Enterprise on its suicide mission to the time rift, he delivers a badass pep talk: "Let's make sure history never forgets the name: Enterprise."
7. Picard Delivers Another Brilliant Courtroom Speech
Episode: "The Drumhead" (Season 4, Episode 21)
Picard, in the course of defending a man's reputation, is himself accused of betraying Starfleet by an overzealous, retired admiral. After she taunts him over his experience with the Borg (Picard was assimilated and forced to participate in the killing of over 10,000 people), Picard maintains his composure. He then drops a brilliant monologue about the dangers of human rights abuses, slippery slopes discrimination, and overreaching jurisdiction. Picard then sits back like a boss; the ex-admiral melts down from his defiance and undermines her own argument.
6. Picard Pilots The Enterprise Out Of An Asteroid Field
Episode: "Booby Trap" (Season 3, Episode 6)
There's little reason why Picard should be the one to do this; we've been told, multiple times, that Commander Riker is the best pilot on the entire ship. But Picard manages to navigate the Enterprise out of an asteroid belt. And when the ship loses momentum, he uses the gravitational pull of a large asteroid to slingshot the ship to safety. Talk about coolness under pressure. Even Data is duly impressed.
5. Picard Scolds Wesley Crusher Like He's A Little Boy
Episode: "The First Duty" (Season 5, Episode 19)
Everyone hates Wesley Crusher. He's a know-it-all kid who, for the first season, thought he knew better than most of the adults around him. But four years later, Wesley lied about his actions while a cadet in Starfleet Academy. And Picard goes full Dad Mode on Wesley for his lame "I didn't technically lie" defense.
4. Picard Takes a Knife To The Heart, Again
Episode: "Tapestry" (Season 6, Episode 15)
When Picard is near death due to his bionic heart, he's given a chance by Q (a nearly omnipotent being) to relive the moment when he lost his original heart; he was stabbed, through the chest, during a bar fight while he was a cadet.
But he later learns that this event had a butterfly effect on his life; it made him the complex man he would eventually become. And Picard, who would rather die a great man than live as a timid man, decides to go back in time and change history again, this time by willingly getting stabbed in the chest. Now that's badass.
3. Picard Persuades Three Timelines To Save Humanity
Episode: "All Good Things…" (Season 7, Episodes 25 & 26)
The TNG series finale is as close to perfect as it gets. Every cast member shines. Picard saves humanity, again. And the interactions with Q bring the show full circle, back to its pilot where the Enterprise crew was put on trial for humanity's crimes.
In the episode, Picard bounces between the past, the present, and the future, and he must convince all three Enterprise crews to go into an anomaly and create a static warp shell; the action will effectively destroy each ship.
The past Enterprise crew barely knows him. The future Enterprise crew thinks he's going senile. But Picard's powers of persuasion are strong. And all three Enterprise crews eventually march to their deaths on Picard's word that they are dying for a greater good.
2. Picard Sees Four Lights
Episode: "Chain of Command" (Season 6, Episodes 10 & 11)
Picard finds himself chained, hanging in a Cardassian military officer's office. He is being tortured in exchange for tactical information. And in a clear tribute to George Orwell's 1984, the Cardassian asks Picard to count the lights in the room (there are four), while continually telling him there are actually five.
This particular clip shows Picard at his most defiant. Even when he's on the cusp of losing everything he holds dear, Picard does not break, and he takes pity on his captor. And yes, there are four lights. There are always four lights, Jean-Luc.
1. Picard Draws The Line Here, And No Further!
Movie: Star Trek: First Contact
Picard is known for his even temper; he rarely loses control of himself. Data, who for most of the series had no emotions, loses control more often than Picard. But in the second TNG film, Star Trek: First Contact, Picard faces down the Borg. And all of the trauma they inflicted on him over the years comes bubbling to the surface.
When Lily Sloane refers to him as Captain Ahab and calls Picard out on his destructive vengefulness, the good captain melts down and becomes angrier than we've ever seen him. It's unsettling and frightening to see Picard in such a state.
But of course, he soon composes himself and sees Sloane's point of view. Picard knows right from wrong, and he always swallows his pride to admit the latter. What a badass.
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