Jessica Chastain is Star Trek: TNG's Beverly Crush in this original AI art.
These days, the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation are hotter than they have been in years thanks to the success of the Paramount+ show Picard’s third reason. However, it’s been somewhat bittersweet because fans are keenly aware that this may be the last time we see the original actors bring popular characters such as Riker and Data back to the screen, and this has led to the inevitable discussions about whether the show should get a rebooted series or movies with new actors playing the familiar roles. To help you imagine what that would be like, Giant Freakin Robot‘s Instagram has provided an original artistic rendering of what Jessica Chastain would look like as Dr. Crusher.
In the original show, Doctor Crusher was played by Gates McFadden, but the series never treated her or her character very well. She was effectively driven out and replaced for the second season and only came back thanks to fan demand and a personal request from Patrick Stewart (just call it “captain’s orders”). The current season of Picard has somewhat made up for this by having Dr. Crusher and her son be central elements to the plot, but if we could get a reboot with Jessica Chastain as Dr. Crusher, we could have even more killer stories focusing on this fascinating character.
We say “fascinating” not just because we were raised by Leonard Nimoy’s Spock but because Dr. Crusher is a genuinely interesting character despite not getting enough screen time or stories. In addition to being an excellent doctor, Crusher is also a professional dancer who is apparently so close to her family that she enjoys relaxing by reading chapters she describes as “particularly erotic” from her own grandmother’s journal.
That was in the same episode that she began an intensely sexual relationship with a ghost man that came out of a candle, and many fans would likely enjoy seeing Jessica Chastain bringing such bonkers stories and character beats to life.
On top of that, a rebooted Star Trek with Jessica Chastain and other actors taking over as Star Trek: The Next Generation characters would give the writers a chance to explore some of the stories and interactions they couldn’t really explore before. For example, Wil Wheaton played Dr. Crusher’s son Wesley, but he left due to both concerns over his character and his career.
This kept us from getting much onscreen development between mother and son, just as the episodic nature of the show kept writers from exploring the clear romantic chemistry between Captain Picard and Dr. Crusher, something we are only now seeing explored seriously in the Picard spinoff.
While we’re not quite sure if a major Hollywood actor like Jessica Chastain would be interested in performing in Star Trek, she certainly has the genre credentials for it. Her appearances in X-Men: Dark Phoenix and It Chapter Two show she isn’t afraid of genre work, and we’d love to see one of acting’s most famous redheads play our favorite redhead on Star Trek. Until that happens, though, here’s our prescription for those feeling painful nostalgia for Star Trek: The Next Generation: go stream two reruns and call us in the morning.