Star Trek: Picard Final Season Killing Off TNG Characters?

Star Trek: Picard showrunner won't guarantee the safety of TNG characters in the third season of the sequel show.

By Chris Snellgrove | Updated

If you decided to look up “mixed bag” in the dictionary, or perhaps your futuristic PADD, you’d likely find a photo of Star Trek: Picard. The show’s storytelling has been a hot mess, but many fans have still enjoyed seeing Trek veterans like Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, and Jeri Ryan step back into their most famous roles. The show’s third and final season is ramping the fun factor up by bringing back most of the primary actors from Star Trek: The Next Generation, but fans should brace themselves: showrunner Terry Matalas recently told SFX that “I’m not gonna say they all necessarily make it out safely of season three.”

At this point, morbid fans might think that Star Trek: Picard’s final season might be a blood bath (or, as Michael Dorn’s returning character Worf might say, “a good day to die”). However, Matalas also said that “in science fiction, there are always ways of seeing people again.” While he didn’t elaborate on what that meant, there is no shortage of ways that Trek could bring back characters that have passed away.

For example, the first season of Star Trek: Picard culminated with Picard’s brain being effectively transferred out of his ailing body and into a healthy new robot body that, conveniently, looks and sounds exactly like the old one. While the show made it clear that this wasn’t something that could be easily replicated (so to speak), there is a distinctly non-zero chance that other characters could “die” and be replaced with robots, clones, shapeshifters, or any number of genre trappings that the franchise is known for. And it would be even simpler than that to bring characters back for everything from flashbacks to holodeck recreations.

It’s one thing to note that those who die in the third season of Star Trek: Picard might have ways of returning, but the biggest question on fans’ minds now is which characters are on the chopping block. Certain characters like Worf (the embodiment of the Klingon warrior ethos) could easily die in glorious battle, and other characters like the empathetic Dr. Beverly Crusher or the empathic Deanna Troi might feel compelled to sacrifice themselves to save others, as Data once did in Star Trek: Nemesis. Speaking of Data, his character was the first veteran of The Next Generation to die in this new show, though Brent Spiner has continued to appear, alternating between playing the son of Data’s creator Noonien Soong in the present day and playing that character’s ancestor in episodes set centuries in the past.

Perhaps the likeliest character to die in Star Trek: Picard is the title character himself. While the return of Jean-Luc Picard was the big draw for fans and while Patrick Stewart has made noise about being willing to return to this franchise, we could definitely see Picard going out in some kind of blaze of glory that saves the universe. Then again, given that the first season already ended with Picard dying (sort of), doing that again may seem like a cheap narrative retread.

While we’re all in suspense trying to figure out who is likely to die in Star Trek: Picard’s final season, the good news is that we won’t have to wait long. The third season premieres on February 16 on Paramount+. And only time will tell whether the show leans more into nostalgic old stories, dynamic new stories, or if it finds that elusive balance: the best of both worlds.