Patrick Stewart’s X-Men Co-Star Just Became A Star Trek Villain

Aaron Stanford, who plays the mutant Pyro in the second and third X-Men movies, had a guest appearance as a villain on Episode 2 of Star Trek: Picard's third season.

By Michileen Martin | Updated

aaron stanford
(Left) Aaron Stanford as Pyro in X-Men: The Last Stand, (Right) Aaron Stanford as the Ferengi Sneed in “Disengage” – Star Trek: Picard S3 E2

He played one of Patrick Stewart‘s wayward students in the second and third X-Men films, and now he’s made his debut in Stewart’s other big nerd-friendly franchise. Aaron Stanford — who played the mutant Pyro in 2003’s X2: X-Men United and 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand as his IMDb page notes — plays the Ferengi underworld broker Sneed in Episode 2 of Star Trek: Picard‘s third and final season. He only appears in one scene in “Disengage,” but man it’s a scene with some teeth.

WARNING: SPOILERS follow for last week’s episode of Star Trek: Picard!

The undercover Starfleet Intelligence agent Raffi (Michelle Hurd) sets up a meeting with Aaron Stanford’s Sneed in the hopes of finding out who really set off a quantum tunneling weapon at a Starfleet recruitment center. Unfortunately for Raffi, she tells the wrong kind of lies to the Ferengi crook, who tricks her into taking a narcotic. Sneed is about to have his men put an end to Raffi, when the white-haired Worf (Michael Dorn) makes his triumphant return, making short work of Sneed’s men and decapitating the Ferengi.

aaron stanford
Aaron Stanford in “Disengage” – Star Trek: Picard S3 E2

If you’ve seen the second and third X-Men films, you no doubt remember Aaron Stanford’s contributions to those earlier features. He plays the young John Allerdyce, aka Pyro, who has the ability to bend flame to do his will. He’s one of Professor X’s (Stewart) wilder students in X2, by the end of the film he’s swayed to the “dark side” by Magneto (Ian McKellen), and in The Last Stand, he’s one of the Master of Magnetism’s top lieutenants.

In spite of Aaron Stanford and Patrick Stewart’s history, it seems more likely that the former Pyro actor was cast in Star Trek: Picard not because of his time as a mutant, but because of his previous collaborations with Picard showrunner Terry Matalas. Stanford was one of the stars of The CW’s action thriller Nikita, where Matalas was both a writer and story editor. Matalas would later create the acclaimed 12 Monkeys for SyFy, with Stanford cast in the lead role.

aaron stanford
Aaron Stanford in 12 Monkeys

Considering how Aaron Stanford’s single scene in Star Trek: Picard as Sneed ends, it’s likely we won’t be seeing the character return any time soon. Regardless, Stanford manages to make a significant contribution to new Trek. “Disengage” is the first live-action episode to feature a Ferengi antagonist since the Season 1 Star Trek: Enterprise episode “Acquisition.”

As a Ferengi, Aaron Stanford’s Sneed is not only a welcome reminder of some of the more fun Ferengi characters like Armin Shimerman’s Quark and Jeffrey Combs’ Liquidator Brunt, but he adds a healthy degree of badass we’ve rarely seen in Ferengi. Sneed has tattoos along the top of his head — something we’ve rarely seen in the franchise. Not to mention that while in the past Ferengi have often been used as comic relief, Stanford’s Sneed is genuinely devious and dangerous.

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