Star Trek: Picard Completely Transforms Q In TNG

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

star trek picard q

One of the most shocking things about Star Trek: Picard’s last episode was that Q reappeared in the final scene to have a brief conversation with Jack Crusher. The young man points out what we were all thinking–that the omnipotent being was supposed to be dead, having passed away in the previous season of the show. Q chides Crusher for thinking “so linearly,” which brings up a fascinating possibility: Q’s many appearances in The Next Generation might have been “out of order,” with him appearing to Picard and crew at different points in his own timeline.

Q For All Seasons

Before we can dive into this wild Star Trek theory about Picard’s final episode, we need to review who Q is.

He appears in the first episode of The Next Generation as a god-like being who wants to put humanity on trial–he subsequently appears in other episodes of TNG as a kind of trickster figure, though he appears in its last episode to remind Picard that humanity’s trial never ended.

The character popped up for one episode of Deep Space Nine and several episodes of Voyager before appearing again in Picard’s second season.

Death Of Q

star trek picard q

In that season, he sent the title character on one more insane adventure (one that crossed both dimensions and time periods) before dying, something that everyone previously thought impossible.

His farewell was very emotional, and fans had every reason to think he would never appear again.

That’s why it was so shocking when this beloved Star Trek character appeared in the final episode of Picard, and the only explanation for his reappearance is that we were seeing Q pop up after he died in our timeline but before he died in his own timeline.

Q Could’ve Been Hopping All Over Time

star trek q

In previous episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, fans mostly assumed that Picard and Q shared the same linear timeline, something that was seemingly confirmed when he would reference past events.

However, the character didn’t always reference past events, and for that matter, an all-knowing god figure might have knowledge that transcends time and space.

Given the events of Picard’s final episode, it’s entirely possible that Q was popping into different points in our timeline from different points in his own timeline.

Star Trek’s River Song

matt smith

For sci-fi fans, perhaps the clearest analog to Q would be River Song, the fan-favorite Doctor Who character. She actually married the Doctor, but their romance was a strange one because each of them was a time traveler and they weren’t always on the same page–for example, the 10th Doctor meets her on the adventure where she dies, but at that point, she had already gotten married to the 11th Doctor in her own timeline.

If this Star Trek theory is true, then Picard’s final episode proves that Q is this franchise’s own River Song, constantly meeting Picard at different points in each character’s timeline.

Star Trek: Legacy

Unless we get the Star Trek: Legacy show that fans have fervently demanded, we are unlikely to see either Picard or Q in this franchise ever again. That means we may never get a confirmation of this wild theory, one that completely transforms our understanding of The Next Generation.

Of course, this is only fitting–figuring out this mystery regarding Q may just be one more test for humanity, and it’s one we fully intend to pass.