Star Trek: Picard Brings Back Original Series Actor In The Best Way

Walter Koenig can be heard early in the series finale of Star Trek: Picard as Anton Chekov: President of the United Federation of Planets, and son of Pavel Chekov.

By Michileen Martin | Published

star trek walter koenig

You don’t get to see Star Trek’s Walter Koenig in the Star Trek: Picard series finale, but you do get to hear him. Early in “The Last Generation” — which is streaming on Paramount+ right now — Koenig voices not Pavel Chekov, but his son Anton Chekov. The crew of Star Trek: The Next Generation hear a message from Anton, warning all ships to stay away from Earth because of the fleet-wide Borg assimilation from the previous episode.

star trek walter koenig
Chekov’s transmission in “The Last Generation,” the Star Trek: Picard series finale

Anton Chekov is not only the son of the Enterprise‘s Pavel Chekov, but the President of the United Federation of Planets.

When Star Trek: Picard recruited Walter Koenig for the voice cameo, it achieved a tribute with so many layers it’s dizzying. By casting Koenig it’s a tip of the hat to Star Trek: The Original Series and the films chronicling that crew’s future adventures. By naming Pavel’s son Anton, the scene also acts as a tribute to the late Anton Yelchin who plays Pavel Chekov in the Kelvin Trek films.

On another level, it’s a wonderful callback to one of the best films in the franchise: 1986’s Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Much of Koenig’s dialogue is pulled directly from the film; specifically from a scene in which the heroes receive a similar transmission from the Federation president (Robert Ellenstein), prompting them to go back in time to save Earth.

star trek walter koenig
Walter Koenig (left) and William Shatner in Star Trek: Generations (1994)

As far as canonical Star Trek is concerned, Walter Koenig’s last in-person screen appearance as Pavel Chekov was in 1994’s Star Trek: Generations — the first film led by the TNG cast. Along with James T. Kirk (William Shatner) and Montgomery Scott (James Doohan), Chekov appears in the opening scene in which unexpected trouble emerges during the inaugural voyage of the Enterprise-B. While both Chekov and Scotty come out of the experience unscathed, Kirk is believed to be killed.

Out of all the lead cast of Star Trek: The Original Series, Walter Koenig is one of only three actors who are still with us. Considering the other two actors are the regularly feuding William Shatner and George Takei, it isn’t much of a hot take to also say he’s the least controversial of the trio. Shatner is in his nineties, Takei his eighties, and the pair still publicly talk so much smack about each other you’d think they were running for office.

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