It’s official – Sir Patrick Stewart is returning to the Star Trek franchise, reprising his Next Generation character, Captain Jean-Luc Picard in a new CBS All Access series.

The announcement was made by Stewart himself, when he made a surprise appearance at the Las Vegas Star Trek Convention:

The new series isn’t a Star Trek: Next Generation reboot, but will tell the story of the next chapter of Picard’s life. Discovery co-creator and executive producer Alex Kurtzman will helm the project as part of his role overseeing new Star Trek content under a deal with CBS TV Studios.

Kurtzman said of the project, “With overwhelming joy, it’s a privilege to welcome Sir Patrick Stewart back to the Star Trek fold. For over 20 years, fans have hoped for the return of Captain Jean-Luc Picard and that day is finally here. We can’t wait to forge new ground, surprise people, and honour generations both new and old.”

On the creative team for the series, Kurtzman will be joined by James Duff, who recently joined Discovery as executive producer, as well as Akiva Goldsman, Michael Chabon, and Discovery writer Kirsten Beyer.

For his part, Stewart spoke a little about his surprise return to the franchise, “I will always be very proud to have been a part of Star Trek: The Next Generation, but when we wrapped that final movie in the spring of 2002, I truly felt my time with Star Trek had run its natural course. It is, therefore, an unexpected but delightful surprise to find myself excited and invigorated to be returning to Jean-Luc Picard and to explore new dimensions within him. Seeking out new life for him, when I thought that life was over.”

He continued, “During these past years, it has been humbling to hear many stories about how The Next Generation brought people comfort, saw them through difficult periods in their lives or how the example of Jean-Luc inspired so many to follow in his footsteps, pursuing science, exploration and leadership. I feel I’m ready to return to him for the same reason – to research and experience what comforting and reforming light he might shine on these often very dark times. I look forward to working with our brilliant creative team as we endeavour to bring a fresh, unexpected and pertinent story to life once more.”

Stewart has always been one of the favourite cast members from Star Trek, and so naturally, fans everywhere were delighted at the news of his return. It’s safe to say that with Stewart’s talent, this series is unlikely to be a disappointing one, but it will interesting to see exactly what the series will cover.

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