The Next Generation's future is in peril.
In the most revealing teaser for Star Trek: Picard Season 2 yet, the entire premise of the series has been laid out. And, unlike any Trek season before, it looks like the vast majority of the action in Picard Season 2 won’t take place in the stars, but instead, right here on Earth.
Here’s the rub: Time travel will specifically land the crew of the La Sirena in the 21st century. But how they’re getting back in time and exactly when in the 21st century they’ll be arriving in is where things get interesting.
Here’s what the “Star Trek Day” Picard trailer reveals about Season 2 and what it means for the timeline of Trek as a whole. Speculation ahead.
Picard meets the 21st century
On Star Trek Day, Paramount+ confirmed Picard Season 2 would drop in February 2022, and the new season would see the return of the Borg Queen, this time played by actress Annie Wersching. And within the context of the season, the Borg Queen will help Jean-Luc and his pals travel in time, specifically back to 21st century Earth. Watch the jaw-dropping trailer.
As hinted in previous trailers, the return of Q (John de Lancie) is the catalyst for an alternate timeline in which the Federation is gone and replaced by a totalitarian regime.
But how does that work within the established timeline? Why would going to the 21st century change anything?
Picard Season 2 time travel, explained
So, it appears there are four separate things going on with the time-travel/alternate timeline action in the Picard Season 2 trailer.
- Q changed something in the past that has created an alternate “present” in 2399-ish.
- Picard is hijacking the Borg Queen for time travel, which suggests the Borg’s time travel methods in the movie First Contact were useful and perhaps harvested by the Federation.
- Something in 21st century Earth is pivotal to fixing the timeline.
- There also seems to be something in Picard’s youth or his family’s timeline that is somehow connected to all of this.
Still, the question remains: Why the 21st Century?
The 21st century in Star Trek
In the Star Trek timeline, a major war occurs before 2063, decimating a huge part of the population. But, in 2063, the Vulcans make First Contact with humans, and everything changes for humanity.
But what about before that? We don’t really know how the early 21st century of the Trek timeline differs from our own. In The Next Generation's debut, “Encounter at Farpoint,” Q pointed out that several factions on Earth were violating human rights left and right. The basic story of Star Trek has always told us that the way humanity pulled out of this time period was because of First Contact and the invention of the warp drive.
However, Picard Season 2 seems to suggest there was something else going on before that. Whatever the crew of La Sirena is investigating is somehow linked to a version of the 21st century that looks very much like our own. What the Star Trek twist on this could be isn’t quite clear yet.
That said, if Picard does somehow manage to retcon World War III (which has always been looming in Star Trek’s future), it could be a much bigger deal than anyone realizes. Not only would it change Star Trek’s canon, but it also might offer a little hope to our own time too.
Right now, in Star Trek’s timeline, WWIII is only about two decades away. Maybe Jean-Luc Picard is about to prevent that from ever happening.
Star Trek: Picard Season 2 hits Paramount+ in February 2022.