An exhaustive guide to every Easter egg in 'Picard' Episode 1
The newest Star Trek series is packed with references from the franchise's massive canon. Luckily, we did your homework for you.
Even though Star Trek: Picard is a series that non-Trekkies can watch and still enjoy, the first episode of season 1 — "Remembrance" — is packed with Easter eggs from across the Star Trek canon, and of course, specifically, The Next Generation. The new series is set year is 2399, and the warm and fuzzy 24th century you might remember from The Next Generation has been replaced with something a little more real and naturalistic. But that doesn't mean Jean-Luc's memories of boldly going have changed. The episode is called "Remembrance," and as the Easter eggs prove, Star Trek: Picard remembers where it came from.
Here's an in-depth breakdown of all the Easter eggs and deep-cut references in the very first episode of Star Trek: Picard, "Remembrance," including a few that were revealed during the official Picard aftershow, The Ready Room, as hosted by TNG-alum Wil Wheaton. Warning: Spoilers ahead.
The first shot of interstellar space is set to Bing Crosby singing Irving Berlin's “Blue Skies.” This was the song Data sang at Riker and Troi’s wedding in 2002's Nemesis, the last time we saw any of the cast in Trek canon. At the end of the film, after Data is destroyed, Picard catches Data’s “brother" B-4 absent-mindedly singing the song to himself. The moment implies Data’s essence may have survived, which proves to be a central theme in "Remembrance."
Starship Enterprise NCC-1701-D
Although the saucer section of this ship crash-landed in 1994's Generations, the TNG era Enterprise is back. The ship appeared in all 178 episodes of Next Generation, the aforementioned film, and an episode of Deep Space Nine and Enterprise. Picard marks the ship's 182nd appearance in the franchise. In the aftershow, The Ready Room, former-Wesley Crusher actor Wil Wheaton said of this shot: "I can see my house from here," referencing, of course, that young Wesley was once onboard the Enterprise, too.
Ten Forward and Data’s anachronistic uniform
Data and Picard play poker in a slightly bare-bones version of the Enterprise-D bar and lounge called “Ten Forward.” Ten Forward gets its name because it sits on deck 10 and faces “forward.”
As a tip-off that this scene is probably a dream, Data is wearing a style of Starfleet uniform he would have never worn on the Enterprise-D. We first saw this style (with the muted grey shoulders) in First Contact, circa 2373. The Enterprise-D was destroyed in 2371, and everybody at that point was wearing the more colorful, Next Generation-era uniforms. This is likely an intentional anachronism to let viewers know that all is not as it seems. Director Hanelle Culpepper has revealed in interviews and on The Ready Room, that she originally wanted Jean-Luc in his uniform here, too and that the overall feel of this scene was designed to let you know that things were "off."
Though the entire Next Generation bridge crew played poker throughout the series, Jean-Luc didn’t join them until the very final episode of the series, “All Good Things…" Meanwhile, Data revealing he has five queens in his hand could subtly reference the episode “Cause and Effect.” In that one, Data was secretly reprogrammed to deal out duplicates of certain cards, in order to send everyone a secret message that they were caught in a time-loop.
Data also used to wear a really cool green visor when he played poker in The Next Generation, which he is sadly not wearing here.
When Picard relives the attack on Mars, this references several events which are explained later in the episode, but which were first depicted in the Short Treks episode “Children of Mars."
The dream sequence references First Contact
Starting off in a dream references the most popular TNG film of them all: First Contact. It opens on a flashback in which Picard relives a traumatic event. Here, it’s the death of Data coupled with the Mars attacks. In First Contact, the film opened on him dreaming of his time as a Borg drone, then having a dream within a dream that a servo under his skin was breaking out.
Picard’s dog is named “Number One,” a clear reference to Jean-Luc's first officer, Will Riker. However, a bunch of Starfleet captains have called their Executive Officers “Number One,” including the famous first officer on Pike’s Enterprise. (Thanks to Michael Chabon’s Short Treks “Q&A” we now know her name is Una.)
In case you missed the trailers, Jean-Luc is spending his retirement on his family vineyard in La Barre, France. This vineyard first appeared in the episode “Family,” when Picard visited his estranged brother after the events of “The Best of Both Worlds.” Later, in an alternate future glimpsed in the series finale “All Good Things…” Jean-Luc also spent his retirement at Chateau Picard.
Dahj’s boyfriend is Xahean
When we meet Dahj in her Boston apartment, she mentions her boyfriend’s “Xahean” instincts. We first met the Xaheans in the 2018 Short Treks episode “Runaway,” where Ensign Tilly befriends Queen Po, of the planet Xahea. In Discovery Season 2, the planet Xahea and Po were instrumental in helping Pike, Spock, Burnham, and the crew defeat the malevolent AI known as “Control.”
Dahj mentions she has been accepted into the Daystrom Institute, which Picard later visits in this episode. The Daystrom Institute has been mentioned in Star Trek since the original series, though it has never actually been seen. It’s a kind of MIT of the future and it gets its name from a character named Dr. Richard Daystrom, from the TOS episode “The Ultimate Computer.” In that episode, Daystrom invents a super A.I. for Captain Kirk’s Enterprise that goes rogue and tries to kill everyone. References to the Daystrom Institute exist in every series, excluding Enterprise, which takes place before Daystrom would have been born.
I’m from Seattle!
Funnily enough, Dahj is the second Star Trek sleeper agent in three years who believes they are from Seattle. In Discovery season 1, Ash Tyler (Shazad Latif) also thought he was from the Seattle era. Captain Lorca grilled him on this detail, and eventually, we found out Ash was not from Seattle. At all.
Borg Cube and eye in opening credits
It’s probably too early to speculate about the opening credits for Picard — there are undoubtedly some secret Easter eggs here, it’s just not totally clear at this point what those are. Yet.
Two direct references are already clear. There's a Borg cube, the giant starships operated by the cybernetic hivemind race famous for assimilating Picard in “The Best of Both Worlds.” We also seem to zoom into an eye, which, directly echoes the first shot of *First Contact*, which began inside of Jean-Luc's eye and then pulled back to reveal he was on a Borg ship.
Opening theme music references the TNG classic, "The Inner Light" and, the 1979 Star Trek: The Motion Picture score
The first instrument we hear for the main musical theme of Picard is a flute. In The Ready Room, contemporary Star Trek composer Jeff Russo says he wanted to use a flute to reference Picard's past, specifically the Ressikan flute from the Morgan Gendel-penned TNG episode, "The Inner Light," in which Picard learns to play an alien flute. However, because a Ressikan flute "doesn't exist in the real world," Russo says he decided to use a Piccolo flute. For what it's worth, official Ressikan flute replicas were produced, though they're kind of hard to ahold of now.
Russo also mentions that, like his theme for Discovery, it was also important to bring the main theme back to something familiar. That's why we hear a few bars of the famous Star Trek: The Next Generation main title theme at the end, albeit, slowed-down and softer. Though made famous in 1987 by TNG, this theme was originally composed by long-time Trek composer — the late Jerry Goldsmith —for Star Trek: The Motion Picture. To date, Star Trek: The Motion Picture is only Star Trek film score to have been nominated for an Academy Award.
“Don’t pretend you don’t speak French”
Picard speaks French to Number One, which is pretty funny considering Picard didn't actually speak in French all that much in TNG. Though, in the season 2 episode "Elementary, My Dear Data," Picard totally says "Merde" which is "shit" in French. He also used to say "sacre bleu" in the very early TNG comics.
Laris and Zhaban
Jean-Luc’s Romulan housekeepers are named Laris and Zhaban, and their backstory comes from a very recent comic miniseries called Star Trek: Picard: Countdown. In issue #2, we learn Laris and Zhaban were members of the Romulan secret service — the Tal Shiar — but defected because they fell in love with each other and really liked Picard. When Laris tells Picard she remembers what he did during "Remembrance," she's referencing him standing up for her specifically, but also for saving a bunch of other random aliens, too.
News in the future
While it might seem jarring to see a contemporary-ish journalist interviewing Picard, there are several precedents for this. In the final episode ofVoyager, in an alternate 2404, Janeway watches a news broadcast similar to the one seen this episode. In Generations, journalists interview Captain Kirk during the launch of the Enterprise-B. And in Deep Space Nine, Jake Sisko's eventual vocation was that of a journalist.
Tea, earl grey – decaf!
Picard has clearly switched from drinking a bunch of caffeine like in the old days. Jean-Luc's tea preferences aare legendary, but there's only a handful of times he actually ordered Earl Grey on The Next Generation. (In fact, he only speaks the exact order 11 times out of 178 episodes and four movies.) The "decaf" thing might be a subtle reference to the Season 6 episode "Lessons," in which Picard's then-girlfriend Nella Daren tells him he shouldn't be drinking a stimulant at night.
The news montage
During the interview, we get some rapid-fire Easter eggs of old publicity photos from The Next Generation and the various movies. This includes:
- A season 4 publicity photo of Picard
- A production still of Worf and Picard from the Season 3 episode "Sins of the Father." (This is when Picard became the Klingon Arbiter of Succession.)
- A promotional photo of Picard in a movie-era dress uniform from Insurrection.
Rescue armada, Rogue Synth Attack, and the Romulan Supernova
The Romulan supernova references the events of the Star Trek 2009 reboot, in which Spock tells Kirk that a supernova in the future became a huge threat to the Romulan people. This event created an alternate past, where the reboot movies reside. In Picard, we learn why the Federation didn't actually help Spock out: Picard had planned a rescue armada, which was sabotaged by the Rogue Synthetics. Again, the comic book series Star Trek: Picard: Countdown, details Picard's efforts.
In "Remembrance," we learn synthetic lifeforms destroyed the Utopia Planitia Shipyards. This means Picard is living in a world where androids are illegal, and he quit his job because a huge armada was destroyed. Picard saying "It was no longer Starfleet!" is not the first time he's been mad about Federation policy. In Insurrection, Picard went against orders when he found out a group of aliens native to the planet Ba'ku were being forcibly relocated.
"No legacy is so rich as honesty"
You didn't think you'd get through the comeback of Jean-Luc Picard without a Shakespeare reference, did you? Picard asks his dog "who said that, Number One?" The answer is: Mariana in Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well.
"Have you ever been a stranger to yourself?"
Dahj asks Picard if he's ever been a stranger to himself. He replies, "Many, many times."
Hardcore Trekkies can think of at least three: In "The Best of Both Worlds," Picard's identity was taken from him and was supplanted by Locutus of Borg. In "The Inner Light," because of a telepathic link with an ancient probe, Picard believed he was an iron weaver named Kamin on the long-dead planet Katan. Finally, in "Chain of Command," after being tortured by the Cardassians, Picard lost nearly his entire sense of self-worth.
Data painting and Picard’s second dream
In Jean-Luc's second dream, both he and Data wear TNG-era uniforms from roughly Season 6 of The Next Generation. This is when Data paints the image of his daughter and learns he can dream.
Since 1979's Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Starfleet Academy, and Starfleet Headquarters have been located in the Bay Area. Captain Kirk and the crew also visit the area in the past in The Voyage Home.
Starfleet archives and Picard's storage unit
Picard's items in the Starfleet archives are a treasure trove of Easter eggs. Here's all of this stuff:
- A model of the USS Stargazer. This was Picard's ship before the Enterprise. He had a yellow model like this in his Ready Room in TNG. This one looks more like the real Stargazer does in the TNG season 1 episode "The Battle," which is where we learned about "The Picard Maneuver."
- Klingon Bat'leth. It's unclear if this Bat'leth was a gift from Worf, but Picard had a lot of dealings with the Klingons, so it could have been from anyone.
- Maybe a huge Shakespeare book. It's not totally clear, but it looks like one of Picard's big books that he kept in a glass case in his Ready Room is here, too.
- Enterprise-E model. This was the starship Picard commanded after the Enterprise-D was destroyed. The Enterprise-E has never appeared in a Star Trek TV series, only in films. So this is its TV debut.
- Captain Picard day banner. In the Season 7 episode "The Pegasus," we learned that kids on the Enterprise celebrated "Captain Picard Day," this banner is from that episode.
- Captain’s Yacht. Another spaceship model we see is Picard's "Captain’s Yacht." This was a detachable spacecraft that was part of the Enterprise-E. Though not mentioned on-screen, the Captain's Yacht was named the Cousteau, in honor of the oceanographer.
- Enterprise-D model. This is a no-brainer. When Picard is looking at the painting he pulled out of storage, we see a model of the Enterprise-D behind him. You know what this is.
The Ready Room also revealed there were a few items in this room that we didn't get a good look at, including what looks like pieces of the Kurlan Naiskos; an ancient artifact Picard was gifted in the TNG episode "The Chase." There's also an award from the "Children of Tama," an alien race from the episode "Darmok," who somewhat famously, only speak in analogies and metaphors.
The Ready Room also revealed that there's also set of leather-bound Shakespeare books and another award from the "Betazoid Loyalists." Betazoids are a telepathic alien race, and of course, Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis), the ship's counselor on the Enterprise was half- Betazoid. Troi is set to appear in a forthcoming episode of Picard.
The mysterious painting that predicted Dahj's existence is titled "Daughter." But Data had a more literal daughter in the Season 3 episode, "The Offspring," where he created an android named Lal and allowed her to choose her own gender and appearance.
Lal had a really hard time adapting to humans. Essentially, she broke down because Data wasn't able to stabilize her positronic net. The first episode of Picard makes a big deal about how duplicating the science that created Data was nearly impossible. Even Data himself wasn't able to pull it off.
Dahj uses a computer just like Data
When Dahj hacks into the computer network of Earth, she accesses information at tremendous speed, exactly like Data "reads" in several episodes of The Next Generation.
“He sacrificed his life for me”
Picard tells Dahj that Data died to save him. This references the climax of Nemesis, where Data detonated a bomb aboard a Romulan ship while remotely beaming Picard out of danger.
Dahj says she has memories her father being a Xenobotanist, who studies extraterrestrial plants. In the Season 2 premiere Discovery, Paul Stamets mentioned being friends with a xenobotantist on the classic Enterprise.
The two shows take place a century apart, but it is interesting that both shows mentioned a xenobotantist off-handedly. What's more, we glimpsed orchids in her apartment at the top of the episode. She claims to have been named after a specific variety of the blossom, so perhaps there is some truth to the backstory of her "real parents?"
Sentient flesh-and-blood android
When Picard visits Dr. Agnes Jurati(Alison Pill) at the Daystrom Institute, she tells him that it will take about 1,000 years for current technology to make a fully sentient flesh-and-blood android. Funnily enough, that number is awfully close to where the time-skipping crew of Discovery will end up in Season 3.
The android we see in pieces in Dr. Jurati's the drawer is not Data, but his "brother" who actually predates Data. Jurati points out that B-4 wasn't able to function after a certain time, which seems to jibe with what Dr. Soong (Data's creator in TNG) claimed about his early attempts at creating an android. B-4 was randomly discovered in Nemesis and aided Data and the crew in that movie.
Jurati says Bruce Maddox recruited her "out of Starfleet." He's a roboticist fascinated with Data, who later becomes his pen pal. There's more to be said about their relationship, which you can read here.
Romulan reclamation site is a Borg cube
At the end of "Remembrance," we cut to something called the "Romulan Reclamation Site," which is actually a huge Borg cube. The last time we saw Borg cubes was in the Voyager finale. The Borg are a hivemind, so, at this point, it's not clear what the Romulans are doing with the ship, nor what Dahj's "sister" Soji is doing there. Given that he's hot on her trail, it doesn't look like Picard's going to be able to escape running into the Borg again.
Star Trek: Picard is streaming now on CBS All Access. The next nine episodes of Season 1 will drop on Thursdays.
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