The first episode of the new ‘Star Trek: Picard’ series showed us that much has happened in Captain Jean-Luc Picard’s life since we last saw him on-screen in the feature film ‘Star Trek: Nemesis’ almost 20 years ago. Much of what has happened has caused him great pain and sorrow: his spear-heading of the attempts of a massive evacuation of Romulus being largely negated by Starfleet, an unprovoked attack on Mars to destroy the fleet he was compiling for that rescue mission, and of course the loss of friends and fellow Starfleet officers along the way. So far in the latter category, we have only been reminded about the one major loss of which we already knew: Commander Data, as shown at the conclusion of ‘Nemesis.’ But is ‘Picard’ ramping up to show audiences that another key member of Jean-Luc’s former Enterprise senior staff has passed away as well?
In the three-issue comic-book mini-series ‘Star Trek Picard: Countdown’ published by IDW, a part of the story is told of Admiral Picard’s efforts of Romulan evacuation prior to the supernova occurring. This story takes place about a year before the supernova and the attack on Mars, which places it about 11 years before the events shown in the first episode of ‘Picard.’ In this tale, the Admiral is leading evacuation efforts in Romulan space as the acting commander of the USS Verity – this in and of itself a bit of a revelation for Star Trek fans as the Verity appears to be an Odyssey-class starship taken directly from the game Star Trek Online, bringing the class of ship (and, according to the gameplay, her sister vessel the Enterprise-F) into semi-canonicity.
This, however, is not the biggest hint that the comic series drops for fans. Neither is the subtly stunning fact that Zhaban and Laris – the two Romulan refugees who know work with Jean-Luc as caretakers of the Chateau Picard Vineyard and were featured heavily in the first episode of the ‘Picard’ TV series – are former Tal Shiar agents.
No, the biggest bombshell of the comic series is likely the fact that the construction of the Romulan recovery fleet at the Utopia Planitia Shipyards on Mars – the same Shipyards that were bombed and completely destroyed in a sneak attack that left hundreds of thousands dead – was being spear-headed by Geordi LaForge, former long-time Chief Engineer of Picard’s on the Enterprise-D and Enterprise-E.
It stands to reason, then, since LaForge was the main engineer in charge of the fleet construction, that he would have routinely been on Mars and at the Shipyards… so the odds are good, unfortunately, that he was present when the devastating sneak attack occurred. If that is the case, then he was likely one of the many casualties of the calamity and is probably dead in the ‘Picard’ television series.
Will this fact be confirmed on the series at some point? The ‘Picard Countdown’ comic also established via conversation between Picard and LaForge that, 11 years prior to the attack, Will Riker was the commanding officer of the USS Titan and that Deanna Troi served on the ship with him, and that the Enterprise-E was still in service and under the command of someone they both knew, although the specific name of the character was not revealed.
The ‘Star Trek Picard: Countdown’ mini-series was stated, in no vague terms, to be an official “direct lead-in” to the TV series, and one of the writers of the comic tale is Kirsten Beyer, a long-time writer on ‘Star Trek: Discovery’ who is also listed as a Supervising Producer in the opening credits of the ‘Picard’ TV series. As we’ve seen in promo material for future episodes of ‘Picard,’ it seems that Riker and Troi have since retired (or are at least taking some time away from Starfleet), and it remains to be seen if Geordi’s fate – or the fate of any other members of Picard’s former senior staff – will actually be formalized.
‘Star Trek: Picard’ sees new episodes released every Thursday via the CBS All Access streaming app.