Nearly Shot-by-Shot Analysis of STAR TREK PICARD (now 2020) SDCC2019 Trailer

Been a while since I whipped out this avatar…

Space: the final frontier. These are not the voyages of the Starship Enterprise. Instead, these are the voyages of a retired and wheelchair bounded Charles Xavier as he must be dragged along by Logan to save a powerful little girl who is being hunted to the ends of the Earth. Logan and Professor X must do all they can to make sure the bad guys don’t get the girl.

Oh, wait a minute. This is the premise of LOGAN. STAR TREK PICARD centers around an elderly, worn-out and tired Jean-Luc Picard who is dragged into action to protect a girl who is being hunted to the ends of Federation space. Picard, Seven of Nine and Data join a ragtag crew who must do all they can to make sure the bad guys don’t get the girl.

The main trailer premiered at San Diego Comic Con this past weekend, and it is most certainly divisive, but not like STD vs the rest of fandom. The Fandom Menace largely observes this trailer with optimistic caution. Prominent members like MechaRandom42 and Doomcock expressed their anger with PICARD on Twitter. Mecha uses the term “Memberberries,” a bunch of berries that say, “‘member” (“remember”), sweet and cute nuggets of nostalgia to get us hooked in and ready to watch what we’re being given. Doomcock, on the other hand, in his rants on Twitter, suggest that PICARD is exactly how Chris Farley’s Tommy Callahan in “Tommy Boy” described a competitor’s break pads.

…Because all they’ve sold you is a guaranteed piece of shit. Look, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it guaranteed, I will; I’ve got spare time.

Chris Farley, “Tommy Boy”

Others in the Fandom Menace like Nerdrotic and SC Reviews are taking a very cautiously optimistic approach to the trailer and series. It looks good, they’re singing the right notes, but all of the elements are there for Kurtzman and company to deliver a very attractive, very polished piece of filth that could rival STD in suckage.

For me, personally, I love this trailer. It’s singing all the right notes, as it should. But Gary and SC Reviews are right to be skeptical. What we see now and what is to come are most likely two very different things. Luckily with STD, we knew the series was going to suck from jump. However, I am cautiously optimistic with PICARD.

Without further ado, let’s just get right into this.

WARNING: From here-on out will be spoilers as I will be reviewing the trailer in its entirety, nearly shot-by-shot. If you are avoiding anything regarding PICARD, I won’t be upset if you log out now. Otherwise, you’ve been warned and while you are free to complain about it, your license to do so is revoked. With that out of the way, let’s go.

©️2019-2020 CBS All Access, Amazon and Secret Hideout. Used without permission.

The trailer fades in to a beautiful shot of a sepia tone sky over Lebare, France, Napa Valley, California. Like the short teaser before it, we are supposed to be connected directly to the finale of TNG, “All Good Things,” where future Picard is an elderly, miserable and mentally ill man, retired and tending to his crop.

©️2019-2020 CBS All Access, Amazon and Secret Hideout. Used without permission.

Next we see a shot of the Picard home, something we’ve seen once before. However, it’s a lot more transformative from the time we first see the Picard ranch in the 4th season of TNG, “Family.” In that episode, Picard travels home to France after his rescue from the Borg in “All Good Things.” In this episode, Picard goes home to face his brother and his family, with the full knowledge that he almost ended their common existence, but also deal with the demons of their past relationship.

©️1990 Paramount Pictures/Paramount Television. Used without permission.

As can be seen in this next screenshot, the French village of Picard’s youth and where he lives now are completely changed. The landscape is remotely similar, but the subspace communications array on the right as well as the castle on the hilltop are nowhere to be seen. Not a deal breaker and using a real location with a steady drone shot in modern filmography gives us a more breathtaking shot, even if it looks like stock footage.

©️2019-2020 CBS All Access, Amazon and Secret Hideout. Used without permission.

We hear a VO between Picard and this unknown female wondering if Picard felt like he didn’t recognize himself. When Jean-Luc confirms this truth, we harken back to the aforementioned incident with the Borg and his assimilation as Locutus. As the latter, Picard was responsible for the destruction of over thirty Starfleet vessels, the deaths of thousands, and the near assimilation of Earth. In STAR TREK FIRST CONTACT, Picard becomes so hellbent on revenge that he doesn’t see what he’s doing to his own crew. It’s someone Picard doesn’t recognize and someone he, himself, was sickened by.

Of course, the metaphorical nature of the sentiment doesn’t compare to how Picard physically watched himself as his clone committed genocide on Romulus, led an army of Remans to overtake the Romulan Empire, and threatened to destroy the Federation using thaleron weaponry to devastate all carbon-based life forms. His few words say a lot compared to what we’ve seen Picard actually do.

©️2019-2020 CBS All Access, Amazon and Secret Hideout. Used without permission.

We get our first glance at Picard’s last combadge. This gives us an idea as to not only what uniforms Starfleet was issued when Picard walked away, but when Picard actually retired from the service. It’s one of those “‘member berries” MechaRandom42 pointed out. While I agree that this is one of those, “Hey look here!” moments, it gives us a little bit of information at the same time.

©️2019-2020 CBS All Access, Amazon and Secret Hideout. Used without permission.

We are to assume that the connection to the TNG movie/DS9/VOY combadge and Data’s death send Picard into some sort of post-traumatic flashback of regret and sadness. There are many theories on what exactly this is supposed to be. Is this B4 or is this Data?

Brent Spiner gave us a definitive answer: this is Data.

The problem I have with this is, when Data destroyed the Scimitar in STAR TREK NEMESIS, he was at the focal point of the explosion. After all, he shot the phaser into the thaleron generator and the explosion vaporized him. We are now to assume that either Starfleet or the Romulans recovered Data as he survived, largely in tact, in spite of being at ground-zero of a catastrophic explosion.

Why can this not be B4?

It is a general assumption, at the announcement of PICARD, that STAR TREK COUNTDOWN, a comic book that was intended to link canon STAR TREK to the JJ Abrams reboot STAR TREK movie series, is going to be canon here in PICARD. If this assumption is true, the memory construct that we see at the end of STAR TREK NEMESIS in B4 has fully taken over, and B4 assumes the role of Captain “Data,” commander of the USS Enterprise 1701-E.

With Spiner revealing the trivia that he is playing Data and not B4, and he’s a semi-regular on PICARD, I think that it’s safe to assume that COUNTDOWN (co-written by Alex Kurtzman, by the way) will not only still be canon but B4 is “Data” and commanding the Enterprise. This android here is the real Data.

It would be an interesting plot twist if we learn that Spiner isn’t playing Data, either – that he’s playing Lore. It would make sense given Lore’s involvement with the Borg in TNG 6 Ender/7 Opener, “Descent,” where Lore was commander of a Borg resistance movement against the Federation. Jonathan Del Arco has reprised his role as Hugh, this much we know. It would be very cool if this theory comes to pass. B4 is the Data we expected, commanding the Enterprise. The real Data did get vaporized when he took out the Scimitar, and Lore is messing with Picard in their quest to protect this mystery girl.

We shall see as this series plays out.

©️2019-2020 CBS All Access, Amazon and Secret Hideout. Used without permission.

Enter: the real star of STAR TREK PICARD. Who is she and what makes her so powerful and such a threat? Logan will find out!

©️2019-2020 CBS All Access, Amazon and Secret Hideout. Used without permission.

Another interesting shot of a darkly lit set on the Paramount studio lot, but where is this supposed to be? I refuse to speculate but I did find something interesting.

©️2019-2020 CBS All Access, Amazon and Secret Hideout. Used without permission.

The video monitors in this electronics shop are playing an interview with Jean-Luc from a Federation news feed or some sort of documentary? It’s an interesting touch.

©️2019-2020 CBS All Access, Amazon and Secret Hideout. Used without permission.

“Do you know who I am?”

Nope. But we can speculate.

First, let me get something out of the way: LENS FLARES!! Yup, it’s true: Alex Kurtzman has not been fired and JJ’s handprints are all over this thing.

Okay, I’m done.

I have a suspicion that this girl is connected to the liberated Borg, and we’re going to see a huge connection between her and Hugh. There may also be an overly large connection with Data/Lore, if my theory holds water.

©️2019-2020 CBS All Access, Amazon and Secret Hideout. Used without permission.

Everything inside me says that I’m safe with you.

©️2019-2020 CBS All Access, Amazon and Secret Hideout. Used without permission.

Yup. She’s ex-Borg, alright. This could also allude to the danger she’s in if there’s a faction of scumbags out there looking for these liberated Borg.

©️2019-2020 CBS All Access, Amazon and Secret Hideout. Used without permission.

Next is a half-context shot of what the leaked photos had originally shown. This is Starfleet Command’s central administration office. Notice the holographic screen the Starfleet officers on the right are using. This is period appropriate, and how the producers of TNG would’ve done it if they had the budget and resources in the 1980s. It also keeps up with the COUNTDOWN comic and the holographic interfaces.

Notice the coat Jean-Luc is wearing. It’s a variant of the coat he wore when he was still in Starfleet.

©️2019-2020 CBS All Access, Amazon and Secret Hideout. Used without permission.

Picard is debriefing an admiral at Starfleet. Who is this person? Have we seen her before? Her screen time in this trailer is extremely short, but what we do know: it’s not Janeway.

Also, the Okudagrams are back. While they’re not 100% perfect to the era, they’re certainly not the 25% different scheme we’ve seen thus far in Secret Hideout Trek.

©️2019-2020 CBS All Access, Amazon and Secret Hideout. Used without permission.

The next is actually a sequence of shots but I wanted to highlight one as Picard watches this mysterious girl kick all kinds of ass, as though she’s a Power Ranger. We saw some hunters trying to hunt her down, but she takes care of them nicely. GO GO POWER RANGERS!

©️2019-2020 CBS All Access, Amazon and Secret Hideout. Used without permission.

Romulan-like ships converging on some random planet.

©️2019-2020 CBS All Access, Amazon and Secret Hideout. Used without permission.

Is this Hugh being extracted?

©️2019-2020 CBS All Access, Amazon and Secret Hideout. Used without permission.

Look here! LOOK LOOK LOOK!! Remember this?!

©️1994 Paramount Pictures/Paramount Television. Used without permission.

Yes. Yes, we do remember this. I was going to suggest that the studio had access to the original Print Shop Pro graphic file, but then if you take a look at it, you’ll be able to tell there is a 25% difference between these two banners. Subtle but they’re there.

At least we didn’t get a rehash of this creepy Picard voodoo doll in the new scene…

©️2019-2020 CBS All Access, Amazon and Secret Hideout. Used without permission.

This obvious Vulcanoid individual accuses Picard of forgetting himself. Then she looks him in the eye, like she is here, and says, “We do not.”

This individual is clearly an ex-Borg drone, freed either during Lore’s stint as the Borger King, during the Unimatrix Zero fiasco (from STAR TREK VOYAGER), or sometime during some random liberation between then and now. We just don’t know, but this lady used to be Borg.

©️2019-2020 CBS All Access, Amazon and Secret Hideout.. and possibly, Nintendo? Used without permission.

The next montage of shots are of the new crew that Picard hooks up with to go on this crazy space adventure. Apparently, along the way, he stopped at a planet called Hyrule and picked up Princess Zelda and her warrior, Link, who is now either a Vulcan, Romulan or Mintakan at this point. I call this shot: STAR TREK: THE LEGEND OF ZELDA.

©️2019-2020 CBS All Access, Amazon and Secret Hideout. Used without permission.

Freddie Mercury makes an appearance after a montage of shots that show Picard in random environments. In reference to our mystery girl, this British dude with an overbite tells this random female character, “She has no idea who she truly is.”

(S)he’s a …borg, you idiot!

Butchering a quote from Dick Jones in RoboCop
©️2019-2020 CBS All Access, Amazon and Secret Hideout. Used without permission.

And here, this Romulan that Picard has in a choke-pin proclaims that “She’s the end of all!” So here we get confirmation that she is the mutant girl from Logan, after all! That or she’s Dark Phoenix. That or she’s Michael Burnham but much hotter and much more likable (yes I think I like her in this trailer).

©️2019-2020 CBS All Access, Amazon and Secret Hideout. Used without permission.

’nuff said.

©️2019-2020 CBS All Access, Amazon and Secret Hideout. Used without permission.

Something interesting to point out here.

In the STAR TREK VOYAGER episode “Timeless,” alternate Harry Kim and Chakotay mention that a Borg cube was stopped in the Beta Quadrant and Starfleet was taking advantage of reverse engineering everything in it. This would make sense that Starfleet would do this, since the last two (plus a sphere) that attempted to engage the Federation were completely destroyed. Could this be that Borg Cube Harry and Chakotay mentioned, where the temporal transponder was found?

Hopefully, we won’t be dealing with time travel, if this is the case. It would mean that whoever was throwing around all of these easter eggs was actually paying attention to all of STAR TREK. I highly doubt it’s the main writer because, as she’s proven on STD, she not only sucks horrifically at writing, but she knows ZERO about STAR TREK to begin with.

It’s a great segway into the next shot to pic apart.

©️2019-2020 CBS All Access, Amazon and Secret Hideout. Used without permission.

Sorry, Fandom Menace – I LOVE THIS!

As a huge VOYAGER fan, this is awesome to see Jeri Ryan come back to the role of Seven of Nine. I love that she’s here. While I noticed some on the Nerdrotic chat say that she looks like she was infected with the Doctor again (a VOYAGER reference), I love the idea that Seven made significant progress after her return to the Alpha Quadrant in VOYAGER “Endgame.

I don’t care so much for her relationship with Chakotay, though I did hear that Robert Beltran’s Chakotay does make an appearance in PICARD (RUMOR). I do like the fact that she’s here for a number of reasons. Significantly, this does give credence to the notions that these people who are messing with Picard throughout this trailer are, indeed, liberated Borg. I think that if Seven has a cameo appearance, she’ll simply be warning Jean-Luc of the coming dangers.

If she has a much more significant role, I will squee. Jeri Ryan brought something that the detractors thought she couldn’t when she was on VOYAGER. I am leaning more towards looking forward to seeing how the crew of the 74656 fared after their return. This is a good insight as to how, and Ryan’s involvement makes me happy about this.

Nice play, Kurtzman, you sonofa…

©️2019-2020 CBS All Access, Amazon and Secret Hideout. Used without permission.

Another shot of that wrekt Borg cube, this time from the inside…

©️2019-2020 CBS All Access, Amazon and Secret Hideout. Used without permission.

Is it me, or does this feel like the Rossy from THE EXPANSE?

And, WTF is up with that light in the back?

©️2019-2020 CBS All Access, Amazon and Secret Hideout. Used without permission.

Here we see Jean-Luc get tangled up in some Romulan shenanigans.

©️2019-2020 CBS All Access, Amazon and Secret Hideout. Used without permission.

Another look at Seven of Nine. This seems to tell me she’s got more of a part here than just a simple cameo…

©️2019-2020 CBS All Access, Amazon and Secret Hideout. Used without permission.

If you didn’t get the feels before, this last shot certainly gave them to me in spades. Brent Spiner providing the voice for an obviously CG’d Data (unless they caked the hell out of him in makeup, which I hope isn’t the case) not only gave me chills but also kinda crushed me at the same time. When I first saw the trailer, I thought, what if Kurtzman (the bastard) was including this sequence as a holodeck recreation, flashback or some other nonsense and Data only had a small bit part to play here?

Then, I saw the video of Brent Spiner with the cast of PICARD, as part of that cast. My hopes went up quite a bit.

FINAL CRITIQUE

Even viewing this trailer for the screenshots, I enjoyed the hell out of it. Does this mean that the show is going to rock? Hell no!

It’s an Alex Kurtzman production, through and through. Hell no, it’s not going to be good at all. It’s going to suck, horribly! I know better than that!

Even though I loved this trailer, I most certainly am not fooled one tiny bit. PICARD has a lot to prove, coming off of the heels of the epic disaster that was STD. I am looking forward to 2020, and to seeing what PICARD delivers. At this point, though, I’m just hoping it delivers, period-end.

STAR TREK PICARD is set to premiere on CBS All Access in the US, Space in Canada and selected countries (including Japan) on Amazon Prime Video.

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