Star Trek: Picard Season 3 Premiere: How A New Character Expands The Universe Beyond TNG

The final season of Star Trek: Picard is here and it’s already looking a lot better than the previous two. While I enjoyed both seasons of Picard immensely, this season has started in a way that truly resembles The Next Generation (TNG) sequel fans, and I wanted. But in another way, it also develops the world of Star Trek, beyond what we’ve ever gotten in a movie or other show. And they do this through one specific character in the Star Trek: Picard season 3 premiere episode.

Please note that the following will contain spoilers for Star Trek: Picard season 3 premiere episode of season 3. 

The Picard Season 3 Premiere Puts Our Heroes Into Uncertainty

Picard Season 3 premiere old.

Image via Paramount+.

The premiere episode of season 3 begins with a classic TNG character, Dr. Beverly Crusher (Gates McFadden), in danger. She reaches out to Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) for help, obviously, and our adventure begins. Picard has to go far outside of Federation space to rescue Beverly from whatever mysterious danger she is in. Oh, and he brings William Riker (Jonathan Frakes) along for the ride. And this is where things get real.

Despite the characters’ iconic statuses among fans, and to an extent within the universe of Star Trek itself, the Picard premiere episode puts them in their place. The story showcases to us just how much weight or lack thereof, these former heroes and badasses have in this world. As a retired Admiral and a Captain without a ship, Riker and Picard have little sway in this world anymore. Sure, they have respect as men of great accomplishment in their time, but that’s it. And it’s not just indifference or apathy towards them, but one particular character seems to be tired of their BS. Pardon my French.

Not Everyone Likes Starfleet ‘Heroes’ In Picard Premiere

Picard Season 3 premiere trouble.

Image via Paramount+.

When planning a ruse to convince Riker’s old ship, the Titan, to ferry them to rescue Beverly, our heroes hit a snag. They meet the new Captain of the Titan, Captain Shaw (Todd Stashwick). Shaw seems like a world-weary officer of Starfleet who has seen it all and what he lacks in decorum, he makes up for with a knack for brutal straightforwardness. When meeting Riker and Picard for the first time, he makes it very clear that he has no respect or admiration for their way of doing things. Getting into trouble, breaking the rules, and doing whatever they want, despite how it all works out in the end.

Shaw is essentially referring to the countless adventures that these two had in stories from the Star Trek: The Next Generation series, as well as the multiple movies that came after. But unlike most other characters in the world of Star Trek, his opinion of them for these same reasons are of indignation. And he clearly doesn’t like them as people, either.

Todd Stashwick’s Captain Shaw Provides New Insight Into Star Trek

Picard Season 3 premiere Shaw.

Image via Paramount+.

This attitude by a character who knows all of Enterprise-D’s exploits is a little startling. This isn’t what we’re used to from Star Trek. Usually, in later stories from the movies, the Enterprise crew are as heroes, role models, and the epitome of inspiration within Starfleet and the Federation. They’re always given room to do what they want, their names carry weight and they can call in countless favours from colleagues and friends through the years. But not anymore, it seems like. At least so far with the Star Trek: Picard season 3 premiere.

Stashwick’s Captain Shaw gives us a different vantage point into, how I’m sure many members of Starfleet feel, about these guys. This contrast to what usually see really develops the Star Trek world as a real lived-in universe, and not just retreading the same dynamic over and over again. Providing us with a character like Shaw who actively opposes the reverence towards these characters, and puts them in place, is a great way to remind audiences that there are always two sides to the story. It creates a more rounded universe where our heroes aren’t just heroes who can do no wrong. But rather real flawed characters, whose actions can be just as much in the wrong, as we know them to be in the right.

Picard Season 3 Premiere Is Off To A Great Start

Picard Season 3 premiere crew.

Image via Paramount+.

Whatever the main story and conflict and villain of this story are going forward, the Star Trek: Picard season 3 premiere sets the perfect tone for the end of this season. How despite whatever outward conflict there is, our aged, fan-favourite ensemble characters will also have to deal with their status in a world that has seemingly grown beyond them.

And I’m sure whatever else the story has in store will make things even more interesting. And I can’t wait for more Stashwick!

Episode 1 of Star Trek: Picard is now available on Paramount+ with a new episode every week.

What did you think of the Picard season 3 premiere? Did you love Shaw putting Picard & Riker in their places? Let me know in the comments below.

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