Star Trek: Picard Season 3 is on our screens, and though it takes much inspiration from previous Star Trek, there also seem to be some more obvious connections to Season 1 of the show. So far it seems that Star Trek: Picard Season 3 is just Season 1; with nostalgia. However that doesn’t mean its bad. In this article, we will be looking at all the comparisons between these two seasons and what this might tell us!
This article was written with information from the first three episodes of Star Trek: Picard Season 3. Be warned that there are spoilers ahead.
The opening of season 1 was beautiful. Seeing the Galaxy Class U.S.S. Enterprise-D flying through space, backed by the amazing Blue Skies was so iconic. Blue Skies being a 1926 song by Irving Berlin, which has featured most notably in Star Trek: Nemesis and Star Trek: Picard.
Now the opening of season 3 of Star Trek: Picard is also very similar. We see a number of fantastic space shots before seeing a TNG-Era starship, the S.S. Eleos. Instead of the smooth tune of Irving Berlin, we have The Ink Spots and the song “I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire”.
In this particular sense, both may start similarly, but they have different reason’s why they start like this. Both are to set up a new story by re-introducing us to the familiar, before changing to the unfamiliar. Season One shows us the U.S.S. Enterprise-D, and a talk between Picard and Data, setting up the crux of that series. Whereas Season 3 shows us a brand new ship, and then a communication between Dr. Beverly Crusher and Admiral Picard sets up what seems to be the crux of this latest series.
In the second episode of season 1, Picard goes to Starfleet HQ to request aid. In the foyer of Starfleet HQ there is a hologram of the U.S.S. Enterprise D. Picard walks up to the front desk, and has to spell his name out to a young ensign who doesn’t know who he is. Disrespecting the legacy of The Next Generation.
In the first episode of season 3, Picard goes to the bar “Ten Forward”, to request aid from an old friend in Starfleet. This friend is William T. Riker. At the bar, Riker asks why so many Galaxy class models are around. The young bartender says that no one wants to buy “The Fat Ones”. Disrespecting the legacy of The Next Generation.
Season 1 sees Picard having to go to Starfleet HQ to request the aid of Starfleet in finding the twin sister of Dahj and daughter of Data. Starfleet Commander-in-Chief Admiral Clancy says no to this request, and that Picard has no real power because he is retired.
Season 3 sees Picard and Riker going aboard the U.S.S. Titan A and requests a change of course to Captain Liam Shaw. Captain Shaw refuses the request, as they have no actual power to ask this, and reminds them that he answers to actual active Starfleet Officers.
Luckily we have more time with Liam Shaw to actually delve into him as a character and understand his motivations. After finding out Jack Crusher is Picard’s Son, he actually starts to help, whereas it takes Admiral Clancy an entire season to send help. Both Starfleet officers had to weigh the lives of the many (The Federation & the Titan crew) over the lives of the one (Soji Asha & Jack Crusher).
Raffi’s backstory in Season 1 was a former Starfleet Intelligence officer who had picked apart a web of conspiracy and was pushed out by Starfleet. She fell into substance abuse and lost her family in the process. Now in season 3, her backstory is still the case, but we get a repeat of this in her present story for this season.
In both seasons she looks up personal files and in both seasons they connect back to her former family. Directly in season one with her son, Gabriel Hwang, and indirectly in season 3 with an associate of her ex-husband, Jae Hwang.
In season 3, she is currently in Starfleet Intelligence and she is currently trying to pick apart a web of conspiracy. It also seems that Starfleet is trying to stop this, pinning the conspiracy on someone else, and making sure she doesn’t dig further and bring this conspiracy to light.
Raffi’s Family Drama
In season 1 on the seedy planet of Freecloud, Raffi ambushes her son at a reproductive health clinic. She promises she is clean from her substance abuse. Her son gives her the opportunity to say that the Zhat Vash conspiracy was wrong. She can’t and he admonishes her for how she changed and grew distant from him.
In season 3 on the seedy planet of M’talas Prime, Raffi contacts her ex-husband. She promises she is clean from her substance abuse. They meet and her ex-husband gives her the opportunity to choose between a contact with Sneed, to follow through with her current conspiracy, or a chance to reconnect with her family. She chooses the greater good and he talks about how he changed and grew distant from her.
One season puts the conspiracy in the backstory of Raffi’s character and gives us drama from that. The other story builds on that backstory and puts the conspiracy in the active story and gives us drama from that.
Samurai Warriors of Trek
To save Picard from being killed by some Romulans, Elnor appears with a brand new sword (Tan qalanq). Even decapitating a Romulan to save Picard.
To save Raffi from being killed by some underworld thugs, Worf appears with a brand new sword (Kur’Leth) and kills a bunch of people. Even decapitating a Ferengi to save Raffi.
Saving the Legacy Child
Season 1 of Star Trek: Picard was all about Picard going on a mission to locate and save the daughter of Data. She was being hunted after by a big conspiracy that involved people infiltrating Starfleet and causing a terrorist attack, the Attack on Mars. This was a character who wasn’t brought up by Data, but was still his daughter.
Season 3 of Star Trek: Picard so far, is about Picard going on a mission to locate and save his old friend and lover Beverly Crusher. In so doing this, he finds a big conspiracy that seems to involve people infiltrating Starfleet and causing a terrorist attack, the attack on District 7 of M’talas Prime. He finds his son, who wasn’t brought up by him, but is still his son.
Both seasons have this legacy child being hunted by this big conspiracy, one wanted because she is a synth and might know things about the synth homeworld. Jack Crusher is being hunted for reasons we have yet to know.
The Zhat Vash conspiracy was the main story element of season one of Star Trek: Picard. An old enemy, the Romulans, is the cause of this. This conspiracy had Romulan agents having infiltrated Starfleet command, with an operative at the highest point of Starfleet Security. This allowed them to shut down investigation into the Attack on Mars by Raffi Musiker.
A conspiracy is the main story element of season 3 of Star Trek: Picard. An old enemy, the Changelings, is the cause this time. Starfleet intelligence shuts down Raffi’s investigation into this conspiracy but for a different reason. To make sure this conspiracy doesn’t come to light and reignite the Dominion War.
We even have the current villain, Vadic, who has access to confidential pyschological profiles on Starfleet Captains. She probably has got such sensitive documents because of this Changeling infiltration.
From their conspiracies, both seasons suffer a terrible attack against Starfleet and the Federation. Season 1 has the attack on mars. This attack was orchestrated by the Zhat Vash conspiracy to cause a Federation wide synthetic ban. Hacked A500 synthetics carried out the attack, and burned mars, killing 92,000 people.
Season 3 goes less extreme, but still has an attack against a Starfleet facility by the conspiracy of the season. A Starfleet recruitment building on M’talas Prime gets destroyed by a quantum tunneling device, killing 117 people. This continues season 3’s use of seemingly taking the backstory of Star Trek: Picard season 1, and putting it into the active story for season 3.
It is interesting that both attacks were carried out by appropriated technology from the Daystrom Institute. The Attack on Mars by the A500 synthetics built by Daystrom and Bruce Maddox, and the Attack on M’talas Prime by the Quantum Tunneling Weapon stored at a Daystrom facility.
So far Star Trek: Picard’s premiere and final seasons are very similar to one another. Both feature a conspiracy which has seemingly infiltrated Starfleet. Both conspiracies are after the children of legacy Trek characters. Personally I think that Season 3 is doing a much better job at this, moving elements of backstory to active story, and giving us some nostalgia to ease us into this kind of story. Season Three’s use of nostalgia can be a bit much at times, with scenes almost dragged and dropped from the history of Trek.
However with these comparisons, even though some are seemingly the exact same, there are nuances which are different. Starfleet doesn’t seem completely infiltrated at the highest levels. Raffi’s investigation is called off not because of the infiltration, but to not reignite old wounds. Even the old enemy coming back has different more understandable motives. The Zhat Vash was an entirely new thing, with their hatred of synthetics being a new motive for a Romulan group. Whereas with this splinter group of Changeling’s, we understand their hatred of Solids because of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
Even though there are these comparisons, they help to tie Picard as an entire series together very well. It adds some nice rhyming to our first and final seasons of Star Trek: Picard. Whether the show will continue with these comparisons, or divert into something entirely new, we will have to keep watching to find out!
Star Trek: Picard Season 3 airs on Paramount+ in the United States and on CTV Sci-Fi Channel and Crave in Canada. However, the series will be available on Amazon’s Prime Video service for most international locations in the following days. For coverage of all things Star Trek: Picard Season 3, follow Trek Central!
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