Picard Season 3’s Big Titan Twist Just Set Up Star Trek: Legacy
As it nears its series finale, Picard is setting up Star Trek's future for a possible spin-off series about Seven of Nine and the USS TItan.
This post contains major spoilers for Star Trek: Picard
“I have been, and always shall be… an asshole.”
No, those weren’t the last words of Captain Liam Shaw, so sadly cut down at the height of his popularity in the penultimate episode of Star Trek: Picard‘s third season. In his last moments, Shaw does something much more satisfying, on a personal and TV show level, by turning command of the USS Titan over to Seven of Nine — using her true name, not Annika Hansen.
Seven’s eventual captaincy has been a frequent point of speculation since the season began with the one-time Borg back in Starfleet. Previous seasons of Picard had presented Seven as a member of the Fenris Rangers, a non-Federation-sanctioned vigilante group devoted to protecting the innocent and avenging wrongs. When that duty drove Seven to dual-wield phasers to gun down the criminal Bjayzl and her associates for the brutal murder of Icheb, most assumed that she had left behind the ideals she learned under Captain Janeway on the Voyager.
But season three of Picard has put Seven firmly back on the command path, and not just by sticking a red uniform on her. Leaving aside her unlikely promotion from renegade to Commanding Officer of a significant ship (someplace, Harry Kim sadly plays his clarinet), Seven has shown all of the hallmarks of a Star Trek captain: she knows the regulations, but has no problem discarding those rules in the right situation.
On social media, Picard showrunner Terry Matalas has been very open about calling for a continuation of the series called Star Trek: Legacy (while also being clear that no such show is in production). Although this show would continue the adventures of Riker’s old ship the USS Titan — presumably with Lt. Mura, Ensign Kova Esmar, and other bridge crew personnel we’ve met this season — the subtitle Legacy suggests that it will also bring back legacy characters.
That would be very much in line with the current slate of Trek shows, which love to reach back to classic series. In addition to the recast characters in Strange New Worlds and Discovery, we’ve seen Janeway and Chakotay play important roles in Prodigy, and Deep Space Nine‘s Kira and Quark show up in Lower Decks, along with Voyager‘s Tom Paris. These shows have even been willing to pull unlikely characters back into the mix, from Strange New Worlds giving Dr. M’Benga a lead role to Lower Decks catching up with Sonya Gamez, and the surprising returns of Ro Laren and Elizabeth Shelby in Picard.
With Seven of Nine at the conn of the Titan, Star Trek: Legacy can do what Matalas promised in his tweet proposing the series –exploring the last generation and the next during the 25th century. This allows the series to more fully mine the space between the end of Star Trek: Nemesis and Discovery‘s present in the 32nd century, a period that was largely ignored in film and television until recently.
“But I don’t care about that!” you might be saying. “I only want Star Trek: Legacy if I can get Captain Shaw!” You’re not alone. In just a few short episodes, Captain Liam Shaw grouched his way into the hearts of Trekkers by bullying our heroes in their old age. With his attention to protocol and impatience with Picard and Riker’s derring-do, Shaw has established himself as an interesting character; a compelling counterpart to the gleeful rule-breaking we see among most Starfleet captains. And then he died.
But that’s not really a problem, is it? As Picard itself has acknowledged, Picard and Data have both died before and yet they’re still shuffling around the bridge. Even more significant was the death of Spock at the end of Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan, something the then-reluctant Leonard Nimoy requested. But after the success of Wrath of Khan and the opportunity to direct presented themselves, Nimoy came back for Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.
Of course, those movies had a handy regeneration tool in the form of the Genesis Device, ready to help Spock come back to life… the same type of Genesis Device that we saw on Daystrom Station in the recent Picard episode “The Bounty”. Which means that Star Trek: Legacy season one could be “The Search for Shaw”, right?
Well, maybe! According to Matalas, your Shaw wishes will be granted somehow should Legacy indeed go ahead. “There is currently no Star Trek: Legacy in development at Paramount+,” he told Collider. “But from the very beginning of this season, there has always been a plan for [Shaw] to be part of the spin-off, and it is absolutely amazing how. And should we be so lucky to ever have a discussion, it would be very cool, and Todd Stashwick would absolutely be a part of it.”
Make it so!