This Star Trek: Picard article contains spoilers.
At last, Star Trek: Picard has revealed its big bad for season 3. A bounty hunter with a starship that’s armed to the teeth, Amanda Plummer’s Vadic makes her debut in “Disengage” and immediately leaves her mark on Star Trek canon. Not only do we learn that her ship, the Shrike, is capable of slinging enemy ships at other enemy ships but that she’s not even remotely afraid of Starfleet or legendary officers like Jean-Luc Picard. In fact, Vadic seems to relish this chance meeting with the “synthetic” Starfleet admiral.
But it’s not the old man she’s truly after. As we learn in the episode, it’s Dr. Beverly Crusher’s son, Jack Jr., who is being relentlessly hunted by Vadic and her masked crew. Jack (Ed Speleer) is a smuggler with a bounty on his head for crimes committed outside of Federation space and Vadic’s come to collect. The episode seems to tease there’s a bit more to Vadic’s mission than meets the eye, and perhaps it has something to do with the hour’s biggest reveal: that Jack is not just Beverly’s son but also Jean-Luc’s child! Has Vadic manipulated events to get both Picard Sr. and Jr. on the same ship?
Picard showrunner Terry Matalas has teased that there are more layers to Vadic than what’s presented at the start of the season, describing her to SFX magazine (via Trek Movie) as a “bit of a mystery” who has a “deep-seated yet sympathetic reason for wanting vengeance against Picard and the Federation.”
“We really wanted a major villain, for Vadic, that she should be a larger than life, classic Star Trek villain who had her own reasons for doing what she does. And when you heard them, you’d say, ‘You know, she might have a point,’” Matalas told SFX ahead of the season premiere.
There are already plenty of theories floating around about who Vadic might truly be. Some fans think she might be secretly connected to another The Next Generation alum from an alternate universe. Or perhaps she’s related to Shinzon in some way or is a descendant of the Soongs? Is she also related to Picard?
Whatever the case, Vadic actor Amanda Plummer brings her own Star Trek history to the role that won’t be obvious on screen. As you might have guessed from her surname, the actor is the daughter of the late, great Christopher Plummer, who’s best known to Trek fans as the scheming General Chang, the main villain of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.
You’ll of course remember that Chang was the Shakespeare-loving Klingon general who tried to sabotage peace talks between the Federation and the Klingon Empire until he was eventually thwarted by Captain Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise. That hard-earned peace would ultimately mark the final mission for The Original Series crew on the big screen, and result in the new status quo that saw Klingons cooperating with the Federation in The Next Generation.
Vadic isn’t Klingon, of course, so the General Chang connection will very likely just remain a fun behind-the-scenes easter egg, a wink at longtime fans of the movies. That said, Star Trek characters have been known to alter their appearances to hide their true identities in the past…
We’ll find out what’s up with Vadic soon enough as Star Trek: Picard season 3 continues its run on Paramount+.