Last August, Star Trek fans were pleasantly surprised when rumors of Star Trek: The Next Generation's Captain Jean-Luc Picard (played by Patrick Stewart) getting a new series were confirmed. At the time of the reveal, no details of the series were provided, only that the series would explore the "next stage" of Picard's life. Patrick Stewart would only say that in the new series he wanted to:
"… research and experience what comforting and reforming light he might shine on these often very dark times."
Well now we are getting a tiny glimpse at what the story may involve… and it is all J.J. Abrams' fault. The Picard series will take place after the events of 2009's Star Trek reboot movie which Abrams directed (okay, okay it was written by current producer Alex Kurtzman and writer Roberto Orci too). In the reboot movie Ambassador Spock (Leonard Nimoy) during an attempt to save the planet Romulus was thrown into a singularity as a result of a supernova (and the "Red Matter" he was carrying) which destroyed the planet.
Kurtzman revealed that as a result of that event:
"Picard's life was radically altered by the dissolution of the Romulan Empire."
Dark times indeed.
Picard had some ties to Spock's attempts at unification between the Vulcans and Romulans (in the coincidentally titled two-part Unification episodes from Star Trek: The Next Generation). His former security officer's daughter, Sela, was part Romulan and served as a foil to Picard, and The Next Generations final and horrible theatrical venture, Nemesis, featured Romulans.
At the end of Nemesis Data was dead (though android B-4, also played by Brent Spiner, was still around) and William T. Riker (Jonathan Frakes) and his wife Deanna Troi-Riker (Marina Sirtis) were off to their own ship, the U.S.S. Titan. Does this mean a reunion of the original crew can't happen? On that, Kurtzman was open-minded:
"Anything could happen."
The Picard series is expected to launch on CBS All Access in the Fall.