The legendary actor said he'd 'absolutely' be open to playing Jean-Luc Picard following the final season of the Paramount+ series.
The legendary actor expressed his thoughts about the future of Picard, which is set to roll out its final 10 episodes Thursday, Feb. 16 on Paramount+, at the Television Critics Association press tour on Monday.
"If we can maintain the work, the quality that we did on season 1, 2 and 3 of Picard, then absolutely, yes, because there is still enormous potential for narrative in what we've been doing," Stewart said. "And there are doors left open still. And we didn't close all of them, I think. It was very smart. So yes, yes."
The final season of Picard reunites Stewart with his The Next Generation castmates, including Gates McFadden as Beverly Crusher, LeVar Burton as Geordi La Forge, Michael Dorn as Worf, Jonathan Frakes as William Riker, Marina Sirtis as Deanna Troi, and Brent Spiner as Data. An earlier trailer from late last fall revealed the returns of Daniel Davis as Professor Moriarty and Orla Brady's Laris. Jeri Ryan and Michelle Hurd also star in season 3 as Seven of Nine and Raffi, respectively.
"In this particular season, one of the north stars that we were following was that Jean-Luc Picard and his Next Generation cast never got a final send-off. It felt like after Star Trek: Nemesis, there wanted to be one more final story and we were faced with a really unique opportunity to do one last story telling a Picard story, a very personal story, but how better to end that journey with than to look back at the beginning and to bring his friends and family from Next Generation," showrunner Terry Matalas said. "So there is a strong sense of conclusion to that particular storyline."
"When we started the series, Patrick and we all talked about wanting it to be three years and feeling like we could really tell a complete story with the season you're now seeing as our endpoint," added executive producer Alex Kurtzman. "That being said, anything is possible. If the show blows the doors off the place, as we're certainly hoping it would, we're very, very proud of season 3. Who knows?"
Interestingly enough, Stewart initially didn't want Picard to head toward the direction of Next Generation. He acknowledged he changed his mind going into seasons 2 and 3, and that his original thoughts were wrong after seeing how the first season of Picard was largely effective "because of its examination of the nature of change, of growth, and growth whether it is up or down."
"Yes, I was and at times I was wrong about what I was determined should not be seen on Picard nor should be encouraged to be seen in Picard. And the most important thing for me was it should not simply look like a three-series reunion because that would just simply be stepping back," the 82-year-old actor explained.
"What excited me about starting work on Picard was that I had lived nearly 35 years since I first put on the captain's uniform and there is no doubt that in that time the world has changed but I have changed too. I was not the same person I was then. If I were, they wouldn't have cast me," Stewart continued. "I wanted the series to show the impact of those years that had passed and how much one might change, whether fears become greater or less. Right now, with the condition of the world my fears are high and full of anxiety. And so I wanted that to be incorporated... and brilliantly."
Kurtzman played coy when asked if this final season of Picard, with the heavy Next Generation presence, could potentially plant a potential spinoff or new series pegged to another Next Gen character. "Absolutely," he would only answer.
Matalas hinted that there will be more familiar faces from Next Gen dropping by Picard. "A few Next Gen adjacent characters, like Moriarty, will return this season," he confirmed.
Star Trek: Picard premieres its final season Thursday, Feb. 16 on Paramount+.