Article by Kieran Burt.
While audiences won’t get to see season three of Picard until February 16, 2023, it’s still possible to keep up with Picard’s adventures through the Picard – Stargazer comic. This comic is set between season two and three of Picard, and may tie into the events of the third season.
The comic picks up with Seven of Nine after she takes command of the USS Stargazer, and sees her take on the simulation of Kobayashi Maru, which is considered a no-win scenario. This simulation is instead designed to test the character of the cadet trying to solve it. In previous iterations, it was a space battle, but here it’s a test of diplomacy. Seven of Nine fails it and walks out. Thanks to the Picard season three teaser trailer however, audiences do know that Seven of Nine will return to Starfleet.
Picard too tries to deny his position at Starfleet, returning to Château Picard, but Laris convinces him to return aboard the newly repaired USS Stargazer, and to a planet from Picard’s past, Jenjor VI. A flashback provides the details of this encounter. In 2354, Picard and his crew were sent to survey the planet, however, they’re interrupted by a familiar enemy. The Romulans. They have come to the planet to take the rare resource of csylium from the planet and are annoyed that the Federation is interfering.
A tense standoff follows, however Picard is able to use his diplomatic skill to avert the crisis, and with a funny exchange. Picard tells the Romulans where to find csylium without resorting to stealing off the indigenous people, and the Romulans warn Picard that if he is lying he can expect war. Picard interrupts the Romulan before he can finish, saying “Yes yes, photon torpedoes, exploding warp cores, the works. It’s been a pleasure doing business with you. Stargazer out.” Picard knows exactly what to expect, he’s been around for too long.
Back in the modern day, Picard says that before the supernova, the Romulan Empire did expand and take over Jenjor VI, and wonders what happened to the world. When the USS Stargazer arrives in the system, they find the planet to be lifeless. Picard demands to go to the surface to investigate further, and is attacked by an unknown enemy. This splits the group up, until they are saved by none other than Seven of Nine.
This first issue is mainly set up for future editions, though it is great to see Picard skillfully take down the Romulans through diplomacy. There are humorous moments throughout the comic too. The comic is written by Picard co-creator and executive producer Kirsten Beyer and Mike Johnson, a frequent Star Trek comics writer. This issue sets up a lot of future questions – what happened to the citizens of Jenjor VI and did the Romulans have something to do with it being the most important ones, creating a sense of intrigue. Hopefully the next issues can provide interesting answers, and audiences won’t have long to wait.