There’s a beautiful revelation about the intro music in the Star Trek: Picard opening that many viewers may have missed. If part of the opening credits music sounds familiar, it’s because the theme is strikingly similar to a scene from The Next Generation‘s The Inner Light episode. It’s perfect for Picard.
Part of the Intro Music Sounds Just Like a Scene from ‘The Inner Light’
The music near the beginning of the Star Trek: Picard intro is actually quite similar to a scene from The Next Generation‘s iconic episode, The Inner Light.
First, here’s the main title sequence for Picard.
The music we’re talking about isn’t the main flute song that Picard plays in The Inner Light. It’s actually his son Batai’s flute song that draws the comparisons. Batai plays the flute song just before he tells Picard (i.e. his father) that he wants to drop out of school and devote his life to music. The scene from The Inner Light is below. The part from his son’s flute song that sounds like the music in Picard begins about 16 seconds into the Picard intro video above. If you compare them, you’ll notice they sound strikingly similar.
In The Ready Room, an after-Trek show hosted by Wil Wheaton that airs on CBS All Access, the composer mentioned that he wanted to use a flute to evoke some of the same feelings from The Inner Light, to show the transition to Picard’s new life.
The flute itself has a near and dear place in Picard’s heart, since the song he played reminds him of the family he “lost.”
The song that Picard plays in the video above doesn’t appear in the Picard intro, just the song his “son” played. There’s something very poignant about that choice.
Jeff Russo, the composer for Picard, talked about the theme during The Ready Room‘s Episode 1 recap.
He said: “I went through a lot of different iterations in my mind… The moment I sat down and played this one melody that is sort of pervasive in the main title, I sort of knew, OK, this is now what I think the theme for Picard is.”
Russo continued: “While I wanted to use a Resskian flute, that doesn’t really exist in the world. I decided to use a piccolo flute, which does sort of the same thing that Jean-Luc Picard’s flute did in Inner Light… That flute, that’s the past…that’s where Jean-Luc Picard was, and how he has transitioned from that to Admiral, now he’s on a different journey.”
Russo said he wanted to give a nod to The Inner Light and then “change to a feeling of emotional contentment for him (Picard). Because as we come to see, he lives on a chateau … and it’s sort of what we always thought would happen at the end of The Next Generation, and those movies where he would always sort of end up … That was his happy place. And then I wanted to … evoke how he has been awoken again.”
Fans love the intro and some are creating their own versions for fun. Here’s one with TNG music. It doesn’t quite have the same feel, but it’s a fun experiment.
And for those who just loved the Enterprise theme, here it is in the Picard intro, created by a fan.