The trailer for season two of “Star Trek: Picard” teased the return of one of “Star Trek: The Next Generation’s” best villains. Q, the omnipotent, god-like being from TNG will return to plague Captain Jean-Luc Picard throughout the second season.
Since the announcement, actor John de Lancie, who played Q in TNG and will reprise the role, has been dropping hints about his character in nearly all of his Cameo videos. In one video, he revealed that he would be in at least six episodes and that the cast and crew were filming seasons two and three back to back. In another, de Lancie revealed how excited he was to “annoy Picard” throughout the season.
According to TrekToday, in yet another video, de Lancie offered some insight about Q’s personality in “Picard.”
A Different Kind of Q
In TNG, Q was seen as kind of a trickster god, not unlike Loki in the Marvel Universe. He showed up out of the blue to create chaos and essentially toy with the lives of the Enterprise crew. Every once in a while, Q episodes were a bit more serious, offering a vulnerable look at the Trekverse’s trickster god. However, more often than not, Q brought playful mischief along with a cheeky life lesson.
In one Cameo video for a fan, de Lancie revealed that Q will be quite different in “Picard” than he was in TNG.
“They wanted a different Q and they got a different Q. Not the least of which is I am thirty years older. The first thing which I said to them when they asked me to do the show, I said, ‘Oh yeah, yeah, I’m interested. I’m interested. You are not going to have me in those tights again, are you?’ You just don’t want a seventy-year-old guy running around in tights. And they said, ‘Oh, no, no. It’s very different.’ I went, ‘Okay, as long as I’m not in tights.’”
Of course, the lack of tights will not be the only change to Q’s character for “Picard.” In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, “Picard’s” showrunner, Akiva Goldsman, also addressed how Q would be different.
“So as we tried to evolve the other characters, the same is true of Q. This is a show of a different time with actors of a different age. We’re now talking about the issues that come up in the last [stage] of your life. We wanted a Q that could play in that arena with Picard.”
These comments imply that fans may see a more mature Q than they’ve ever seen before. They also suggest that Q may help Picard face the fact that he died last season and what his life means now that he’s essentially immortal.
How Will Season 2 Explain an Older Q?
In that same interview, Goldsman acknowledged that time doesn’t exist the same way for the Q as it does for humanity. Though “Picard” takes place 30 years after the last time Picard encountered Q, no time at all has passed for Q.
He can jump through timelines and land anywhere he wants. His species isn’t bound by linear time. So, the idea that Q has aged alongside Picard doesn’t quite fit with the “Star Trek” canon. However, de Lancie has clearly aged since his time on TNG.
This has led some fans to wonder how the show will explain Q appearing older though the character hasn’t aged. Luckily, canon has already explained how this is possible.
In TNG, Q often chose to appear as different kinds of beings, usually human, but not always. This established that Q is capable of assuming any form he wants. He often appeared as a member of the Enterprise’s crew to fit in with his surroundings. So, it makes sense that Q could choose to appear older to mimic Picard’s age. Perhaps he’ll even crack a joke about the ridiculousness of the human aging process.
No matter how Q shows up on “Picard,” his presence will make for some interesting storylines.