Fans interested in “Star Trek: Picard” did not miss this. In the second episode of Season 2, which aired on March 10, 2022, the Borg Queen told Picard (Patrick Stewart) that there would be someone available to help him on his mission in the past. She said that there would be a “Watcher” living in the year 2024 who might be able to connect the parts of Q’s puzzle, which Picard and his compatriots find themselves in.
As soon as the news of a Watcher aired, Trek fans began wondering and speculating as to who or what the Watcher could be. Some fans immediately thought of the Marvel Comics character of the same name, which stands eternally … watching what happens throughout the cosmos. This character was voiced by actor Jeffrey Wright for the animated series “What If?” which streamed on the Disney+ network.
Since Marvel characters don’t crossover to the “Star Trek Universe,” fans were left to their own devices and imaginations to try to guess the identity of their own Watcher. None of these theories could be true, as the character might be something completely new. The following are some of the best guesses, as shared by Trek fans:
Carl, aka The Guardian of Forever
Fans might remember the two Mirror Universe episodes of “Star Trek: Discovery” Season 3. In those stories, the Guardian of Forever was reintroduced to Trek. Initially, this being was a portal through time, and it appeared in the classic episodes “City on the Edge of Forever” and “Yesteryear.”
Since the Guardian appeared in human form on “Star Trek: Discovery,” it could be that it could be the being who helps Picard in the past.
Many fans cited Guinan (Whoopi Goldberg) as the most logical choice for someone who would help Picard. Fans know that she visited Earth in the 19th Century — thanks to the TNG two-parter, “Time’s Arrow.” Picard helped her in her time of need in the past, and, logically, she could still be on Earth in 2024. As demonstrated in “Yesterday’s Enterprise,” Guinan can tell if something is not right on the timeline. She might be able to help Picard set things straight.
If Wesley Crusher (Wil Wheaton) rejoined his friend, The Traveler, this idea could work. That being could manipulate space-time and achieve incredible feats beyond the understanding of human beings. This power was evident in the episode “Where No One Has Gone Before.” But, as noted by Memory Alpha, Crusher rejoined Starfleet and was last seen at Deanna Troi and Will Riker’s wedding in “Star Trek: Nemesis.”
A Brent Spiner Character
Some fans think that the Watcher is a relative of Dr. Soong, the scientist who created Mr. Data. And since actor Brent Spiner has popped up multiple times on different shows playing any number of Soong family relatives, this theory too could be true. He is part of “Picard” Season 2, and his voice was heard in Episode 2 also. Fans pointed out that Spiner was also examining an object in the Season 2 final trailer, which was most likely from the future.
The Neil Young Guy
Again, the trailer featured a gentleman with white eyes and long hair, which some fans compared to 1970s rock musician Neil Young. The character is most likely not portrayed by Young, but some fans have tried to make a connection between the musician and “Star Trek” in the past.
Much like how Old Man Biff from “Back to the Future: Part 2” went back to 1955 to change his life, some fans speculated that Q (John de Lancie) might have sent Picard back to 2024 to save a version of himself. Picard did something similar in the episode “Deja Q,” when the Continuum stripped the being of his powers.
This also would make sense, as the director of “Picard” Season 2, Episode 4 is none other than Lorraine McFly — Lea Thompson. Who better to direct episodes that deal with time travel and how changes in the past could affect the future than someone who starred in the “Back to the Future” series?