Is Whoopi Goldberg Coming Back as Guinan for Picard Season 2?

Whoopi Goldberg arrives at 55th Annual CLIO Awards at Cipriani Wall Street on October 1, 2014 in New York City

Getty Images Whoopi Goldberg arrives at 55th Annual CLIO Awards at Cipriani Wall Street on October 1, 2014 in New York City

Earlier this week, an interview Whoopi Goldberg did with SFX Magazine was released in their latest issue. The interview focused mostly on her role in the CBS All Access adaptation of Stephen King’s incomparable pandemic novel, The Stand. Goldberg plays Mother Abigail, the prophet who leads the white hats in their battle against the Dark Man and his black hat lackeys.

She also touched on her time in the Star Trek universe, reminiscing on her role as Guinan on Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG). When asked whether she was watching Star Trek: Discovery, she replied that she hadn’t seen it. However, she mentioned that she had watched Star Trek: Picard, and casually dropped a confirmation that fans of the show have been eagerly awaiting.

“From time to time, I talk to Patrick [Stewart] about Star Trek,” she told SFX. “Hopefully, I will be joining their cast for a little while next year. I’m very excited about that.”

This is the first time that Goldberg herself has confirmed that plans for her to guest on Picard are in the works, though the appearance has been rumored for quite a while.

An Invite From Picard Himself

Patrick Stewart Invites Whoopi Goldberg to Return to 'Star Trek' | The ViewSubscribe to our YouTube channel: MORE FROM 'THE VIEW': Full episodes: Twitter: Facebook: Instagram:

In January of 2020, Patrick Stewart appeared on The View, the daytime talk show Goldberg co-hosts, to promote the release of Picard. During the interview, he said that he needed to make an offer to Goldberg. He then explained that he and Alex Kurtzman, the showrunner and Executive Producer of Picard, wanted to formally invite her to appear on the second season of the show.

Goldberg was overwhelmed with emotion. Before saying anything, she got up and embraced Stewart. The studio audience eagerly waited for her response. She nodded and told him that she’d love to appear on the show.

When she returned to her seat and gathered her composure, Goldberg began talking about her time on TNG. She stated that TNG was one of the “greatest experiences from beginning to end.” She and Stewart then gushed over each other for a bit before Stewart said that he was so excited to work with her again on season two.

Since then, little had been said about Goldberg’s involvement in season two until her interview with SFX Magazine. Though details about how her character will reappear in the Star Trek universe are sparse, her reappearance now seems like a sure thing.

How Will The Show Bring Guinan Back?

Whoopi Goldberg attends Tyler Perry Studios grand opening gala at Tyler Perry Studios on October 05, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Guinan was from a non-human species called the El-Aurians. In physicality, the El-Aurians were identical to humans, but their psychic and empathic abilities set them apart from humans. They called themselves “listeners” and were able to sense the emotions of others. They were also sensitive to shifts in the time-space continuum and could sense when timelines were out of alignment, as Guinan demonstrated in “Yesterday’s Enterprise.” It was also hinted that they have limited abilities to see possible outcomes of timelines. The majority of the species was wiped out by the Borg.

Guinan became the bartender on the Enterprise-D after she was rescued by the crew of the Enterprise-B, as depicted in Star Trek: GenerationsHer empathic abilities and her ability to sense things that people cannot yet see made her perfect for the role of unofficial counselor that bartenders often play. She was also particularly close to Picard and often served as his adviser.

El-Aurians don’t age like humans, often living for several centuries. So, bringing Guinan back in the second season of Picard will pose an interesting challenge for the crew. Goldberg has obviously aged quite a bit since she played Guinan over thirty years ago, but the timeless nature of her species will make it difficult to explain that aging.

The events of Picard take place only about thirty years after the events of TNG, which is next to nothing in the life of El-Aurian. So, theoretically, Guinan wouldn’t have aged all that much between her time on the Enterprise-D and the events of Picard.

Guinan’s age was never revealed in TNG or the subsequent movies, so it’s possible that the writers could propose that El-Aurians age rapidly once they near the end of their lives. However, this doesn’t seem like the most plausible way to explain the difference in her appearance.

It will be interesting to see how the writers and showrunners choose to bring in the character and deal with the discrepancies this could cause. Regardless, many fans will be delighted to see Guinan back on their screens.

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