The minute-long video doesn’t reveal any specific plot details about the show’s sophomore run, but it does confirm the live-action return of John de Lancie’s Q to the sci-fi franchise. The fan-favorite character doesn’t appear in the teaser, but he can be heard saying “the trial never ends” at the end of the teaser. That quote is one of Q’s most iconic lines from the Star Trek: The Next Generation (TNG) series finale, All Good Things, which sees Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) traveling backward and forward in time.
— Star Trek (@StarTrek) April 5, 2021
As Trekkies know, Q has the power to manipulate time, so his appearance in the show suggests that the plot for season 2 may involve time travel. Aside from the nod to the time-travel-heavy TNG finale, there are other things in the teaser that hint at a time travel plot for Picard’s sophomore run.
The most obvious one is Picard’s voiceover narration about time. “The true final frontier is time,” Picard says in the teaser. “Time can turn even our most impulsive, our most ill-considered actions into history. What we do in a crisis often weighs upon us less heavily than what we wish we had done, what could have been. Time offers so many opportunities but never second chances.”
The teaser’s imagery of hourglass sand running in the wrong direction also seems to be a clue that time travel will play a pivotal role in season 2. While it’s not clear whether Picard and his crew will travel backward or forward in time, some fans think that they may be traveling back to the time when Picard was still commanding the USS Stargazer, as a model of that ship is seen sitting atop the character’s desk in the teaser.
Lancie made his first appearance as the highly powerful entity Q in TNG’s series premiere, Encounter at Farpoint, back in 1987, and went on to appear in seven other episodes of the series. Aside from TNG, Lancie also reprised his role in an episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, three episodes of Star Trek: Voyager, and most recently voiced an animated version of his character in an episode of Star Trek: Lower Decks.
Production on Picard season 2 is currently underway, and while the new season doesn’t have an exact release date yet, it’s already set to debut sometime in 2022 on Paramount+.