With Patrick Stewart now warping back to the “Star Trek” universe in CBS All Access’ upcoming streaming series “Picard,” can a reunion with some of Jean-Luc Picard’s old crewmates from the U.S.S. Enterprise also be in the cards?
“In Picard’s? I’m sorry, what did you say? Oh, in the cards!” laughed a word-playing LeVar Burton, who co-starred with Stewart on “Star Trek: The Next Generation” for seven seasons, when CNN posed the question at “The Lion King” premiere.
Burton, who played the starship’s chief engineer Geordi La Forge, said he expected that he and the majority of his “TNG” castmates would eventually resurface in their former captain’s life at various points.
“Each of us, I would say certainly, right?” said Burton. “It is unreasonable to assume that he doesn’t know those people anymore, or that he stopped talking to them. And if he did there’s good storytelling in why.”
But while the actor speculated that Geordi, Data, Worf, Riker, Troi and the Crushers would likely appear one or two at a time, and he was cautious about expecting a full-blown cast reunion to occur on the new series.
“Are you gonna see all of us together, again, in a scene or episode? I don’t know,” said Burton, anticipating a high degree of contract negotiation and budget discussion to get the entire cast back on deck together. “There’s a lot of paper that needs to be papered, before we get there.”
He also would love to play a Geordi that’s moved forward from the somewhat pathetic romantic life he endured on the series. Forget a wife and kids, said Burton: “I’d settle with him having a date with somebody he didn’t invent on the Holodeck. If he could just have sex with a real person, I’d be so happy!”
After effectively reviving Gene Roddenberry’s visionary sci-fi franchise for television, the “TNG” cast continued on in four theatrical films in the years immediately following the series’ finale in 1994, but haven’t appeared together in a film or TV project since 2002’s “Star Trek: Nemesis.”
But given “Star Trek’s” singular history of revival and renewal – the original series had a scrapped pilot episode and was briefly cancelled before being saved by one of the first fan-orchestrated campaigns, then the franchise went on to another five decades of life in a multitude of medium – Burton said fans shouldn’t lose hope for a full reunion.
“Good things come to those who wait,” he suggested