A lot of fans have been excited for the third season of Star Trek: Picard since it will feature the much-awaited reunion of the entire main cast of The New Generation. During their San Diego Comic-Con panel last month, they unveiled the character posters for the season featuring the main cast with Brent Spiner being the notable exception.
In a recent interview with TrekMovie.com, Star Trek: Picard showrunner Terry Matalas discussed why they decided to keep Spiner out of the character posters that they released during SDCC and also gave more hints about his mysterious role in the season.
"Brent’s character is specifically tied into the plot and the mythology in ways that if you were to show a poster, you would have a thousand more questions," Matalas said. "And I think you want to earn it. But he plays a new old character that you have seen and never seen before. It’s, we think, a great way to do this that honors what has come before yet treads new ground."
Matalas also explained that they felt that it would be best to reveal Spiner's role in the season within the show itself.
"The answers to your questions are better told in the context of the story than to say, 'And now everybody, here is a link to who this character is.' That plays out. And for those who have seen the season, they’re like, 'I’m really glad I learned it this way and not the other way.'," he continued.
"If you see him now and got a name, there’s too many questions tied to 'Okay, so who is that now?' Whereas, even as it's unfolding and you’re introduced to this character, you’re not quite sure. And then as you learn more about this character, you understand that the answer is not so clear for a bit."
Since Data is officially dead in the Star Trek canon by the time of the series, it is obvious that Spiner will not be exactly reprising the role during the TNG reunion. Based on Matalas' comments, it looks like he will be playing a very different character but perhaps with familiarity with his iconic role as well.
Either way, it is intriguing nonetheless and it's exciting to see how Matalas' mysterious role will be involved in the plot of the season and see him share scenes with his Next Generation colleagues.
The third season of Star Trek: Picard is slated to premiere on Paramount+ early next year.