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Encyclopedia > Jean Luc Picard
Patrick Stewart as Captain Jean-Luc Picard

Jean-Luc Picard is a character in the Star Trek fictional universe, the captain of the USS Enterprise-D and the Enterprise-E. He was played by British actor Patrick Stewart in the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation and resulting films. The character was devised by Gene Roddenberry and named after Dr. Jean Piccard, a Swiss scientist and high-altitude balloonist. While there is no official source of the name Picard, the character makes occasional allusions to his "famous ancestors" -- presumely Jean, Auguste and Jacques Piccard.


Life before command of the Enterprise

Jean-Luc Picard was born in Labarre, France, Earth on July 13, 2305 to Maurice and Yvette Picard. As of 2379, both of his parents are deceased. His brother, Robert, and nephew, René, were his only remaining family and were killed in a fire in 2371. He graduated from Starfleet Academy in 2327.

Shortly after his graduation from Starfleet Academy, Picard was stationed on Starbase Earhart. While there, he was stabbed in the heart by Nausicaans during a fight at the recreation center. The damage was irreparable, and it was replaced with an artificial heart. This event became a turning point for the young Picard in which he learned that his arrogance was the main reason he was nearly killed.

Picard served as first officer aboard the USS Stargazer (NCC-2893) in 2333 and became captain upon the death of the captain in battle. For the next 22 years Picard commanded the Stargazer on a mission of exploration.

During his command of the Stargazer, Captain Picard won the Battle of Maxia in the Maxia Zeta system in 2355, versus an unknown combatant later found to be a Ferengi D'Kora class starship, by inventing and using a tactic known as the "Picard maneuver", which resulted in the loss of the Ferengi vessel with all hands. After the loss of the Stargazer, Captain Picard was court-martialed in 2356 but cleared of wrongdoing.

What Picard did during the next nine years until he took command of the Enterprise has mostly remained unrevealed; he may have commanded a ship or served at a space station during that time. In one episode he makes reference to an event that occurred between his Stargazer and Enterprise years where his ship had responded to a distress call.

Personal life and interests

When enjoying the comforts of home on the Enterprises-D and -E, Picard drank Earl Grey tea. This was obtained from the replicator with the command "Tea, Earl Grey, hot". He learned to play a flute when interacting with a space probe carrying the memories of a man and his civilization long after it was destroyed ("The Inner Light", TNG); on occasion, he practiced his flute with the ship's computer. Jean-Luc Picard is a highly private man who enjoys classic literature, fencing, and holodeck programs of a fictionally fictional (fictional within this fictional world) detective Dixon Hill, who seems to be an homage to Sam Spade.

There had always been a hint of some kind of romantic attraction between Picard and Dr. Beverly Crusher, the chief medical officer on the Enterpise, but it was not revealed until it was forced into the open by a device implanted in the two by an alien species that allowed them to read each other's thoughts in the episode "Attached".

Command of the Enterprise-D

Star Trek: The Next Generation

Captain Picard on the Enterprise-D.

The series The Next Generation began with Picard's assumption of command of the new Galaxy class starship Enterprise (NCC-1701-D), Starfleet's new flagship, on stardate 41124. On her first mission, circa stardate 41153.7, Picard was called upon as a representative for the human race, to stand trial before Q. Picard eventually persuaded Q to give humanity a chance, and this was left as is. ("Encounter at Farpoint", TNG) Circa stardate 47988 in 2370, Q staged another trial to test Picard; Picard duly passed the test and humanity was saved ("All Good Things...", TNG).

In relation to the Battle of Maxia, Bok, a Ferengi daimon, later found the hull of the Stargazer, and brought it back to Picard, whom he accused for the murder of his son, who was onboard the enemy vessel. Using mind control he subjected Picard to intense memories of the events, which led him to nearly destroy the Enterprise. This was prevented by Picard's crewmembers. ("The Battle", TNG) Some years later, Bok found a man, Jason Vigo, whose DNA he altered to appear as if he was Picard's son. He planned to introduce him to Picard, and then kill him, to serve as retribution for Picard having a part in his son's death. This plan was subverted when it was discovered that Jason Vigo wasn't actually Picard's son.

Captain Picard was captured and assimilated by the Borg circa stardate 43989.1 in 2366; his Borg designation was Locutus (Latin for "he who has spoken", as a perfect participle). He was later rescued by his first officer, Commander William Riker. During Captain Picard's time with the Borg, he became a mouthpiece for that race in dealings with the Federation. He traveled onboard the Borg cube ship that participated in the Battle of Wolf 359, where a task force of forty Starfleet starships tried in vain to stop the cube from attacking and assimilating Earth. The cube was eventually stopped when Picard was rescued, and members of the Enterprise crew were able to issue a command to the Borg Cube that caused it to self-destruct. After this conflict, Captain Picard took time out to visit his family in Labarre, France, while the Enterprise underwent repairs for damage it had sustained during the battle at Earth Station McKinley. ("The Best of Both Worlds", TNG)

During a covert mission against the Cardassians in 2369, Picard was captured and held hostage for questioning on Federation military secrets. During this time, Captain Edward Jellico was placed in command of the Enterprise. Captain Picard was later rescued and restored as captain of the Enterprise.

Picard nearly died when he was attacked at a diplomatic conference. His artifical heart was damaged in the attack. For a few minutes, Picard hovered between life and death. Q came to him in this state, and offered to let him change the mistake that resulted in his needing an artifical heart. He took Q up on that offer, but came to regret that mistake when he realized that the event had been such a turning point in his life that it shaped everything that he had done during his career. Picard was shown an existence where his career had gone nowhere and was unlikely to do so. When Picard told Q that he would rather die than live that life, Q released him. It's not known for sure if Q actually visited Picard, or if this was a near death experience of some sort.

Star Trek: Generations

Circa stardate 48650.1 in 2371, the Enterprise was pulled into an elaborate scheme hatched by Dr. Tolian Soran. He wanted to return to a spatial anomaly known as The Nexus, and was prepared to go to any lengths to achieve this. He led the Enterprise on a chase, culminating on Veridian III, where he was confronted by Captain Picard.

Meanwhile, the Enterprise was involved in a battle with a Klingon D-12 class Bird of Prey commanded by the Duras sisters, Lursa and Betor. The Bird of Prey was destroyed, but not before causing a warp core breach on the Enterprise, which meant she too would be destroyed. Commander Riker ordered a saucer separation maneuver, and the saucer section of the ship crash landed on Veridian III. The stardrive section was destroyed in space. Shortly after, the temporal Nexus took Captain Picard, while destroying Soran, the planet, and all its inhabitants (including the entire crew of the Enterprise-D).

By entering the Nexus, Picard found himself in an alternate universe, in which he found the fulfillment of all his greatest wishes, one of which was to be with his family at last. After being informed of his new placement by Guinan, Picard chose to enter another dimension of the Nexus where he found Captain James T. Kirk, who had himself entered the Nexus while onboard the Enterprise-B's maiden voyage. There, both he and Kirk decided to return back in time to stop Soran and prevent the Nexus ribbon from destroying Veridian III. Kirk was killed in the final confrontation, but Picard managed to stop the approaching Nexus ribbon, and shortly after Soran died as well.

These events were chronicled in the film Star Trek: Generations.

After the surviving crew of the Enterprise-D was rescued, Picard was given command of the Enterprise-E, a Sovereign class starship.

Command of the Enterprise-E

Star Trek: First Contact

On stardate 49827.5, Picard was chosen to command the new USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-E). Approximately a year after this, the Borg launched another incursion into Federation space to assimilate Earth, circa stardate 50893.5. Due to Captain Picard's previous involvement with the Borg and his alleged emotional instability, Starfleet Command factored out the Enterprise-E as part of the task force. However, Captain Picard and his crew took the decision to go and engage the Borg.

After defeating the Borg cube, a Borg sphere ship was released from that ship. This sphere created a temporal anomaly and went into Earth's past to try to assimilate the human race. Their plan to do this was to prevent first contact, a historic event in which Zefram Cochrane tested the first warp drive and in doing so made contact with another alien race for the first time.

Due to Captain Picard's and the Enterprise's efforts, this was not allowed to happen. Earth was not assimilated and the Enterprise returned to the year 2374.

These events were chronicled in the film Star Trek: First Contact.

Star Trek: Insurrection

In 2375, Captain Picard and the Enterprise were called to the rescue of Commander Data, who suffered a malfunction while on a mission secretly observing a technologically undeveloped culture. While visiting the planet he was working on, the crew discovered a plot to relocate the planet's inhabitants in order to supplant them with a new race. Furthermore, the planet's atmosphere had properties that caused greatly slowed aging in the inhabitants. This new race, the Son'a, were interested in the Bak'u planet because of the metagenic healing properties of the rings around the planet which have the effect of reversing age, as seen on some of the Enterprise crew members. During this mission, Picard fell in love with a local inhabitant, and this further strengthened his resolve to stop them being relocated. The Enterprise was successful in this endeavor.

These events were chronicled in the film Star Trek: Insurrection.

Star Trek: Nemesis

Circa stardate 56844.9 in 2379, Captain Picard and the Enterprise were ordered by Vice Admiral Kathryn Janeway to the Romulan Neutral Zone to investigate overtures of peace being sent by the Romulan Senate. Upon arrival, they discovered that Shinzon, a Reman, had gained control of the Romulan Senate and become the new praetor.

After further meetings with Praetor Shinzon, it was discovered he was a clone of Picard, created to replace him and recover information about Starfleet. Owing to the unstable nature of Romulan internal politics, this plot never came to fruition. Since he was a clone, Shinzon was missing some vital parts of his DNA that he needed from Captain Picard. On top of this, he had a plan for domination of the quadrant using his ship, the Scimitar, and its superweapon. Captain Picard and the crew of the Enterprise-E stopped this from happening but suffered severe damage and crew losses, most notably Commander Data who sacrificed himself to destroy the Scimitar. The Enterprise later returned to Earth for repairs.

These events were chronicled in the film Star Trek: Nemesis.

External links

  • Official biography of Captain Picard (http://www.startrek.com/startrek/view/library/characters/TNG/bio/1112469.html)
  • Jean-Luc Picard (http://www.memory-alpha.org/en/index.php/Jean-Luc_Picard) at Memory Alpha, a Star Trek WikiWiki
  • "The Picard Song" (http://hjem.wanadoo.dk/~wan13237/darkmateria_the_picard_song.mp3), a humorous tribute to Jean-Luc Picard by a group called DarkMateria
  • "YTMND Tribute" (http://picard.ytmnd.com/)



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