Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Template:Pron-en) is a fictional Star Trek character primarily portrayed by the actor Patrick Stewart. He appears in the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation and the feature films Star Trek 7: Generations, Star Trek 8: First Contact, Star Trek 9: Insurrection, and Star Trek 10: Nemesis and made an appearance in the pilot episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
Depicted as deeply moral, highly logical and cerebral, Picard is a master of diplomacy and debate who resolves seemingly intractable issues between multiple parties. Though such resolutions are usually peaceful, Picard is also shown utilizing his remarkable tactical skills in situations when it is required.Template:Citation needed
Casting and designEdit
After the success of the contemporary Star Trek feature films, a new television series featuring a new cast was announced on October 10, 1986. Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry named Picard for one or both of the twin brothers Auguste Piccard and Jean Felix Piccard, 20th-century Swiss scientists.
Patrick Stewart, a Shakespearean actor, was at first considered for the role of Data. Roddenberry's first choice for Picard was Stephen Macht, and it took "weeks of discussion" with Robert H. Justman to convince Roddenberry that "Stewart was the one they had been looking for to sit in the captain's chair." Stewart, who has a background of theatre at the Royal Shakespeare Company, has been appreciative of his role, but pointed out he is not nearly as serious or brooding as his alter ego. Stewart also stated, "One of the delights of having done this series and played this role is that people are so attracted to the whole idea of Star Trek... several years after the series has ended... I enjoy hearing how much people enjoyed the work we did... It's always gratifying to me that this bald, middle-aged Englishman seems to connect with them." Stewart has also commented that his role has helped open up Shakespeare to science fiction fans. He has noted "regular presence of Trekkies in the audience" whenever he plays theatre, and added: "I meet these people afterwards, I get letters from them and see them at the stage door... And they say, 'I've never seen Shakespeare before, I didn't think I'd understand it, but it was wonderful and I can't wait to come back.'"
Jean-Luc Picard was born to Maurice and Yvette Picard in La Barre, France, on July 13, 2305, and dreamed of joining Starfleet. He failed his first Starfleet Academy entrance exam, but was subsequently admitted and became the first freshman to win the Academy marathon. His academic training in archaeology is mentioned in numerous TNG episodes; he also remarks at one point that he failed a semester of organic chemistry. Shortly after graduation, Picard was stabbed in the heart by a Nausicaan, leaving the organ irreparable and requiring replacement with a parthenogenetic implant; this would prove near-fatal later. Picard eventually served as first officer aboard the USS Stargazer, which he later commanded. During that time, he invented a starship evasive attack maneuver that would become known as the Picard Maneuver.
Star Trek: The Next Generation depicts Picard's command of the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D). The pilot episode shows the ship's mission to investigate a problem at Farpoint Station, which becomes sidetracked when Q makes Picard "representative" in a trial charging humanity with being a "dangerously savage child-race". Picard persuades Q to test humanity, and Q chooses as the test's first stage the crew's performance at Farpoint. The trial "ends" seven years later (when Q reminds Picard that it never does), in the series finale, when humanity is absolved by Picard's demonstration that the species has the capacity to explore the "possibilities of existence".
The third season finale, "The Best of Both Worlds, Part I", depicts Picard being assimilated by the Borg to serve as a bridge between humanity and the Borg; on the borg cube, Picard's assimilation and recovery are a critical point in the character's development, and provided backstory for the film Star Trek: First Contact and the development of Benjamin Sisko, the protagonist of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Stewart asked Roddenberry to keep Picard a Borg for a few more episodes beyond the third season finale, as he thought that would be more interesting than simply restoring Picard in Part II. It is later revealed in First Contact that parts of Borg machinery are still inside Picard, and that he retains traumatic memories of assimilation.
Picard joins forces with legendary Enterprise captain James T. Kirk in Star Trek: Generations to fight the film's villain, Dr. Tolian Soran. Commanding the new USS Enterprise-E (after the Enterprise-D is destroyed in Generations), Picard again confronts the Borg in First Contact. Later, he fights a species' forced relocation in Star Trek: Insurrection, and encounters Shinzon, a Romulan-made clone of himself, in Star Trek Nemesis.
Many fans often contrast Picard's leadership style to James T. Kirk's. Picard is deemed the ultimate delegator of authority, knowing "how to gather and use data better than any other Star Trek captain." His leadership style "is best suited to a large, process-centric, either geographically identical or diverse team". Both Kirk and Picard are considered to be attentive to the needs of their respective crews.
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