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It’s been 17 years since Sir Patrick Stewart last played his beloved Star Trek character, Jean-Luc Picard, and the actor needed some persuading to bring him back.

Speaking about his upcoming web series, Star Trek: Picard, during an event at the University of Huddersfield in his native northern England, Stewart said “it was a very difficult decision” to revive the iconic sci-fi character.

Stewart also said that the new series, which is set 20 years after the closing moments of Star Trek: The Next Generation, introduces a very different Picard to the character that fans know and love – one who has suffered trauma and serious loss. Stewart also hinted that the new series will have an interesting contemporary edge.

“We are looking at a new world with new objectives, problems, and issues that could not have been raised when we were making The Next Generation and I found that very exciting,” Stewart told local newspaper the Examiner. “It’s very exciting and people will be surprised and perhaps even shocked.”

Star Trek: Picard is due to air on the CBS All Access streaming service next year. Showrunner Alex Kurtzman has previously revealed that the series will show Picard dealing with the aftermath of a supernova that destroyed the planet Romulus and sent Spock and Nero back in time through a black hole.

Kurtzman described Picard’s life as “radically altered” by the supernova, and said of Stewart agreeing to reprise the role: “He threw down an amazing gauntlet and said, ‘If we do this, I want it to be so different, I want it to be both what people remember but also not what they’re expecting at all, otherwise why do it?’”

Stewart spoke about playing Picard during an appearance on The Graham Norton Show earlier this year, revealing that when he first landed the role in the late ’80s, he experimented with giving the Captain a French accent because of his name!

Oh, and ahead of the new series, why not check out our recent feature round up everything you need to know about Jean-Luc Picard?

Are you looking forward to seeing Sir Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard again?

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By Nick Levine