By James Hibberd
July 20, 2019 at 04:11 PM EDT
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Finally, Jean-Luc Picard is back in space.

The first full trailer for Star Trek: Picard shows Patrick Stewart reprising his beloved role as the moral authority former Starfleet admiral — and shows the surprise return of two fan-favorites with two more to come later in the season.

The cinematic trailer engaged fans at San Diego Comic-Con with perhaps the most sophisticated-looking production we’ve seen yet for a Trek show and the return of Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Data (Brent Spiner) and Star Trek: Voyager favorite Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan).

“I called producers and asked if they had anybody for the role of Picard yet and they hung up on me,” joked Spiner, whose character was previously killed off in Star Trek Nemesis. “I spoke to Patrick he said there’s a possibility, would you think about coming on this show and I said, ‘I don’t think could do that,’ and he started crying and couldn’t take it.” 

The panel also revealed that Will Riker (Jonathan Frakes) and Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis) would also have on-camera roles in the first season. Frakes is also directing two episodes in the first season.

“It’s not a sequel to Next Generation,” executive producer Akiva Goldsman said. “It’s slower and more gentle and more lyrical … it’s more character-based …it has a hope for a future that’s in many ways better than the world we live in today.”

The show co-stars Alison Pill, Michelle Hurd, Evan Evagora, Isa Briones, Santiago Cabrera, and Harry Treadaway.

Briones is revealed to be a lynchpin character in the trailer, a young woman who seeks out Picard. “She’s entering new and exciting chapter inner life and when a tragedy strikes it sends her on a journey to find Picard and find answers looking for help,” Briones says.

At one point on the panel, Stewart got emotional recalling how much the role means to him. “When we were shooting the last episode of the series Jonathan Frakes and I had a scene in the Ready Room and he said, ‘It was an honor Captain,’ and I was supposed to say, ‘the honor has all been mine’ and I couldn’t say it. The emotion … we tried again and again and I couldn’t get it. And that emotion is still right here on this platform and it’s not going to go away.”

Stewart also praised his new co-stars who have come together to form a “crew” of sorts, even though they’re not part of Starfleet. “I’m astonished and grateful for the speed with which this has become a team, a cohesive unit working together, I thought it might take the whole first season and we’re already cemented together and that makes me happy and proud.”

Previously, executive producer Alex Kurtzman told EW about the show, “It’s an extremely different rhythm than [Star Trek: Discovery],” he said. “Discovery is a bullet. Picard is a very contemplative show. It will find a balance between the speed of Discovery and the nature of what Next Gen was, but I believe it will have its own rhythm. Without revealing too much about it, people have so many questions about Picard and what happened to him, and the idea we get to take time to answer those questions in the wake of the many, many things he’s had to deal with in Next Gen is really exciting. ‘More grounded’ is not the right way to put it, because season 2 of Discovery is also grounded. It will feel more… real-world? If that’s the right way to put it.”

The CBS All Access series premieres later this year.

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