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Jean-Luc Picard

Name : Jean-Luc Picard1
Species : Humans
Associated with : The Next Generation

Early Life

Jean-Luc Picard was born in Labarre, France2 in 2305.3 As a child he was an excellent student who frequently won academic prizes. He was not greatly interested in the family business of wine making, instead dreamed of adventures in faraway places.4At a young age he suffered from Shalaft's Syndrome, a rare condition which left him highly sensitive to any sound. Although the condition was treated5, he retained acute hearing and could for instance detect a Starship's torque sensors being misaligned by as much as three microns just by standing on the bridge and listening.6

Picard failed at his first attempt to enter the academy, but reapplied the following year and gained admittance.7

Career

Picard's time at the academy was somewhat difficult. He would later think of himself as being undisciplined and not fully committed to his studies.8 He failed a semester of Organic Chemistry because of the distractions provided by "A.F.", a friend of his.9 His friendship with Boothby helped him to focus his efforts.10

Graduating in 2327, Picard was on Starbase Earhart awaiting his first posting when he became involved in a fight with some Nausicaans. He was stabbed through the heart and had to undergo emergency surgery to have an artificial unit installed.8

In 2333 Picard was serving aboard the USS Stargazer when the Captain was killed, prompting Picard to take control of the ship. His actions led to a promotion to captain of the Stargazer.8 Picard would later comment that although the Enterprise-D was far superior in every way, there were times when he would give anything to command the Stargazer again.11

Picard's time aboard the Stargazer included a stint on the Cardassian border during the war with the Federation. At one point he was sent to make peace overtures to a Cardassian vessel. Picard lowered his shields as a sign of good faith, prompting the Cardassian ship to attack. Although damaged, the Stargazer managed to escape.12

In 2355 the Stargazer encountered an unknown vessel in the Maxia Zeta system. The vessel attacked, badly damaging the Stargazer. Picard invented the "Picard Manoeuvre" on the spot, using a burst at warp speed to confuse the enemy and then firing all weapons at point blank range. Although he was successful, the Stargazer was abandoned and believed destroyed.13 Picard's actions were the subject of a court martial in which prosecutor Phillipa Louvois attempted to convict him of negligence. Picard always felt that Louvois had gone beyond simply seeking the truth about the incident and instead pushed for conviction at any cost, something she vehemently denied. He maintained a dislike for her for more than a decade afterwards as a result.14

In 2364 Picard was assigned to command the NCC-1701-D USS Enterprise, the new Galaxy class ship. His first mission was to investigate the mysterious Farpoint base which had been constructed on Deneb IV. En route the ship encountered the Q for the first time when a member of the continuum threatened to deny Humanity any further space travel. Fortunately Picard was able to resolve the matter.1

Only a few months after taking command of the Enterprise Picard was offered a promotion to Admiral and the post of commandant of Starfleet Academy. He declined the offer.7

In 2365 Picard made first contact with the Borg after Q flung the Enterprise into Borg space. Unable to escape, Picard begged Q to return the ship but worried that the Borg would eventually reach Federation space15 This fear proved well founded and in the following year a Borg vessel did indeed launch the first major attack against the Federation. Picard was abducted and assimilated by the Borg, apparently intended as a sort of official spokesperson dubbed Locutus.16 As Locutus Picard assisted the Borg in winning the Battle of Wolf 359, a disaster in which 39 Starfleet ships were lost.17 Some brilliant improvisational tactics by Commander Riker enabled the Enterprise crew to recapture Picard and eventually to use him to infiltrate the Borg command systems and destroy the cube.18 Although apparently recovered, his experiences with the Borg would haunt him for months4 and even years afterward.19 At lest some of the officers who served at Wolf 359 blamed Picard for the defeat, in spite of his unwilling participation on the Borg side. For many years Ben Sisko, who served as first officer on board the USS Saratoga during the battle, blamed Picard for the loss of his wife.20

In 2371 the Enterprise-D responded to a Romulan attack on the Amargosa observatory. Picard uncovered a plot by Dr Tolian Soren to destroy two star systems as part of his efforts to reach the Nexus, a spatial anomaly which was a gateway to a trans-dimensional realm. Within the Nexus Picard discovered James Kirk, who had been absorbed into the anomaly when the Enterprise-B had attempted to rescue some El-Aurian ships trapped in it in 2293. Picard enlisted Kirk's help to defeat Soren, but Kirk was killed in the effort. Picard buried Starfleet's most famous officer in a simple stone cairn on a mountaintop on Veridian III. Unfortunately the Enterprise-D was also lost during this mission when a Klingon vessel commanded by renegades Lursa and B'Etor managed to find a way to penetrate the ship's shields.21

In 2372 Picard and his senior officers transferred to the Enterprise-E, a Sovereign class starship newly built. They conducted a year-long shakedown cruise of the ship, which was at the time the most advanced in Starfleet. When the Borg launched another invasion of the Federation in 2373, Starfleet felt that Picard's experiences as a victim of assimilation made him unsuitable to join the fight, but he disobeyed orders to intercept the Borg cube at Earth and was instrumental in defeating it. He also managed to defeat an attempt to alter Earth's history by preventing first contact between Humanity and the Vulcans in 2063.19

Although Picard was a strong supporter of Starfleet, he was willing to violate Starfleet regulations when he felt it was appropriate.22 He amassed no less than nine violations of the Prime Directive by 236717, including rescuing Sarjenka's planet from destruction23 and attempting to correct an accidental case of cultural contamination by bringing a Mintakan aboard the Enterprise and explaining the true nature of Starfleet.24 In 2365 he refused to allow Commander Maddox to experiment on Lieutenant Commander Data's positronic brain, fighting a court case which established for the first time that androids have rights within the Federation.14 In 2366 he disobeyed a direct order from Admiral Haftel to turn the android Lal over for experimentation on the same grounds.25

Picard's most notorious violation of orders came in 2375 when he actively fought against the joint Federation/Son's mission to remove the Ba'ku from their planet so that the healing properties of the planet's metaphasic radiation could be harnessed fully. Picard sent the Enterprise-E to reveal the conspiracy to the public whilst he battled the Son'a on the planet.6

In 2379 Picard took the Enterprise-E to Romulus on the orders of Admiral Janeway, seeking to establish relations with the new government after the coup which was staged by Shinzon. Shinzon proved to be a clone of Picard created by a former Romulan government; they intended to use the clone to replace Picard with a spy of their own. When the government changed the plan was abandoned, and Shinzon was sent to Remus to die. Instead he prospered, becoming a highly successful leader during the Dominion war. Shinzon used a Thalaron weapon to eradicate the Romulan senate and had planned to do the same to Earth; he needed Picard in order to repair faults in his own genetic makeup. In a pitched battle between the Enterprise-E, and Shinzon's flagship the Scimitar, Picard was eventually able to board the enemy ship and kill Shinzon. Picard's life was saved by Data, who transported him back to the Enterprise before firing on the Thalaron weapon, sacrificing himself to destroy the Scimitar.5

In 2380 the Borg began sending cubes into the Alpha Quadrant to attack the Federation and other powers. Picard, realising that the Borg intended to finally bring their full might to bear on the Quadrant with the intention of obliterating all of the major powers there, became increasingly withdrawn and depressed, coming to regard the situation as hopeless.26

Locating the Azure Nebula as the source of the Borg incursion, the Enterprise-E and the USS Aventine explored a series of subspace tunnels which the Borg were using to arrive in Federation space. Picard wanted to destroy the tunnels, though many of his officers and Captain Dax of the Aventine disagreed, and were subsequently proved right when aalysis of the tunnels showed that their collapse could cause catastrophic consequences. The major powers all sent large fleets to attempt to blockade the nebula instead. Whilst investigating the tunnels the Enterprise-E and Aventine missed the arrival of a massive Borg armada which destroyed the fleet and began the process of annihilating the Quadrant.27

The disaster sent Picard deeper into depression, and he began to believe that resistance to the Borg was indeed futile. He began to oppose the efforts of the USS Aventine and USS Titan to fight the Borg, considering their plans too dangerous. He was also dubious of the attempts to involve the Caeliar in the fight, instead ordering LaForge to start construction of Thalaron weaponry to fight the Borg - an order which LaForge flatly refused to obey under any circumstances. This action and conversation with Captain Riker convinced Picard that he needed to re-asses his approach, and together the three crews were able to convince the Caeliar to intervene and destroy the Borg for good. This finally freed Picard completely of the residual effects of his abduction, a very emotional moment for him.28

Relationships

Picard's relatives included his parents Yvette and Maurice2, his brother Robert and sister in law Marie and his nephew Rene. Picard was never close to his father, largely because his father frowned on what he saw as Jen-Luc's rejection of his strongly traditionalist lifestyle.4 He felt that his father never understood him, and saw his academy Archeology instructor Professor Richard Galen as a father figure.29 He was in turn something of a father figure to many of his officers, creating an atmosphere of family aboard the ship.7 He never had children of his own, although in the fictional life which he experienced as a result of the Kataanian probe he had both wife, children and granchildren.30 Robert and René Picard burned to death in a fire at the family home in 2371.19

His friends included Walter Keel31 and Jack Crusher22 but his closest non-romantic relationship was with Guinan. The precise nature of their relationship was somewhat mysterious, but Picard trusted Guinan implicitly32 and she once described their bond as being "beyond friendship, beyond family."18

Picard had relatively few romantic relationships. At the academy he was very fond of a woman known as "A.F."9 In 2342 he dated a woman named Jenice, and arranged to meet her at the Café des Artistes in Paris. Concerned about the ramifications of their relationship he stood her up and did not see her again for many years.33 He had a relationship with Miranda Vigo sometime between 2340 and 2350, and at one point believed that they had conceived a son together.34 He struck up a relationship with Vash whilst on holiday on Risa in 2366.35, and met her again in 2367 when she visited the Enterprise-D.36In 2368 the Enterprise transported Kamala, an empathic metamorph who was capable of sensing whatever a potential partner desired in a woman and becoming that for him. Picard was strongly attracted to Kamala, and she to he, but they could not pursue a relationship since she was to be married to another man as part of a peace treaty which would end the war her people were fighting.37

In 2369 Picard had a brief relationship with Nela Darren, the head of Stellar Cartography on the Enterprise-D. The two broke the relationship off when it became clear that it would interfere with their professional relationship.38 In 2370 he confessed to Beverly that he had been in love with her whist she was still married to Jack, but although there sometimes seemed to be some residual attraction, he claimed that he had gradually come to see her as a friend only.39 In 2375 he met Anij, a Ba'ku woman. The two were strongly attracted to one another despite her being three hundred years old. Although Picard left the Ba'ku planet after resolving a crisis there, he promised that he would return to spend some of his accumulated leave on the world.6

Picard tended to keep something of a distance from his fellow officers, but over time he came to think of them as friends. In 2370 he finally joined the regular poker game for the first time, something he noted that he should have done long ago.40 He was best man at Riker and Troi's wedding in 2379.5 Picard was a mentor to Data and encouraged his exploration of the nature of Humanity on many occasions.22

After Captain Riker's departure Picard and Beverly Crusher finally ended the long period of unacknowledged romantic feelings between them and struck up a romantic relationship. They were subsequently married after Picard proposed in an idyllic glade on a habitable Jovian moon the Enterprise-E had surveyed.41 Beverley subsequently conceived a child and was pregnant during the Borg attack on the Federation in 2381.26

Hobbies / Interests

Captain Picard was something of a "renaissance man" with extremely varied hobbies. He tried his hand at painting, though with limited success according to Data42 and was fond of horse riding23 to the extent that he kept his own saddle aboard the Enterprise-D.43 He also enjoyed fencing33 and long distance running - whilst at the Academy he became the only freshman ever to win the 40 kilometre marathon run, passing four upperclassmen on the last hill in a victory that Admiral Hanson called "the damndest thing I ever saw".18 He had a great love of reading, be it the 20th century novels of private investigator Dixon Hill44 or the works of William Shakespeare, one of his favourite authors.45

Picard always had an interest in classical music. When Nagilum threatened to slaughter much of the Enterprise-D crew he chose to set the auto-destruct system and planned to spend his last minutes listening to Eric Satie's "Gymnopedie number 1".46 His interest took on an additional meaning when he was subjected to an alien probe which the Enterprise-D encountered in 2368. Under the probe's influence he experienced an entire lifetime on the planet in the space of a few minutes; during this experience he learned to play the flute. Picard kept a Ktaanian flute which had been contained within the probe and practiced with it often.30 He became more confident in his music in 2369 as a result of his relationship with Nella Darren.38

Picard was a fairly fluent speaker of latin.9 He had a profound interest in archeology, partly as a result of his relationship with Professor Galen.29 He collected many artifacts34 and in 2367 even gave the keynote address to the Federation Archeology Council's annual symposium. His subject was Tagus III, in whose ancient culture he had great expertise.36 He regarded the study of philosophy as being one of the most important challenges a person should take on, and was especially keen on William James.47


Yellow text = Canon source Green text = Backstage source Cyan text = Novel White text = DITL speculation

Played by
ActorSeriesSeasonTitle
David Tristan BirkinTNG6Rascals
Marcus NashTNG6Tapestry
Patrick StewartTNG1,2,3,4,5,6,7
Patrick StewartDS91Emissary
Patrick StewartGenerations
Patrick StewartFirst Contact
Patrick StewartInsurrection
Patrick StewartNemesis

References
# Series Season Source Comment
1 TNG 1 Encounter at Farpoint
2 TNG 6 Chain of Command, Part 2
3 Star Trek Chronology Date is speculation on the Chronology's part. It is based on Picard applying for the academy and being rejected then gaining admittance next year as described in "Coming of Age", then graduating in 2327 as established in "The First Duty"
4 TNG 4 Family
5 Star Trek : Nemesis
6 Star Trek : Insurrection
7 TNG 1 Coming of Age
8 TNG 6 Tapestry
9 TNG 5 The Game
10 TNG 4 Final Mission
11 TNG 6 Relics
12 TNG 4 The Wounded
13 TNG 1 The Battle
14 TNG 2 The Measure of a Man
15 TNG 2 Q Who
16 TNG 3 The Best of Both Worlds, Part 1
17 TNG 4 The Drumhead
18 TNG 4 The Best of Both Worlds, Part 2
19 Star Trek : Generations
20 DS9 1 Emissary
21 Star Trek VI : The Undiscovered Country
22 Various Next Generation episodes
23 TNG 2 Pen Pals
24 TNG 3 Who Watches The Watchers?
25 TNG 3 The Offspring
26 Star Trek : Destiny, Book 1 - Gods of Night
27 Star Trek : Destiny, Book 2 - Mere Mortals
28 Star Trek : Destiny, Book 3 - Lost Souls
29 TNG 6 The Chase
30 TNG 5 The Inner Light
31 TNG 1 Conspiracy
32 TNG 3 Yesterday's Enterprise
33 TNG 1 We'll Always Have Paris
34 TNG 7 Bloodlines
35 TNG 3 Captain's Holiday
36 TNG 4 Qpid
37 TNG 5 The Perfect Mate
38 TNG 6 Lessons
39 TNG 7 Attached
40 TNG 7 All Good Things
41 Novel : Greater Than the Sum
42 TNG 3 A Matter of Perspective
43 TNG 6 Starship Mine
44 TNG 1 The Big Goodbye
45 TNG 1 Hide and Q
46 TNG 2 Where Silence Has Lease
47 TNG 2 Samaritan Snare
Series: TNG Season 1 (Disc 1)
Source: Encounter at Farpoint
Series: TNG Season 6 (Disc 3)
Source: Chain of Command, Part 2
Source: Star Trek Chronology
Comment:Date is speculation on the Chronology's part. It is based on Picard applying for the academy and being rejected then gaining admittance next year as described in "Coming of Age", then graduating in 2327 as established in "The First Duty"
Series: TNG Season 4 (Disc 1)
Source: Family
Source: Star Trek : Nemesis
Source: Star Trek : Insurrection
Series: TNG Season 1 (Disc 4)
Source: Coming of Age
Series: TNG Season 6 (Disc 4)
Source: Tapestry
Series: TNG Season 5 (Disc 2)
Source: The Game
Series: TNG Season 4 (Disc 2)
Source: Final Mission
Series: TNG Season 6 (Disc 1)
Source: Relics
Series: TNG Season 4 (Disc 3)
Source: The Wounded
Series: TNG Season 1 (Disc 2)
Source: The Battle
Series: TNG Season 2 (Disc 2)
Source: The Measure of a Man
Series: TNG Season 2 (Disc 4)
Source: Q Who
Series: TNG Season 3 (Disc 6)
Source: The Best of Both Worlds, Part 1
Series: TNG Season 4 (Disc 5)
Source: The Drumhead
Series: TNG Season 4 (Disc 1)
Source: The Best of Both Worlds, Part 2
Source: Star Trek : Generations
Series: DS9 Season 1 (Disc 1)
Source: Emissary
Source: Star Trek VI : The Undiscovered Country
Series: TNG Season (Disc )
Source: Various Next Generation episodes
Series: TNG Season 2 (Disc 4)
Source: Pen Pals
Series: TNG Season 3 (Disc 1)
Source: Who Watches The Watchers?
Series: TNG Season 3 (Disc 4)
Source: The Offspring
Source: Star Trek : Destiny, Book 1 - Gods of Night
Source: Star Trek : Destiny, Book 2 - Mere Mortals
Source: Star Trek : Destiny, Book 3 - Lost Souls
Series: TNG Season 6 (Disc 5)
Source: The Chase
Series: TNG Season 5 (Disc 6)
Source: The Inner Light
Series: TNG Season 1 (Disc 6)
Source: Conspiracy
Series: TNG Season 3 (Disc 3)
Source: Yesterday's Enterprise
Series: TNG Season 1 (Disc 5)
Source: We'll Always Have Paris
Series: TNG Season 7 (Disc 6)
Source: Bloodlines
Series: TNG Season 3 (Disc 4)
Source: Captain's Holiday
Series: TNG Season 4 (Disc 4)
Source: Qpid
Series: TNG Season 5 (Disc 5)
Source: The Perfect Mate
Series: TNG Season 6 (Disc 4)
Source: Lessons
Series: TNG Season 7 (Disc 2)
Source: Attached
Series: TNG Season 7 (Disc 7)
Source: All Good Things
Source: Novel : Greater Than the Sum
Series: TNG Season 3 (Disc 3)
Source: A Matter of Perspective
Series: TNG Season 6 (Disc 4)
Source: Starship Mine
Series: TNG Season 1 (Disc 3)
Source: The Big Goodbye
Series: TNG Season 1 (Disc 3)
Source: Hide and Q
Series: TNG Season 2 (Disc 1)
Source: Where Silence Has Lease
Series: TNG Season 2 (Disc 4)
Source: Samaritan Snare


Copyright Graham Kennedy Page views : 1,616 Last updated : 2 Apr 2014