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Jean-Luc Picard is a fictional human Star Trek character portrayed by actor Patrick Stewart. He appeared in Star Trek: The Next Generation as the Enterprise-D's Captain from 1987-1994. Following the end of Star Trek: The Next Generation the character was also seen in the Next Generation era films Generations, First Contact, Insurrection, and Nemesis. The character was also seen in a cameo appearance on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

Early life and career

Gene Roddenberry named Captain Picard for one or both of the twin brothers Auguste Piccard and Jean Felix Piccard, and derived Jean-Luc Picard from their names.[1]

According to his personnel file seen in the episode "Conundrum", Jean-Luc Picard was born in La Barre, France, Earth on 13 July 2305 to Maurice and Yvette Gessard Picard. He grew up on his family's vineyard and constantly dreamed of leaving and joining Starfleet. He was consequently bullied as a young boy by his older brother, Robert.

As a child, he yearned for adventure and caused "quite a stir" by leaving his family's ancestral vineyard and applying to Starfleet Academy. The episode "Coming of Age" establishes that Picard failed his first entrance exam into Starfleet Academy, but was subsequently admitted. He became the first freshman to win the Academy marathon at Danula II. Picard graduated in 2327.

Shortly after his graduation, Picard briefly stayed at Starbase Earhart in 2328, waiting for his assigned ship to arrive. While there, he was stabbed in the heart by one of the three Nausicaans with whom he helped start a fight at the Bonestell Recreation Center. The damage to his heart was irreparable and required replacement with a parthenogenetic implant.

Picard's prosthetic heart is later replaced twice: in 2365 because of defects in the originally installed model ("Samaritan Snare"); and in 2369 because of damage sustained when Picard is shot in the chest point-blank with a Lenarian compressed tetryon beam weapon ("Tapestry").

Picard served as first officer aboard the USS Stargazer (NCC-2893) in 2333 and became commanding officer upon the death of his 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 2355 Battle of Maxia against a Ferengi starship. During this battle, Picard devised a new tactic that later became known as the "Picard maneuver", which resulted in the loss of the Ferengi vessel with all hands. However, the Stargazer suffered irreparable damage during the battle and had to be abandoned ("The Battle"). Because of standard Federation Procedure, Picard was court-martialed for the Stargazer's loss, but was exonerated ("The Measure of a Man").

Star Trek: The Next Generation

Picard is given command of the new Galaxy class USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D) in 2364 by order of Rear Admiral Nora Satie ("All Good Things..."). The crew's first mission is to investigate the mystery surrounding Farpoint Station ("Encounter at Farpoint").

En route to Farpoint, Picard is inadvertently called upon as a "representative" for the human race to stand trial before the enigmatic and omnipotent Q, who accuses humanity of being a "dangerously-savage child race" and threatens to take away humanity's capability of space travel as punishment. Picard persuades Q to test humanity, and Q chooses as the test's first stage the crew's performance at Farpoint ("Encounter at Farpoint"). The test does not end, however, until seven years later, when Q stages another trial. Q increases the stakes — failure will mean humanity's annihilation before it even began — but Picard, on humanity's behalf, passes the test ("All Good Things...").

The following year, Picard participates in the succession of the Klingon Chancellor as an impartial arbiter.

Jean-Luc Picard as Locutus after assimilation

Around stardate 43989.1 (near the end of the third season of the show), Captain Picard and the Enterprise-D engage a Borg cube heading for Earth. During these engagements, Picard is abducted and assimilated by the Borg. Designating him "Locutus of Borg" (Latin: "having spoken" or contextually, "he who has spoken"), the Borg use him as a representative in its attempt to force Earth's unconditional surrender and as a prelude to assimilating it and the entire Federation.

Picard's assimilation provides the Borg access to all of his experience and knowledge, including Starfleet tactics and technology. This leads to the Battle of Wolf 359, during which one Borg cube destroys 39 of forty Starfleet starships assembled to halt its advance. After Dr. Beverly Crusher's partial removal of the Borg implants, parts of Picard's personality break through. Operating on Picard's monosyllabic advice — "Sleep" — Lieutenant Commander Data uses Locutus' link to the "hive mind" to command the invading Borg to enter into a regenerative state. This causes the cube's power systems to overload and destroy the cube ("The Best of Both Worlds").

After the Borg incident, Picard spends time visiting his brother, sister-in-law and nephew in France. The experience proves cathartic, forcing him to confront the guilt he feels about his forced role in destroying the Starfleet forces at Wolf 359. He also is able to partially reconcile long-simmering differences with his brother, Robert ("Family").

Picard is relieved of command in 2369 to train for and carry out a covert mission against the Cardassians. He is captured and held prisoner for interrogation and torture by Gul Madred. During this time, Captain Edward Jellico commands the Enterprise. After gaining a tactical upperhand against a group of Cardassians, Jellico arranges for Picard's release, after which Picard returns to command the Enterprise ("Chain of Command").

File:ST-TNG Tapestry.jpg
Picard relives the near-fatal stabbing from his youth

Picard's artificial heart is damaged when he is attacked at a diplomatic conference. The heart fails, causing Picard to hover between life and death. Q apparently comes to him in this state and offers to let him change the mistake that resulted in his need for the artificial heart. He takes Q's offer, avoiding the fight and keeping his heart. However, Q's glimpse of his banal career with his biological heart makes Picard realize that the loss of his heart was the turning point of his life; Picard tells Q that he would rather die than live that life Q shows him. "Returning" to the bar once again, Picard antagonizes the Naussicans and is stabbed through the chest, at which point Picard, on the Enterprise, takes a turn toward improvement. Picard is uncertain as to whether Q really intervened or his "vision" was just a near-death experience ("Tapestry").

TNG-era films

Star Trek: Generations

See also: Star Trek: Generations

In this film, Picard teams up with Kirk to fight Soran.

Star Trek: First Contact

File:JLP Nem.jpg
Captain Picard commanding the new Sovereign-class Enterprise-E

See also: Star Trek: First Contact

In this film, an encounter with the Borg forces Picard to deal with his previous Borg assimilation in "The Best of Both Worlds" episode.

Picard becomes obsessive in his efforts to fight and destroy the Borg. Lily Sloane — Cochrane's assistant, brought aboard for medical treatment — confronts Picard and likens the situation to Captain Ahab's self-destructive pursuit of Moby Dick. Picard subsequently gives in to Beverly Crusher's and Worf's suggestion to destroy the ship — and the Borg with it. Before he can evacuate with the rest of his crew, however, Picard's latent link to the Borg makes him aware of Data's presence. Picard resolves to rescue Data, who is a Borg prisoner.

Star Trek: Insurrection

See also: Star Trek: Insurrection

In this film, Picard disobeys orders to rescue a seemingly primitive civilization.

Star Trek: Nemesis

See also: Star Trek: Nemesis

In this film, Picard meets a clone of him made by the Romulans.

Family

File:ST-TNG Family.jpg
Picard says farewell to his brother's family on their vineyard in France

By 2366, both of Picard's parents were deceased and he was estranged from his older brother, Robert. While the Enterprise was in spacedock undergoing repairs after the incident at Wolf 359, he returned to his ancestral home in La Barre, France for the first time in years ("Family"). There he met his sister-in-law, Marie, and his young nephew, René, who dreamt of becoming a Starfleet officer just like his uncle. Tension between the two brothers escalated into a brawl, but the two reconciled after Picard confessed his feelings of helplessness and guilt over his assimilation by the Borg. His brother in turn confessed his feelings of resentment for constantly being overshadowed by his over-achieving sibling. The two eventually parted on good terms and with mutual respect.

In 2371, Picard received a message from Marie that Robért and René had been killed in a fire (Star Trek: Generations). Picard was initially distraught by the news, confessing his regret for never having a family of his own because now there would be no more Picards, but he becomes at peace when he meets René in the Nexus.

In the episode "Bloodlines" for the most-part of the episode Jean-Luc thought that a 23 year-old named Jason Vigo was his son. At the end of the episode it was revealed that Jason's DNA was altered so that Jean-Luc's Ferengi rival; Bok, could kill Jason with Jean-Luc thinking he was his son.

The Picard family has some Spanish blood as well; one of the soldiers in the infamous Pueblo Revolt was named Javier Maribona-Picard. This fact is later used against Jean-Luc in the episode "Journey's End", by Native American colonists in the Demilitarized Zone who are wary of how the Federation will treat them.

References

  1. ^ University of California, Berkeley et al. [and informal sources on Jean Piccard talk page] (2003). "Living With A Star: 3: Balloon/Rocket Mission: Scientific Ballooning". The Regents of the University of California. and Piccard, Elizabeth (January 23 2004). "Talk of the Nation: Science on Stage". National Public Radio. Retrieved 2007-01-29. ((cite web)): Check date values in: |date= (help)

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