Star Trek: Picard showrunner Terry Matalas is teasing Riker’s involvement in season 3 of the series. Jonathan Frakes, who played Will Riker on Star Trek: The Next Generation and the four sequel movies, is a part of the upcoming Picard season 3. He will be joined by his fellow TNG cast members on the show as well.
Since Paramount+ started producing new Star Trek shows over the past few years, Frakes has been involved at different levels with a number of them. On Star Trek: Discovery he has directed multiple episodes in numerous seasons of that series. He also directed episodes of Picard along with returning as a retired Will Riker in season 1 for two episodes. Riker briefly left retirement to command Starfleet’s most powerful ship, the USS Zheng He. Star Trek: Lower Decks also featured an exaggerated animated version of Riker, who was in command of the USS Titan. Riker will go aboard a new ship, the USS Titan-A, which was seen in the trailers for Picard season 3.
With the old cast of TNG returning and being added to a preexisting cast, there is a question of how these legacy characters will be utilized. As Riker was featured heavily in the Picard season 3 trailers, the marketing is leaning into his return. In an interview with TrekMovie.com, Matalas dropped some hints about Riker’s involvement. Check out his quote below:
“Picard is very much foremost and at the center of everything in this. But Riker I would say, Riker and Beverly I would say, are very close number twos. But there is a lot of Riker, so if you are a fan of Will Riker, you are going to get a healthy dose of Riker. And some Riker you have never seen before. Some Riker you always wanted to see before. You are going to get a lot of things you always wanted for Christmas.”
Captian Riker on the USS Zheng He in Star Trek: Picard Season 1.
On TNG, Riker was one of the more prominent characters in the series since its inception. Along with Commander Data, Riker had a significant number of episodes dedicated to his story. The show also had a full arc to the character, going from a roughish first officer into a Captain and a family man. With Matalas confirming how prominent Riker’s role will be, his story gets the chance to continue. This is an opportunity to see Riker potentially in a command role, as that has only been briefly seen and hinted at in previous stories.
Frakes’ role will not just be in front of the camera, he has been confirmed to be directing episodes 3 and 4 of Star Trek: Picard season 3. With Frakes being involved in the majority of the Star Trek shows that have aired on Paramount+, he clearly has affection for this universe and a desire to elevate it. Getting him along with the rest of the cast is an opportunity to properly end not only Picard’s story, but the rest of the crew as well. Along with Dr. Crusher, Riker will get the screen time a legacy character like this deserves.