Inspiration and optimism for the future have remained core tenets of “Trek” since its earliest inception, so naturally “Picard” takes a moment to reflect on how Picard’s previous adventures from “The Next Generation” would continue to affect, well, the younger generations that have come next.
No stranger to delivering stirring monologues and motivational words to wide-eyed audiences, Picard initially feigns disinterest before happily launching into memories of his past. We get a taste of dangerous feats of daring and narrow escapes that we never saw, such as his apparent encounter with the alien species known as the Hirogen (introduced after the conclusion of Picard’s adventures and in a completely different quadrant of the galaxy altogether in “Star Trek: Voyager”) and his “No win scenario” with longtime friend Jack Crusher early on in their Starfleet career. Later on, we even get regaled with Picard’s recollections of the famous Tamarian incident, as seen in the classic “The Next Generation” episode titled “Darmok,” which featured Picard and an alien captain trapped on a planet and unable to communicate with one another — except through nearly impenetrable forms of metaphor.
All throughout this interaction, we get to witness how “Picard” shifts perspectives from its title character’s experienced and well-worn older years to reflect on how the episodes and moments of the past — some of which we may have taken for granted — continue to blow the minds of adoring cadets too young to witness the events themselves. Although the episode purposefully undercuts these triumphs at points (such as directly cutting from Picard’s ending soliloquy about finding hope in dire situations in the past to their tragic circumstances in a failing ship in the present), it successfully hones in on why those past experiences still matter.