Who Was Jean-Luc Picard? A Star Trek Personnel File
Jean Luc Picard
A Star Trek Personnel file
Jean Luc Picard, a man who personified the Federation for much of the 24th century, was a Starfleet officer, diplomat, historian, archaeologist, and writer. He commanded the Federation’s flagships, USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D & E and championed numerous instances of groundbreaking history for the Alpha quadrant. He served as Arbiter of Succession of the Klingon Empire, where he presided over the investiture of Chancellor Gowron, as well as initiated first contact with 27 new species including the Ferengi and Borg.
Jean Luc Picard was born in La Barre, France on Earth to Maurice and Yvette Picard on July 13, 2305. He was brought up on the family vineyard along with a brother named Robert. They were brought up without a lot of technology because Maurice feared losing family traditions that had been handed down from generation to generation. This included learning French, which had become an archaic language. Jean Luc learned piano but was shy of performing. He regretted later not doing so because his mother loved hearing him play. He also loved building miniature ships and models, including one of a Promellian battle cruiser. He loved the Phoenix, the first human warp-capable vessel, and admired it at the Smithsonian, always unable to touch it.
He loved the tales of the detective Dixon Hill.
Picard was shaken by the sight of his Grandfather who "deteriorated from a powerful, intelligent figure to a frail wisp of a man, who could barely make his way home."
Academy & Early Federation Career
It was his Father’s intention that Jean Luc and Robert would stay and take care of the vineyard but even from an early age, Jean Luc knew he would not be a winemaker. His father never condoned his Starfleet career. His drive to become part of Starfleet was so great that Jean Luc reflected that he “skipped” being a kid because of it. His drive and passion ignited an inferiority complex that drove his older brother Robert to bully Jean Luc. Jean Luc was not only gifted scholastically, becoming valedictorian, but also athletically. Even still it took two tries for him to gain admittance to Starfleet. His time at the academy was trying, as he was one of the best cadets in his class but still struggled in some areas due to being immature and cocky. He found a love in archaeology and was tempted to make that field his career but ultimately the pull of Starfleet was greater. His interest in archaeology never waned though.
His athletic career continued as well; He won the Starfleet Academy marathon in April of 2323 on Danula II, becoming the first freshman to win the race. During a wrestling match, Picard caught a Ligonian with a reverse body lift, pinning him down fourteen seconds into the match. In his sophomore year, Picard was assigned to train on Morikin VII. During this time, he had his first encounter with Nausicaans. The second encounter would come right after he graduated which nearly ended Picard’s life after a brawl ended with him being stabbed through the chest which he arrogantly laughed at. He related to Wesley Crusher later, that this event taught him the fragility of life, and made him more willing to take risks so that he could make his mark on the universe.
Picard graduated at the top of his class in 2327.
He was assigned to the USS Reliant under Lieutenant Nakamura as the night watch. He was so attuned to the ship that he could hear the variations in the ship’s torque sensors…even a three-micron misalignment. He progressed and became a junior officer, meeting Jack Crusher and his fiancée, Beverly Howard.
He distinguished himself when he led an away team on Milika III to save an ambassador. As a young lieutenant he attended the son of Sarek of Vulcan’s wedding (there is no clarity as to which of Sarek’s sons were wed).
In 2333 he was assigned to the USS Stargazer as a helmsman, and bridge officer under Captain Ruhalter. He would later describe the ship as an "overworked, underpowered vessel, always on the verge of flying apart at the seams”. The captain was killed, and the ship severely damaged from a shockwave after the Vulcan ship T’Uerell destroyed a planet in the Neutral Zone and Picard assumed command of the Stargazer.
Afterward, Starfleet awarded him with a promotion to Captain of the Stargazer, making him one of the youngest Starfleet officers to ever attain that rank and position.
The Stargazer saw action during the Cardassian War and was involved in a truce offering by the Federation in sector 21503.
Jack Crusher, whom Picard became good friends with during their time together, along with Beverly Howard (now Crusher) was killed on the Stargazer while making external repairs to the ship. His friend’s death and his hidden attraction to Beverly haunted him throughout his life.
He captained the Stargazer until 2355 when the Stargazer was severely damaged at the Battle of Maxia. It is at this battle that something called “The Picard Maneuver” is created; Picard ordered the ship to accelerate into high warp directly toward the Ferengi ship, and by doing so the Stargazer appeared to the Ferengi’s ship's sensors, for an instant, to be in two places at once. When data from the suddenly moved ship reached the Ferengi ship's sensors, data from its last position was still arriving, so the Ferengi’s sensors effectively "saw" two Stargazers in different locations. Even though victorious in the battle, the damage to the ship is catastrophic and the Stargazer is abandoned.
In 2364, Picard was assigned command of the newly commissioned Federation flagship The Galaxy-class USS Enterprise-D. He was also allowed to hand pick his staff, doing so by record and first impressions. Picard had met Tasha Yar previously when she risked her life to save colonists stuck in a Carnelian minefield. Georgi LaForge had impressed him by staying up all night refitting an engine part that Picard had made a comment about. Dr. Beverly Crusher, and William T. Riker who Picard based his selection for First Officer on his record of excellence and independent thought.
First contact with an entity called Q happened on the first mission of the Enterprise-D. Picard had 8 encounters with the Q and ultimately became the Q’s formal contact. (Qs of the Q Continuum are creatures of immense power though given to petty emotions and destructive whims…Like genii, but without the itty-bitty living space.) They are immortal but not omniscient or omnipotent. They can affect all aspects of the universe including matter, gravity, time, or energy. Power however can be revoked by the community at large, which resides in an extra-dimensional plane.
Because of Q, we are introduced to Picard’s nemesis, the Borg. They are not necessarily a species, but beings comprised of other species forced into its hive mind collective and transformed into cybernetic humanoids. Their goals are the acquisition of information and technology to achieve perfection.
In 2365, Q threw the Enterprise 7,000 light years into the Beta quadrant landing them in System J-25 which is right near a Borg transwarp network.
The Enterprise survived the encounter, despite losses, becoming the first ship to ever do so. The Federation was informed of the new hostile race, and this gave Starfleet time to try to prepare for the day the Borg attacked.
This attack came in 2366, as the Borg invaded Federation space. They used only one cube to destroy both the USS Lalo and the New Providence colony. The Enterprise intervened and Picard was taken aboard where he was partially assimilated, becoming Locutus of Borg. The cube then left the Enterprise behind and headed towards Earth. Starfleet engaged the Cube at Wolf 359 as a final stand to stop the invasion. Among the people fighting this battle was Benjamin Sisko who would later command Deep Space Nine. With Picard’s extensive knowledge of Starfleet now a part of the Collective, The Federation response is quickly decimated with 39 ships being destroyed. The Enterprise engages with the cube as it arrives at Earth, and an away team beams aboard to attempt to rescue Picard using his connection to the Borg to implant data that leads to the cubes destruction before severing Picard’s ties to it. There is lasting trauma to Picard from his time in the collective.
The Enterprise again encounters the Borg when they find a crashed shuttle with a Borg drone in it. Cut off from the Collective,the drone regains an individual personality, calling himself Hugh. Through this and his interactions with the Enterprise crew, he learns that “resistance is not futile”. Instead of destroying the Borg with a virus, the Enterprise returned Hugh to the crash site, protecting the Enterprise from harm. The individuality that Hugh now possessed turns out to be far more destructive, causing a rebellion which leads to a severing of the Cube from the rest of the Collective. The Cube, without guidance on how to deal with their new freedom comes under the influence of Data’s brother, Lore, who unlike Data, does not posses compassion and a good nature. Eventually the Borg see through Lore’s plans and abandon him.
In 2377, the Borg launched their second invasion of the Federation. The Enterprise again engaged them in the Battle of Sector 001, but Starfleet Command had not wanted the Enterprise present because of their uncertainty of how Picard would react given his history with the Borg. Also engaging the Borg is the vessel the USS Defiant, a ship designed to fight the Borg. However. it had taken heavy damage during the fight and the survivors were beamed to the Enterprise-E. The Borg use new technology to open a wormhole back in time to the 21st century and the first warp flight of humankind. During this trip, Picard met Zefram Cochrane and finally got the chance to touch the ship he had loved as a child, the Phoenix. The Enterprise successfully defeated the Borg, restored the timeline, and returned to the 24th century.
Later, Picard met Seven of Nine, (a former Borg drone that had been freed from The Collective) during the celebration of The USS Voyager’s return from the Delta Quadrant. The two bonded over their experiences with the Borg and she assisted him in efforts to stop the Borg.
The Cardassians were also a major adversary that Picard encountered. Starfleet sent Picard on a secret mission to broker a peace treaty with the Cardassian government. Things go badly and Picard is captured and tortured. Cardassia then declared Picard a criminal and would not release him. They stripped Picard of his clothes, leaving him naked, chained, and suspended. His interrogator was a Cardassian named Madred, who taunted and questioned him about the lights in the room. Picard was eventually dressed in a red robe. He refused to be cowed by Madred turning his interrogations back on him, which infuriated his interrogator. At one point, Picard was manipulated into thinking Dr. Crusher had also been captured and he willingly stayed when given the chance to leave thinking he would spare her. Eventually, with Madred harping about the lights in the room, Picard declared that there were four lights, while Madred claimed there were five. Asking again after shocking him, Picard, still defiant, demeaned Madred and declares that he cannot hurt him. Then in tears, Picard sang in French as Madred continued to demand an answer.
Picard later is able to smash the device that had been hurting him, only to have Madred rebuke him for this. Madred taunts Picard with a picture of the Enterprise burning and tells him that he is lost without hope. He offers Picard an opportunity to live in comfort if he admits there are five lights. This is right at the moment that Picard is close to breaking and he contemplates an end to the torture. At that moment another Cardassian enters the room and asks why Picard is not cleaned up and ready for transfer back to the Enterprise. Picard realizes the duplicity of Madred and using all that he has left declares loudly that there are four lights. Madred, satisfied to see a man who cannot be broken shows the slight hint of a smile.
Picard confides in Counselor Troi that in the end, he was at his breaking point, and that he could see five lights.
In 2371, the Enterprise encounters Dr. Tolian Soran. The Enterprise-D is destroyed while trying to stop the Doctor from achieving his goal of reentering a plane of existence known as the Nexus. He unleashes a level 12 shockwave to achieve his goal and kidnaps chief engineer, Georgi La Forge by beaming over to a Klingon Bird of Prey. His attempt to divert the Nexus Ribbon is not successful, and he goes to the Veridian system to try again. This time, if successful, it would kill 230,000,000 people on the fourth planet. The Enterprise arrives at Veridian 3 and engages the Klingon ship, they are able to destroy it but at a great cost as the Enterprise-D is badly damaged and the planet’s gravity pulls the separated saucer section toward the planet’s surface. Soran achieves his goal, and the star is destroyed, allowing him to enter the Nexus while pulling Picard, who had been attempting to stop him, into the Nexus too. The system is destroyed along with the surviving Enterprise crew and families. Picard transitions into the Nexus, finding himself in a fantasy Victorian style home with a wife and family on Christmas morning that Picard is completely pulled into. An echo of the bartender, Guinan, who had previously been in the Nexus, appears to him. She convinces him that what he’s seeing and experiencing is not real and that he cannot allow hundreds of millions of people to die. She tells him of someone also in the Nexus that can help him. Picard then appears near a cabin in the woods and nearby finds the long thought dead Captain James T. Kirk chopping wood. Kirk greets Picard, and they chop wood together. Picard introduces himself with the knowledge that he captains a future Enterprise. At first Kirk refuses to give up on the fantasy world that the Nexus has given him, but eventually agrees to help. "Who am I to argue with the captain of the Enterprise?" Using the Nexus to replay time, they are able to defeat Soran, but at a cost as the explosion that kills Soran, also leads to Kirks death. Picard returns to the Enterprise crash site and assures Commander Riker that there are plenty of letters left in the alphabet and that the Enterprise D will not be the last Enterprise.
Picard is given command of the new Enterprise-E through 2379. He fought the Romulans after a coup by Praetor Shinzon, a clone of Picard, created by the former government to replace Picard as a Romulan spy. The plan was later abandoned by the Romulans and Shinzon was left to die in the mines of Remus. He managed to survive the brutal slave labor and harsh conditions of Remus with help from the Remans and later became a powerful leader during the Dominion War. After the war, Shinzon overthrew the Romulan Senate by using a thalaron radiation weapon to destroy the Romulan Senate. He then took over the Romulan government. Shinzon devised a plan to use his powerful battleship, the Scimitar, and its onboard thalaron weapon to destroy all life on Earth and all of Earth’s Federation allies. Picard was ultimately able to defeat Shinzon and destroy the Scimitar, but at the cost of Data, who saved Picard’s life by transporting him back to the Enterprise just before the Scimitar was destroyed.
By 2385 Picard was an Admiral, leaving the Enterprise to design and develop a fleet of ships to rescue the population of Romulus, and other worlds within the Romulan Star Empire, that were about to be destroyed by an impending supernova. Tragically the fleet is destroyed by a group of rogue synthetics at the Utopia Planitia Fleet Yards above Mars when they ignited the stratosphere causing the death of 92,000 residents. The planet was still burning 14 years later. This event is just one more that haunts Picard as the rescue was abandoned and a ban on synthetics was adopted by the Federation. He attempted to convince the Federation Council to allow older “mothballed” ships to attempt the evacuation, but the Council refused and Picard attempted to use his last ace, the threat of resignation.
The Council however, accepted his resignation, dooming the majority of the rufugee Romulans to death. During these events, Picard had been visiting Romulan some of those refugees on Vashti, located in the Beta Quadrant. He had befriended a Romulan boy named Elnor, and gave him a copy of “The Three Musketeers”. He also taught him to fence as well.
When he resigned though, Picard had left all of what had been his life among the stars behind and retreated to his family’s vineyard.
In 2399, Picard now ninety-four years old, he was sought out by the mysterious Dahj Asha, who turned out to be an android created from the remaining neural code of Lieutenant Commander Data after he was killed. A dream leads Picard to a painting that Data had given him in 2369. He learns that Dahj had a twin sister. Dahj is assassinated by Romulan operatives of the Zhat Vash, a group bent on destroying synthetics, leading Picard to try and search out the other sister by forming a crew with one of his former first officers and Raffi Muskiker, and Cristobal Rios, a former Starfleet officer who owns the ship La Sirena.
Picard goes to Vashti to visit his old Romulan friends and reunites with the now grown Elnor, who is bitter about the abandonment he and the Romulans had suffered. The Romulan refugees were no longer welcoming of Picard and a fight ensued. Elnor rescued Picard by decapitating the Romulan challenging Picard.
A Romulan Bird of Prey attacked the La Sirena, but another ship appeared and helped disable the Romulan ship. It is piloted by Seven of Nine. He explains that he is trying to find someone before the people trying to find her do. They arrive at a place where Bruce Maddox is being held, a man who they believed would lead them to the other sister. After a ruse, and Seven’s plan for revenge against a woman holding him by the name of Bjayzl, they successfully retrieve Maddox.
Maddox tells Picard about Soji and that she is aboard a former Borg cube called the Artifact which is also a Romulan Reclamation Site for Borg technology and to rescue previous Borg drones. The Romulans became wise to what Soji was and began to hunt her while Picard was looking for her with the former Borg drone Hugh. Hugh helped them escape using a Borg Queen cell to teleport them to Nepenthe. Picard was able to send Rios the coordinates to pick them up.
On Nepenthe is William Riker and Deanna Troi, who are now married and have a daughter named Kestra and formerly a son named Thaddeus. Picard and Soji stayed with them, and during the visit figured out, with Kestra’s help, the location of the planet Soji needs to go to, which is in the Vayt sector.
The La Sirena traveled to the planet Coppelius, which was the homeworld of a colony of Synths lead by Dr. Altan Inigo Soong, son of Data’s creator Noonian Soong. Following them is a Romulan agent who informed the Zhat Vash of the location of the planet. Picard was able to send a transmission to Starfleet and Riker appeared with a fleet of Starfleet ships, informing the Romulans that Coppelius was under the Federation’s protection.
During their time on Coppelius, Picard admitted that he had a terminal brain disease in the form of an abnormality and that his death was imminent. With the planet saved, Picard collapsed but woke up in a synthetic body with a new lease that would give him a normal life span without the defect. Picard continues among the stars he loves, with the crew of the La Sirena.