Star Trek: Picard theories – week 1

Spoiler Warning: There are spoilers ahead for Star Trek: Picard Seasons 1-2. Spoilers are also present for the following Star Trek productions: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, First Contact, Voyager, and Discovery.

Wow. What an amazing season-opener The Star Gazer was! Usually I watch each new Star Trek episode once, then once more while working on my review, and then I set it aside for the time being – there are other things to watch, after all! But I’ve seen The Star Gazer five times already; I can’t stop myself going back and watching it over and over again!

Last week I kicked off the Picard Season 2 theory list, bringing together all of my main pre-season theories. I had expected The Star Gazer to debunk some of them right off the bat, but to my surprise I don’t think any of them were. There are certainly some theories that now seem very unlikely, and one that may be debunked in the next episode when we spend more time with Q, but for now, all of them remain in play.

There were a few new theories that The Star Gazer kicked off, too, so they will be added to the list this time.

Theory #1:
The Borg Collective was badly damaged in the Voyager episode Endgame and has been unable to recover.

Dr Jurati decoded the Borg message.

In The Star Gazer, it seemed as if the Borg Collective was reaching out, asking the Federation – and Picard specifically – for help. If so, the question is why? Was it just a shallow ploy to launch another attack on Starfleet? Or is there at least a degree of truth to the Borg’s request?

Endgame, the final episode of Voyager, depicted a time-travelling Admiral Janeway introducing a neurolytic pathogen – a type of virus – into the Borg Queen, seriously damaging her, her base of operations, and several Borg vessels in the vicinity. Because the Borg hadn’t been seen since – until The Star Gazer, that is – we never got to learn just how deadly Admiral Janeway’s actions were.

Admiral Janeway in Endgame.

I’ve always assumed that the Borg Collective is vast enough, powerful enough, clever enough, and most importantly adaptable enough that Admiral Janeway’s actions weren’t going to strike a fatal blow. Whatever damage she had done seemed like something the Borg could eventually fix – and their existence 25 years later during the events of The Star Gazer seems to prove that. The Borg’s technology and weapons are still streets ahead of anything Starfleet has at its disposal… but even so, it’s still possible that the Borg are on their last legs facing defeat.

If that’s the case, maybe we’ll discover that it was Admiral Janeway who’s responsible – that her actions in Endgame are either wholly or partly to blame for the Borg’s weakened state. Dr Jurati seemed to know that the Borg Collective isn’t as strong as it once was, so that could be another clue pointing to this theory.

Theory #2:
The Borg are fighting a war – and losing.

The Borg vessel identified as “Legion.”

This theory could go hand-in-hand with the one above, but it could also stand on its own. In short, an alternative explanation for why the Borg are in a weakened state at this moment in time is that they’re fighting a war – perhaps against a race like the super-synths from Season 1 – and are being badly beaten. Their request for help could be genuine if they’re facing an existential threat, and the super-synths from Season 1 are one of the very few factions in all of Star Trek that could be more powerful than the Borg.

We’ve seen a similar narrative play out in Voyager with the Borg-Species 8472 war. That conflict served as Seven of Nine’s introduction, and it could be interesting if a similar story were in play here, given Seven’s involvement in the story. If the Borg are being attacked, that would also raise a number of questions for Starfleet: who is attacking the Borg? Why are they doing it? And could they be coming for the Federation next?

Theory #3:
The Borg are aware that Picard is now a synth – and his synthetic status is part of the reason why they waited until now to make contact.

Picard awakened in a new synthetic body in Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2.

The timing of the new Borg incursion is interesting, especially considering that they asked for Picard by name. Are they aware of his newfound synthetic status? And if so, could Picard’s transition to a new synthetic body be the reason why the Borg chose to launch their attack?

The Borg seek “perfection” through a synthesis of organic and synthetic components, and while Picard’s new synthetic body is a far cry from the Borg drones we’ve seen, the idea of an organic mind in a synthetic body isn’t a million miles away from that same basic idea. Although Picard’s body was said to be comparable in practically every way to his original one, synthetics can have enhanced abilities that allow them to easily overpower humans – and, as we’ve seen with Data on more than one occasion, they can outmatch individual Borg drones as well.

A Borg drone losing a fight against Data.

Perhaps the Borg want to re-assimilate Picard now that he’s synthetic. If the Collective is still reeling from the damage inflicted upon it by Admiral Janeway or if they’re on the losing side of a war, perhaps they hope to use fully-synthetic bodies like Picard’s to replace damaged or destroyed drones, or as cannon fodder on the front lines. There are many reasons why the Borg might be interested in synthetic technology, and that could explain their re-emergence.

Even if the Borg don’t plan to assimilate Picard or the Coppelius synths, the timing of their appearance is certainly interesting and there could be a connection.

Theory #4:
The masked, hooded figure from The Star Gazer is not the real Borg Queen.

The Borg Queen?

The Borg Queen – the hooded figure who materialised on the bridge of the Stargazer – was absolutely terrifying, evoking feelings for me that the Star Trek franchise hasn’t hit in decades. The way this character was presented, with her shrouded face, flowing robes, monochromatic aesthetic, and blend of humanoid and decidedly non-humanoid mechanical features was simultaneously riveting and frightening!

This character was presented as the Borg Queen in the episode, and the Borg have no reason that we know of to lie about that. But at the same time, she was very different not only from how we’ve seen the Borg Queen in past iterations of Star Trek, but she also looked very different to clips we’ve seen in trailers and teasers for Season 2. Could it be that this character will be revealed to be somebody else?

Theory #5:
The masked, hooded Borg is Admiral Janeway.

A Borgified Janeway as seen in Voyager.

This theory could apply whether the Borg on the Stargazer is the Queen or not! Admiral Janeway was assimilated by the Borg Queen as part of her plan to introduce a neurolytic pathogen into the Collective, and appeared to have been killed when the Borg Queen’s complex exploded. But is there a way she could have survived?

Her assimilation could have been a turning point for the Borg. She did untold damage to the Collective, but also potentially gifted them knowledge and information about future events and technologies that were decades ahead of their time. Just like the Borg once chose Captain Picard to become Locutus – their “spokesperson” or representative – perhaps they might have chosen Admiral Janeway to fill a similar role during this latest incursion. Admiral Janeway could even have been incorporated as part of the Borg Queen.

Theory #6:
The season will end on a cliffhanger.

Because Seasons 2 and 3 went into production back-to-back, that made me wonder if they might form one continuous story – or if the final act of Season 2 might set up the story for Season 3. Star Trek has a long history of season-ending cliffhangers, such as The Best of Both Worlds in The Next Generation, Equinox in Voyager, and Such Sweet Sorrow in Discovery, to give just three examples.

Something in The Star Gazer could be relevant, though. If the story we’re going to see is all about restoring the correct timeline and undoing whatever damage has been done, then assuming Picard and co. succeed in their objective… won’t that place them back on the bridge of the Stargazer just as it’s about to self-destruct? If that’s the case, maybe it won’t happen this season and will instead be the finale of Season 3, with Season 2 ending on a cliffhanger at the story’s halfway mark.

Theory #7:
By restoring the timeline, Picard – and everyone aboard the Stargazer – will die.

The USS Stargazer self-destructs.

As far as we know based on what’s been teased and shown off in various clips and trailers, a big part of the storyline this season will be undoing whatever damage was done in the 21st Century and restoring the true timeline. But if that happens, and the timeline is fully restored, that means that Picard, Captain Rios, Dr Jurati, and Seven of Nine will be on board the USS Stargazer when it self-destructs. Raffi and Elnor will be aboard the USS Excelsior in the same moment – and their ship could be destroyed as well.

If this story turns into a two-season arc, perhaps the final episode of Season 3 – which is rumoured to be the end of the show entirely – will see Picard and the crew restore the timeline, only to spend their final seconds aboard the Stargazer before it’s destroyed. This would be a bittersweet ending – to say the least!

Theory #8:
In the changed timeline, Picard is no longer a synth.

Picard in the new timeline.

The circumstances leading to Picard becoming a synth seem like they’re unique to the prime timeline. The mission to Coppelius, the development of synths in secret by a small group of cyberneticists, and the way in which Picard befriended synths from Data to Soji all contributed to his “rebirth” in a new synthetic body at the end of Season 1. It’s not impossible for something similar to have happened in the alternate timeline in which he now finds himself… but I’m not sure how likely it is, either.

This could be an interesting inclusion – Picard was dying due to an unnamed brain condition, and if he isn’t a synth in the new timeline, he may not have very long left before he succumbs. This could add a timer to his new mission – if he can’t figure out a way to restore the proper timeline, it could cost him his life, and if he dies, it may never be possible to “save the future.”

Theory #9:
The USS Stargazer will make an appearance.

The original USS Stargazer.

Okay, technically the USS Stargazer has already appeared, but not in the way I expected! Captain Rios is (or was) in command of a new USS Stargazer, and not only that but he had a model of the original vessel in his conference room! So that’s it. Theory confirmed, everybody can move on to the next one!

Just kidding. The inclusion of a brand-new USS Stargazer brings the ship and its legacy back to the fore. Picard himself commented in The Star Gazer that the original vessel was his first command, and as far back as Season 1 we had a reference to his time in command through the character of Dr Benayoun. All of these things could be leading to some bigger role for the original USS Stargazer – and with a story that seems to include time travel and a strong focus on Picard’s own personal history, a flashback or even a visit to the ship could be on the agenda!

Theory #10:
Q is not responsible for changing or damaging the timeline.

Q.

Right now, this theory feels like it’s on thin ice! But I don’t believe it’s been debunked just yet, so we’ll keep it on the list for now. As the USS Stargazer self-destructed, Picard awoke back at his vineyard – but in a different timeline, one that seemingly has seen a “totalitarian state” rise on Earth. Q appeared almost immediately, and given his abilities, changing the timeline is something he’s more than capable of doing.

But I’m not convinced – at least, not yet. What would Q’s endgame be if he did change the timeline? Q has often been challenging and even adversarial, but as I’ve argued in the past, the role of an out-and-out villain doesn’t suit him nor describe his past appearances in Star Trek. I feel that there must be more to the story – after all, we can’t have had the entire premise explained before the first episode even aired, can we?

Picard and Q have a complex relationship.

Q has previously seen himself as a friend, guide, and ally to Picard – even though the feeling is clearly not mutual! But even if Q wanted to hurt Picard or get back at him, would he do it in this manner? Would he completely change and even erase centuries’ worth of history for the sake of one person? There are a million ways that Q could mess with Picard without changing literally the entire timeline.

There are also other factions who might want to change the timeline for their own purposes. Last season’s antagonists, the Zhat Vash, are just one possible candidate. In short, I think there could be more to Q’s role than we’ve been led to believe, and that he may not be responsible for whatever change or damage has been done.

I have a longer article that goes into more detail about this theory that I wrote before the season premiere, and you can find it by clicking or tapping here.

Theory #11:
Q shielded Picard and the crew from changes to the timeline.

Q with Picard in one of the pre-season trailers.

One way in which Q could be involved would be to have protected Picard – and his new crew – from changes to the timeline. There are many reasons why he might do this, and it could apply regardless of whether Q changed the timeline himself or not. If the entire timeline has been changed going back centuries, there has to be a reason why Picard and the crew of La Sirena are seemingly the only ones unaffected – and one explanation for that could be “Q’s magic.”

This would be in line with how we’ve known Q to operate. Episodes like Tapestry and All Good Things saw him use his powers to place Picard in an alternate life while retaining his original memories, and to move between three different time periods. Such a power is something we know Q can use, and it would explain two key things: how Picard and the crew of La Sirena remained unaffected, and how Q is involved in the story.

Theory #12:
Who is responsible for damaging the timeline, then?

Did the Borg do it?

If Q isn’t the one who changed the timeline, the obvious question that raises is “who did it?”

In theory, it could be any one of a number of different Star Trek factions. We’ve seen the Klingons having access to time travel in the early 25th Century, for example, in the Voyager episode Endgame, and various time travel stories and stories depicting powerful alien races could all theoretically yield suspects. But considering what we know about Star Trek: Picard specifically, in my view the main suspects are as follows:

  • The Borg. The Borg could be one of the season’s main antagonists after their emergence in The Star Gazer, and we’ve seen in past iterations of Star Trek that they can travel through time.
  • The Zhat Vash. While the Zhat Vash may not have been shown to possess time travel tech, they were the primary antagonist last season, and arguably were not defeated in the Season 1 finale.
How about the Zhat Vash?
  • The super-synths. The super-synths from the Season 1 finale are a wildcard; we don’t know much about them except that they seem to be technologically powerful. Travelling back in time might be on their agenda – but erasing the prime timeline could result in the erasure of the Coppelius synths.
  • The Romulan government or the Tal Shiar. With or without the support of the Zhat Vash, the Romulan government could have taken action against the Federation in response to the events of Season 1.

There are undoubtedly other Star Trek factions who could be implicated, and if we had a free choice we could suggest the likes of the Dominion or the Sphere-Builders. But I think those are far less likely when considering the elements Picard has brought on board.

Theory #13:
The loose ends from Season 1 will be tied up.

Will we learn Narek’s fate?

The Star Gazer already crossed off two things from the list of Season 1 leftovers! Dr Jurati’s legal status was clarified, as was her relationship with Captain Rios. There are still a number of points that I’d like to see addressed before the season ends, though, as Season 1 unfortunately left quite a lot of story on the table thanks to a rushed and underwhelming finale.

Here are the main ones:

  • What will become of the synths on Coppelius, and will they have to be relocated for safety?
  • Did Starfleet attempt to visit Aia and shut down the beacon at the centre of the Zhat Vash’s prophecy? Leaving it out in the open seems dangerous.
  • Will Starfleet contact the super-synths and attempt to make peace or convince them that they pose no threat?
The Artifact’s resting place on Coppelius.
  • Why did Bruce Maddox go to Freecloud?
  • With the Zhat Vash plot exposed, what will become of their crusade against synthetic life?
  • Did Federation-Romulan relations suffer as a result of the Zhat Vash’s attack on Mars and attempted attack on Coppelius?
  • What happened to Narek after he was captured by the Coppelius synths?
  • Who controls the Artifact and what will happen to the surviving ex-Borg?

Theory #14:
Laris will join Picard’s mission back in time.

Laris in The Star Gazer.

I feel a bit sorry for Zhaban, who died off-screen in between Seasons 1 and 2. But with Picard and Laris growing closer and having a complicated relationship, I don’t think she’ll just be left behind as she was last time. Orla Brady, who plays the character, is now credited as one of the main cast, so I think we’ll see a lot more from her this season.

Trailers and teasers seem to show that Picard and the crew of La Sirena from Season 1 are unaffected by the changes to the timeline. Perhaps Laris will be similarly unaffected and will be able to reunite with Picard – or maybe Picard will have to ask Q to snap his fingers and bring her back to him. With a mission back in time on the agenda – and possible Zhat Vash or Romulan involvement – Laris could be an important ally to bring along.

Theory #15:
The Federation is responsible for creating the Borg.

The Borg vessel using a transporter-weapon on the USS Stargazer.

This is a total wildcard, but I’m just throwing it out there!

The Borg Queen – and the Borg in general – appear to have a fascination with humanity and with Picard. Could it be that the explanation for that is that the Federation and/or humanity are somehow responsible for their creation? With time travel on the agenda, it’s not impossible to imagine a scenario in which the progenitor of the Borg – perhaps even the Queen herself – is able to travel back in time, founding the Collective.

Nanites used by the Control AI.

The idea that the Federation is responsible for creating its own worst nightmare could be an interesting one if executed well, as could the cyclical nature of such a story. It would have to be handled in just the right way to avoid treading on the toes of previous Borg stories, but it feels like a lot of the pieces exist for this theory to seem plausible. The return of the Borg, the inclusion of Q, and even the talk of Picard and humanity needing to pay a “penance” could all be connected.

Discovery Season 2 ran a story with the Control AI that could have also been a Borg origin story. Was it known as early as 2018-19 that Picard wanted to tell a story like this, and if so, could that explain why the Control storyline ended the way it did? I have a write-up of Discovery’s abandoned Borg origin story that you can find by clicking or tapping here.

So those theories are new or saw movement this week.

To keep the theory list easier to manage and update, I’ll recap all of the other theories that are still in play. These theories saw little or no movement in The Star Gazer, but remain possible.

Theory #16:
At least one character from The Next Generation will make an appearance.

The cast of The Next Generation in Season 1.

With the return of Guinan and Q, as well as Voyager’s Seven of Nine, there are already a lot of returning characters in Picard Season 2! But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for a well-placed cameo or two, or even an episode like Season 1’s Nepenthe that steps away from the main story to revisit classic characters. We could even have a bit of fun with some alternate timeline versions of them!

There are so many characters from Star Trek’s past that I would love to spend more time with; listing them all here would be impossible! But if Picard is to end with Season 3, as some outlets have been reporting, it would be fantastic if the crew of The Next Generation could reunite one last time.

I have a list of possible character crossovers that I wrote back in 2020, before we got to see any teasers or trailers, and you can find it by clicking or tapping here.

Theory #17:
Guinan will be aware of the shifting timelines.

Picard and Guinan in The Star Gazer.

The pre-season trailer and clips of Guinan all seemed to be taken from the sequence in The Star Gazer in which she and Picard shared a drink and discussed his love life. That could be Guinan’s sole appearance, but it’s also possible that she could have a role to play later on in the story.

The Next Generation Season 3 episode Yesterday’s Enterprise showed us that Guinan has an ability to perceive changes to the timeline. She can’t always put her finger on exactly what’s changed, but she is more likely than anyone else to be aware that something has changed. Given the similarities between the Yesterday’s Enterprise situation and what seems to be going on this season, perhaps Guinan will be aware of what’s happened and will be able to advise Picard.

Theory #18:
Romulans are spying on Earth in the 21st Century… and could be time-travelling Zhat Vash.

A young boy encounters a Romulan or Vulcan.

In the third trailer, a young boy wearing what seemed to be 21st Century clothing was seen encountering a Romulan or Vulcan. If the Zhat Vash are involved in the new season’s story somehow, perhaps this individual is a Zhat Vash operative. This could confirm that the Zhat Vash were able to travel through time, or send a message back in time to their 21st Century counterparts. The Romulans had achieved interstellar flight centuries earlier, so travelling to Earth to spy or place operatives seems plausible for them.

Of all the scenes we’ve glimpsed so far from Season 2, the one with the young boy and the Romulan or Vulcan is the one that I’m least sure about! It doesn’t seem to fit naturally into a story about the Borg, Q, and time travel… but this is one theory that could make sense, and would connect to the theory above about Q not being to blame.

Theory #19:
The Vulcans are on Earth in the early 21st Century… as stated in Discovery Season 4.

A meeting of senior Federation and allied officials in Discovery Season 4.

Another theory about the unnamed Romulan or Vulcan is tied into the Discovery Season 4 episode The Galactic Barrier. This could easily be a complete overreaction to a throwaway line, but at the beginning of the episode, the enigmatic Federation leader Dr Kovich stated that Vulcans were on Earth for decades prior to official first contact taking place.

This one line could be a reference to Carbon Creek, an episode of Enterprise that saw Vulcans crash-land on Earth in the 1950s. But the timing seems odd given the scene glimpsed in the Picard Season 2 trailers! If the character seen above is a Vulcan, perhaps there will be a connection of some kind between Discovery and Picard.

Theory #20:
Picard and the crew will have to actively trigger World War III to save the future.

World War III soldiers as glimpsed in Discovery Season 2.

Although the Bell Riots are the main event of 2024 that we know about in Star Trek’s internal timeline, the 21st Century was arguably dominated by another event: World War III. The war may have kicked off as early as 2026 (as suggested in The Original Series) and concluded by the mid-2050s as seen in First Contact. The “post-atomic horror” that followed was the backdrop for Q’s trial in Encounter at Farpoint.

World War III is integral to Star Trek because without it, it’s hard to see how warp drive would’ve developed and how humanity would’ve made peaceful first contact with the Vulcans. Just like the end of the Second World War brought about major technological and societal changes that ultimately made the world a better place, Star Trek’s World War III is integral to the events that led to the founding of the Federation. If it were prevented, the timeline would change dramatically.

So my theory is that the point of divergence is the outbreak of World War III – meaning that it will fall to Picard to trigger one of the worst wars in human history in order to save the future. Talk about a moral dilemma! You can find a full write-up of this theory by clicking or tapping here.

Theory #21:
The “totalitarian state” will be run by Khan and the augments.

Picard in the alternate timeline.

The alternate timeline that is established in Picard Season 2 will see the Federation replaced by a “totalitarian state.” This faction appears to be superficially similar to the Terran Empire from the Mirror Universe (though I hope not too similar, as I’m not the biggest Mirror Universe fan!) At the very least, this faction is not as genteel as the Federation and may be governed in an autocratic, dictatorial style.

Based on his appearances in The Original Series and The Wrath of Khan, we know that this is how Khan governed – or intended to govern – when he held power. It’s possible, then, that the totalitarian state that we’ve glimpsed in the trailers and teasers is led or inspired by Khan, and may be a society in which augmented humans hold power.

This could be supported by the introduction of a new member of the Soong family – played by Brent Spiner. The Soongs were known to have researched and studied human augmentation prior to the 22nd Century. Augmentation could also explain how Picard’s unnamed brain condition hasn’t killed him yet if he isn’t a synth in this timeline.

Theory #22:
There will be a connection between the augments and Strange New Worlds.

One of the few things we know about Strange New Worlds at this early stage is that there will be a character named La’an Noonien-Singh. This new character seems to be related in some way to the iconic villain Khan, and if Khan or Khan-inspired augments play some kind of a role in the “totalitarian state,” perhaps that will set up a connection – or even a crossover – between Picard Season 2 and Strange New Worlds.

Theory #23:
The “totalitarian state” is an isolationist power.

A portrait of the alternate timeline version of Picard.

Rather than being one part of a Federation, or the conquering force behind an Empire, it seems possible based on what we’ve seen so far that the “totalitarian state” is only comprised of humans on Earth. This could mirror Discovery’s isolationist Earth in the 32nd Century, and it would be interesting to look at the state of the galaxy if humanity remained isolationist and refused contact with other races. There could also be an allegory about some of our current political movements.

It will be very interesting to learn more about this faction. Who exactly it is, how it rose to power, and what role the alternate timeline version of Picard played in its power structure are all open questions at this stage, and I’m very curious to see how it will all unfold!

Theory #24:
There will be some kind of crossover with Star Trek: Discovery.

The USS Discovery in the Season 4 episode Anomaly.

One thing that I find a little odd right now is the scheduling of Picard and Discovery. For three weeks, the two shows will be broadcast on the same day, which doesn’t make a lot of sense when you consider that 1) they’re shows with relatively short seasons, and 2) Paramount+ is a streaming platform. Does that mean there’s a glimmer of hope for some kind of larger-scale crossover than either show has attempted so far?

I suspect I’ll be proven wrong on this one, and that it’s simply due to the inexplicable nonsense that we’ve come to expect from Paramount+ and parent company Paramount Global. Someone has evidently decided that “Thursday is Star Trek day,” and that’s inflexible no matter what. That still doesn’t explain why Picard Season 2 couldn’t be delayed by a measly three weeks, though – especially with the constipated international rollout of Paramount+ potentially meaning that Strange New Worlds will premiere in the USA weeks or months before Paramount+ arrives in Europe. But we’re off topic!

In short, one possible explanation for the odd scheduling could be because the two shows are planning some kind of crossover event; if so, I’d love to see it! And with time travel on the agenda, anything is possible, right? At the very least, I hope that Picard Season 2 will put in more of an effort to connect with Discovery than happened in Season 1.

Theory #25:
There will be a reference to Gabriel Bell or Sanctuary Districts.

Gabriel Bell.

According to the trailers, Picard Season 2 will be paying a visit to the year 2024… but it isn’t the first Star Trek production to visit that specific year! If Picard Season 2 wanted to visit “the modern day,” why not pick 2022 – or 2021 or 2023? 2024 feels like it could hold some kind of significance, and though there have been a couple of other references to events in the 2020s, the Deep Space Nine third season two-part episode Past Tense has already taken us to 2024.

The biggest event that we know of took place in California – the Bell Riots. I don’t necessarily expect to see the Bell Riots depicted all over again, but we could get some kind of reference to Gabriel Bell – the man who led the riots. There could also be mentions of “Sanctuary Districts,” which were areas built to house homeless people that became overcrowded prisons. Given that Picard Season 2 is going to visit the California area, some kind of reference seems plausible.

Considering the current problem with homelessness in some American cities – including in California – it could be an interesting point of social commentary to revisit some of the themes tackled by Past Tense. That episode’s depiction of the 2020s feels a little too close for comfort to the state of the real world, in some respects!

Theory #26:
The Borg Queen will be necessary for time travel.

The Borg Queen in one of the Season 2 trailers.

The Borg Queen who appeared on the Stargazer’s bridge may not be the same version of the character that Picard and the crew were seen tangling with in pre-season trailers. One theory I have about the Borg Queen is that she’s a time machine: she was physically present during the events of First Contact, and Borg cubes seem to have a special room with advanced technology specifically for the Queen.

My theory is that the Borg Queen has a unique ability to travel through time, and that this is why Picard and the crew of La Sirena will capture and/or use her. In some clips from pre-season trailers, we seem to see the Borg Queen aboard La Sirena, as well as La Sirena potentially using the “slingshot method” of time travel.

Theory #27:
Dr Jurati will unleash the Borg Queen.

The Borg Queen and Dr Jurati.

Sticking with the Borg Queen, we’ve seen several teases and clips that seem to show her on the loose. If this version of the Borg Queen was originally a captive – as the trailers have seemed to suggest – the question of how she was able to break free raises its head. It’s of course possible that she’s smart enough and powerful enough to break out of her confinement on her own, but she might also be able to convince someone to help her.

Dr Jurati is the cyberneticist that we met in Season 1, and she has a real love for all things synthetic. She seems to know a lot about the Borg, including the status of the Collective, and as we saw in Season 1 her fascination and sympathy for synthetic life is a very powerful motivating factor for her – so much so that she was able to break out of her Zhat Vash brainwashing and didn’t harm Soji. Given all of that, perhaps the Borg Queen is going to be able to convince Dr Jurati to let her guard down or even loosen her restraints.

Theory #28:
The captive Borg Queen is the same one from First Contact.

The Borg Queen in First Contact.

With the jump to a new timeline, it’s quite possible that First Contact didn’t play out as we remember it! But if there was a Borg incursion led by the Borg Queen, it’s possible that she was captured or her remains were reactivated after her death.

At the end of First Contact, the Queen’s organic components were destroyed by plasma coolant in the Enterprise-E’s main engineering, but her synthetic parts – including her skull and part of her spine – remained intact. Picard appeared to break them at the end of the film, signifying the “death” of the Borg Queen.

However, the Borg Queen returned on several occasions, most notably in Voyager, seeming to confirm that there are multiple Borg Queens, or that the Queen is able to move her consciousness into a new body at will. It’s possible, then, that the captive Borg Queen in Picard Season 2 was found elsewhere, such as aboard the Artifact. But it’s also possible that the Queen from First Contact was not totally dead, and has been revived or reactivated in the years following the events of the film.

Theory #29:
Elnor will be assimilated.

Raffi and Elnor.

This theory stems entirely from a clip glimpsed in two of the recent trailers! In the image above, Elnor can be seen clearly injured with Raffi by his side. What’s interesting to note, though, is the eerie green light – green is a colour that has a strong association with the Borg. Could it be that Elnor has been attacked by the Borg Queen and is in the early stages of being assimilated?

That was definitely how I interpreted the clip on first viewing! I can’t tell if it’s taking place in La Sirena’s sickbay or somewhere else, though. Regardless… I hope that poor Elnor survives whatever’s happening to him! There are ways of surviving or reversing Borg assimilation, so there’s hope for Elnor even if the worst comes to pass.

So that’s it!

The Borg Queen.

Season 2 got off to an incredible and explosive start, and I have high hopes for an excellent and thoroughly enjoyable sci-fi story over the next nine weeks. The Star Gazer set up plenty of mysterious elements, some of which I have absolutely no idea about right now. Will Picard and Laris get together? Is the Borg Queen somehow Picard’s mum? I doubt it on the latter point (or it would be on the theory list) but you never know!

I always like to end these theory lists by saying that I do this just for fun. I enjoy writing, I enjoy Star Trek, and spending more time in this world is an escape and an enjoyable distraction. But for some folks, fan theories can be frustrating or unenjoyable, especially if they get very attached to a plausible-sounding theory that ultimately doesn’t pan out. I have no “insider information” and I’m not trying to claim that anything suggested above can, will, or must be part of Picard Season 2. I fully expect many of these theories to be debunked and for the season to go in wildly unpredictable directions!

Star Trek: Picard Season 2 is available to stream now on Paramount+ in the United States, Scandinavia, Latin America, and Australia, and on Amazon Prime Video in the United Kingdom and the rest of the world. The Star Trek franchise – including Picard and all other properties mentioned above – is the copyright of Paramount Global. This article contains the thoughts and opinions of one person only and is not intended to cause any offence.