WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for Star Trek: Picard 2.4, which debuts today on Paramount+
Star Trek fans on social media started calling it out the moment Picard‘s latest episode aired at midnight. How can Guinan possibly not know Jean-Luc Picard, when The Next Generation canon has them first meeting in 1893? In the episode “Time’s Arrow,” the discovery of a severed Data head took the crew back in time, encountering Mark Twain and Whoopi Goldberg’s long-lived El-Aurian alien.
Now actress Ito Aghayere, who steps in for Goldberg as a young Guinan, has portrayed the character without that chunk of her past. And so, as a longtime fan, she asked producer/showrunner Terry Matalas why that is, just as viewers did last night. And according to Variety, the response was vague. “I don’t think he ever got me a clear answer on it,” she says. “And I think…I never will.”
Variety, however, did get a more direct answer from Matalas. “The reason that she doesn’t recognize Picard is that he’s traveled from a future in which Starfleet doesn’t exist, and therefore the whole thing with Data’s head in ‘Time’s Arrow’ never happened.” The ramifications of the time change in 2024, therefore, become even further-reaching into the past.
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As to why Guinan looks like Aghayere and not Goldberg? The real reason, obviously, is that Star Trek has already established a pattern of recasting younger versions of characters, rather than doing digital facelifts like Star Wars. But there’s a canonical reason, too: Goldberg as Guinan in the original timeline already stated she chose to age up her appearance to match her customers. So in a version where she never met Picard, she could also have chosen not to.
What do you think of this explanation? Let us know in comments.
Recommended Reading: Star Trek: The Next Generation: Through The Mirror
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