Stewart originally started playing the character 31 years ago.
Although William Shatner immortalized himself at Captain James T. Kirk in the original Star Trek series, Patrick Stewart became the series most beloved captain. In Star Trek: The Next Generation, Stewart took the reigns over from Shatner and took a diverse cast into territories known. As Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Stewart ascended to the heights of a sci-fi diety, being worshipped by fans across the globe. Star Trek: The Next Generation ran from 1987 to 1994, and spawned a number of movies that took over movie theaters until 2002. After playing Picard for fifteen years, Stewart moved on from the sci-fi series.
CBS teased fans with the development of a new Star Trek series earlier this year, and Stewart made a surprise appearance at the Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas this weekend. His appearance was first thought to be just a moment for fans to reflect on his past work as Picard, but Stewart revealed that he would be returning to play the famous captain.
In a statement released to Twitter, Stewart wrote “I will always be very proud to have been a part of Star Trek: The Next Generation, but when we wrapped that final movie in the spring of 2002, I truly felt my time with Star Trek had run its natural course. It is, therefore, an unexpected but delightful surprise to find myself excited and invigorated to be returning to Jean-Luc Picard and to explore new dimensions within him. Seeking out new life for him, when I thought that life was over.”