During a special appearance at the Las Vegas Star Trek Convention, Patrick Stewart announced his return to the Star Trek franchise. Reprising his Next Generation role as Captain Jean-Luc Picard, the acclaimed actor will headline a new Star Trek series for CBS All Access. 

According to Deadline, although not a Next Generation reboot, this new project will serve as a continuation of Picard’s story. Overseeing the development of the new show is Star Trek: Discovery co-creator and executive producer Alex Kurtzman. 

“With overwhelming joy, it’s a privilege to welcome Sir Patrick Stewart back to the Star Trek fold,” Kurtzman said. “For over 20 years, fans have hoped for the return of Captain Jean-Luc Picard and that day is finally here. We can’t wait to forge new ground, surprise people, and honor generations both new and old.”

Along with Kurtzman, the creative team for the new series will include newly-appointed Star Trek: Discovery executive producer James Duff, former Discovery executive producer Akiva Goldsman, Michael Chabon, and Discovery writer Kirsten Beyer. 

Also executive producing are Heather Kadin of Secret Hideout and Roddenberry Entertainment President Eugene “Rod” Roddenberry, son of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry, and Roddenberry Entertainment COO Trevor Roth.

“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,” Stewart said. “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.”

“During these past years, it has been humbling to hear many stories about how The Next Generation brought people comfort, saw them through difficult periods in their lives or how the example of Jean-Luc inspired so many to follow in his footsteps, pursuing science, exploration and leadership,” Stewart continued. “I feel I’m ready to return to him for the same reason – to research and experience what comforting and reforming light he might shine on these often very dark times. I look forward to working with our brilliant creative team as we endeavor to bring a fresh, unexpected and pertinent story to life once more.”

One of the most popular stars of the Star Trek franchise, Stewart portrayed Picard throughout Next Generation’s seven season run as well as in the movies Star Trek Generations, Star Trek: First Contact, Star Trek: Insurrection, and Star Trek: Nemesis.

This new series is the latest Star Trek series to be announced, joining Star Trek: Discovery, which is heading into its sophomore season, and the upcoming Star Trek: Short Treks four-part limited series.