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Star Trek Nemesis was an “agonizing” farewell for Patrick Stewart

Patrick Stewart was devastated when Star Trek Nemesis finished, because it made clear that his time as Jean-Luc Picard was coming to an end.

Patrick Stewart in Star Trek: Nemesis

There aren’t many who consider Star Trek: Nemesis among the highlights of the franchise. The blockbuster, directed by Stuart Baird, just didn’t manage to capture the grandeur of previous Trek films. However, Patrick Stewart still found it rewarding, if only because it marked his first proper departure from the property.

Star Trek: Insurrection was the last Star Trek movie led by the The Next Generation cast. As such, when filming wrapped, that was it as far as lot of the mainstays of USS Enterprise were concerned. Would Stewart and Jonathan Frakes ever be part of Starfleet again? The thoughts came over Stewart like a wave as the last “cut” was yelled.

“I’m saying goodbye to Riker and I found myself completely caught up in the moment,” Stewart recalled in The Fifty-Year Mission: The Next 25 Years. “I broke down. Out of the clear blue sky, my emotions overwhelmed me. I collapsed in Jonathan [Frakes’] arms and felt such a fool.”

He thought the cast might be wondering if something else was on his mind, but no, just the notion that he might never be Star Trek captain Jean-Luc Picard again. Stewart suddenly saw he was at the end of the line, and didn’t like it.

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“In that moment, absolutely everything coalesced, the feelings that I had for these people over the years,” Stewart adds. “Saying goodbye was absolutely terrifying and agonizing for me.”

Sadly, Nemesis didn’t prove to provide much fanfare for anyone involved. The science fiction movie didn’t do well at the box office and was poorly reviewed. Ultimately, Stewart’s feelings were short-sighted, as he returned for the sci-fi series Picard almost two decades later, for a three-season run that saw many of his Next Generation co-stars join as well.

You can find out more about Nemesis, and Star Trek as a whole, via The Fifty-Year Mission: The Next 25 Years, by Mark A Altman and Edward Gross. Alternatively, have a look at our guides to the Strange New Worlds season 3 release date and Section 31 release date to find out about the future of Trek.