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Space: The final frontier... These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its continuing mission: To explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no one has gone before.
~ Jean-Luc Picard's Speech in the introduction of Star Trek: The Next Generation
Jean-Luc Picard's opening Speech (mp3cut.net)

Jean-Luc Picard is the captain of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D from 2363 to 2371 followed by the Enterprise NCC-1701-E in 2372 onward in the science-fiction series Star Trek: The Next Generation and the movies based on the television series, in all of which he serves as the main protagonist. He will return in Star Trek: Picard as the main protagonist.

He is portrayed by Patrick Stewart, who was also well known for playing Charles Xavier in the X-Men movie series, Susie Swanson on Family Guy, and Deputy Director Avery Bullock on American Dad!.

History

Picard was born in France, on Earth in the year 2305. He was the son of Maurice and Yvette Picard, and the younger brother of Robert Picard.

Like most officers of the Federation Captain Jean-Luc Picard is sworn to uphold certain laws while still actively going "where no man has gone before" - unlike Kirk, Picard prefered to deploy diplomacy when dealing with threats and didn't engage in conflict unless absolutely necessary: both extremely moral yet logical at the same time Picard had a very different personality from Kirk but remains a fan favorite regardless, in some ways the difference of personality was part of Picard's charm as a protagonist.

However like Kirk before him, Picard appeared to be very attentive to the needs of his crew and as such was likely a popular leader even within his setting, Picard of course was also a leader who knew how to install disciple and although a caring individual who prefered peaceful resolutions to problems he was fully capable of using his gifted intelligence to formulate quick and effective means of disabling threats and engaging hostile enemies on relatively even ground.

Sarek

Escorting the 202 year old Ambassador Sarek to his conference with the Legarans it became obvious that Sarek's emotional control was starting to fail. Picard offered to let Sarek mind-meld with him, which gave Sarek the emotional control to conclude the treaty with the Legarans. Picard faced the full brunt of Vulcan emotion during this time, but came away carrying a piece of Sarek's memories and experiences with him.

The Best of Both Worlds, Part I-II

Towards the end in 2367 Picard was captured by the Borg and was unwillingly transformed into Locutus - a spokesperson for the Borg to the various peoples of the Federation. The Borg were able to rip information from Picard's mind and forced Picard as Locutus to direct the Borg ship at the Battle of Wolf 359 - which was a devastating loss for the Federation with over 35 starships destroyed and approximately 11,000 people dead. Picard was rescued by his crew and he was able to help them destroy the Borg ship by having Data shut down the ship via his link to the Borg, which caused a power overload that destroyed the cube. The implants were removed and Picard returned to duty a short time later.

Family

So...my brother is a human being after all. This is going to be with you a long time, Jean-Luc. A long time. You have to learn to live with it. You have a simple choice now: live with it below the sea with Louis - or above the clouds with the Enterprise.
~ Robert Picard to his brother Jean-Luc.
The assault by the Borg would have a lasting impact on Picard, who felt much guilt over the deaths of over 11,000 Federation citizens that the Borg had caused using the information ripped from his mind.

After his immediate recovery from the surgery to remove the implants and some initial psychological counselling, Picard decided to return to the family home in Labarre, France for the first time in many years and spend time with his brother Robert, sister in law Marie, and nephew Rene.

During his time at the family home, Picard met with his old friend Louis, who offered him a position on the Atlantis Project to create a new subcontinent on Earth.

At first Robert was cold towards his brother, still harbouring a life time of negative feelings. The two got into a fight in the vineyard, and wound up covered in mud and laughing at each other. Robert told his brother that he needed that release, and that Picard had been terribly hard on himself. Breaking down, Picard tearfully admitted to Robert that he felt so much pain and guilt over what had happened to him at the hands of the Borg. Robert told him he had to learn how to live with what happened, regardless of what he decided to do.

Picard decided that his life was still in Starfleet. Prior to Picard's leaving, Robert gave him a bottle of wine, with the advice not to drink it all at once or alone. The two embraced before Picard left to return to his life on the Enterprise.

Unification

In 2368 Picard and Data went to Romulus to determine why Spock had gone there. Picard also had to deliver the sad news that Sarek had died. Once on Romulus Picard was able to confront Spock, who informed Picard that he was working with an underground movement to bring about a peaceful reunification between the Vulcan and Romulan peoples. Picard, Data, and Spock were able to defeat a plot by the Empire to invade the planet Vulcan. Spock decided to remain on Romulus and continue working with the underground's survivors to bring about a reformation of the Empire. Picard gave his friend Spock the opportunity to touch what Sarek had shared with him via mind meld.

Chain of Command

Picard was temporarily relieved of command of the Enterprise in 2369 so that he could undertake a secret mission to the Cardassian planet Celtris III in search of a research facility supposedly studying the manufacture of metagenic weapons. The intelligence on the research facility turned out to be false, part of a specific plot to capture Picard.

Once Picard was captured he was subjected to physical and psychological torture by Gul Madred. Madred would show Picard a series of lights and tell him that there were five lights when in fact there were only four. When Picard refused to state that there were four lights Madred would activate an implant that would cause Picard a great deal of pain.

When Captain Jellico was able to force the Cardassians to release Picard, Madred decided to try one more time to break Picard with the lights. As the guards came to escort Picard back to the Enterprise, Picard yelled at Madred that there were four lights. A short time later Picard reboarded the Enterprise and resumed his command of that ship.

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