Warning: SPOILERS for Star Trek: Picard Season 2, Episode 2 – “Penance”

Q (John de Lancie) changing the timeline in Star Trek: Picard season 2 created a shockingly darker reality for the characters in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Star Trek: Picard season 2 is set in 2401, about 26 years after the end of DS9 in 2375. But Q completely altered Star Trek’s Prime universe so that instead of founding the United Federation of Planets, humans became a fascist and xenophobic race that created the Confederacy of Earth to conquer other worlds and eradicate alien lifeforms. This new Star Trek timeline and history profoundly altered everything, including Deep Space Nine.


According to the new Star Trek reality of the Confederation, Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) is General Picard, the ‘greatest hero’ of the Confederation by virtue of slaughtering more alien races and bringing more worlds to heel than any other Confederation Officer. Thanks to the bloodthirsty General Picard, the Confederation beat the Romulans, the Klingons, the Cardassians, and they even wiped out the Borg, with the broken Borg Queen (Annie Wersching) as the cybernetic race’s lone survivor (but she’s aware that this is an altered timeline because of her cross-temporal awareness). Meanwhile, Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan), who was never assimilated by the Borg, is the President of the Confederation as her fully-human self, Annika Hansen. President Hansen is even married to the Magistrate (Jon Jon Briones), who helps Annika rule the Confederation in its current war against the Vulcans.

As Q gleefully explains in Star Trek: Picard season 2, episode 2, “Penance,” General Picard’s study in his French chateau contains the trophies of multiple aliens he slaughtered, and many of them are characters from Deep Space Nine. One of Picard’s biggest prizes is the Cardassian skull of Gul Dukat (Marc Alaimo), who was executed by General Picard in Cardassia. Picard even replaced Captain Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks) as Dukat’s arch-enemy and the charismatic Cardassian must have nearly killed Picard because, as Q explains, “in this reality, [Dukat] is the reason why you have that nifty synthetic body.” Another of Picard’s trophy skulls is General Martok (J.G. Hertzler). On DS9, Martok was Sisko and Worf’s (Michael Dorn) greatest Klingon ally, but in the Confederation’s reality, Martok was defeated in armed combat after a bioengineered virus decimated the Klingon homeworld. (Similar to Section 31’s plan in DS9 to wipe out the Dominion’s Changeling Founders with a bioengineered virus.)

Along with a Borg’s skull, General Picard also has the cranium of an unidentified Ferengi on display in his study, and this could be any of DS9‘s beloved Ferengi like Quark (Armin Shimerman), Rom (Max Grodenchik), or Nog (Aron Eisenberg). Because of the Confederation, it’s likely there was never a Deep Space Nine space station since there would have been no mission to bring Bajor into the Federation. Instead, Captain Sisko became General Sisko and he’s leading the Confederation in the front lines of the Vulcan War. This also means that Sisko never became the Emissary of Bajor and became a non-linear god-like being. Disturbingly, Picard owns the skull of Sarek (Mark Lenard), who was decapitated on Vulcan in front of Spock (Leonard Nimoy).

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was considered the ‘dark’ Star Trek show in its era because of its more somber aesthetics and its serialized Dominion War storyline, but Star Trek: Picard‘s Confederation makes DS9‘s history even darker. There’s no telling what happened to DS9‘s heroes like Major Kira (Nana Visitor), Dr. Julian Bashir (Alexander Siddig), Jadzia Dax (Terry Farrell), or even Chief O’Brien (Colm Meaney), but given what we know about the xenophobic Confederation, the non-humans are either fighting Earth’s fascists or they’re dead while the human DS9 characters must be serving in the Confederation. Given that the Confederation is now the Prime Universe of Star Trek, unless Picard and his motley crew can change history back to the Prime Universe as it’s meant to be in Star Trek: Picardseason 2, it’s safe to assume nothing Trekkers saw in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine happened.

Star Trek: PicardSeason 2 streams Thursdays on Paramount+.

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