Star Trek: Picard season 3’s oddest callback comes courtesy of Captain Liam Shaw (Todd Stashwick), who has surprisingly detailed information about the events of Star Trek: Insurrection. Whereas the first two seasons of Picard largely eschewed overt references to the days of Star Trek: The Next Generation, season 3 was an absolute bonanza of fan-friendly easter eggs. No modern Star Trek series has leaned into the history and legacy of the franchise with quite the same level of love and detail as Picard season 3.


One of Star Trek: Picard season 3’s funnier moments happens early on in the decidedly heavy episode “Imposters.” Before being reunited with his treacherous former protégé Commander Ro Laren (Michelle Forbes), Admiral Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) muses that he hopes Starfleet takes into account the many times he and his crew saved the galaxy when considering their commandeering of the USS Titan-A, which leads Shaw to point out some of the more reckless choices Picard made in his salad days. Among those is a Star Trek: Insurrection reference that it’s surprising Shaw would even know.

Picard Season 3’s Weirdest Callback Is Insurrection’s Anij

Star-Trek-Insurrection Picard

According to Captain Shaw, one of Picard’s missteps in his days as Captain of the USS Enterprise-E was his romantic entanglement with the Ba’ku colonist Anij (Donna Murphy) in Star Trek: Insurrection. Picard was ostensibly defending the rights of the Ba’ku on ethical grounds, claiming moving them off world would be a violation of the Prime Directive. It is admittedly a little difficult to swallow that argument when Picard is clearly smitten with one of the colonists, in just one aspect of Insurrection that made it a franchise low-light.

Captain Picard ultimately got his way, as the Ba’ku were allowed to remain on their fountain of youth planet, and Picard and Anij made plans to see each other during Picard’s shore leave. Anij was never seen again, likely a casualty of a story no one particularly liked. Her brief romance with Picard is definitely one of the more puzzling aspects of the Star Trek: The Next Generation film franchise.

How Does Captain Shaw Know About Picard’s Insurrection Girlfriend?

Captain Shaw Picard EW

It’s a little strange that Captain Shaw would know about Picard’s love interest from a mission that occurred over two decades ago. It’s probable that Picard would have mentioned Anij in his Captain’s logs at the time, but the notion of Shaw studying Picard’s career is a bit odd. Shaw makes his distaste for Picard and his style of command crystal clear from his very first scene, insulting his wine and dismissing him as a former Borg collaborator.

Ultimately, Shaw’s reference to Star Trek: Insurrection is likely a very mild break of the fourth wall, with a character possessing information they probably shouldn’t have to sell a joke. The joke is strong enough that the continuity flub can easily be forgiven. Star Trek: Picard not only knew how to honor and respect its Star Trek: The Next Generation icons, but also how to have a good-natured laugh at their expense.

Star Trek: Picard season 3 is available to stream on Paramount+.

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