Star Trek: Picard has entered production on its second season, and while Season 2 of the CBS All Access series still may be off in the distance, another story to hold fans over in the meantime is on the way. One of the series' best new characters will be getting his own backstory fleshed out in an upcoming novel, and fans will get to see what Cristóbal Rios was up to long before he became the pilot for Jean-Luc Picard's wild unsanctioned adventures.
The book Rogue Elements is headed to shelves on August 17, and it sounds like the type of classic tale a fan of the traditional-style adventures would be all about. Check out the synopsis (via Trekmovie.com) and the classic Trek trope of featuring a world that inexplicably captures one specific era of American history perfectly.
Starfleet was everything for Cristóbal Rios—until one horrible, inexplicable day when it all went wrong. Aimless and adrift, he grasps at a chance for a future as an independent freighter captain in an area betrayed by the Federation, the border region with the former Romulan Empire. His greatest desire: to be left alone.
But solitude isn’t in the cards for the captain of La Sirena, who falls into debt to a roving gang of hoodlums from a planet whose society is based on Prohibition-era Earth. Teamed against his will with Ledger, his conniving overseer, Rios begins an odyssey that brings him into conflict with outlaws and fortune seekers, with power brokers and relic hunters across the stars.
Exotic loves and locales await—as well as dangers galore—and Rios learns the hard way that good crewmembers are hard to find, even when you can create your own. And while his meeting with Jean-Luc Picard is years away, Rios finds himself drawing on the Starfleet legend’s experiences when he discovers a mystery that began on one of the galaxy’s most important days…
I'm curious to learn what kind of debt Rios fell into because he strikes me as the smuggling type who would thrive around a Prohibition-era society. I also like that we'll get to learn more about the controversial "black flag directive" that ultimately led to his exit from Starfleet and the gap between him meeting Jean-Luc Picard.
There's also a bit in the Rogue Elements synopsis that teases Rios' Emergency holograms, which largely act as the crew of his ship La Sirena. Star Trek: Picard viewers may remember each hologram is essentially a take on Rios, but with a different sense of style, personality, and accent. Perhaps this story will reveal the reason behind each hologram's personality and why Rios is way more trusting of holograms than a physical crew.
Rogue Elements will be the most Star Trek: Picard fans can enjoy in the near future, as Season 2 only just got rolling on production. While no official release date for the season has been released as of yet, it feels like Season 2 making a 2021 release date would be incredibly optimistic but not impossible. More realistic would be to assume the sophomore season will arrive in 2022, though with Picard, one of a few Trek shows set to be in development this year, who knows when it will be released?