The trailer for the second season of “Star Trek: Picard” dropped a few weeks ago, during an event celebrating First Contact Day. The short teaser revealed two major things about the show’s second season: the storyline will revolve around time, possibly time travel, and the return of Q, the infamous “Star Trek: The Next Generation” villain.
Though the trailer didn’t contain any other major revelations about season two, eagle-eyed fans may have noticed a big Easter egg. As the camera panned around Jean-Luc Picard’s French chateau, fans caught a glimpse of a large, broken stone tablet propped up on a table. Savvy Trek fans probably recognized the tablet as the Bajoran Reckoning Tablet from “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.”
What is the Bajoran Reckoning Tablet?
The Bajoran Reckoning Tablet is an obscure artifact in the “Star Trek” canon. It only appeared in one episode of “Deep Space Nine,” the sixth season episode “The Reckoning.”
Archaeologists on Bajor found the tablet in some ruins they were excavating. It was covered in ancient symbols, and the only ones they could decipher said “Welcome Emissary.”
“Deep Space Nine” fans know that the Emissary refers to Captain Benjamin Sisko. During the very first episode of the show, Sisko made contact with an alien lifeform in a stable wormhole. Those aliens were worshipped by the Bajorans as gods called The Prophets. Since Sisko had communed with them, he was considered the Emissary of the Prophets by the Bajorans.
Sisko went to Bajor to see the tablet and asked to bring it back to the space station for further analysis. As he and his crew began to decipher the tablet, they found that it contained a prophecy about a battle between the Prophets and the Pah-Wraiths, essentially Bajoran demons.
Sisko and his crew couldn’t figure out how to fulfill the prophecy, and out of frustration, Sisko smashed the tablet. This released the spirits of two beings — a Prophet and a Pah-Wraith. The spirit of the Prophet inhabited Major Kira Nerys and the spirit of the Pah-Wraith inhabited Sisko’s son, Jake.
Though Sisko was terrified that his son would be injured in the battle with the Prophet, he insisted that the Prophets would save his son. Kai Winn, a Bajoran spiritual leader, disrupted the battle, saving both Kira and Jake, but prolonging the confrontation between the Prophets and the Pah-Wraith.
The episode didn’t reveal what happened to the tablet after it was broken, starting The Reckoning.
Why Does Picard Have the Reckoning Tablet?
In the trailer, which can be seen above, the broken Reckoning Tablet can be seen around the 11-second mark. It sits on a black platform, on top of a wooden table. There appear to be tools, perhaps archaeological tools, around the tablet.
Of course, the presence of the tablet in the trailer has led to rampant speculation. Many fans hope the tablet hints at an appearance by Avery Brooks as Sisko in “Picard” season two. Since the tablet was intrinsically linked to Sisko, its presence in Picard’s home could mean that Sisko and Picard will cross paths.
In a recent episode of his podcast, The 7th Rule, Cirroc Lofton, who played Jake Sisko, revealed that Avery Brooks would be willing to reprise his role. So, an appearance by Sisko isn’t completely out of the question.
Another potential reason for the tablet’s presence is a Bajoran storyline in “Picard’s” second season. When he was in command of the Enterprise, Picard had a Bajoran ensign under his command. In the first episode of “Deep Space Nine,” he told Sisko that he’d “come to know the Bajorans.” He went on to say that he was “a strong proponent of their entry into the Federation.”
It’s possible that Picard developed strong ties with Bajor while he was still in Starfleet or after his retirement. If so, the Bajorans could play a major role in the show’s second season, as they did in “Deep Space Nine.”
However, the tablet could just be a red herring. Fans of “The Next Generation” know that Picard is fascinated with archaeology. So, it’s possible he has the tablet because of his passion for historical artifacts.
A release date for Picard’s second season hasn’t been announced yet. So, fans may have to wait quite a while to figure out if this Easter egg means anything at all.