Patrick Stewart Reveals Why Whoopi Goldberg Decided To Join Star Trek

While promoting the upcoming second season of Star Trek: Picard, Patrick Stewart recalls the heartfelt reason as to why star Whoopi Goldberg decided to join the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Star Trek: Picard takes place 20 years after the events of TNG and its following films.

Picard witnesses the return of the iconic Star Trek captain, who has since retired from Starfleet and is pulled into a whirlwind of adventures after meeting the daughter of his late simulated friend, Data. The show happens to also feature many returning, honorary Stark Trek members. Joining Stewart for the revival of their legendary characters are Jeri Ryan, Brent Spiner, and John de Lancie. Goldberg debuted on TNG as Guinan, the anciently wise bartender of the USS Enterprise-D’s Ten-Forward Lounge. Since the premiere of her character, she regularly reprised her role throughout the series episodes, passing along the prolific wisdom she has acquired throughout her life to the crew of the Enterprise during dark times. She offers a sense of sanctuary and safety, a place for lonely sailors to dock their boat after a long troubled day at sea, battling the waves.


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Although Goldberg’s presence on the show is consistent, she is often there for a brief scene, to quickly offer up some much-needed advice to the crew. However, despite her role being previously overlooked as a secondary character, the fans have loudly confessed their immense adoration and love for Guinan. Throughout the past couple of years, Goldberg herself has always been vocal about wanting to return in newer Star Trek projects, and she was thus subsequently asked by Stewart to reprise her character in Picard during his appearance on her talk show The View in 2020. Stewart was recently on The Late Show with James Corden when he recalled a conversation he had with Goldberg, asking her to join TNG back in 1988.

whoopie stark trek Cropped

Stewart recalled being a little confused as to why Goldberg, who had won an Academy Award for her performance in Ghost, would jump to TV. “I said to Goldberg, you know, ‘Why would you want to come and do a syndicated sci-fi show that’s been running for years before this?’” He said. “And she said as a child she watched the original Star Trek show and there was an African-American woman, an actress, playing the role, and being highly respected and thought of well and important in her job. Whoopi said to me, ‘And I thought to myself, well, one of us made it.’ And I was so moved by that.”

Stewart sharing the impactful memory he has with Goldberg and revealing why she did choose to seek out the role with such purpose will be an inspiring sentiment for Star Trek fans to cherish, especially to the fans who are POC, or the ones who are just as dedicated to the original series as well. Goldberg recalls witnessing Nichelle Nichols on screen and seeing her make the seemingly impossible possible is what made Goldberg be willing and devoted to do the same.

The web of inspiration always comes back full circle, because now Goldberg most likely has had that same impact on thousands of African-American children throughout the globe who saw her on the big screen. Luckily, fans won’t have to wait much longer to see Goldberg back in action.

Star Trek: Picard season 2 is now streaming new episodes on Thursdays on Paramount Plus.

MORE: Stark Trek: Picard Season 2 Episode 1 Review

Source: The Late Late Show with James Corden

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