As the venerable Shakespearean actor who gave life to Captain Jean-Luc Picard, did the knighting of Patrick Stewart still came as surprise to most Star Trek fans?
By: Ringo Bones
In our local Star Trek fandom in our own little corner of the world, the news did came as a surprise to us when Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II named the venerable Shakespearean actor Patrick Stewart as part of the roster of those to be knighted. We here in our isolated corner of Trekkie / Trekker fandom used to think that that Patrick Stewart was already knighted by HRH Queen Elizabeth II probably after making Star Trek: Generations with William Shatner back in 1995. After confirmation of the said announcement, the now Sir Patrick Stewart does truly deserve the knighthood for giving life to one of the most important characters in the Star Trek universe named Captain Jean-Luc Picard. Although, if Sir Patrick Stewart is knighted for some charitable cause my local Trekkie / Trekker still hasn’t known of, we do apologize to everyone concerned.
Our local Star Trek fandom had reached a somewhat “silent consensus” around 1989 or so that if Captain Picard wasn’t portrayed by someone with Sir Patrick Stewart’s acting prowess, the success of Star Trek: The Next Generation would have been very unlikely. And we here had also reached a “silent consensus” that without the “runaway” success of Star Trek TNG during the late 1980s there would not have been Star Trek Original Series reruns in our neck of the woods. Thus there would have been no Star Trek fandom in our little corner of the world.
The now knighted Sir Patrick Stewart was also very instrumental back then for introducing the venerable works of William Shakespeare to us Trekkies / Trekkers whose former perceptions of the work of that great English bard view it as an “undiscovered country”. Given that he is a venerable member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Sir Patrick Stewart did seamlessly manage to not only make a generation of Star Trek fans more familiar to the works of William Shakespeare, but also convinced us that Shakespeare’s works will still be loved centuries from now. This is probably reminiscent of what the famed anti-Apartheid campaigner and former president of South Africa Nelson Mandela did when he introduced the works of Shakespeare to his fellow inmates in the Robben Island Prison Complex during his 27-year incarceration. Remember, without that famed actor who played Captain Jean-Luc Picard and his love for Shakespeare, we Trekkies / Trekkers would have never seen or heard Shakespearean plays done in the Klingon language.