'Star Trek: Picard' Timeline: Where Does the New Series Fit in the World of 'Star Trek'?

With so many Star Trek series and movies out there, and some of them existing in alternate timelines, it can be difficult for more casual fans to keep up with what happens when in the history of the show.

Star Trek: Picard, however, tries to unite some of these timelines as well as tell the continuing story of Jean-Luc Picard (played by Patrick Stewart) and the recurring villains of Star Trek: The Next Generation, the Romulans.

Where does Picard fit into the Star Trek timeline?

The new show, airing on CBS All Access and Amazon Prime Video, is set in the year 2399, 20 years after the events of the last movie featuring Picard, Star Trek: Nemesis. This is also four years after the future timeline from the series finale of TNG, which showed an older Picard living in retirement with his family in La Barre, France, which is exactly where we find him at the start of Picard.

This was confirmed by Stewart himself, who said (per Trek Movie): "Twenty years will have passed, which is more or less exactly the time between the very last movie – Nemesis – and today."

star trek picard timeline
"Star Trek: Picard" is set in the year 2399, 20 years after the events of "Nemesis" CBS All Access

The year 2399 is significant, as it looks back at the events of the closing century (where TNG, Voyager and Deep Space Nine all take place), while also looking ahead at the new century to come.

In choosing 2399 as the start of the Star Trek: Picard timeline, the show's creators are also choosing to unite these Star Trek TV series with the recent trilogy of movies starring Chris Pine as Captain Kirk. These movies take place in an alternate timeline (known to fans as the "Kelvin Timeline," whereas the series are set in the "Prime timeline").

The event that created this new timeline also has huge implications for Picard.

Showrunner Alex Kurtzman told The Hollywood Reporter that in the new series, "Picard's life was radically altered by the dissolution of the Romulan Empire." As viewers of the 2009 Star Trek movie will know, the Romulan Empire fell because a supernova destroyed the species' home world, Romulus. In those films, Spock's (Zachary Quinto) ship gets sucked into a black hole trying to stop this supernova from happening, sending him back in time and creating a new timeline.

star trek picard time line
"Star Trek: Picard" follows the destruction of the planet Romulus in the 2009 "Star Trek" movie CBS All Access

Fans should not expect Pine and Quinto to join the guest cast of Picard, which includes familiar faces from the TV show such as TNG's Data (Brent Spiner) and Riker (Jonathan Frakes) as well as Voyager's Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan).

As Kurtzman told GamesRadar: "[Picard is] in the Prime timeline, we're not in the Kelvin timeline. But the thing that was interesting about that movie is it was the one element of the film that's still in the Prime timeline, because it was the supernova, the destruction of Romulus, and Spock's jump [back in time] that created Kelvin."

In Picard, meanwhile, the fall of Romulus leaves many Romulans as galactic refugees, trying to find a home after the destruction of their planet. Kurtzman said of this in a New York Comic Con panel (per Den of Geek): "Obviously, that's where we established the destruction of the homeworld…Star Trek is a mirror.

"It holds itself up to society… We're in the middle of a massive immigration conversation, and we are very proud, I think, to say we are diving head first into that and using Trek as a way of exploring it from all points of view."

Star Trek: Picard airs on Thursdays on CBS All Access and Fridays on Amazon Prime Video.