LOS ANGELES: Actor Patrick Stewart delighted fans Saturday by boldly going back to his role as Jean-Luc Picard, which he said he will reprise in a new Star Trek series.
The British actor, 78, said he would return to the iconic role during a surprise appearance at the annual Star Trek convention in Las Vegas, said "it is an unexpected but delightful surprise to find myself excited and invigorated to be returning to Jean-Luc Picard and to explore new dimensions with him."
"Seeking out a new life for him, when I thought that life was over."
The new series, which the CBS All Access streaming service will carry, is to center on Picard's life post Star Trek: Next Generation.
That series ran from 1987 to 1994 with 178 episodes, and spawned several films, the last in 2002.
It is an unexpected but delightful surprise to find myself excited and invigorated to be returning to Jean-Luc Picard and to explore new dimensions within him. Read my full statement in the photo. #StarTrek @cbsallaccess Photo: @shervinfoto pic.twitter.com/8Ynuj3RBNm— Patrick Stewart (@SirPatStew) August 4, 2018
"I will always be very proud to have been a part of the Star Trek: The Next Generation, but when we wrapped that final movie in the spring of 2002, I truly felt my time with Star Trek had run its natural course," Stewart said.
"It has been humbling to hear stories about how The Next Generation brought people comfort, saw them through difficult periods in their lives or how the example of Jean-Luc inspired so many to follow in his footsteps, pursuing science, exploration and leadership," he continued.
"I feel I'm ready to return to him for the same reason -- to research and experience what comforting and reforming light he might shine on these often dark times."
Star Trek, a multi-billion-dollar cultural phenomenon beloved by fans worldwide, turn 50 years old in 2016.
Details on the new series, including title or release date, remain under wraps.