It wasn’t until Patrick Stewart saw the final scene edited and placed in the context of the overall series that he understood. He not only understood, but Stewart got very excited. His wife apparently got lots of hugs. Decades after the fact, Stewart came to view his “Next Generation” co-stars as something of a family. He explained:
“[The] The use of the word family is, in fact, very precise. That’s what we become. If you add Whoopi Goldberg, who joined us in season two, and John de Lancie, who came in as Q. We became very close, and that grew over the years. Last night I watched episode nine of the third season and this morning I watched the final episode. There was a little conflict about how it should end, and the script we had when we started shooting had an ending that I was so excited about, I thought it was absolutely perfect, I can’t tell you what it was, and then when they were shooting, a problem happened.”
Sadly, Stewart likely kept the original ending a secret, so he couldn’t offer any additional details about what happened or why he liked it so much. He also doesn’t mention what the problem was with the shoot, whether it was a technical issue or just a last minute story change that came up from the producers. What Stewart did reveal is that it would have been a scene just for Picard and none of the other characters. Since the show was called “Star Trek: Picard,” it might have been appropriate to isolate the character one last moment.