With confirmation that Q, portrayed on-screen by the talented actor John de Lancie, will return in season 2 of Star Trek: Picard, our thoughts turn to the sly jokester.
The near-omnipotent Q of the Q Continuum has been a thorn in the side of Starfleet for many years. Since his run-in with Picard and crew in the first episode of TNG, Q’s acerbic humour and trickster nature have caused many headaches for our heroes.
But it does make for great storytelling!
After all, how do you face off against an almost unbeatable (and unbearable) enemy?
One of the moral questions that meeting the Q has postulated is, “What if I was given their powers?” This question was explored in the episode “Hide and Q” when the powerful being gave Commander William Riker a taste of the Q’s abilities.
It is said that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Is this always true? Could a lowly human (or Andorian, Tril, Denobulan, etc.) be trusted with the Q’s power? Or would they go mad with power and devolve into the selfish and conceited use of their unthinkable might?
Riker struggled with being able to control his use of his newfound powers but, ultimately, he eventually decided to reject Q’s power.
In another TNG episode, “True Q”, we meet Amanda Rogers. Initially, we are led to believe that she is a normal human but soon find out that — unbeknownst to her — she is a Q.
As she begins to explore her powers with Q’s help, she finds it increasingly difficult to avoid using her abilities. She makes the decision to return with him to the Q Continuum to receive further training in the use of her abilities.
When faced with the same decision, what would you choose?