Guinan (Whoopi Goldberg) made an appearance in “The Stargazer, the first episode of series two of Picard, last week. So, lets look at the significance of Guinan, and what her return means. We’ll also be giving our view on how her ageing was explained away, too . . .
Guinan (Whoopi Goldberg) was an important character in Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987 -1994). Specifically, she always allowed aspects of other characters to shine through. We never really found out a great deal about her. But that’s part of why she was always so cool and interesting, because she remained so mysterious. What we did discover is that Picard (Sir Patrick Stewart) knew more about her than others. That’s exactly why she’s such a great character to bring back into the life of the ever troubled Starfleet Admiral.
It didn’t take much to explain away the fact that Guinan appeared older now. There needed to be something said about it. The El-Aurian species age very slowly. But again, we’ve never really been told that much more about it. So, the decision to say they can “age at will” wasn’t problematic. It was quite an original way to explain the fact that it’s been almost thirty years since we last saw Guinan, in Star Trek: Generations (1994). What was significant was that the reason for choosing to physically show signs of age was given: it made others more comfortable. El-Aurians are known for being listeners, and so want others to be open with them. Good attention to detail.
Series 2 Significance?
As well as ageing much slower, we also know that El-Aurians have an unusual relationship with time. On more than one occasion we’ve seen Guinan be aware she was out of time. When things don’t seem to be right, Guinan somehow seems to know. With what’s planned for series two of Picard, this could be important. Things are definitely out of sync, as the “road not taken” is again explored. Crucially, Guinan has always been one of the ways that Picard’s characterization is explored, He shows her what he doesn’t show others. So, we the viewer get to find out critical information, too. Hopefully, we’ll see some more of the wonderful character of Guinan, in series two.