• Captain Picard showed early signs of brilliance and talent, including being a skilled piano player and having a fascination with spaceships.
  • He chose to leave his family’s vineyard to join Starfleet Academy, where he excelled and formed important connections and friendships.
  • Picard survived a life-threatening stabbing, which changed his outlook on life and motivated him to make a lasting impact on the galaxy.

Among the characters of Star Trek, few are as well-known and beloved as Captain Jean-Luc Picard. A brilliant tactician and mediator, as well as possessing deep understanding and empathy for those around him, Picard has all the qualities of a brilliant leader. His wisdom and shrewd thought contrasted him with a much more hot-headed and younger Captain Kirk.


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While most of Picard’s famous actions in Star Trek have been during his service on the USS Enterprise, it is only natural that a brilliant man like him would begin to show his talents as early as childhood. Due to his curiosity and learning abilities, Picard acquired many skills that helped him later in his early years. Here are some impressive things that the captain did before joining the Enterprise.

8 A Talented Piano Player

His Reputation As A Man With Many Talents Began At An Early Age

Picard in

Picard mentioned taking piano lessons in his youth in line with his reputation as a cultured man of many talents. Despite displaying impressive results and progress, Picard sorely abandoned those lessons due to his fear of performing in front of the audience, burying his talent far too early.

However, he regretted this choice because playing was another way to connect with his mother, Yvette. She was suffering from mental illness and instability, and hearing her son play the piano used to soothe her. This regret portrays echoes of Picard’s bond with his mother and his regret over losing her.

7 Developed A Fascination And Wonder For Spaceships

Built A Proemllian Battle Cruiser Model & Marveled At Space Exploration

star trek enterprise live by the code

Even before Picard became a famous spacefarer, he developed an interest and obsession with Starships. One of his favorite hobbies was creating and examining miniature ship-in-a-bottle models, especially those of the best starships, which showed the boy’s natural inclination toward exploring space.

His fascination only grew with age. He built a model of a Promellian Battle Cruiser and spent much time marveling at the Phoenix, known to be the first starship equipped for warfare in the history of Mankind. This foreshadowed Picard’s future as an accomplished captain.

6 Joined Starfleet Academy

Set Himself On A Path To Seek Out New Life

star trek starfleet academy cadets

Despite being expected to inherit his family’s vineyard, he left it to join the Starfleet Academy and pursue his dreams. He failed on his first attempt but demonstrated determination and passion in trying to get into it a second time, achieving a resounding success.


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Overall, Picard proved an outstanding cadet and quickly rose to glory in the academy, proving his worth to his superiors. He also managed to form connections and friendships, allowing himself an opportunity to perfect his diplomatic skills and ensuring a bright future for himself.

5 Studied Archaeology And Could’ve Been The Best Of His Generation

A Great Mind For Uncovering & Studying Relics Of The Past

Picard in Insurrection

Starships weren’t Picard’s only passion, as the academy helped him realize his passion for archaeology. He delved into this field and gained considerable knowledge, so much that Galen, his teacher, advised him to become a proper archaeologist.

Despite the prospects of this offer, Picard wasn’t willing to dedicate himself to this field completely and refused. Throughout his life, archaeology remained a consistent hobby and interest of the captain. He also closely studied various alien civilizations such as Iconians.

4 Survived A Stabbing From A Nausicaan

The Stab Led To His Heart Problems And Shaped Him Into A Brave Starfleet Officer

picard getting stabbed but he laughs at it

Picard didn’t always possess his calm, rational demeanor and was able to cause quite a stir in his younger years. During a leave, he got into a violent fight over a rigged game, which resulted in him getting stabbed through the heart. Picard came close to dying and was only saved due to successful emergency surgery.

This event changed Picard’s outlook on life as he realized how vulnerable and fleeting it can be and how limited his time is. This motivated him to try and leave a mark on the galaxy while still being careful and considerate, not wasting the time that he had.

3 Saved An Unnamed Ambassador

Led An Away Team To Save An Ambassador On A Dangerous Planet

Galen, Picard, and Riker in Star Trek: The Next Generation.

After graduating from the academy and becoming a junior officer, Picard continued living his proactive and adventurous life, working all around the galaxy. One of his most notorious acts of heroism was saving an ambassador on the planet Milika 3, conducting a successful operation.


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While the exact details of this endeavor are unknown, it is referred to as one of the moments that defined Picard’s personality and shaped his character going forward, marking it as an important event in his development. This once again shows how protective and loyal of an ally Picard can be.

2 A Young Captain Leaps Into Action

His Experience As A Captain Came Quickly When His Captain Was Killed On The Stargazer

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Enterprise wasn’t the first ship Picard was a part of, as he was an important Stargazer crew member. At first, he was assigned as a helmsman, but after the captain was killed, Picard stepped up and took command of the vessel to aid the situation at hand and save the crew. Starfleet promoted Picard and claimed the rank for himself, demonstrating his growing reputation.

Picard became one of the youngest known captains then and continuously commandeered the Stargazer for twenty-two years, providing him with unparalleled experience, which helped him during his continued service later in life.

1 Had A Battle Tactic Named After Him

The Picard Maneuver Was An Improvised Move To Save His Crew

Split image showing starships from Star Trek's Mirror Universe.

One of his most famous exploits during service abroad, the Stargazer, was when the ship was attacked by a Ferengi vessel, bringing it to the brink of destruction and forcing Picard to take extreme measures. Picard made the Stargazer warp in the vessel’s direction, creating a moment of disturbance when the aliens could see two Stargazers simultaneously.

Ferengi attacked the wrong vessel, becoming vulnerable to attacks from the real Stargazer, eventually turning the tide. This maneuver became widely recognized and was named the “Picard Maneuver.”


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