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Patrick Stewart announces new ‘Star Trek’ series at Las Vegas convention — VIDEO

“Jean-Luc Picard is back.”

Those words from Patrick Stewart, announcing his involvement in a new “Star Trek” series, sent fans at the Rio into a frenzy. Stewart was a surprise guest Saturday during the annual “Star Trek” convention in Las Vegas.

The new series, created for the CBS All Access streaming platform, will follow the next chapter of Picard’s life.

Stewart last portrayed the character, introduced in “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” in the 2002 movie “Star Trek: Nemesis.”

“I will always be very proud to have been a part of ‘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 is, therefore, 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. Seeking out new life for him, when I thought that life was over.

“During these past years, it has been humbling to hear many 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. 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 very dark times. I look forward to working with our brilliant creative team as we endeavor to bring a fresh, unexpected and pertinent story to life once more.”

The “Star Trek” convention runs through Sunday at the Rio.

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