Follow TV Tropes


Literature / The Autobiography Of Jean Luc Picard

Go To

There can be no justice so long as laws are absolute. Even life itself is an exercise in exceptions.
Jean-Luc Picard, 2364

The Autobiography of Jean-Luc Picard, part of the Star Trek Autobiographies, chronicles the life of the Starfleet officer-turned-ambassador (b. 2305) in his own words. His childhood in La Barre and his career in Starfleet (including his command of the Stargazer and two starships Enterprise, his encounters with Q, and his assimilation by the Borg) are laid bare for all to read.

This autobiography provides the following tropes:

  • Adaptational Villainy: The Klingons attempt a genocide against the Romulans resolved by a Second Khitomer Accords despite the Romulans being the baddies vs. the Klingons in TNG.
  • The Atoner: So clamed by Anthony Mazzara, the elder of Commander Frank Mazzara's sons. When Picard is Court-Martialed for the loss of the Stargazer, Anthony serves as defense counsel, claiming that he wants to make up for hitting Picard with an egg all those years ago. Picard thinks it's Actually Pretty Funny — and to Anthony's credit, he does a good job defending Picard and even gets the charges of negligence and dereliction of duty dismissed.
  • Advertisement:
  • Belated Happy Ending: The book contrasts "All Good Things" to the retirement of Picard in this.
  • Bumbling Dad: Not quite "bumbling", but Frank Mazzara (the XO of the Stargazer when Picard first serves aboard her) does very little to discipline his boys when they cause trouble.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Humphrey Laughton, The Captain of the Stargazer when Picard first comes aboard. He may have been Famed in Story as a great explorer, but Picard knows him as an obese and eccentric man with an obsession for collecting antiques. Nevertheless, crises like a mining ship in distress reawaken his captainly instincts.
  • Cain and Abel: Robert and Jean-Luc are never murderous, but their loathing of one another is clear.
  • Call-Forward: The "Red Matter" incident that would form the basis of the Kelvin timeline.
  • Canon Discontinuity:
    • It ignores the events of the Star Trek: Stargazer series to tell its own tale.
    • Advertisement:
    • Some events of the novel are rendered non-canon by Star Trek: Picard. These include Picard marrying Doctor Crusher and becoming an ambassador, instead of becoming an admiral, leading an evacuation of Romulan planets, and then leaving Starfleet on bad terms after the Synth Rebellion and cessation of the rescue efforts. There's also no mention of Dr. Benayoun; the CMO of Stargazer is instead an Edosian named Ailat. Oh, and Data is brought back to life instead of staying dead/preserved by Altan Soong.
  • Child Hater: Jean Luc Picard develops this gradually as he finds them on starships to be a danger to the ship as well as themselves. His experiences with Mazzara's poorly-behaved sons largely factor into this.
  • Court-Martialed: We get some explanation of the events alluded to in "The Measure of a Man". Louvois has Picard charged with negligence and dereliction of duty on the grounds that Stargazer was a very old ship that should no longer have been in service and Picard should have arranged for her to be decommissioned. Picard's defense counsel, Anthony Mazzara (who had previously served on Stargazer), countered that Picard and his crew did their best to keep the ship spaceworthy and it was the admiralty that was responsible for deciding whether or not to decommission Stargazer, not Picard.
  • Death by Adaptation: It's heavily implied that DeSoto, Batanidies, and Zweller are either killed or assimilated at Wolf 359. Official canon is mum about them, but the Star Trek Novel Verse has them alive and continuing to get involved in various shenanigans.
  • Deus ex Machina: An inversion (machina ex deus?) when Q changes B4 into Data, effectively resurrecting him.
  • Evil Luddite: Evil is certainly not the right word, but Picard has very little respect for the back-to-nature ways of his family growing up, and they have just as little respect for his desire to go into space.
  • Failed Audition Plot: Jean-Luc actually fails to get into Starfleet Academy on his first attempt.
  • Famed in Story: When Picard meets Worf, the Klingon already admires him for his victory over the Ferengi at Maxia Zeta. Picard then learns that the battle, along with the "Picard Maneuver" that he devised, is being taught at Starfleet Academy.
  • The Gadfly: Q continually shows up throughout the book to mess with Picard and even adds his own commentary to replace Crusher's foreward.
  • Gentle Touch vs. Firm Hand: His mother was the gentle one in contrast to his strict father.
  • Going Down with the Ship: Defied by Frank Mazzara after Captain Laughton is killed and the Stargazer is in dire peril. His first command decision is to order his crew to Abandon Ship before he rushes off The Bridge to get his boys. This allows Picard to take charge, cancel the "abandon ship" order, and come up with a plan to save the ship.
  • I Hate Past Me: Picard admits that he used to fancy himself a ladies' man when he was at the Academy. It's not something he's proud of.
  • Naked First Impression: Captain Laughton is naked (save for a Modesty Towel) when Picard first meets him.
  • Nepotism: Picard states that he was accused of this for putting Wesley at the helm of the Enterprise. He says that he enjoyed Wesley's company, though, and that he did a fine job.
  • Once Done, Never Forgotten: Mazzara knows that being the first one to try to abandon the Stargazer when he was in command permanently undermined his authority and cost him the respect of his crew. A month afterwards, he resigns his commission and promotes Picard to captain.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: The entire Denobulan race from Star Trek: Enterprise decides to leave this dimension due to how vicious and warlike it is.
  • Shotgun Wedding: Jokingly discussed when Jack Crusher reveals that his new wife Beverly is pregnant two weeks after their wedding. Turns out that she was already pregnant when they wed, and Crusher jokes that her father was holding a shotgun at him. (He wasn't.)
  • They Do: Doctor Crusher and Picard are married in this continuity.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Maurice Picard has difficulty expressing affection or approval, which has left a mark on Robert and Jean-Luc both. Robert devotes himself to following in Maurice's footsteps, while Jean-Luc leaves to find his own path.
  • What a Piece of Junk: Stargazer is already an old ship when Picard first comes aboard, constantly in need of repairs and replacement parts. Nevertheless, Picard and the rest of the crew keep her flying for another 20+ years until a Ferengi attack leaves her irreparably crippled and forces the crew to Abandon Ship.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: