Jean-Luc Picard was born to Maurice and Yvette Picard in La Barre, France, on 13 July 2305, and he dreamed of joining Starfleet. He and the rest of his family speak English, with English accents—the French language having become obscure by the 24th century, as mentioned in the Next Generation episode “Code of Honor“. Suspiciously, Picard also has a number of British habits, including the regular consumption of Earl Grey tea, a fondness for Shakespeare, which he performs – authentically enough given the origins of The Bard, riding horses with English tack and a knowledge of such British songs with Royal Navy associations as “A British Tar” (Gilbert and Sullivan) and “Heart of Oak“. The young Picard failed his first Starfleet Academy entrance exam, and, upon admission, met with numerous ethical/scholastic difficulties during his cadet career, but went on to flourish, developing a lifelong passion for archaeology, and he became the first freshman to win the Academy marathon. Shortly after graduation, Picard was stabbed in the heart by a Nausicaan, leaving the organ irreparable and requiring replacement with a parthenogenetic implant; this would prove near-fatal later. Picard eventually served as first officer aboard the USS Stargazer, which he later commanded. During that time, he invented a warp-speed starship battle tactic that would become known as the Picard Maneuver.
Depicted as deeply moral, highly logical, and intelligent, Picard is a master of diplomacy and debate who resolves seemingly intractable issues between multiple, sometimes implacable parties with a Solomon-like wisdom. Though such resolutions are usually peaceful, Picard is also shown using his remarkable tactical cunning in situations when it is required. Picard has a fondness for detective stories, Shakespearean drama, and archeology. He is frequently shown drinking Earl Grey tea and issuing the order, “Make it so”, or, “Engage”.
Star Trek: The Next Generation depicts Picard’s command of the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-D). The pilot episode shows the ship’s mission to investigate a problem at Farpoint Station, which becomes sidetracked when an entity known as Q makes Picard “representative” in a trial charging humanity with being a “dangerously savage child-race”. Picard persuades Q to test humanity, and Q chooses as the test’s first stage the crew’s performance at Farpoint. The trial “ends” seven years later (when Q reminds Picard that it never does), in the series finale, when humanity is absolved by Picard’s demonstration that the species has the capacity to explore the “possibilities of existence”.