[Warning: Article contains spoilers for the finale of Star Trek: Picard.] With both franchises having existed together for the better of the last half-century, it stands to reason one franchise might borrow from the other from time to time. In fact, Stars Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams even snuck R2-D2 into Star Trek: Into DarknessThe series finale of Star Trek: Picard, however, was something altogether different. Call it an homage, call it straight-up copying, there’s no denying a certain similarity. The show’s climatic, final battle could have been ripped right from the script of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.

Star Trek Picard; Star Wars;
Yup, that’s Artoo flying through the debris in Star Trek: Into Darkness. (Image: Paramount)

Fans of the show, and of Star Wars, no doubt found the Picard finale to feel a bit… familiar. In it, in order to save the galaxy, the Enterprise must fly into the superstructure of the Borg cube. Traversing a difficult path full of unending obstacles, the ship must reach the center of the Cube and destroy the giant, orb-like structure at its center.  Then, against seemingly unbeatable odds, they must fly out before the cube explodes. This feels familiar, of course, because that’s exactly what Lando Calrissian did in the Millennium Falcon in Return of the Jedi.

Who did it better, Star Trek: Picard or Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

Star Trek Picard; Star Wars return of the Jedi
Hmmm. Where have we seen this before? (Image: Paramount)

 In the 1983 conclusion to the original Star Wars trilogy, Lando pulled off the same maneuver Data does in Picard. The Falcon flew straight into the heart of the Death Star, as did the Enterprise in the Borg cube. At its center, Lando (with a little help from Wedge Antilles, granted), then destroyed the heart of the space station. Upon completion of their respective missions, each ship then makes a fiery escape through the disintegrating enemy stronghold, only to emerge seconds before the ultimate explosion.  

Star Wars; Star Trek;
The Millennium Falcon blasts its way out of the crumbling Death Star in Return of the Jedi. (Image: Lucasfilm Ltd.)

Don’t get me wrong: I loved the Picard finale. It was another fine entry into Star Trek lore. Still… the similarities to Star Wars can’t be ignored. It’s as if the writers said “how can we wrap this up?” and someone answered “ever see Return of the Jedi? Let’s do that!” I mean, if something works….

All episodes of Star Trek: Picard are now streaming on Paramount+. If you prefer Star Wars, head on over to Disney+, instead.