Mass Effect fans haven't had much to cheer about recently. The last game we got was Mass Effect Andromeda way back in 2017, a title many in the community consider a low point in the series. Ever since, news of a potential Mass Effect 5 release date has been thin on the ground, with a single poster and the confirmation of Liara T'Soni's inclusion being the only things we have to go on at the moment.
However, Liara's presence in the game does suggest that it may have ties to the original trilogy more than Andromeda, and fans are debating whether BioWare should drag up the past even more and bring back Commander Shepard. The question was put to Mass Effect fans on ResetEra, and there's a surprisingly varied range of opinions, as many put their cases forward for why Shepard should and shouldn't return.
RoboPlato was the first to offer up their opinion, which is that the series "needs to move past Shepard" and that he shouldn't return. Instead, RoboPlato wants BioWare to focus all its efforts on creating a new hero and crew to make memories with. Similarly, a user called ciddative would rather have BioWare make "subtle callbacks" at the very most, and JohnnyJoestar would rather it "not have any direct connections" at all.
On the other hands, there's also a lot of people who would like to see Shepard come back, though most would prefer it if he wasn't the playable character. AuthenticM suggests that Shepard could be "the equivalent of Anderson for the new game", while Roxas (not the Kingdom Hearts character) is rather indifferent about the whole thing, explaining that they "wouldn't oppose more adventures from her." RoninZ also suggests that Commander Shepard could show up similar to how Hawke turns up in Dragon Age: Inqusition.
Then there are those that couldn't care about Commander Shepard at all and want other characters from the original Mass Effect to return instead. We already have Liara T'Soni, but Sargerus really wants Garrus to come back, regardless of how many years has passed since Mass Effect 3. Similarly, Torpedo Vegas "only wants Wrex", a sentiment shared by original poster LastNac who misses him. Same here guys, same here.
In other Mass Effect news, Mass Effect Andromeda's creative director Mac Walters recently came out and expressed his desire for a sequel to the much-maligned entry, explaining that "I only wish we had been able to then do a second one." Walters claimed that we would've seen a jump in polish, similar to the one between Mass Effect 1 and 2, but the mixed reception to Andromeda put an end to any plans.