Star Trek Guide

Patrick Stewart confirms Star Trek: Picard fan theory explaining Data's return

One of the biggest mysteries about Picard for Star Trek fans is the appearance of Data.

From the moment the show's Comic-Con trailer arrived over the summer, fans have been questioning scenes featuring Jean-Luc Picard reuniting with his android.

Theoretically, it should be impossible for Picard to ever see Data again since his trusted crew member sacrificed himself in Star Trek: Nemesis to destroy a rogue Romulan battleship.

Digital Spy and other media recently asked Sir Patrick Stewart about Data's presence in Picard, and he confirmed a major fan theory that Data appears in Jean-Luc's dreams.

"How can we have a character who we saw explode; when an entire ship blew up at the end of Nemesis?" he explained. "Well, that first appearance is a dream, which introduces Picard's guilt and profound unease at the destruction of Data."

Sir Patrick also broached the topic of more Next Generation cameos, revealing that Data, Riker (Jonathan Frakes), Deanna Troi (Marina Sirtis) and Hugh the Borg (Jonathan Del Arco) will be the limit at first.

"As far as characters from The Next Generation, I think that's all that we see [in season one]," he told us. "However, we had other visitors on the set. LeVar Burton [aka Geordi La Forge] came to see us on the set. Michael Dorn [aka Worf] came to visit us on the set of Picard.

"And I am confident that we will be seeing them at some point in the future. And, of course, Jonathan Frakes directed two episodes of Star Trek: Picard. And when Jonathan is directing, you're always having a good time because he's a terrific director and an absolutely delightful person to be around.

"These people are my oldest and strongest connection with Hollywood. In April of 1987, my life changed almost overnight. Not a corner of my life was not, was untouched by coming here to Hollywood and beginning work on Star Trek: The Next Generation. And so, having these people with me yet again is thrilling."

Star Trek: Picard has a premiere date of January 23, 2020. It will air on CBS All Access in the US and Amazon Prime internationally, including the UK.

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