Star Trek Guide

Star Trek: Picard Introduces Mystery of Killer Synthetics Gone Rogue

Star Trek: Picard's premiere episode may have brought back the classic character of Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart), but it certainly introduced a bold new future in which Picard is still trying to find his place. Two of the biggest questions hanging over Star Trek: Picard before its premiere were: "Why did Picard leave Starfleet?" and "How was the deceased Commander Data appearing in this new show?" As it turns out, those two answers were more connected than most fans guessed, and opened the door on a whole new major mystery in Star Trek lore: the uprising of killer synthetics!

Warning: Star Trek: Picard episode 1 SPOILERS Follow!

Picard's premiere episode is set during the anniversary of the destruction of Romulus, and Picard decides to make a rare appearance on the Federation News Network to both commemorate the tragedy, and highlight the continued plight of Romulan refugees. That interview goes right off the rails when Picard is pressed about his attempt to lead a mass-evacuation of Romulus - a mission which ended in disaster.

It's only vaguely eluded to, but at some point during Starfleet's evacuation of Romulus that a faction of synthetics "went rogue" and attacked a shipyard on Mars, and that attack ended with Mars' gaseous atmosphere being ignited, killing hundreds of millions of people. The synthetic uprising and mass killing convinced Starfleet to abandon all plans to help the Romulans, which caused that race to suffer much greater losses than they would have. Horrified by Starfleet's actions, Jean-Luc Picard left the organization.

Now, the Synthetics Uprising 20 years ago is just used as backdrop context for Star Trek: Picard's new mystery, which regards "Data's Daughters" being twin synthetics of a perfected form we've never seen before. Those pivotal MacGuffin characters also connect back to faction of Romulans who are revealed to have found a home inside a Borg Cube, as well as the character of Bruce Maddox, and his connection to the synthetic race. Jeri Ryans' Seven of Nine will also be returning in Star Trek: Picard on what looks to be some kind of freedom fighting mission for mechanically enhanced and/or synthetic beings, so clearly this seems like a major narrative line for season 1.

However, while the synthetic uprising is introduced and quickly pushed aside, it's pretty clear that Star Trek: Picard is keeping it in the wings for later reference or revisiting at a piovtal point. The season 1 preview's scene of what seems to be a synthetic assassin at work practically guarantees it.

Star Trek: Picard is now streaming on CBS All Access. New episodes are released every Thursday.

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