Star Trek Guide

Star Trek: Picard's Opening Song Is A TNG Movie Callback

Star Trek: Picard begins with a jaunty number that harks back to the most recent The Next Generation movie. After months of anticipation, Star Trek: Picard has finally set sail to a largely positive reaction from fans and critics. The central story revolves around a retired Picard mourning the ethical decline of Starfleet and the loss of his old friend, Data. A main character throughout Star Trek: The Next Generation, Data was Starfleet's first synthetic officer and, as his captain, Picard mentored the android's quest for humanity while championing Data's rights as an individual. Tragically, Data sacrificed his life for Picard and the rest of the Enterprise crew in 2002's Star Trek: Nemesis movie.

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Although Star Trek: Picard is set many years after Nemesis, the themes and storylines more or less continue directly from the last on-screen Next Generation adventure. The jaded Jean-Luc is still mourning the loss of Data but is shocked to find that the android is survived by two twin children - perfect synthetic beings more advanced and lifelike than contemporary technology should allow. One of these daughters, Dahj, seeks Picard's aid and is promptly executed by a mysterious Romulan black ops team, causing Picard to swear justice for the girl and seek out her remaining twin.

On a more offbeat note for the Star Trek franchise, the premiere episode of Picard begins with a visual of outer space over the top of Bing Crosby singing "Blue Skies" from the 1946 film of the same name. This is a direct throwback to Star Trek: Nemesis, where Data sings at Riker and Troi's wedding ceremony. Having studied the cultures of the bride and groom, Data decides to offer his vocal talents as a wedding gift, and sings the American classic because of Riker's taste for jazz music. Mostly everyone (the drunk Worf aside) appreciates the gesture. Come the end of the movie, Data attempts to transfer his memories into B-4 prior to his death. Picard realizes that the process wasn't successful, but then finds B-4 singing "Blue Skies," suggesting some part of his old android friend remained alive.

The use of the same song in Star Trek: Picard's first episode immediately signposts that Data's death and the philosophical debate over sentience of androids will be key themes in the upcoming story, and so it proves with the arrival of Dahj, the reveal of her android parentage and the return of Bruce Maddox and the Daystrom Institute. Strangely, the same episode arguably also serves to discredit the song's significance at the end of Star Trek: Nemesis. In the 2002 movie, "Blue Skies" is used to tease that B-4 might've taken on Data's data and turned into the genuine article, but Star Trek: Picard confirms that ultimately wasn't the case, and the replacement android failed to live up to expectations before suffering disassembly because of the synth ban.

However, the use of "Blue Skies" perhaps does hint at Data's survival in Star Trek: Picard. Although B-4 might not have been able to carry Data's legacy forward as suggested in Nemesis, Dahj's twin, Soji, might be the answer. Data's daughters are so technologically advanced, it's currently unclear how they were brought into being and exactly what their relation to Data is. "Blue Skies" could be a sign that, even though B-4 was a false dawn, Soji could be used to bring Data back into existence for real if a replacement body could be found (probably from a large draw in a scientific institute). Or perhaps the song is just used to draw a line of continuity from Jean-Luc's last Star Trek adventure to his latest one.

Star Trek: Picard continues with "Maps And Legends" January 30th on CBS All Access and Amazon Prime Video internationally one day later.


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