Star Trek Guide

Star Trek: Picard Hints That Data Has Even More [SPOILER]

Warning: SPOILERS for Star Trek: Picard, season 1, episode 2, "Maps and Legends."

Star Trek: Picard's second episode dropped a compelling hint that the late Commander Data (Brent Spiner) has more "children" than just the synthetic twins, Dahj and Soji Asha (Isa Briones). The new CBS All-Access series stars Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard, now a retired Starfleet Admiral, who is spurred back into action on a mission of discovery. Set in 2399, Picard's quest concerns the role of artificial lifeforms in the United Federation of Planets and the legacy left behind by Commander Data, who died to save Picard's life in Star Trek: Nemesis.

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In Star Trek: Picard's premiere episode, "Remembrance", Dahj found herself targeted by a Romulan death squad called the Zhat Vash. She sought help from Picard, but the Zhat Vash attacked them and assassinated her. Thanks to the help of cyberneticist Dr. Agnes Jurati (Alison Pill) at the Daystrom Institute, Picard learned that Dahj is a human-like synthetic created from Data's neuron by Dr. Bruce Maddox — which essentially makes her Data's "daughter" — and that Dahj has a twin sister who is also in danger. Meanwhile, the curtain has slowly dropped on the Zhat Vash, which is a secret Romulan sect older than their secret police, the Tal Shiar. The Zhat Vash has been weaponized by Commodore Oh (Tamlyn Tomita), the Vulcan head of Starfleet Security. It was Oh who sent her top operative, Lieutenant Rizzo (Peyton List), to capture Dahj, which ended disastrously in Dahj's death instead. This insidious conspiracy between Starfleet Security and the Zhat Vash is now pointed at the Borg Cube the Romulans have reclaimed in the Beta Quadrant, where Soji Asha works as part of the Romulan Reclamation Project harvesting Borg technology.

The closing moments of Star Trek: Picard episode 2, "Maps and Legends", thickens the plot even further. Lieutenant Rizzo is actually Narissa, a Romulan Zhat Vash agent and the older sister of Narek (Harry Treadaway), whom she sent to infiltrate the Romulan Reclamation Project and find Soji. Narek's plan to extract information from Soji is decidedly less violent than Narissa's methods: he immediately seduced Soji. Communicating with Narek via hologram, Narissa discovered her baby brother is sleeping with their target and demanded to know, "Have you found the nest? Has the machine given up the location of its fellow abominations?" So, this means the original plan wasn't to kill Dahj, but to use her to find out where the rest of the synthetics like her are hiding.

This means that the Zhat Vash have reason to believe that Bruce Maddox, who went into hiding after the Federation banned synthetic lifeforms, created a new "race of Datas" he postulated in the classic TNG episode "Measure of a Man". Maddox originally designed the androids that caused the Mars attack in 2385, but through a miraculous process called neuronic fractal cloning, Maddox may have made even more human-like synthetics grown from Data's neuron than just Dahj and Soji — or so the Zhat Vash suspect. If so, it's unclear whether Maddox's "nest" of synthetics are all duplicate copies of Dahj and Soji or if there are multiple varieties, but because the Zhat Vash bear an unassuageable hatred of artificial life, the Romulan extremists want all of those "abominations" dead.

Just as Dahj didn't know what she was before she was "activated" by the Zhat Vash's attack, Soji seems to be unaware that she's actually a synth. When she was on the run, Dahj communicated with a mystery woman she knew as "Mom", who ordered her to find Picard and could control her functions from afar. It's safe to presume that this woman is also Soji's "Mom" and there are clearly failsafe plans to go into effect should the synthetics be discovered. Right now, there's no telling where the nest of synthetics is, how many there are, and whether they all resemble Data's "daughters". Picard remains devoted to Data and, considering how driven Jean-Luc is to save just one of Data's offspring, he's bound to even more compelled to save all of Data's "children" when he learns of their existence in Star Trek: Picard.

Star Trek: Picard streams Thursdays on CBS All-Access and Fridays internationally on Amazon Prime Video.


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