Star Trek: Picard - 10 Burning Questions We Have About Data After The Debut Episode
Since his first appearance on Star Trek: The Next Generation, Data has joined other beloved Star Trek characters in becoming icons of the franchise. Like Spock, the half-Vulcan, half-human who appeared on Star Trek: The Original Series, the android served as a means to perceive the human condition from the perspective of an outsider. A friend to Captain Picard, he selflessly gave his life so that his captain might live in Star Trek: Nemesis, the last of the Next Gen films.
Data fans anxiously awaited the debut of Star Trek: Picard for a chance to see Ol' Yellow Eyes, whose presence in the trailers proved to be a shock. The first episode revealed that although Data would appear in the series, it would be as a figment of Picard's guilt-ridden sub-conscience. That wouldn't be Data's only contribution, however, and "Remembrance" brought up these 10 burning questions about the android's future.
10 WILL DATA CONTINUE TO APPEAR IN PICARD'S DREAMS?
When we first encounter Data in "Remembrance", he appears in one of Picard's dreams. They're playing poker in Ten Forward aboard the Enterprise, and Picard tries to stall the game as long as he can so that the dream won't end, and he'll be able to spend more time with his dear friend.
Data was blown up when he sacrificed his life to save his captain in the film Star Trek: Nemesis, so the only way Picard is able to interact with him is in his dreams. If the "real" Data isn't able to come back in the future, will Picard continue to be plagued by these sorts of guilt dreams throughout the series?
9 DID DATA HELP HIDE BRUCE MADDOX?
When Picard goes to the Daystrom Institute in Okinawa he learns from one of the research scientists there, Dr. Agnes Jurati, that an A.I. expert named Bruce Maddox was once attempting to surpass Dr. Soong in the creation of the ultimate artificial life form.
Maddox appeared on Star Trek: The Next Generation attempting to dissect Data, until Picard defended his rights as an individual, not Starfleet property. Despite the circumstances, Maddox and Data kept in touch. Dr. Jurati explains after the uprising of synthetics on Mars, Maddox disappeared. Did Data help hide him and his research once synthetics were banned?
8 DID DATA WANT MADDOX TO GIVE HIM OFFSPRING?
If Data and Maddox were corresponding about the future of artificial intelligence and the capabilities of synthetics/androids, did Data ever tell Maddox he wanted offspring? Did they discuss his own attempts at making his daughter, Lal, whose positronic brain overloaded when she was able to have feelings?
"Remembrance" reveals that a painting simply titled "Daughter" by Picard is kept in his personal vault, depicting a young girl with a face like Dahj's. Did Maddox suggest using that face for the basis of Data's offspring, or did Data suggest it himself?
7 HOW INVOLVED WAS DATA WITH CREATING THE TWINS?
While Picard is at the Daystrom Institute, Dr. Jurati explains that in order for Bruce Maddox to create synthetics of flesh and blood as advanced as Dahj and her twin sister, he'd have to "grow" them using "neuronic fractal cloning", a process that involves using an engram from Data that contained his abilities and his memories.
Was Data aware that Maddox was getting close to this sort of discovery? Did he guide him in the process of pioneering the neuronic fractal cloning? Since the process requires the synthetic to be grown as a set of twins, how involved was Data with Dahj and Soji's creation?
6 WAS DATA'S PROTOTYPE USED TO CREATE THE TWINS?
When Picard is able to view B-4 (Data's prototype model introduced in Star Trek: Nemesis) at the Daystrom Institute, he's in pieces. The inferior model of Dr. Soong's progression towards what would become Data had to be disassembled when synthetics were banned.
His positronic brain was so inferior, Dr. Jurati suggests, that it couldn't be used to retain Data's memories, despite the fact that Data used him for just that purpose before he was killed. Maddox would have had access to B-4 before he left the Daystrom Institute, so perhaps some part of him went into the twins.
5 WAS DATA'S EVIL BROTHER LORE USED TO CREATE THE TWINS?
Other than the real Data or his prototype B-4, there's only one other synthetic who could have been used by Dr. Maddox to create Dahj and her sister; Lore. Lore was Data's evil twin brother, a psychopathic android that felt synthetics were superior to humans.
Due to his sociopathic behavior, Lore was eventually shut down and disassembled on Star Trek: The Next Generation. His body was never destroyed, however, and it's possible that Maddox was able to get ahold of it and use an engram from him to create the twins.
4 WAS LORE INVOLVED IN THE ANDROID UPRISING?
Throughout his time appearing on Star Trek: The Next Generation,Data's evil brother Lore attempted to sabotage Starfleet missions, recruit Data to commit chaos and mayhem, and otherwise jeopardize the crew of the Enterprise-D with no regard for human life.
Was it possible that Maddox got his hands on Lore's dismantled positronic brain? If Lore was reassembled, is he loose plotting to take revenge on Picard? More importantly, was he responsible for the synthetic uprising on Mars? It certainly sounds like something Lore would do.
3 COULD DATA'S MEMORIES BE INSERTED INTO ANOTHER TYPE OF MACHINE?
While much of what made Data a superior android was his positronic brain, arguably similar to a human brain in every respect save for its astounding computational ability, there's a chance that his memories and personality could be moved into another technological housing.
In Star Trek: The Next Generation, the technology was introduced that transferred a human mind into a computer system. Data's creator Dr. Soong transferred memories of colonists into androids using technology that Ira Graves infamously used to transfer his own mind into a computer. Perhaps Data could become the ship's computer on Picard's new vessel.
2 WILL DATA FEATURE ON STAR TREK: DISCOVERY?
Season 2 of Star Trek: Discovery ended by shooting the series 930 years forward, where a new Alpha Quadrant is explored in the 32nd century. When Picard asks Dr. Jurati at the Daystrom Institute if androids of flesh and blood could really be made, she says "not for a thousand years".
If Dahj and her sister were grown from one of Data's neurons, and don't appear to age (like most androids), is it possible the process was replicated with Data, and he could appear in Season 3, which occurs just shy of 1,000 years in the future?
1 COULD DATA FINALLY BE HUMAN?
On Star Trek: The Next Generation, all Data wanted was to be more human. What prevented him from attaining this state was not only being made of inorganic material, but lacking the ability to create and process emotions. That is, until he obtained an emotion chip from his creator, Dr. Soong.
The chip often malfunctioned when Data utilized it, especially since he wasn't used to having one. If Data is ever resurrected using the same process of neuronic fractal cloning as Dahj and her sister, and becomes a flesh and blood synthetic, will he have finally achieved the most human like existence he's ever known?