Star Trek: Picard Showrunner Explains Meaning Behind Data's Family's Names
Star Trek: Picard recently introduced Data's family, and their names are what they are for a specific reason says showrunner, Michael Chabon. The not-quite-sequel to Star Trek: The Next Generation is currently airing weekly on CBS All-Access, and it sees Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) on what may be his final adventure as he tries to save a synthetic woman, Soji (Isa Briones), from the Romulans.
Picard is as much a mystery as it is a new Star Trek show, and its biggest questions have surrounded Soji and her now deceased sister, Dahj. As season 1 has progressed, it's been revealed that Soji and Dahj are synthetic beings or androids, not human. They were also created by Dr. Bruce Maddox from Data's positronic brain, so in a sense, the sisters are Data's daughters. Picard's most recent episode, "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1", sees Picard and Soji arrive at her home planet, and there they meet a lot more of Data's android relatives.
During a Q&A on his Instagram story, Picard showrunner Michael Chabon answered a fan's question about the names given to the other synthetics created from Data's positronic brain. He explained that like Data's and his brother Lore's names, the names of the synths were derived from names for "bodies of text or information." Sutra, for example, is a Sanskrit word that means "discourse" and is often used in Indian literature for a manual or text. Chabon also touched on the differences in names given that some synths were named by Maddox or Altan Inigo Soong (Brent Spiner), while others named themselves. You can read his full answer, below:
Meeting Data's extended family is an exciting moment, to be sure, but it doesn't take long before things start getting a little tense between the organic and the synthetic. The Romulans are only pursuing Soji so they can discover the synthetics' home world and destroy it, believing that synthetic life will lead to the destruction of all organic life. And initially, it looked as if the Romulan's fears were unfounded, but upon learning the Romulans are coming to destroy them and that a more advanced form of synthetic life is promising protection, Sutra is now leading the synths towards that prophesied future where they'll wind up wiping out all organic life.
Star Trek: Picard season 1 wraps up in next week's episode, "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2", and it will potentially reveal who these other, more advanced synthetic beings are and whether or not they come to the rescue of Data's descendants. If they so, it'll be curious to see how they react to those organics who have been trying to help - namely, Soong, Dr. Agnes Jurati (Allison Pill), and of course, Picard. In a previous episode, Soji revealed to Picard that she believes Data did love him, and if that's true, then it's possible that his family will in time come to trust Picard just as Data did and Soji has since meeting him.
Star Trek: Picard season 1 continues Thursday, March 26th with "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2" on CBS All-Access.
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