Star Trek Guide

Why Star Trek: Picard Isn't Using Lore

Star Trek: Picard is almost certainly not using Data's evil brother Lore, despite fan theories. The Lore whispers have been around Star Trek: Picard since it began, but fans really started getting their hopes up for a return with the season's penultimate episode "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1." That episode introduced Alton Inigo Soong, the never-before-mentioned son of Dr. Noonian Soong, Data's creator. The younger Soong - along with the late Bruce Maddox - created the synthetic society on Coppelius. These androids were more advanced than Data and were able to easily express emotion - or even pull off a Vulcan mind meld.

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Yet some fans believe Alton Soong is simply a cover for Lore, who hasn't been seen since the final season of Star Trek: The Next Generation in 1993. In that two-parter, titled "Descent," Lore became the leader of a group of Borg drones who had become sentient after the Enterprise crew had effectively infected the collective with the dearly departed Hugh's individuality in the season 5 episode "I, Borg."

Lore found dozens of drones who couldn't cope with their new sentience, and ever so graciously offered to rule over them in lieu of the collective. Lore also managed to gain control of Data through manipulation of his emotion chip. But when Data was forced to choose between Picard and Lore, he chose his captain and was forced to shoot Lore point blank, deactivating him in the process. That was the last time Lore was seen in Star Trek.

The most obvious reason Alton Soong isn't going to turn out to be Lore is that showrunner Michael Chabon has been candid on his Instagram about the fact they're not making a story that involves Lore. It's not exactly unheard of for producers of science fiction shows to blatantly lie to fans about plot points - Doctor Who's Steven Moffat was once notorious for this - but Chabon has been refreshingly honest, so a lie would be a genuine curve ball in this case.

There's also the less practical yet more artistic reason for Lore's absence - he was a thin character. Despite being portrayed by one of the main cast members, Lore only appeared in four episodes of The Next Generation over its seven seasons. The gimmick of Brent Spiner playing against himself was only good for a few episodes, and Lore's cartoonish flavor of evil didn't mesh well at all with Spiner's measured, subtle performance as Data. Lore never had any depth as a character, and "Descent" treated his deactivation as a sort of death. It's best for Star Trek: Picard that the evil twin brother stays dead.


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