'Star Trek: Picard': Jean-Luc Picard may upload his mind to a synthesized being, bringing the show full circle
Data's end might just contain hope for a new beginning for Jean-Luc Picard
Spoiler alert for 'Star Trek: Picard' Season 1 Episode 9
In 'Star Trek: Nemesis,' Data (Brent Spiner) attempts to upload his mind to a less sophisticated version of himself, named B-4. He was unsuccessful, as we find out in the pilot episode of 'Star Trek: Picard,' but now Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) is attempting to do the same thing himself- bringing the entire show around in interesting ways.
The very first moments of 'Star Trek: Picard' open with 'Blue Skies' playing in the background - the very song Data sung at the beginning of 'Star Trek: Nemesis,' was meant to tease the idea that he had successfully been uploaded into B-4's body. The last time Picard saw Data, of course, was when Data had sacrificed himself to save Picard in 'Star Trek: Nemesis,' and Picard's been carrying that survivor's guilt ever since.
It's that guilt that drives him throughout the season, as he attempts to find Data's daughter, Soji (Isa Briones) from the Zhat Vhash, but the story is bigger than that. As Dr Agnes Jurati (Alison Pill) explained, Data was the first real synthetic being to ever be created, and the news of that is what had Commodore Oh (Tamlyn Tomita) infiltrate Starfleet in the first place, setting the events of 'Star Trek: Picard' off. Data's legacy is that of all artificially created life, and whether or not humanity can allow them to exist.
When Picard and his crew find the community of synthetic beings, they discover living among them is Dr Olton Inego Soong, played by Brent Spiner himself. It's a legacy role, as Olton's father was none other than Dr Noonien Soong, the man who created Data in the first place. Given that Brent Spiner plays both roles, it's obvious that Noonien created Data in his biological son's image, making Olton and Data brothers, of a sort, which extends to B-4.
This episode brings up two things of significance, though it doesn't connect them - it reminds the audience of Picard's brain abnormality and it's the fatal diagnosis, and the golem created by Olton Soong. The golem is a synthetic body - but it's a blank slate, meant to be occupied by the mind of an organic being. Soong hasn't perfected it yet, but if he does, it may be Picard's last hope. If successful, Picard will be able to upload his mind to another body - much in the way Data failed to do in 'Star Trek: Nemesis.'
The implications of that might be what brings peace between organic life and synthetics, as a person raised as an organic being, but now alive in a synthetic body, Picard would truly be a bridge between two worlds. He would be a new sort of life form, the missing link between man and machine and finally make up for his failure in stopping the banning of synthetic life, 14 years ago, causing his retirement from Starfleet.
It's all coming together, on several levels, and the connections are fascinating. There's a lot riding on whether or not Picard finds new life in the season finale, setting up a grand moment with decades of history behind it.
The next episode of 'Star Trek: Picard' airs March 27, on CBS All Access.