Review: Data deserves better destiny

Editor’s note: This review contains plot spoilers.

By Lt. j.g. Lisa Sobien
Data died.

We all know this from “Star Trek: Nemesis” when Data, aka Brent Spiner, sacrificed himself to save Jean-Luc Picard, aka Sir Patrick Stewart, and Earth. Then “Star Trek: Picard” brings him back. We’ve all seen the first episode or at least a trailer, right? Data’s back! Or is he really?

Don’t read further if you don’t want spoilers. Watch the season finale of “Picard” first.

Now that you’ve been warned …

Data is back!

This isn’t just Picard’s dream or ours. He’s back and living in a complex simulation matrix as we discover in the season finale of “Picard.”

But just like a dream, it is very short-lived. Why? Well, he asks his good friend Picard to let him die. It’s time to pull the plug – or the simulation crystals or whatever they were – and “kill Data” and let him go.

Here’s the thing. They just honor Data’s request to die as if it is perfectly reasonable and there are no other options.

Jean-Luc Picard might even call this a failure of the imagination, yet he is one of the people who willfully just go along with Data’s request to die.
There is no argument or further conversation about it. No counseling.

It is very much out of character for Picard to have a friend basically ask to be euthanized and Picard just complies with the request, with no push back of any kind.

Nor does it seem to be in character for Dr. Altan Inigo Soong, Dr. Agnes Jurati or Soji, given that they just moved heaven and earth to save Picard.
Data says he wants the plug pulled because the most human thing he can do is die. Well, why can’t they put him in a synthetic yet realistically natural body like they did Picard and give him a natural expiration date?

He can still die at some point, but he can really live first. They could even make his golem be his natural age, which just happens to be the same as Brent Spiner.

It’s been established that Data’s long dreamed of having a daughter. Doesn’t he want to meet his children? He has the possibility of meeting his massive synth family, but he’d rather die.

And no one questions this choice.

Is he really just depressed and lonely in that simulation? They could make him a simulated friend until they were able to make him a new body. He could use a friend in there, or maybe a counselor.

If it was simply Brent Spiner not wanting to play Data again, why not have a new actor play the part? If they put him in a golem like Picard, maybe Data could have a little input and just happen to look slightly different than he did before.

Killing off Data, per his request, leaves so many questions. “Star Trek” fans can only hope one day for some answers.

Editor’s note 2.0: All episodes of “Star Trek: Picard” can be found on CBS All Access. For a one-month free trial, click on the banner on top of this website’s home page.


Jean-Luc Picard (Sir Patrick Stewart) and Data (Brent Spiner) chat on “Star Trek: Picard.” (Photo by Trae Patton/CBS ©2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All rights reserved.)

Dave Mason

Commanding officer of the USS-Angeles Rank Fleet Captain

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