At last, the premiere episode of Star Trek: Picard arrived this morning and is now available to watch exclusively on CBS All Access. As you’d expect, it features some exciting developments for the franchise and the characters of The Next Generation. In particular, it drops a major bombshell that’s connected to Data.
If you’ll recall, the trailers introduced Isa Briones’ Dahj, a young woman who turns up on Picard’s doorstep looking for help, something which kicks off the series’ plot. The marketing never specified who or what she was, however. But the premiere, titled “Remembrance,” clears up this mystery with a surprising answer. She’s a synthetic being whose programming is derived from Data’s own, essentially making her his daughter.
ComicBook.com caught up with the android himself, Brent Spiner, today and asked him what he thought about this twist, with the actor saying:
“Well, I didn’t really have a say. I’m happy just for the saga of Data to continue. If it’s through his progeny… then I’m pleased.”
Of course, Dahj’s creation is tied into TNG. Fans will remember that Data already had an android daughter named Lal in “The Offspring,” but she tragically had to be shut down. This deeply affected Data and he never stopped wanting a child. We learn in Picard that he painted two portraits of a woman that he titled “Daughter.” Dr. Bruce Maddox, the researcher who studied Data in TNG, was inspired by this to use a special regenerative process to create Dahj, basing her appearance on the woman in the painting.
But just as Data painted two portraits, Maddox created two daughters. Dahj dies by the end of “Remembrance,” but Picard discovers that she has a twin, Dr. Soji Asha. Unbeknown to him, Soji works as part of the Romulan reclamation project aboard an abandoned Borg Cube.
In contrast to what we thought, it looks like Soji will be Briones’ main role on the show instead of Dahj and, while fans had theories about the nature of the character beforehand, we hadn’t guessed she’d be Data’s daughter.
Expect more surprises and further TNG connections as Star Trek: Picard continues Thursdays on CBS All Access.