The new trailer for the upcoming CBS All Access Show Star Trek: Picard sent waves of shock and joy throughout the Trekkie community earlier this week. Not only was it our first glance of Jean-Luc Picard back in space, but it fleshed out the plot of the secretive show a bit by revealing that he’s drawn there to help out a powerful young woman in extreme danger. (So far, this seems like the Star Trek version of Logan.) We also get to see him interact with Jeri Ryan’s Seven of Nine character from Star Trek: Voyager and, most intriguingly, Brent Spiner’s Data character.
Before his brief appearance playing cards with Picard toward the end of the trailer, Picard is shown mourning the death of Data and even displaying pieces of his body in a drawer. “Nearly two decades ago, Commander Data sacrificed his life for me,” Picard says. “These past few years, I truly tried to belong here, but it never truly felt like home.”
Anyone that doesn’t remember exactly how Data died can be forgiven because it happened near the end of 2002’s Star Trek: Nemesis, a film so wretched that it forever ended Star Trek: The Next Generation as a film franchise and forced Paramount to reboot the entire universe and start over again with new actors playing the original crew from the days of Captain Kirk.
The plot of Nemesis revolved around the crew coming across a clone of an evil clone of Picard named Shinzon that looked nothing like him whatsoever outside of not having any hair. To make a long and boring story short, Picard ultimately kills Shinzon by ramming a metal bar into his chest, but it happens on a ship that’s about to explode. At the last minute, Data beams onto the craft and attaches a personal transporter to Picard and sends him back to the Enterprise. He dies in the resulting explosion. You can see the scene right here.
The movie was directed by Stuart Baird, who hasn’t directed a single movie in the 17 years since Nemesis came out. “It was a tough shoot and there was a lot of different things happening,” Michael “Worf” Dorn said at a 2014 cast reunion before Marina “Deanna Troi” Sirtis cut him off. “Oh come on say it!” she said. “The director was an idiot!”
Patrick Stewart vowed that he was done forever with Picard after the Nemesis fiasco, but he was lured back by an amazing storyline for his character. “We also have a new crew, a new cast, and I am astonished at the speed at which this has become a team, a cohesive unit working together,” he said at Comic-Con. “We are already cemented together and that makes me happy and proud.”
Jonathan Frakes and Marina Sirtis don’t appear in the trailer, but it was announced at Comic-Con that they’d both be back. Their characters married at the beginning of Nemesis. It’s unclear how exactly Data appears, but it feels quite possible that the scene in the trailer takes place in a Holodeck. But we won’t know until 2020 when Star Trek: Picard appears and finally begins to undo the damage of Star Trek: Nemesis.