Warning: Contains spoilers for Star Trek # 1! A new Star Trek comic has confirmed that Data survived the events of Star Trek: Nemesis, so why is he still dead in the current series? IDW Publishing’s new Star Trek comic brings together an assortment of characters from various shows under the direction of Captain Benjamin Sisko. Among Sisko’s motley crew is Data, the android officer from Star Trek: The Next Generation – and his presence raises serious questions about Data’s status in the current Star Trek show series. The first issue is now on sale in print and digital.
Data, the android helmsman played by Brent Spiner, served aboard the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D for all seven seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation and its four feature films. Apparently, Data was killed off in Star Trek: Nemesis, which was the last film with the cast of The Next Generation. Various spin-off media, including novels and comics, revived Data, but the first season of Star Trek: Picard (set about 20 years after Nemesis) established that he had not been rebuilt after Nemesis and was actually still dead. Furthermore, following an attack by a rogue group of “synthetics” (the name given to the androids) that left millions dead, they were completely banned. The season ends not only with the lifting of the ban, but with the revelation that there is an entire planet of synthesizers; however, Data is still dead.
Yet, in IDW’s new Star Trek comic, set about three years after Nemesis, Data is alive and well and still serving Starfleet. Sisko has been sent back to this plane of existence by the Seers, to find out who – or what – is slaughtering the divine beings of the Star Trek universe. Realizing that he will need a spaceship and a crew to complete the mission, Sisko goes to Captain Picard. Picard accepts Sisko’s request on one condition: Picard chooses Sisko’s first officer and he chooses Data. Data says it “will be a unique experience” to work with Sisko; Data brings his own cat, Spot, with him, stating that he hopes Sisko “isn’t allergic to cats”. The number is written by Jackson Lanzing and Collin Kelly, illustrated by Ramon Rosanas, colored by Lee Loughridge and written by Clayton Cowles.
Feedback on the data raises serious questions
Data was not just one of the most popular characters from Star Trek: The Next Generation, but the entire franchise as a whole. That said, his return should be a cause for celebration, but sadly it raises some questions about the canon. As stated earlier, Data was not rebuilt after the events of Nemesis, leading readers to wonder: Why is Data alive here? The first season of Star Trek: Picard firmly established that Data is dead, so how does it fit with the first issue of Star Trek? One possible answer is that Data was actually rebuilt after Nemesis, but during this mission something horrible will happen to him, so bad that he will die again, with Starfleet hiding his resurrection.
Another possible out-of-universe explanation is that planning for the new Star Trek comic series began before Picard’s first season begins. However, Picard’s first season began nearly four years ago, which would have given the Star Trek creative team a lot of insight into Data’s canonical status. The creative team behind the comic, along with IDW Publishing, wouldn’t publish a comic that so blatantly ignores the canon. It’s clear there’s more to Data’s post-Nemesis resurrection than Star Trek fans are told.