What Happened To Data’s Evil Brother Lore Between TNG & Picard Season 3

Lore (Brent Spiner) is back in Star Trek: Picard season 3, and this raises big questions about where the evil android has been since Star Trek: The Next Generation. Lore is the surprise character Brent Spiner is playing in Star Trek: Picard season 3 after he portrayed Dr. Altan Inigo Soong and Dr. Adam Soong in the prior Star Trek: Picard seasons. Lore is evidently one of Picard season 3’s main villains, along with Professor James Moriarty (Daniel Davis), who is also making a comeback from TNG, and a brand new Big Bad named Captain Vadic (Amanda Plummer).

Lore was last seen in the Star Trek: The Next Generation seasons 6 and 7 two-parter, “Descent.” The diabolical Soong android became the leader of a group of Borg drones who were broken away from the Collective. Lore gave the Borg individual identities, and he also recruited Data to his cause with the promise of an emotion chip (which Data finally installed in Star Trek Generations). Lore was ultimately defeated, and Data’s android brother was deactivated and dismantled. So how has Lore returned over 30 years later? Obviously, he was reassembled, but it’s not clear whether Lore was aboard the USS Enterprise-D when it was destroyed in Star Trek Generations. If so, Lore was obviously salvaged, but it’s unknown where his body was stored. Either way, someone obviously reassembled Lore in Star Trek: Picard season 3, with the most likely suspect being the mysterious Captain Vadic.

Why Is Lore Old In Star Trek: Picard Season 3?

Another big mystery in Star Trek: Picard season 3 is why has Lore aged? As androids, Data and Lore (and B4) were purportedly supposed to be incapable of aging. They are machines with no organic parts, and they can also be deactivated. Of course, when Data and Lore were created early in Star Trek: The Next Generation, no one could have anticipated the series would be popular decades later and that Brent Spiner would be called upon to play his iconic androids once more. The later TNG movies and Star Trek: Picard portrayed Data as the same age he always was, although it became harder to hide how Spiner has obviously aged when Data had not. This practicality may be a reason why Data was killed off, to begin with in Star Trek: Nemesis.

Yet, Lore is back, and he’s obviously older with white hair. This could be a retcon so that Soong androids actually do age (and this would retcon Data as well), which would conveniently hand-wave the explanation as an easy fix to address Brent Spiner being 30 years older. Aging is an issue Star Trek: Picard season 2 also had to deal with in regard to Q (John de Lancie), who simply made himself older to balance how Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) had aged, and Guinan (Whoopi Goldberg), an immortal El Aurian who let herself age. As with Q and Guinan, the simplest explanation is the most likely here, but it will be interesting if Star Trek: Picard season 3 presents a techno-babble reason for Old Lore.

Why Was B4 Created In Star Trek: Nemesis Instead Of Lore?

Star Trek: Nemesis introduced B4, a second Data Doppelganger played by Brent Spiner who was simpleminded instead of diabolical like Lore. To resurrect Lore in Nemesis would have meant adding a villain to rival Shinzon (Tom Hardy), whereas the ultimate point of B4 was to be a vehicle to potentially resurrect Data, who placed his memory engrams in his “brother.” B4 was really just a plot device in Nemesis that let Shinzon have a mole aboard the USS Enterprise-E. Later, B4’s function was the same as Dr. Leonard McCoy’s (DeForest Kelley), who housed Spock’s (Leonard Nimoy) Vulcan soul in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan so that Spock could come back to life in Star Trek: III: The Search for Spock.

Obviously, Data was never resurrected because there wasn’t another TNG movie after Star Trek: Nemesis bombed. Instead, Data’s “soul” in B4 was the plot device used to create Data’s daughters, Soji and Dahj (Isa Briones), and her race of synthetics in Star Trek: Picard season 1. Lore is difficult to factor into Nemesis and Soji and Dahj’s backstory, and it seems there wasn’t a solution for how to resurrect Lore until Star Trek: Picard season 3.

If Lore Is In Picard Season 3, Why Isn’t Soji?

It’s frustrating that Isa Briones was among the Star Trek: Picard cast members who were released after season 2 because it means Soji apparently won’t meet Lore in season 3. It begs the question of why Briones was released if Lore was being brought back? This decision robs the fans of seeing Soji meet her evil “uncle,” which is especially disappointing since Soji and Dahj never met their “father,” Data, in Star Trek: Picard season 1.

Soji was last seen as an ambassador for her synthetic race, and Isa Briones portrayed a different character, Kore Soong, who became a Traveler in Star Trek: Picard season 3. Briones and Brent Spiner had powerful chemistry as Adam and Kore Soong in Star Trek: Picard season 2, and it would be a shame not to tap into it again with Soji and Lore. However, Soji is technically still out in the universe and the possibility does exist for a surprise appearance by Soji to encounter Lore in Star Trek: Picard season 3.

Star Trek: Picard Season 3 premieres February 16, 2023, on Paramount+.

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