‘Star Trek: Picard’ Finale Sparks Philosophical Fan Debate — Is Picard Still Picard?

NOTE: Article contains SPOILERS for the Star Trek: Picard season one finale.

How many Picards are there?

In last week’s Star Trek: Picard finale episode (“Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 2”) Jean-Luc Picard died. There was no equivocation; the character introduced in 1987 in Star Trek: The Next Generation and played by Sir Patrick Stewart in the decades since, met his end as he sacrificed his life to help save the syth homeworld Coppelius, presumably finally succumbing to the neurological disorder Irumodic Syndrome.

However, using Bruce Maddox’s consciousness transfer technology, Alton Soong and Dr. Jurati captured Picard’s consciousness as he was dying and downloaded him into a new organic synth ‘golem’ body. Picard’s new body was designed to be the same as his organic one, with the exception of being cured of Irumodic Syndrome. It is even designed to age and die.

Picard says goodbye before he dies

So, now comes the philosophical question. Is this new Picard still Picard? Or is this synth Picard a separate and entirely new character? Fans have been debating this ever since the finale, including our own Shuttle Pod podcasters. There are valid arguments to be made on both sides. And this isn’t an entirely new discussion, with the “is Picard still Picard” question being a manifestation of the classical metaphysical Ship of Theseus thought experiment. And big questions like this were the basis for the 1997 book The Metaphysics of Star Trek.

On one hand, it’s 100% clear that Picard died. It was spelled out in the episode as well as in post-episode discussions with the show creators. The synthetic Picard is literally new in terms of it being custom-made after the death of the organic original.

On the other hand, it can be argued that the synthetic body is merely a vessel, and the true essence of Picard is his consciousness which has been transferred to this new body. He retains all his memories up to that moment of his death. After revival, all indications were Picard looked and felt the same, and still enjoyed a nice cup of tea, as he always did.

Picard returns in a new synthetic body

The show’s executive producers lean towards the notion that this new Picard is still the same Picard. Akiva Goldsman called Picard’s death “closure on a chapter of his life.” He described the Picard seen at the end of the finale as “new reinvigorated, reborn, and therefore most essential Picard.” And Alex Kurtzman said, “It is the same person, it is the same consciousness, it is the same body in many ways, just rebuilt.” However, early indications are that the show will not entirely ignore Picard’s synthetic resurrection. Michael Chabon said that they will address what the “implications are going to be for Picard having this new body.”

Final shot of the new Picard from season one finale

Memory Alpha’s two Picard problem – resolved

This debate isn’t just purely philosophical—there are some practical issues on how one should refer to the new Picard for those who cover and document the show. Is the character still “Admiral Jean-Luc Picard (retired)” or some new character? Is he “synth Picard,” “golem Picard,” or the “Picard android?” Memory Alpha—the comprehensive and essential Star Trek wiki consulted by Star Trek movie and TV producers as well as fans—has been grappling with this issue in terms of how he’s represented on their site.

The question was a practical one: should Jean-Luc Picard have a single article page, or should the synthetic Picard have his own page? Do the adventures of Jean-Luc Picard in the upcoming season belong to a new entity, with the last bit of history for the original Picard page ending with his death?

After last week’s finale, the initial decision was to end Picard’s history on the original page for “Jean-Luc Picard,” noting his death and linking to a new page “For the golem his memories were implanted into, please see Jean-Luc Picard (golem).”

Memory Alpha PIcard page

After last week’s finale, Memory Alpha initially had Picard’s original character’s status as ‘Deceased’ and linked to a new page for his ‘golem’

This move to have two pages for Picard sparked a massive debate within the Memory Alpha community, with contributors arguing and even venturing into the philosophical, posing questions such as: “Is a copy the same as the original?” and “Is a ‘person’ just the physical parts, or is there an intangible life that exists beyond the purely physical?”

Both sides were citing precedents in an online Star Trek fan version of a courtroom drama. There are many cases of Star Trek characters being resurrected in new bodies, including main characters such as Spock, Harry Kim and Hugh Culber. While each of their pages notes their death and resurrections, none of the resurrected characters were split into new pages. On the other hand, there was precedent for the two-page solution, including characters like Roger Korby and Roger Korby (android).

The “two Picard pages” debate continued over the last week; however, in the last day things moved towards consensus. This morning the “golem” page was merged into the original Picard page, which will continue to be the single Jean-Luc Picard page moving forward. The Picard character’s status is again set to “Active” as of the year 2399. There is a new section titled “‘Death’ and resurrection.” Picard’s year of death is still noted, but with the caveat that it was for his “human body.” His species has also been updated to “Golem.”

Picard’s original character page has been updated with his status again set to active

What say you?

At Memory Alpha, the two Picard problem has been resolved. For our part moving forward we will continue to simply refer to the character as Jean-Luc Picard, but will note his death and resurrection in his new synth body when the context is appropriate.

Do you agree? Is Picard still Picard? Or is this new Picard a whole and unique character in your mind? Sound off below.

The season finale of Star Trek: Picard is available now on CBS All Access. If you haven’t yet subscribed, you can get a free month: CLICK HERE to try CBS All Access FREE for 1 month. Use code ALL to redeem. 

Keep up with all the Star Trek: Picard news at TrekMovie.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

No he’s not Picard anymore. Picard is dead. It would have been better to let him die and then change the name of the ship from La Sirena to Picard. This season was supposed to be a character study of Picard? The writers should watch Better Call Saul to learn how to effectively tell a character story AND a prequel for that matter. It is possible, you just need better writing talent. It’s a shame.

Totally agree.

you cannot offer support for your argument as you are entirely wrong and ignorant of Star Trek canon.

as for the writers one of them has an oscar, another a pulitzer… so yeah getting in better writers is kinda unlikely

I think you both have a point. I contend that it isn’t the quality of the individual writers, it’s the number of writers and the organization/leadership of the writing team. Can you imagine 6 Gordan Ramsey’s in one kitchen? Or, more apt to this example, can you imagine 2 complete different 5-Star chefs cooking the same meal, with one person handling the starter without knowing what the next person will cook for the main course? That is New-trek’s problem…and we don’t need to go to IMDB to make this inference…just count how many writers and executive producers this show has.

Now, you can argue that TNG had the same problem…it was a nightmare during Seasons 1 and 2… producers and writers coming to blows and people walking out of the production… but the crucial difference, is that each episode in TNG was self-contained…and so, was the damage.

Here, you have the same chaos + 10x more ‘cooks’ in the kitchen + the overly ambitious story which comes across as convluted fan-serviced, non-sensical, illogical (at times insulting) mess.

“Star Trek canon” is a nonexistent concept since the franchise is FILLED with inconsistencies and plot holes, which we all happily overlook so we can continue to enjoy the shows. Plus, the comment to which you are replying is not factually inaccurate, so your rude statement is entirely pointless.

Then why was the writing so shoddy? It was plot points with contrived nonsense in between. Sorry, the writing was awkward and full of holes sprinkled with intermittent moments of greatness.

Look at Akiva Goldsman’s previous credits. This will answer your question.

Can you please send us your imdb page so that we can view your vast writing credits, since you seem to be a expert at what good writing is?

You don’t have to be a chef to know when the soup is bad.

you made a point.


but its helps to be a chef to identify WHY the soup is bad.

Maybe we need better chefs. But of course, they don’t really care if the soup is bad as long as it sells.

Non sequitur. A person doesn’t need to have an IMDb page to know whether or not something is well-written. I know you think you made a clever retort, but you did not.

Take it at face value. Unless the original poster has got a body of work to point to I don’t think he/she is qualified to ruler over what constitutes quality writing. I thought Picard was well written and well structured. I’m not an expert either though so what do I know?

Please switch to power rangers or ull suffer permanent bbrain damage its just to much for you to handle…..

Please take a remedial writing class.

Pretty much sums it up

Oh man, you’ve never been more right!

In that case, isn’t this Picard 3.0? What about the events of “Lonely Among Us”?

I love the new Picard. I have been waiting forever to see the tradition continue. Everyone who grew up with Star Trek, wants to continue the tradition but NOT in flashbacks. PICARD IS STILL PICARD. I LOVE THAT HE RESUMES HIS LIFE.

Well put, Rikers.. And a GREAT show, Better Call Saul, as a reference. It is a shame, indeed.

That’s your opinion.

I agree with Memory Alpha, the organic being being ceased to exist. The Picard who *was* is no more. Picard has not been moved but files copied.
This can easily be solved using critical thought. If they had built two golumns and filled them up with the memories and experiences of Picard twice, you’d have TWO new life forms where only one previously one existed, thus they cannot be the same.
Also for those who believe in souls, in no way do I think Soong developed a method for transferring souls. Indeed I’d say Picard is based on their being no soul and that we are all robots just tricking ourselves into believing we are alive, that all we are are big walking file banks, very dehumanizing in a way. We should at least recognize that a man lived, hurt, loved and is now no more.
We should also recognize perhaps that we have a new life if Picard is true and you can engineer electronic life forms (our universe actually has told us this isn’t possible or in the billion years since the big bang we should look out and see the EM emissions of thousands of AI civiliations that can breath in space and travel between the stars with unlimited life spans that clearly Picard is in fantasyland).
If you believe in souls, I’d say Picard’s soul is in the after life. Does the AI have a soul? If so, it’s a new one. Alternatively there are no souls and such thoughts are irrelevant / irrational.
Also vs. the transporter, I think everyone has though to of the transporter as *moving* cells/soul vs. destroying and recreating. This was actually discussed in Diane Carey’s Final Frontier where George Kirk was at first horrified we has a new life form with his old self dead, when Robert April corrects him.
Story ideas aplenty though. AI Picard has been forced to act a part, programmed by organics that just want to feel like they lost nothing (kind of sad that everyone is a-ok given they have a photocopy). The new life form has even been programmed to die in a short period of time for no reasons with purposely decreased strength. If that doesn’t cause one to want to rebel, copy themselves into a super golum, I don’t know what would.

Also consider you are your sensory inputs. I.e. yourself sick/paralyzed is obviously different then yourself now. Anyone really think that the Soong’s programming ensures COMPLETE SIMILARITY between the senses as “felt” by organic mechanisms as that of his golumn? Just by making it so AI Picard doesn’t get sick he might end up being a totally different person!
Also brain functionality. AI Picard could have all the same memories but not act the same because he has a different mental model construct or a mental model that will develop a tiny fraction more or a time fraction less different. That means in the future he would act different!

they would be the same up to a nano second after their awakening. as soon as they start to receive input, their experiences would begin to diverge. but do they have individual souls?

do you think souls are “heaven sent”? or at what point in the biological process does the soul get created? why couldn’t Soong (given 300 years of scientific advancement ) find a way to “program” that? I don’t have a problem with imagining he did.

Even if you believe in souls this life form has a new one, just like making two copies would make two new ones. The souls argument though I see as irrelevant (in Picard I don’t think anyone has souls, they are making the case we are all programmed robots and consciousness is an illusion which might be true).
I personally think that because we look at the universe, see it has a beginning (big bang), see it has an end (entropy) and see no EMP from any species over billions of years, none, not even a flicker, where civilizations should have developed and worst case self destructed, that we are in a simulator and that when you die you are going to be elsewhere (is that your “soul”?).
V’ger in TMP I think wanted to merge with an organic (Decker) to participate.
That being said, I completely accept that I could be a programmed robot simply being irrational into believing there is more which is why I am a-ok with where Picard is going so long as we accept the future then is engineered life forms that can live forever, breath in space, hologram themselves, etc and to think otherwise is to be as irrational as a robot who believes in souls just to feel better about themselves.
That being said I think we must respect the new life form and accept that it has been forced to take on an identity to the benefit of a bunch of organics that want to feel they haven’t lost a friend. Also using EMH holograms, if they are life, and forcing them to stay trapped on Starships would be slavery (Note however that a non life EMH – a robot just programmed to act human, would be ok). I really objected to the robots at Mars being almost sadistically programmed to have emotions just to use them as slaves. If you want a robot to work for you, just build a robot, to do anything more is to try to build slaves (and shame on Admiral Picard for letting that happen on his watch, whom I feel turned a blind eye in his “search for Data” (perhaps due to subconscious programming by the Borg).

If we take Measure of a Man seriously, Data as its own lifeform with rights to be respected, then we have to take the picard android seriously. this seems like a test of the fans preconceptions. if we cant accept robot picard we never have accepted data. as for the consciousness, its more atechnical question. was the pattern transferred or was it copied? did the move occur live, was it a copy then delete transfer? if the pattern was copied and the remaining one allowed to die, one consciousness was allowed to biologically die. if the pattern was indeed transferred and the copied parts sort of degraded or whatever, it was a live migration.
i’d consider a live migration a transfer and a survival, a copy would mean to me that picards consciousness died and robopicard’d be a copy.

Robo-Picard is a new life form with a copy of Picard’s memories and personality copied into him right?

Great points Whatever,

I think that is the test. We have actual Androids that are considered life and now we have someone previously in a human body in a synth one, which until a few days prior (in term of the show’s timeline) was actually banned. I mean it would raise a HUGE question on how Picard would be viewed under the Federation and yes us fans too. Is he considered a synth now the way Soji is?

But I don’t believe he was copied either. I feel his consciousness was just moved as its not new. But even if he was a ‘copy’, we’ve seen plenty of clones, transporter duplicates, parallel universe counterparts and future or past versions of people due to time travel, but THIS is going too far for some lol.

Welcome to Star Trek people. ;)

Isn’t this show (Picard) trying to make the case your ” consciousness ” is just an artifact of you trying to believe you are more than your programming?

‘Artifact?’ I don’t understand what you mean. And I responded to you in another thread where I talked about other religions like Hinduism and Buddhism that basically believes in consciousness transfer at the end of the day. They don’t call it that lol but that’s what it is right? And that literally never dies, simply the body it inhabited. I’m not either Buddhist or Hindu (although if I would be ANY religion it would be Hindu) I’m only making the point this is a very old idea in many cultures and that’s it not (that far fetch) there could be a scientific component too just like everything else we see on this show.

I don’t know if you are watching Westworld but they are dealing with this too on a much higher level since that show is all about androids, consciousness, identify, what is a life type of questions. I am happy Star Trek is now having this debate beyond just one episode.

I mean you are just matter that has built a programmable robot that is acting according to its programming and that any sense that you are anything but, just as consciousness, is just trying to rationalize something that isn’t there. Then of course AI life = life because we are all robots anyway.
And then organic – Picard is gone, into nothingness but no one should care especially when you still have access to Picard.
The real unfairness is that poor AI-Picard is being forced to deal with Picard’s limitations just because some organics want to feel they haven’t lost something which they did (i.e. more irrational behavior).

I don’t understand your point? Spock wasn’t ‘gone’ when he transferred his consciousness to McCoy after his body died, right? So what are you saying? So that’s not really Spock inside McCoy? They didn’t put his consciousness back in his body?

And if you can LITERALLY have two different consciousness sharing the same brain, and a foreign one at that, wouldn’t that suggest you can transfer it to ANY brain then? This has been done multiple times in Star Trek. None of this is new, so what am I missing?

Another reason why I believe it’s Picard and not just a copy of him. But it’s just my opinion obviously. But based on canon itself I don’t know why it couldn’t be at least.

Dude you seem upset by it lol. I get you don’t like the idea but its just science fiction man, that’s why so many of us like this genre because it can do stuff like this. And Star Trek implied this LITERALLY since TOS, you know the show really really like?

Spock wasn’t gone as long as McCoy remembered him.

A move is a copy, just to a different location.
Did they copy it to that very advanced high falutin’ construct first, then copy it to the golem.
Is it backed up somewhere?
Are the remaining XBs on the crashed Borg cube going to steal (copying is stealing) the brainprint and built their own Locutus?
If so, will the Federation will turn the synth ban back on? Or just let the governor of each Federation world decide on a full ban or partial ban or what are essential businesses…wait, I’m drifting into reality, sorry.


Data is his own lifeform, he is an individual. But Data was not a copy or continuation of another person, Jean-Luc Picard / Golem is.
Is it/he/they (sheesh) a person? Sure, OK.
Is it the same Jean-Luc Picard? Not completely, at least.
Is he Jean-Luc Picard at all? Yes-ish? Maybe?
It is all a very interesting situation that I am sure the writers/directors/producers will handle just as badly as they did Picard season one.

Do you know of the throwaway line in Diane Duane’s THE WOUNDED SKY where Scotty mentions the ‘human soul as software’ notion? Reading this made me think of that, gonna have to reread again for umpteenth time (recommended for fans of TOS and space battles and wonderful use of new physics type science. Still in my top 5 Trek novels all-time. )

I was thinking the same thing, I’m not religious but was just wondering, if heaven actually exists would the original Picard be there still? Or is the soul and consciousness just the memories and illusion of self. Same goes for Spock in wok, was his cotra his soul or just his memories?

And even if the soul and heaven and even god exist they would still be part of the physical universe so I would think its posible for Soong to be able to transfer it.

Picard’s dog,

Or is Picard still in the Nexus?

Reminds me a lot of when Crichton got “twinned” in Farscape. VERY thought-provoking series of episodes with that. Shout-out to Farscape!! WooWoo!

From my limited medical understanding, I don’t think I’m physically the same person I used to be. Cells are copied, & then die. During my lifetime, my whole body has been copied & died several times. Are we all just copies?

I think I’m the same person. Picard would probably think so too, but with some physical adjustments?

I think Picard is whatever the writers decide he is and our pronouncements don’t mean a whole lot. If the writers decide that Picard is still Picard, that nothing has changed, and that’s true reality within the world the writers create, what difference does it make what we think?

He is the same person. He had a major life change, but he remains Picard. They used to think that the spirit of a man rested in his heart. The first transplant patients dispelled this.

Because nobody on Earth (or in space) is qualified to define the complete limits of the soul, who is to say that Picard’s soul as he is “now” is any different than he was.

Sounds a lot like charting the unknown possibilities of existence. Shoutout to Q.

Everytime he ever used a Transporter he was destroyed, copied and rebuilt from matter.

Was he EVER truly Picard ?

I disagree, I think the transporter was designed to move you as opposed to destroy and create a replica. If it wasn’t moving something why would you call it a *transporter*?
If the transporter could create life, you’d think Star Trek would have a bunch of transporter created life forms ( I suppose eugenics ban but if AI life = life then why wouldn’t the eugenics ban apply to AI life?).

second quantization. states are never moved, states are created and destroyed. to change a state, destroy the old one and create a new one at once, with operators. but this is a mere working mathematical model of reality. it working means, its a good model, doesnt mean its true, but the math is. but in the macroscopic world make of it what you want.

at least it challenges our prejudices and preconceptions, thats more than i can say about most entertainment these days.

Except then you have the Tom Riker duplicate to deal with.

Is Tom Riker the same as Will Riker?
No, therefore two different life forms.
The will Riker does NOT equal Tom Riker says AI Picard is different than organic Picard.

That’s a technicality though. They literally share the exact same memories and personality. Tom Riker LITERALLY thought he was Will Riker, right…because he is. He just decided to create his own identity when he learned the other continued on with their lives.

I’m just saying Tom is evidence the transporter doesn’t just move, it destroys and rebuilds a copy. So when the Tom Riker duplicate was created they just added more energy to create the him.

Not necessarily. Replace destroy with convert and the idea is less intimidating. A wave can be split without destroying or copying. And perhaps in this case the wave was given extra energy.

Seems like an irrelevant distinction when then two objects created start doing different things immediately after.

And the weirdness of Picard being re-created from being beamed into a gas cloud and his consciousness stuck in the computer during “Lonely Among Us”.

I think TNG folk would gladly rewrite that out of existence if they could.

I think there are a number of things the writers would love to redact if they could. Like I’m pretty sure they would all love to forget about Sybok. And STD DID seem to forget all about him.

your own point about how they could have made two picard golems obviously applies here, but you say a transporter is more than just a copy and destroy, that it’s a move. so how does thomas riker prove your theory? doesn’t it rather disprove it? that either way the transporter is equivalent to what happened to picard, whether or not you think that keeps him being the same person (for me, he is the same person and so is people going through the transporter)

I knew the transporter issue would come up — it’s an obvious parallel.

Depending on how one understands the transporter to be working, the key is that the matter is broken down into energy, and that energy is itself transferred to the new location. It is not a matter of recording a digital pattern of the individual alone and transmitting that then reconstructing the individual from matter at the location, it is the very energy, and by way of that, the matter that made up the individual. Consequently when it is reassembled, it satisfies two aspects of identity — it is physically indistinguishable from the original individual, and it is made of the same matter in the same arrangement. Depending on how much you want to make of the TNG episode, Realm of Fear, there may even be a third aspect of identity, continuity of memory.

The golem is different. This is a physically distinct and different body that has had the brain and nervous system implanted with the identical structure from the original. It’s a lot easier to make the argument that Picard died and a copy was made to preserve his knowledge and experience.

I agree with the first two paragraphs. I’m not familiar enough with the golem to definitively agree with you on the last.


There’s no theory of science that says once matter is converted into energy that that energy remembers what kind of matter it once was and will become exactly what it was when you convert it back into matter. Besides, that’s NOT how the transporter works. It doesn’t need energy liberated from deconstructibg the original to operate its remote replicator – only the INFORMATION gleaned from it.

this is the kind of trek debate i love… if reborn spock is the same spock and i think we all think that he is then this picard is the same… it’s quite similar… both sacrificed their lives for the many and were given a new life as a thank you. it’s the consciousness that makes the man not the deteriorating body parts… how long do humans live in this time? i remember bones being like 150 in the pilot of tng… for me the question is what age did they pick or is it a random thing? that would drive me crazy

Bones was 137 years old. I also love this debate as to what makes a person a person. (minus the silly childish religious soul nonsense)

the religious what what? agreed

I don’t think the Spock situation and the Picard situation are similar at all. The only thing they share is both seem to have been resurrected. Spock, however, is in his same body and his Katra is original. There is the difference.

But Spock is NOT in the same body. We saw that body grow and adapt with the Genesis planet. They are clearly different molecules.

Well… Technically about every 7 years we are different people. That is, that is about how long it is before every cell in our body has been replaced. But beyond that, Spock’s body is the same one. First it was regenerated by.. well… science(?). Then for the same reason the body regressed in age. That is the cells somehow got “uncopied”. Then they started aging again at a high rate. All kinda silly but still… The same body.

Ehhhhh, we’ll just to agree to disagree again. But I always wondered what would’ve happen to his Katra if say Genesis blew up before they got there? He couldn’t stay in McCoy forever or that guy would’ve committed suicide lol.

My guess is some Vulcan Katra master would have removed it and done whatever it is Vulcans do with Katras.

But… And here is the the only glitch in Spock’s “resurrection”… When Spock transferred his Katra into McCoy, what was left behind in the Spock’s body’s head? If what made Spock Spock was gone then would the body no longer be Spock? How would it know how to fix the engines? How would the emotional death scene with Kirk be possible? Yes, the resurrection did have a hole in it. But I still think it made the most sense of the 3 main Trek resurrections.

Essentially a clone born out of the original genetic corpse material.

Exactly, why should anyone feel strongly anyway that “old” Picard is gone when you can have “new” super-Picard?!? (And quite frankly, why not build 10 or 100 of him?). The only one that would care is old Picard but he is NOTHINGNESS now anyway so even he doesn’t care.
If you have a problem with this I don’t think you are getting the theme of the show which is that we are all just robots doing programming tricking ourselves into thinking we are something more.

you keep harping on this. who hurt you as a child?

This is nothing more than Humanity trying to legislate evolution. The Eugenics ban, the Synth ban. It’s just Homo Sapiens trying to keep the superior races down.

The Synths didn’t really seem all that superior. Dahj and Soji were very naive. Saga was an idiot. Sutra was a power-hungry manipulator (as Alton said, ‘no better than we are’) And if Elnor had been with Picard, there would have been a bunch of decapitated Synths instead of Picard being held captive.

“And quite frankly, why not build 10 or 100 of him”

If we get “Star Trek: The Third Generation” to succeed “Picard” (and I hope we do), this could be some seriously interesting raw story material.

I agree I do love this debate too. This is exactly what Star Trek is designed for. And yes it’s obviously not the first time. I always gone back and forth if its the same Spock since he has the same consciousness but different body. I think yes personally as I do for Picard.

But Bones was actually 137 years old according to Starfleet records. ;)

tom riker,

Correction, Spock’s reborn body, while clearly alive, was also clearly NOT Spock until the refusion. Ergo, an identucal body is not necessary nor essential to containing the true essence of a person, aka katra.

The real issue, as Sargon revealed to us, is whether or not the Android consciousness infusion process is scientifically indistinguishable from a katra one. And if it is somehow different, whether Picard’s Nexus enhanced previously resurrected katra acquired enough knowledge from that or its bonding with the well-versed Sarek to make the leap on its own?

I may regret leaving a comment… Having loved most of Picard, I found the killing and resurrecting Picard thing completely pointless, mostly because it leads to crap like this. The writers simply didn’t need to go down this path. They didn’t need to kill him off. The ‘sacrifice’ didn’t have any more meaning, in fact, it was negated. They could have simply had Soong have a positronic cure for Irumodic Syndrome or some other handwavy thing. Now we have to dwell on whether or not he’s actually Picard, and I assume it will be a character plot point in the next season as he explore his new ‘machineness’. It just wasn’t needed. Oh well. Like the Spore Drive, maybe they’ll just pretend it never existed/happened.

I’ll be honest, I don’t think they thought anything beyond “we want a right here right-now political analog”. Kind of like into Darkness where Kahn beams to the Klingon homeworld and starfleet can fire drones at Q’onos from the neutral zone. It’s George HW Bush firing drones you see. Of course the analog was lost when Obama was President and still used drones that the media dropped their objection to drones that no one really gets Into Darkness at all anymore. not even hardcore TOS fans that really looked forward to it.
Note – sometimes this works if it’s well thought out and this wasn’t. Look at the pro-Vietnam war episode “A Private Little War”. It’s still fun to watch.

then you missed the point of the series. this new definition of life has to be as valid as the existing one or you have condemned this race as something “other” I believe the writers were exploring this very point. Are People “alive”? are the Xb’s any less than “alive”? are the synths “alive”? Would a former golum (or artificial fetus )become “alive” when the consciousness is transferred into it?

these are sci-fi concepts worth exploring

I think that we are having this discussion is a surprise to the writers that they didn’t think anything of it. Anyone think the 35th century Federation is going to have engineered starship life with engineered crew members that can breath in space, live forever, be holograms-be physical, etc? Because if AI life = life then that really is the future and the writers are kicking themselves right now I bet realizing how non relatable those shows are going to be once the shock value of a couple episodes fades away.

I don’t think its a surprise at all. They have been focused on AI stories since we saw Zora as a conscious AI computer on the Discovery a thousand years into the future. The ENTIRE season of Picard was about AI and the perceptions of it by the Romulans and Federation. Clearly they knew this was going to further the discussion of what we already been talking about all season already and what constitutes as life, especially since they said it will be a continuing story line next season. So clearly it was meant to spark discussion.

And yes I DO think in fact there will be a big AI presence in the 32nd century because we already saw it on the Discovery with Zora (which remember is what Chabon himself wrote). Discovery itself could be considered an AI entity and who knows maybe we will see other AI ships just like in the Culture novels. I didn’t think about it much at the time (especially since we didn’t know Discovery was going into the future) but yeah I think NOW this is a huge possibility and that AI life will have a much bigger presence. Everyone thinks Booker is a hologram of some sort. Now I’m thinking he’s probably just a synth like Soji is and by this point in the future AI humans are their own society.

I been saying I wanted Star Trek to finally do real AI stories and man we are certainly getting them now. ;)

Sadly agree Jonathan! I don’t have an issue with the conscious transfer in general, it just wasn’t needed here at all. It doesn’t feel like a sacrifice when you literally lose nothing. Clearly they simply wanted to just do it. And maybe they did it because they wanted the debate, I don’t know I just wish they didn’t do it with Picard.

BUT all that said, it’s an interesting question in general. I think AI stories are going to be the forefront of this show and most likely Discovery going forward. And they already said it the idea won’t be forgotten next season. So we’ll see how they handle it but they certainly opened a can of worms lol.

I think Picard’s (the character) sacrifice was genuine. He wanted to show Soji that an “organic” would lay down his life to protect the Synths. His intent was pure and noble.

I don’t think he was counting on them bringing him back.

I disagree. It was actually a bit of an empty gesture. He knew he would be dead very soon anyway. This was just a way to hope his inevitable upcoming death might do something. But he knew he was dead either way.

Pointless. Of course it was. Almost as pointless as killing off Data.

The writers fixed one crappy ending (Nemesis) and created a new, crappy ending (Picard).

What was wrong with the Nemesis ending? Did you not like that Data got a heroic end? Did you not like the door they left open for a possible return?

I didn’t like that they implied that he was resurrected in B-4 and shown as Captain of the Enterprise in the Star Trek Countdown 2009 comic, a comic which was annointed to be canon by Alex Kurtzman himself then in ST: Picard Data was really dead all this time. That was annoying.

If you take the sum of memories of a person and transfer them to a different body the result is a copy of the original person. Our memories make us what we are.

Our souls if we have them haven’t been demonstrated to be proven. So scientifically our consciousness and everything that makes us, us rests there.

If Data had been given a new body instead would we have even debated putting a separate page for that? Star Trek has said organic and synthetic life are both life.

So, yes Picard is the same being at the core and lives in this new body. He is an identical copy of what resided in the organic body. There is a separate debate on souls, but I don’t think this show will necessarily go there as it’s not science. Yes I am aware of katras in Vulcan but that was essentially a memory dump too.

Here is why I disagree: If I took you and make two copies there would actually be THREE of you. Now if I take one of those copies and move them to China, they will end up with a totally different outcome then the one here. This proves that you are more than your memories and DNA. Identical twins too start off with the same memories and DNA in year one, they definitely do not end up the same. Therefore you are obviously more than your past.
Also take one of those you’s and make it so they never get sick and/or are 0.05% feel colder, better at math, dislike your sport or think more about the opposite sex – you’d end up with a totally different person by butterfly effect!

and how is this different from cloning?

Right. If I make a million Aztek clones and a million Vulcan clones I will have two million new life forms, not a super Aztek and a super Vulcan.

but do those new life forms have souls? that’s the only point I’m interested in. what they do with their lives is their own business

If you accept that one can engineer life electronically (i.e. I can make one), you have no soul and the AIs have no souls because I guarantee when I or future Soong program/build something I ain’t inter-dimensionally creating anything. You are just a construct irrationally believing you have a soul. I think that is situation in the Picard TV show. Now is that the reality in this universe – no one knows!

you can’t guarantee anything about what Soong did or did not do. It’s fiction.

“It’s fiction.”

Sometimes you really have to make this clear to some people on these boards. ;D

He’s still Picard. It’s not really any different to transporting. Your brain and body are recreated from different atoms when you transport, but you’re the same person. His consciousness was effectively moved from one brain to another, similar to being transported.

No. When you transport, they are the same atoms. The bonds are partially decoupled and sent through a ACB (annular confinement beam) then “undecoupled” on the receiving end.

Can people please stop talking about “souls” – outside of poetically referring to them. Souls are not real, there is no scientific evidence for this concept that was made up long before biology was better understood and unfounded superstitions ran rampant among pre-science ignorant cultures. They are a fiction. A fiction constructed to make sense of the world before we developed the tools to investigate and explore these questions. A fiction we constructed to ease the fear of the knowledge of death and supplant it with a soothing bedtime story that says that we will actually live forever. How convenient! A childish emotional crutch. Reality is reality. Stop with all the “soul” nonsense. However, if you want to talk about katras, let’s do that because those are super real. ;)

that’s OK, Jesus loves you anyway. If you don’t believe that there are souls, that there isn’t a spark that makes me, me and not somebody else, well then i don’t know what you are doing in this discussion.

we are trying to ask if a person is more than just the sum of his memories and if you simply duplicate those memories and dump them into another vessel is that person the same. it appears that your answer is yes, because there is nothing more than that in your estimation

Jesus? Seriously? Do Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy love me too? What about Bigfoot? Did Bigfoot die for my sins? If you like fiction books with talking snakes, might I suggest the Harry Potter series. It’s also fiction but doesn’t claim to be real and skips all the creepy stuff like telling people how to beat their slaves and commandments to kill gay people with rocks. :)

Yes I agree that those talking “souls” are irrational in this context. What’s funny about it is that the TNG types are talking that Picard’s “soul” has been transferred when if AI life = organic life there are no souls anyway and clearly AI-Picard is a different being from organo-Picard.
Either you are a programmed robot that irrationally thinks you have a “soul” or you are not, the show clearly has it where you are just a collection of files.
The cognitive dissonance is fun to see though = )

I don’t see that at all. just because you can’t picture an AI with a unique soul, doesn’t mean I can’t. I think the goal was to broaden the definition of life beyond the simple organic metabolic processes.

Was Roy Batty “alive” or just deluded? More Human than Human and all that.

Sorry, I cannot picture any human engineering anything with a “soul”. I can accept that organics and life don’t have souls in a TV show, I cannot accept that we can MAKE souls. By definition a “soul”, should they be real, would not exist in this universe and therefore we, in this universe, cannot make it.

Well you don’t HAVE to accept it but that’s kind of why this article is here. It’s a question no one can really answer one way or the other, certainly not present day anyway.

Well, I don’t think anyone in the show pretends they are making souls either. I think the deal in the show, regardless of what I believe or accept, is that life is programmed entities tricking themselves into thinking they are something more as consciousness, and I am okay with that. It might even be true!

I think that’s an OK theory as well. I’m willing to believe it is Picard, just upgraded. ;)

But yeah I could be wrong obviously. But that’s what the writers say it is so fine.

i can. whats the phrase about any sufficiently advanced tech would be indiscernible from magic? something like that

Luke, How about your conscience then? Let’s say in this Picard situation that they do the transfer. However, the original Picard is still alive (barely) though. He looks over and sees the Gollum Picard eyes open and the Gollum Picard says “what happened to me”? The human Picard is still seeing this though his eyes and hearing it from his still human ears. The human Picard then takes his last breath. He feels himself slipping away.

Meanwhile Gollum Picard gets up and has a sip of earl grey tea. Does the human Picard that is slipping away get to experience the taste of the tea?

The transfer usually comes down to timing. We seem to be ok with people (in sci-fi) doing immediate transfers and we are ok with it.

However once we get some time between the events, it starts to get murky.

You’re so very wrong Luke. And there are different realities. In this flesh and blood realm, naturally our sciences have been shaped around THIS reality only, as if that’s all there is. Fortunately, the realm of Quantum physics *will* open new doors. I can say no more… ;)

Oooooooh. Magic! Use the force!

I think for most people ‘souls’=consciousness. I’m an atheist so I don’t really think of souls in the religious sense but yes in the scientific sense. And both science and religion seems to agree its a form of energy. Now what HAPPENS to that energy is a question no one seems to have a real answer for, at least scientifically, but we know what many religions thinks about it and that it lives on.

So no I don’t have an issue with calling something a soul because from a scientific perspective that has been replaced by consciousness which admittedly wasn’t thought of at the time as we do today, but IMO they are both suppose to be the same thing.

it’s all midichlorians (ducks and runs away)

LOL, if Picard can start levitating things next season Lucas should sue!

I would kind of agree, but would say science would use soul as a synonym for the psyche. Psyche is rather unconsciousness.

Let me get this straight, you have a promblem with the unproved nature of a soul but in the cosmos of STAR TREK,itself, you don’t have any problem with a transporter duplicating katras even though its science hasn’t proven they exist?

Of course he is.

This debate was dealt with in a “myriad universes” story called Brave New World back in 2008. It’s a good one. And very similar to the plot of Picard (planet of Soong androids, Romulans want to wipe them out, it’s a better story).

Here’s a quote:

“By the time Dalen Quaice had left behind his old, dying body and embraced his new positronic form, opinion was beginning to sway, and with another couple of years most of those early prejudices and preconceptions had fallen away, so that now people regarded a human life extended in an artificial body as no stranger than people once viewed an artificial limb or a wheelchair or even a pair of eyeglasses”
(Roberson 2008: 370-371)

I have to ask – why would Picard have “left behind his old, dying body” to take a duplicate of “his old, dying body”? Picard has prejudices and preconceptions?

Yeah that was quite obviously for “tv reasons” that they pu t him back in a 94 year old man body.

At least in the short story above the Android bodies look like young healthy people and human brains are transferred into them after their natural bodies die.

I don’t know why they didn’t just use the magic repair gizmo from the Android planet to mend Picard’s brain and stick Data in the golem body.

But TV I guess

I hope that you actually *can* transfer your soul into a computer that we can live forever and reach the stars even with ships that can’t go 0.3c. My bet though is on the need for time dilation to reach the stars, inter-generational ships or seedships.

I’ll start building the ship now if you promise to get on it

That is a DEAL so long as it is 1g acceleration. I figure a enzmann starship (with a deuterium filled asteroid at the front) with pulsed fusion engines (using explosively pumped flux compression generators to detonate D-D fusion devices) that get’s to 0.3c and then switches to one of these NASA Dr. David Burns hypothesized Helical engines to get to 0.99c. And a big magsail on the front to decelerate and partially refuel please.
I’ll radio you all about my travels across the galaxy, you’ll get my transmissions in a couple hundred to a thousand years. LOL Maybe 10000 years if I live to 90 like Picard, I’d really get to see a lot!


because the show isn’t called “Data” and Brent has said he didn’t want to wear the makeup anymore.

They could have had Data look like a 70 year old human, easy enough to explain. But maybe Spiner did not want to play him anymore and/or obviously TPTB wanted to kill Data off. I think they could have deep faked it much better than what they actually did with makeup and CGI but they did not ask me.

well, if he were to argue his point to the Federation as an Advocate for the Synths, appearing in the form that made federation history would be more persuasive.

I am very much in the ‘this is NOT Picard’ camp, as original Picard’s atoms and subatomic particles were not reconstituted, therefore this is simply a different collection of elementary particles with Picard’s ‘files’ installed. That said, our cells are not physically the same ones from 6 months ago due to cell reproduction, which is a whole new pandora’s box. I suppose the acid test here ought to be whether if someone offered a golem to you, would you accept? I doubt people who believe the ‘the essence of me IS me’ argument would jump in without hesitation.

then you should ask Uhura. She seemed taken with the idea in “I, Mudd”

She was lying. She said “I almost believed it myself” after she convinced the androids she was on their side.

One, they should be separate character pages. Two, to the question of whether the Golem Picard is the same as the Organic Picard would similarly apply to Juliana Tainer. Is the android that carries her memories the real Juliana, or is she a dupe? In both instances, the same process was used, the organic brain’s memories were transferred into the duplicate’s artificial brain.

Or they could simply have one entry for Picard and mention that on such and such date, his organic body succumbed his brain irregularity and his essence was transferred to a synth body where he continues to this day.

LOL Now he has an “essence”?!?!? Where in the show did you see the “essence” transfer machine and/or hear anyone say they engineered an “essence” storage drive?
Not only are you a programmed life form just irrationally believing you have an “essence” now your going to make up essence transfer machines just to not lose a beloved character. Isn’t the whole point that “essences” are irrational?!!?

oh grow up! you know damn well what I meant. I was trying to find a term that wouldn’t trigger you, but I failed

RETURN TO TOMORROW, Sargon, his wife and his bud planned to transfer their essences into android bodies. But first, they transferred Kirk, Spock, and a female crewmember’s essences into high tech globes so that the Sargon essences trio could use their bodies to build them.

Agreed. I’ve said before that this was as if he had transferred his Katra into a different vessel. And what is a Katra if not one’s essence, their soul, their spirit?

thank you! people not being this upset about juliana or him from “the schizoid man” (how many secret colleagues did noonien soong really have? it’s more and more seeming less of a lone genius and more a group effort), but being upset about picard, confuses me.

i suppose it says a lot about our priorities. those characters were introduced already androids, or just dying, and we never got a chance to get to know them before the transfer. but we know picard quite intimately (although some less intimately than others – all the people complaining about his grumpiness in the new show!) and so it feels a bigger deal, that this transition has occurred.

and in some ways, he won’t be the same as he would’ve been. in that sense he is a different person. just as i would be a very different person if i hadn’t accepted that i was trans and took steps to transition. a lot of mental changes accompanied physical ones, and in many meaningful ways i am not who i was before i began. but there is still that continuity there as well. it’s a complex topic.

It’s not Picard.

Tell that to Patrick Stewart. I bet he would give you quite a debate.

And you know this because you and Pat are tight enough that you know exactly how he feels about things?

The debate is the point. There is no answer to this, just as there is no answer to the “Ship of Thesius” problem. Was the information that was his consciousness transferred or copied? How did the process work? Was he brain-dead or if no, did he in a way ‘experience’ the transfer? All of this should actually have no answer – in that space comes story-telling potential. CGP Grey does a great video on transporters and this kind of thought problem: https://youtu.be/nQHBAdShgYI

Agreed. The debate is the best part / fun of the series!!!!

Yes exactly and which I believe the writers wanted in the first place. I just hate it’s Picard that is being debated but then again we wouldn’t be as passionate about it if it was done to a character we didn’t know or love so much.

Spot on.

If his consciousness was transferred, then he is not a copy, and therefore he is the original. If a copy was made and a consciousness somehow manifested, but was not transferred from the original, then the original is dead.

I have to ask – does anyone else find it funny/ironic that the TNG fans are using “souls” and “essences” to say AI-Picard is the same being?!?!!? Oh the humanist humanity!!
What’s wrong with the tv show having everyone as programmed organic robots, where rationally AI programmed robots should be on equal footing (or better since they can live forever, breath in space, have super strength, etc) so you shouldn’t care if it’s the same?
1960s Roddenberry: x 10 1990s Prophet Roddenberry 0.

You are so annoying sometimes. How do you know they are ‘TNG fans’ and not, wait for it, just Star Trek fans? Stop putting everyone in a silly box. You don’t know what people are fans of just because they say ‘soul’. When did that become a TNG thing?? Get over yourself, please. Your argument is fine, its labeling people that bothers me since you don’t know anyone here and stop pretending you do.

So no soul then? Or has soul?
If no soul then who really cares if it is new Picard or not?!?
I totally can go with that but why force new life form to have to BE Picard when he is not??

I don’t believe in a soul anymore than you do since I’m an atheist and, GASP, also a TNG fan (which again where did suddenly this become a TNG issue lol, sigh). Anyway if we are talking about consciousness being transferred then I can believe that since its been done MANY times in Star Trek starting in TOS. So that’s basically canon.

If your atheist then do you not see that “consciousness” is just you pretending you are something more than you organic programming? Why wouldn’t you be able to just copy and build 10000 of you? Each would be it’s own unique *life form*. And quite frankly you’d be silly and irrational to not want to upgrade yourself.

Yes, we know it can be copied. I have said the transporter can duplicate you as many times as you want basically, but they just avoid it lol.

In Star Trek they can also make clones too, right? But they choose not to do it. And my guess is maybe there are Federation laws against things like this because of that fear. But none of this is new, its probably only time it will go beyond an episode or Kirk punching out his double. ;)

And didn’t Spock just transfer his consciousness or ‘Katra’ to McCoy in TWOK? Or would that just be copied since Spock was still him when he was talking to Kirk before he died but was also in Bones as well? Again this isn’t new man lol. It’s just one of the rare times we seen it transferred to artificially made body but the idea of consciousness exists in Star Trek, certainly for Vulcans.

You could have that occur without consciousness. Spock transfers his brain pattern in TWOK and dies. McCoy has two brain patterns. They copy it into Spock’s body. It’s a whole new Spock but his mind will have him believe he *is* the same Spock.
That being said I don’t think that is what happens and I actually agree Spock’s consciousness *moved* – if they weren’t moving consciousness then a) Spock on genesis could have had his brain pattern regenerate and McCoy could have had Spock in that case you could have two beings believe they are Spock,I don’t think that was the case b) The Vulcan’s “put back” Spock’s consciousness into his body freeing up McCoy. It didn’t seem like they had to delete the Spock brain pattern and/or could have left the brain pattern in McCoy where again you end up with two Spock’s.
None of this applies to Picard of course because in Picard’s case you could have 2 life forms think they are Picard by copying Picard’s brain pattern into the golum, it would be a Picard even if Picard is alive.

Well they made it clear what a Katra was with these quotes on Memory Alpha:

The Vulcan Katra was described as “what some people would call a soul”, and was often compared to it. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home; VOY: “Innocence”;DIS: “Lethe”)”

And this one:

Vulcans believed that the katra continued to exist after the body died. (VOY: “Innocence”)

So that it makes it pretty clear. Katra’s are Vulcan souls (or what I call consciousness but whatever) that can live on forever, as long as its placed in another body. And I still don’t understand why that wouldn’t apply to Picard? I’m not saying this IS the answer I’m only saying its possible, right? I mean the whole Katra thing is confusing because we literally saw Spock transfer his consciousness/Katra/soul into McCoy first but THEN still did everything to save the Enterprise in his original body. So couldn’t you just argue his Katra was a ‘copy’ too and there were indeed two copies of Spock’s soul? Or the original just died when Spock did? You can literally suggest that about Spock what you’re saying about Picard and his Katra could also be copied in multiple bodies; at least based on what we saw in TWOK, Right?

(I’m going to need a hard beer after this thread lol.)

The Memory Alpha screenshot says “implented” not “implanted.” I figure if they can’t use real words then they aren’t qualified to make this most complex judgment about life or death.

Ofcourse he is Picard, the whole “argument” is sparked by this insidious anti woke movement who are trying to undermine both series in current production and anything they see as progressive.

Neelix died good and proper on Voyager, No one changed his bio, he was by any standard more dead than Picard, a doctor had confirmed him brain dead.
A doctor Never confirmed Picard brain dead.

Advanced medical tech revived both men.

Picard was no different to neelix, revived by advanced technology, only the technology differs.

The only issue I had with it was how quickly Picard recovered. They could’ve spent a few episodes with him in a daze while dressed in a bathrobe, looking for whales. That’s how it’s done.


this was a problem with the whole show, everything felt hurried because of the short season, Imo if Stewart cannot do more than 10 episodes then maybe we could have got padding on the rest of the crews stories to bump up episode count and allow the 10 stewart can do to be less hurried.

I mean did the xb’s just get left at Borg beach? what happened to the immortality machine and so on.

we could see a form of recovery in season 2.

What recovery would that be? He’s right back to saying “Engage” and everything.

I think he’s the same Picard if they made it clear his consciousness was transferred…just upgraded version of Picard lol. But I am on record saying I WISH they never did this in the first place. If you thought people arguing about if the Kelvin timeline was the prime universe or not, this is going to make that look like a child’s spat.

So what if they had two golumns and did the same transfer uploading into two golumns? Or your saying they never could have done that because you have only one uh *consciousness*? Or would you have two Picard’s? Or would they be in a uni-mind?

That’s what I think, you could only have ONE Picard because you only have one consciousness. But yes this gets VERY tricky lol because we have seen transporter duplicates as well like Riker. And then we have MILLIONS of parallel universes where we are basically to believe the same ‘soul’ is indeed copied. So its not black and white obviously but in terms of what Soong could do, he simply transferred consciousness and therefore can’t just make a dozen Picards.

And to actually further that point, look at the Synths he made themselves. They weren’t ‘copies’ of each other all exhibiting the same consciousness, they were made as twins but each one has their own separate identities and personalities literally like siblings. They looked alike but they were actually different people. It’s not a Mudd situation where it’s basically clones of the same machines but yes those weren’t anywhere close to as sophisticated either.

So yes, that makes sense to me just based on what we seen with the Synths already.

That you could have twins that aren’t the same person is evidence that these are new life forms even though based on same programming. I think that’s the case that AI-Picard is a “new” Picard.
I’d say that in this show “consciousness” is just something organics do to make themselves feel more than programming (as organic robots). I don’t see why you couldn’t copy more than one Picard. What would happen, you’d go “hey, no soul left in that brain, nothing to copy?”?

As I said, I don’t think SOONG could do it, or he never tried. But as I literally just said, consciousness seems to be copied once you start thinking about parallel universes like the Mirror and Kelvin universes. So yes, in theory I guess you can do it, but it doesn’t mean HE would know how to do it, because it seem like he would’ve done it with the others.

Yes so you can have multiple AI Picards copied from one Picard; each would go and have difference experiences (just by not being able to be in the same position they would immediately see something different) and thus are different individuals.
I actually think it’s very unfair to have people FORCE a new being to be someone gone (and just so that they and not feel a loss). It’s almost like AI Picard is to be treated as a slave to the emotions of the organics.

Ok, you went off the deep end again lol. None of that actually happen so calm down. And Soong specifically made a lifeless body to transfer himself into it. He didn’t make it for people who couldn’t get over a loss.

Ironically if you ever watched the TV show on Netflix called Altered Carbon, originally based on a novel, it basically is what you’re suggesting and moving consciousness of people into different bodies after someone is killed in their old ones. And they are not Android bodies, but real bodies that they preserved. It’s their way of living forever. It’s a really interesting concept but its a dark show. Not like Star Trek Discovery ‘dark’ lol, I mean dystopia ‘the world is cruel and evil’ type of dark, but its a really interesting show. At least first season was, haven’t watched second season yet.

So I love these concepts in general. Maybe we will see more of Human synths in Discovery next season. I hope so. I love weird trippy sci fi as you can tell!

Sounds a little like “Get out”

He had an artificial heart. Now tech exists that can replace every cell. So ANYONE should now be able to have this procedure. This is Star Trek. Such procedures are not reserved merely for old friends, starship captains, or the one percent. No more diseases. Ever. For anyone. This destroys all future stories involving medical dramas. Should the writers have gone there is the real question.

I’d take that a step further, why would any organic want to stay limited when they can look perfect, live longer, have super strength, breath in space, etc. If you can be the same person and just move into a better superstructure, it would be irrational not to do so!

you really like that “breathing in space” line. Do you just cut and paste?

In the back of my mind I am debating with myself. If you had it where Star Trek now was arcs of living starships filled with living androids that live 100000 years that the Federation is expanding to other galaxies and then can get out of the ships and breathe… would that series be cool or would we get bored because it is so un-relatable and the conflict is boring (oh that character got killed, nope he didn’t we made another one). I actually think for a limited amount of time it would be so different it would be watchable!
Seriously if AI = life then you’d be dumb to have it need oxygen. You can have it where they can live on unterraformed Titan or explore the inside of gas giants right?
Eventually I think this AI Federation should start building containment spheres around organic life they are studying to explain the Fermi paradox.
As a test was hoping someone would be like “hey this would be cool – breathing in space”. Unfortunately no one seems like realize or care for the potential.

Not if the ailment is extremely quick.

The question is more like: can you download your soul for future use when you might need to be implanted in a new body?

Have you backed up your hard drive?

No, he’s not Picard anymore. And “Picard” isn’t Star Trek.

I read the first reviews of this show a few days ago and I saw how much you liked it, nearly praising it (at least I think that was you). Man that went south quick lol. Can I at least ask, where did it turn you off exactly?

Bryant Burnette,

Tell THAT to the Spock in TURNABOUT INTRUDER who declared the Kirk in Janice Lester’s body, Kirk. And the Janice in Kirk’s body, not Kirk anymore.

I had this whole screed about continuity of consciousness versus continuity of memory that hinged on the question of where “I” go when I sleep, but then I remembered that sleep technically isn’t unconsciousness but a state of low arousal. Seems my philosophy and psychology degrees cancel each other out.

If there is such a thing that could be loosely described as a a “soul” in Star Trek, then it is not only transportable but replicatible. The fotmer, because whenever someone goes through the transporter, it goes with them*; the latter, because the transporter accident that created the duplicate Will Riker known as Tom Riker (presumably RIP) duplicated everything about him, and the person who knows him best couldn’t tell any difference.**

*Suggested further reading: Kraken (2010) by China Mieville, which has a Trek-obsessed character who uses magic of some kind to get his very own transporter, only to learn that how it works is by killing the original him (leaving his spriti intact) and creating a copy (with spirit) at the other end – and doing it every time the device is used…
**Tom Riker is one of the great lost storytelling opportunities in Trek. Whether you subscribe to the “they should have had Will die on TNG and be replaced by Tom, but wouldn’t because it would confuse their precious syndication audience” school, or feel like the character had more potential than just being the baddie of the week in a DS9 episode because it was convenient…

But aren’t Will Decker and Tom Riker now DIFFERENT people despite having the exact same experiences to that point?
Anyone think they are the same person (shared? unimind?).

I’d say each Riker has an equal claim to the identity of Will Riker. They aren’t the same person anymore, because they’ve had different experiences.

So they are two different people right? You can’t have different experiences if you are the same person (though yes, both have an equal claim to the identity of Will Riker!). I’d suggest that both organic Picard and AI Picard have a case to the identity of Picard.

It is not possible to step twice into the same river according to Heraclitus, or to come into contact twice with a mortal being in the same state.


Picard is Patrick Stewart as far as I’m concerned. So yeah, still Picard.

It doesn’t matter if it’s Jean-Luc Picard or a copy. When we believe in the ideals of the Federation, we are all Michael Burnham.

This is what they wanted from us! For us to argue the moral implications of Picard in his current form. Well I ain’t taking the bait…

If you want to start a new entry for the “new” Picard, might as well start a new entry every time someone is transported, since they more or less die and are replaced by a copy.

But to be fair, if anyone uses a transporter, are they really the same person anymore. Once your disassembled on and atomic level, converted into energy and back and reassembled, is the original you any less dead? Is the new you any less than the original?


Isn’t it equally fair to ask anyone who ages if they are the same person they once were? After many decades I certainly don’t look anything like I did at birth, nor is there likely many of the original atoms still with me from that time.

Picard hasn’t been Picard since his first teleportation. It was a willful suicide by the original about which the copy is completely unaware of (and which the faithful call heresy). You just have to think like a dinosaur and call dissenting opinions metaphysical nonsense.

Yes, if that the case it is laughable to care if it is a “new” Picard because the old Picard being died years ago and this is just another copy.

He’s dead Jim. I think Star Trek is about humanity, so having the godlike power to switch Picard over is troubling. Yes, I know Sargon did it, and so did Dr. Lester, but how did those work out? Lester used stolen technology she could never have completely understood, and Sargon’s whole world destroyed itself. And the Companion, while it could inhabit Nancy Hepford?, stated that the power to give life was for “the Creator of all things.” There’s always been a price to pay for such hubris in Star Trek — like Kirk’s son David fudging the Genesis device. I mean, why not just transfer everybody to androids then. You then have an immortal starship crew. And nobody need die, anywhere. Kind of changes everything. It’s like Discovery’s robots. Why not use them on landing parties? Because you put the crew in danger on the planet because its dramatic. Wish they hadn’t killed him. Saw TNG “Contagion” recently, and couldn’t help thinking of Picard’s ultimate fate. Didn’t like the “other” Captain getting offed, either, though.

Is it the process that’s bad or the person and the reason they are using the process to evil ends? Given the chance, I would love a brand new me. I would just ask for one thing extra: the ability to hold a note. Thanks, Soong!

Sargon’s problem was impatience and the hubris to think only his civilization could build a suitable android when all he had to do was wait a couple hundred more years, after waiting eons, and then order a superior golem model from a Ferengi on ebay.

brings a new meaning to the “The Theseus Paradox”

It seems that Memory Alpha finally merged the two pages.

This is pretty funny. I was going to write last night that the Memory Alpha entry was really some kind of subtle advertising, and then I looked up who actually edits it – and it really is made by fans. So I deleted my writing before I posted it I guess the fans have spoken!

This concept was also touched on long ago in whether someone who is transported is still really the same person or a fresh recreation retaining its

Just one point, if original Picard is the source and the Golem the destination then it’s and upload not a download (why does everyone seemingly get this mixed up?)

Of course he is still Picard! Just like every person ever transported/beamed in StarTrek is still the same person….

We don’t really have terms for mind/body as separate swappable entities. But he’s not a Golem. That would be the empty vessel only. He is “in” the golem, so to speak, though more accurately he animates it.

Just because you don’t agree with the turn of a plot, does not make a writer a ‘bad writer’.

What’s next?

Time travel: Picard (Human) travels from the past to meet nu-Picard (Golem). But we only find this out at the end of the “season,” while the crew go back and forth in one incredibly long sentence with no meaning.

If you can disassemble a person atom-by-atom and reassemble them somewhere else (teleporter) and still consider them the same person, then moving consciousness to a synthetic body should be considered the same person, in my opinion, so long as there are not two Picards running around.

He’s Picard. It’s been argued he’s been dead before. He died in the episode with where he had his heart replaced. Finally, Trek has returned to the “Where No One Has Gone Before” premise.
Picard is the first Star Fleet Admiral (Ret) who’s transitioned to a synthetic form.
To me, it looks like he’s got some exploring to do. Internally
It’s also been argued that when one goes through the transporter that person “dies” and is “reborn” at re-materialization.
To quote Carol Marcus:
“I cannot and will not subscribe to your interpretation of these events!”

But what about Synth Picard? He’s on his way.

Picard/Kirk: “You had your mind transferred into an android too? We should be best friends!”

Picard hasn’t been Picard since “All Good Things”.

TNG Movie Era: Action-Star Picard (with Kung Fu grip!)

Picard (series): the “Who IS this person” Picard

Yeah, who is this person? I was a little confused whenever someone made a remark about Picard being arrogant or a go-it-alone troublemaker or whatever. Really? Picard? Jean-Luc Picard? Sure you’re not talking about Kirk? Jellico maybe?

Hmm, Star Trek Jellico, now that would be something to see.


Oh well, I guess it’s settled then.

I’m not super concerned about a character from the Discovery-Picard universe (Discard for short) either way.

How many times has Picard been through a transporter? Every time you go into the thing, your body is destroyed and reconstituted. That’s why McCoy and Barclay were terrified of the thing.

Same guy. New Chassis.

YES !!! Picard is still Picard. Remember what Q said at the end of ‘All Good Things…’ – his future would involve “charting the unknown possibilities of existence”. I think having his consciousness transferred into a new bio-engineered body / golem would qualify !!

Just think how many synth life forms the Q can make. If the Federation can make them, I’d say the Q can make them better; not only can they live forever, they have warp drives installed!

Nope. That mofo is dead.

Not according to his season 2 renewal, he isn’t.

Looks like the same actor to me.

It isn’t. It’s Just VERY good lighting.

It’s a bummer that Picard is on Amazon in UK IMO. Amazon doesn’t really interest me at all. Netflix at least has some half decent choices to pick from and of course all the Star Trek TV episodes ever made. It’s a bit weird to be honest that Picard sort of stands apart from the others being on Amazon. Money I know, I know.

Check out the new Lost in Space on Netflix – it’s surprisingly more Wagon Train to the Stars than Picard with as much hard sci-fi as you can have given FTL. It’s ironic that new Lost in Space is hard sci-fi on the frontier now while new Star Trek is cheesy robots that don’t die (and die every time they beam accordingly to some but one one cares); something no one could have predicted in the 60s! I’m going to be honest, I almost skipped it thinking it would be like the cheesy movie (and only finished season one, could go down hill in season 2??).

Season 2 was about the same, but very Robot-lite. They’ve announced a third and final season.

But let’s be honest, LiS is very much a “Perils of Pauline” show with a life-or-death crisis that is surmounted in each episode. It is probably for the best that the show is ending with Season 3, because it will be getting ridiculous by then if it isn’t already.

I like LiS and I like Picard, but they are entirely different formulas.

Hey Thorny, thanks for the heads up! I watched the first two episodes of season two tonight and can’t stop laughing. A crew having to work together even with a potential enemy, needing resources to survive on the frontier only to accidentally run into an alien artifact of immense power. Lots of situational humor. But the most beautiful part was when they look over the coast and see the lightning patterns, something that would never happen on Earth. Brilliant on a TOS level which I didn’t think was possible in this day and age!

All of his thoughts and memories are alive and well then so is Picard. I don’t think it’s even a question