Interview: Isa Briones On Soji’s Evolution In ‘Star Trek: Picard’ Season 2

The second season of Star Trek: Picard finished production early last month, right before the big Star Trek Day event. In addition to speaking to executive producer and season 2 co-showrunner Akiva Goldsman at the event, TrekMovie also had an exclusive chat with star Isa Briones, who gave us an update on the season and what’s next for Soji Asha.

Are we seeing a different Soji in season two, now that she and all the synths are free?

Well, yeah. We’re definitely seeing a new kind of level of her evolution as she’s coming into her own. She’s finally allowed to be who she is and be accepted by the universe, the galaxy, whatever you want to call it. So yeah, we get to see her in this new, more certain place of who she is. And that’s very exciting.

You actually played three characters in season one, including one they surprised you with…

Yeah, I had no idea that Sutra was a thing. I was reading the script one day, and I was like, ‘Who’s Sutra?’ I had no idea… They were like, ‘She looks remarkably like Soji.’ [laughs]

So are you sticking with just the one in season two?

That’s something I cannot divulge.

Any more singing?

Hey, if they asked me I will.

We see Soji at the LA Music Center in one of the trailers, so there could have been a performance…

Yeah, maybe a big Klingon opera or something? [laughs]

Isa Briones as Soji in Picard Star Trek Day trailer

So what can you say about season two? Why should fans be excited about it?

I would say that my favorite thing about it is that we’re seeing these characters in a new light. And there’s a big emphasis, I think, on mental health, for sure. We’re seeing these characters going through some hard moments and really leaning on each other and prioritizing their own mental health in order to save everyone else. And I think that’s a very relatable storyline and a storyline that we need right now.

Do you see a political allegory to season two? Some kind of message?

I think all of Star Trek does. You can see it in every Star Trek movie or TV show. It’s always tied to our world today. It’s always a reflection of our world. So it would be really hard to not find a political allegory.

Isa Briones as Soji in Picard Star Trek Day trailer

Can you talk a little bit about what it’s like doing back-to-back seasons and dealing with COVID protocols?

Thankfully, all of our leaders in this show have really made sure that we are as safe as possible and have made the transition as easy as possible for all of us, which has been really helpful. And it leaves room for us to really just worry about the characters and worry about the story and not have to worry about all of the outside world things, because there’s a lot of things to worry about. But thankfully, we’ve got our own tight-knit family of people who just want to make this happen and want to put this out there.

Being that Soji is actually quite young–technically just a few years old–are we seeing some big evolution for her, and where do you see her arc over the seasons?

Yeah, definitely when you’re playing a young female character in sci-fi, it can be a little complicated. Especially with the history of women in sci-fi. Oftentimes, we’ve seen a lot of tropes of very half-baked characters who are in their bra and underwear, and that’s all you see them do. But thankfully we are heading out of that age and we’ve got a more fully formed character.

All around we’ve got these amazing badass women in our show. And so being the young one, I really hope to see a mirroring kind of evolution that you would see in any young woman coming into her own, realizing she has a voice, realizing she can speak up for herself and speak up for others. So I would really love to see Soji continue on that path.

Raffi (Michelle Hurd) and Seven (Jeri Ryan) in Picard Star Trek Day trailer

ICYMI – Star Trek Day Trailer

In case you missed it, here is the trailer released on Star Trek Day. (Check out our full analysis.)

Season two of Star Trek: Picard arrives in February 2022. It will be on Paramount+ in the United States, and in Canada it will air on CTV Sci-Fi and stream on Crave. Outside North America, Picard is available on Amazon Prime Video.

More Star Trek Day

There is still more to come from Star Trek Day, including more red carpet interviews, so keep reading TrekMovie for our full Star Trek Day coverage.

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Despite some inconsistent and, at times, terribly underwhelming writing during S1, I have to say that I really liked Briones’ work in the premiere season. She managed to get me to feel for her original character in the first episode and that carried on when we met her “sister” android Soji later in the season. Overall, minus 2-3 episodes, I liked S1 and looking forward to seeing what Q has in store for Picard and the gang in S2. Oh btw, IMO more vocal stylings from Briones is more than welcome!

Haha I laughed when Briones mentioned that women in sci-fi have often been relegated to roles when they’re in their underwear. I am sure many older Trek fans like myself were first introduced to Jane Fonda when she was prancing around in Barbarella. Things have progressed a lot, but maybe not a much as we think – we all remember the Carol Marcus (misleading to say the least) promo shot for Star Trek – Into Darkness. I am embarrassed to say to, I was waiting for that scene in the movie – all two seconds of it!

Star sex sells!

Not giving us much, is she!

Plot twist:
She and Picard will be real humans of flesh and blood after Q snips his fingers.

I would like that.

I don’t know about Soji, but a trial of humanity (mentioned specifically in the trailer) wouldn’t apply to Picard if he were still a synth.

It occurs to me that we’ve seen her in the trailers with two different hairstyles. I wonder if Dahj is still running around in this alternate future.