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Brent Spiner on Data's Fate in STAR TREK: NEMESIS

[Warning: This will be a spoiler for the movie Star Trek: Nemesis if you haven't seen it or heard about it.]
Data (Brent Spiner); Source: Paramount
Some fans were upset about the death of beloved android Data in Star Trek: Nemesis. Not only was it a sad death, but also somewhat pointless. The fact that Nemesis ended up being the last TNG Star Trek movie that will probably ever be made also made it more tragic. We'll probably never have a chance to see Data officially return, outside of the expanded universe. But it turns out there was one person who wasn't bothered by it, and that's Brent Spiner, the actor who played Data in the series. At a convention with fellow cast members Wil Wheaton and Marina Sirtis, Spiner laid out why he's not upset, how Data could have returned, and the nature of death in the Star Trek universe.

If you can't watch the video, here's a transcript, starting at 0:39:

Spiner: Sergio, let me say this. Let me say this. First of all, apropos of the death of Data, the "quote-unquote" death of Data. Uh, well, you know, it does, uh, come to mind that Paramount killed everybody, you know, and nobody seems to care about that. Well, because, uh, are we coming back? We're all dead. Uh, you know, what, what we were doing was Star Trek.You know, where people die, they come back, they die again, they come back again.
Sirtis: And isn't Denise Crosby the third time she comes back?
Spiner: Three times around?
Sirtis: With a really bad wig...to punish her.
Spiner: I mean, people die a thousand deaths. Scotty died a thousand deaths, Nimoy died a thousand deaths, you know. I am of a mind that had we done another picture, we would have seen Data again. Not B4, but Data. Uh, so, uh, stop your grieving. You too, Wil.
Wheaton: I'm keeping it all inside.
Sirtis: Now wait a minute, I was the one who called you when I read the script, and I was crying, I was like, "Brent, they're gonna kill off Data."
Spiner: And I had to actually say to her, "Data is a fictional character."
Sirtis: I love Data.
Wheaton: It was like t fourth season all over again.
Spiner: And did you have a second part, a B portion of the question? Oh, B4, yeah, but B4 could have become Data by the next episode. He downloaded all of his memories into him. Who knows, that the next time we see B4, he would've been going like this [does iconic Data head turn].

Do you think we could have seen Data again? Were you upset by Data's death?

[Via YouTube]

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  1. Data lives on forever, no matter what.

  2. I agree, If they would have made another movie, B4 would have downloaded all of Data's memories. It just makes sense. Why go down the same road that the original Data went down making all the same character developments, when he could have upgraded and moved on to advance the plot of the next movie.

  3. I have almost completely forgotten that movie. It meant very little to me. I loved the series deeply, and will always love it. But everything (Aside from First Contact) that TNG crew did in film I tend to think didn't really happen. One day Wesley Crusher will wake up and realize he dreamed it all. You know, because of the traveller or something.

  4. I had no idea the character was dead. I enjoyed him in the TV series.

  5. Since he was the first or second most popular character there was no chance he'd really ever be "dead." It's like why we all should have known Spock wasn't really dead.

  6. Because Sheldon Cooper would no doubt approve mild Brent Spiner hate, I disagree. B4 downloading Data's memories would no more make him Data than the countless lives Data himself had stored in his positronic net. It was only ever meant to spur B4's development. Which would in essence make him more like Data. But not Data himself. Sorry for all of you who didn't even realize this happened, but Data is dead, yo.

  7. I love how dismissive he is of the fans being upset over it. It's the eternal struggle betweens fans and creators.

    I'm sure he's asked this question a lot and is annoyed by it, but still he's not even trying to see things from the fan side.

    Yes, they COULD resurrect Data at any time with some crap loophole or other gimmick, but every time they do something like that it unnecessarily strains the narrative.

    It reminds me of Keith Giffen on the death of Blue Beetle (Ted Kord). He says someone could just write "Panel 2: In walks Ted Kord" (paraphrased). Yes they COULD but again it's not quite that simple.

    If we care about such things then we're obsessive basement-dwelling virgins who need to get a life, but if we didn't care then we wouldn't spend our money on this stuff so I guess they'd rather us be the former.

    Well, I gotta go get some air, it's pretty damp down here in this basement...

  8. Interesting to hear Brent Spiner's thoughts on his character. I think he's right that they would have found a way to bring Data back, but that doesn't mean his fans weren't heartbroken over his death.

  9. I agree, he's kind of cavalier about the feelings of the fans. My guess is he's not too emotionally invested in it. Maybe in a few years, he'll publish a book like Nimoy, "I am not Data."


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