Brent Spiner Reveals Why He Agreed With Star Trek’s Biggest Mistake

Brent Spiner happily agreed to have Data killed off in Star Trek: Nemesis and remains glad it happened so he could play other character versions.

By Charlene Badasie | Updated


Brent Spiner says he was completely on board with his Star Trek character being written out of the franchise. The actor made the revelation to the New York Times when asked if he ever wishes the original Data could have been part of the new story after being killed off in the Star Trek movie Nemesis. “I don’t think so because then I couldn’t have played those other things,” the actor said.

The 74-year-old was perfectly happy with the ending of Star Trek: Nemesis even though many fans were not. Brent Spiner feels that their unhappiness was redeemed in the first season of Picard. “I’m perfectly happy with the way it’s gone,” he told the publication. The actor couldn’t offer more insight because he hasn’t seen much of the show.

“They’ve kept it away from me because they know I’ll blow it,” he joked. But Brent Spiner also admitted that there were elements of Star Trek: Nemesis that just didn’t work. That was largely due to everyone thinking it was the end of the story. “We went into it feeling that it was going to be our last film, which was why we let Data’s demise happen,” he explained.

And everyone thought a great dramatic conclusion for one of the characters would be a fitting end to the series. Lieutenant Commander Data (Brent Spiner) sacrifices himself to destroy the thalaron generator, giving Star Trek: Nemesis an emotional climax. But fans felt that the beloved android deserved a better ending.

Data (Brent Spiner) became very popular over seven seasons on Star Trek: The Next Generation. This was largely due to the actor portraying the synthetic life form with childlike wonder and a sincere desire to become more human. The episode titled “The Measure of a Man” which puts Data’s rights as a sentient being on trial, is arguably the show’s greatest installment.

star trek insurrection
Star Trek: Insurrection

Interestingly, Brent Spine asked for Data to be killed in Star Trek: Insurrection because he was aging out of the role. But the idea was vetoed. Eventually, Paramount gave the green light to kill Data in Nemesis, granting the actor his wish. His death also emulated Spock’s demise in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, which the studio felt was poetic.

When Brent Spiner exited the franchise, no one knew the crew would continue their story in Star Trek: Picard. The first season revolved around Picard’s guilt over Data’s death. It also focused on his quest to help the android’s quasi-offspring, Doctor Soji Asha. Thanks to some digital wizardry, Spiner reprised the role in dream sequences and a virtual simulation.

However, Data’s absence from the second season was felt throughout the story. Brent Spiner’s role in the third season of Star Trek: Picard was described by showrunner Terry Matalas and executive producer Alex Kurtzman as a “new old” character.

When Brent Spiner told New York Comic Con (via ScreenRant) said he was playing Lore, a prototype android and Data’s brother, he described the role as very complicated. The final season of Star Trek: Picard premiered on February 16th exclusively on Paramount+.

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