Star Trek Needs To Bring Back Fan Favorite Character

By Chris Snellgrove | Updated

For better or for worse, this newer era of Star Trek has largely focused on bringing back beloved characters: the title character and his old crew returned for Picard, Janeway, and other Voyager characters came back for Prodigy, and so on.

Now that Discovery is wrapped up and we’re a long way from getting new Strange New Worlds episodes, I’ve decided there is one more character that needs to come back. Data’s evil android brother Lore needs to return and serve as an antagonist in the upcoming Starfleet Academy show.

The Return Of Lore

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It’s been long enough since we saw Lore that even hardcore Star Trek fans might need a primer on the character. Basically, Data’s creator, Dr. Noonien Soong, created more androids than Picard’s pet Data, and one of them was an evil Data twin named Lore who was full of emotions (none of them were good).

Over the years, he has performed many malicious acts ranging from having the Crystalline Entity murder everyone on a planet to teaming up with some rogue Borg and briefly luring Data to the Dark Side.

Lore Hasn’t Been Since Since TNG

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Interestingly, Lore hasn’t been seen since Star Trek: The Next Generation. I say “interestingly” because we have seen numerous other characters wearing Lore actor Brent Spiner’s face since then, including the simple-minded android B-4 in Nemesis and the return of Data himself (twice, no less) in Picard. Speaking of Picard, that show also introduced us to two different members of the Soong bloodline who were played by Brent Spiner, a precedent established by the earlier show Enterprise, in which Spiner played an evil ancestor of Data’s creator.

Lore Would Be A Familiar Face

brent spiner star trek

Why, then, do I think Lore needs to come back as a Star Trek villain on the Starfleet Academy spinoff? Cards on the table: I really love Brent Spiner as a performer, and I quickly grew to love the franchise writers coming up with increasingly bonkers ways to bring him back. Plus, he could add something to Starfleet Academy that the show desperately needs: a familiar character other than Tilly for fans to respond to.

On a related note, one very practical reason Lore needs to come back for this Star Trek spinoff is that he provides instant nostalgia for fans. The fifth and final season of Discovery found great success in bringing back so much from franchise history: our 32nd-century characters talked about Captain Picard and the Dominion war, Burnham ran into a Progenitor straight out of a TNG episode…heck, at one point, the ISS Enterprise from the Mirror Universe even made a cameo.

The writers did an admirable job of making these references integral to the plot, and they could do the same for the nostalgic fan-favorite character Lore.

Soothe Fan Fears About A Star Trek Teen Drama

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Admittedly, I may be projecting my anxieties about Starfleet Academy in wanting Lore to be the main villain of this upcoming Star Trek spinoff. At its worst, I fear this show could become awful teenybopper bait, a kind of Beverly Hills 90210 in space where the biggest drama comes from learning which characters are secretly hooking up. Having a villain as deadly as Lore would dramatically increase the stakes while giving our characters something to fight other than their hormones.

Lore Is A Proven Villain

Interestingly, Lore would make narrative sense as a villain, and we mostly know this thanks to the two-part Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Descent.” At the end of part one, he dramatically declared, “The sons of Soong have joined together, and together, we will destroy the Federation.” He got shut down at the end of part two and hasn’t appeared since, so if the character gets somehow re-activated in the far future, his desire to destroy the Federation will still be fresh on his positronic brain.

Soong Androids Survived To The 32nd Century

Now, you probably have an obvious question: would it even make sense for Lore, a character introduced in Star Trek: The Next Generation, to still be alive for a Discovery spinoff? The answer is “yes,” we know this because the final Discovery season showed Moll and L’ak encountering Fred, an android built by Altan Soong (the son of Noonien Song whom we last saw in Picard). 

Altan Soong has a normal human lifespan, implying that he would have built Fred in the 25th century. In short, if one Soong-type android from the 25th century can easily survive into the 32nd century, another from the 24th century could do the same. That’s doubly true because Fred has presumably been constantly operating for all these centuries, whereas Lore has just been chilling in a box in Starfleet headquarters.

Tilly Vs. Lore

I realize that Lore returning for any Star Trek spinoff, especially Starfleet Academy, is a bit of a long shot. Nonetheless, he is a compelling villain, and now that Brent Spiner seems on board with returning to the franchise that made him famous in so many different ways, this is the perfect time for Lore’s return. Plus, let’s be real: who could be a better foe for the science-minded Tilly than one of the most advanced androids ever created?

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