Could Star Trek: Picard's Final Season Mean Redemption For One Iconic TNG Villain?

Patrick Stewart in Star Trek: Picard
(Image credit: Paramount+)

Star Trek: Picard is gearing up for its final season, and it has some wild things planned for the big reunion of The Next Generation cast. This includes loading the season with villains, like Amanda Plummer’s new character Captain Vadic, and even some familiar faces, like Daniel Davis’ Moriarty and Brent Spiner’s Lore. There are so many villains, in fact, that I’m questioning if they’re all really going to be baddies when it’s all said and done. I’m curious, specifically, if one of them is coming back for a redemption arc, but is it wild for me to assume it’s going to be Lore? 

I’m sure there are more than a few people nodding yes while reading, but I can’t help but shake the feeling we’re going to get a hero arc for one of Star Trek: The Next Generation’s most iconic villains. Here are some of the things I’m thinking about as we wait for more answers on Lore’s return and more things about what Picard Season 3 holds in store.

Brent Spiner as Lore in Star Trek: Picard

(Image credit: Paramount+)

Lore’s Destabilizing Emotions Swings Positive As Well As Negative

Lore is commonly known as Data’s evil twin in Star Trek: The Next Generation, but the reality is that he is more complicated than that. Lore wasn’t intentionally created by Dr. Noonian Soong to be evil, but he was created with emotional intelligence that his “brother” and later model Data lacked upon creation. This emotional intelligence allowed Lore to be a more human-like Synth, but his emotions proved unstable and created a mental complex where he believed himself to be superior to humanity. 

Lore has definitely done a number of bad and even abhorrent things, but he’s not without remorse. In fact, we’ve seen flashes of his empathy in TNG episodes, like “Brothers,” when he felt remorse to learn Dr. Soong was dying. Granted, it didn’t take long for him to go back to his evil ways soon after, but that flash of empathy is proof enough that Lore is capable of change. 

If Lore is capable of great evil, then it only makes sense he’d also be capable of great acts of kindness. I’d also like to point out this feels like a twist that is on brand with Star Trek: Picard, which has worked to add new dimensions to franchise favorite characters like Q and Wesley Crusher. The only way I see to evolve Lore further would be to make him an ally of Picard and the crew, which I’m very much on board with. 

Brent Spiner on Star Trek: The Next Generation

(Image credit: Paramount+)

It’s Possible Lore Was Altered In His Recreation

Let’s not forget that there’s one major question to address in regards to Lore’s return, and that’s the question of how it happened. As we know from Star Trek: The Next Generation’s two-parter “Descent,” Lore was dismantled and disassembled after his defeat. And yet, here he is in the Picard Season 3 trailer, looking very much intact and assembled. 

Not only is Lore intact, but he looks aged. In reality, we know that while Synths like Data and Lore don’t age, actor Brent Spiner certainly does. We can’t rule out that Star Trek: Picard is merely hoping we’ll give them a pass on skimping on the de-aging budget in order to bring Spiner back to this iconic role, but I’m sure the actual story is more complicated than that. 

We know that members of the Soong family currently exist in the Star Trek: Picard timeline, and that they’re doing some interesting things with Synths in this series. Soji, for example, was a Synth who appeared on all scans to be entirely human. Let’s also not forget that Jean-Luc is also living in a Synth shell after his illness required his consciousness be transferred to another vessel. If Admiral Picard can walk around in a robot body and it's not be weird, can we really nitpick Lore returning from the dead and looking much older than his last appearance? 

If Lore’s appearance can be altered, I think it’s silly to assume other parts of him wouldn’t be altered as well. Few people would willingly bring back one of the most malevolent Synths in existence without some means of offsetting his violent tendencies, even if they are also a bad guy. Lore is just too dangerous to have around otherwise, so I suspect there’s something else that will impact his overall demeanor in Picard

Brent Spiner in Star Trek: The Next Generation

(Image credit: Paramount+)

Star Trek: Picard Is A Farewell Season To The TNG Crew

Star Trek: Picard Season 3 is, essentially, the final voyage of The Next Generation crew. It’s expected this will be one of the last times, if not the final time we see this ensemble cast together. While Data died (again) back in Season 1, Brent Spiner is still a part of the crew. Spiner will take part in this season as Lore, and while I could be completely off base here, I’d like to think he’d like to share some screen time with his costars. 

Amanda Plummer is playing the main big bad of Star Trek: Picard Season 3, so I don’t imagine there will be many opportunities for Lore to share a screen with the TNG co-stars as a villain. With that said, if Lore became temporarily or permanently aligned with Picard and the crew, it opens up an opportunity for Brent Spiner to share scenes with his friends and put a unique twist on it by playing Lore. 

Since there’s so little we know about Lore’s return, it’s really hard to speculate what role he’ll play in Picard Season 3. This could be a quick one-and-done thing, though I’m certainly hoping not considering how awesome Lore is. We’ll just have to wait and see on that front though, and hope it’s enough time to explain some of the big questions we already have about him. I know I’m hoping to see more of Lore in Season 3 than we saw of Data in Season 1

Worf on Star Trek: Picard

(Image credit: Paramount+)

Lore Is Working With Worf In An Upcoming Star Trek Comic

One final thing worth mentioning is that there’s a new comic series on the way in 2023 where Lore joins forces with some notable Starfleet characters. Star Trek: Defiant aligns Lore with B'Elanna Torres, Spock, and Worf in what’s described as a fugitive mission from Starfleet to stop a big threat. That’s right, Lore and Worf are going to team up in a comic, and could lay the groundwork for some truce they have going forward. Would that necessarily be something that Picard acknowledges in its final season? 

I won’t pretend I know the answer, especially because the line between canon gets sketchy when folks start trying to link events in comics and television shows that aren’t explicitly confirmed to have a connection. I will say, however, that it was very interesting to hear Lore and Worf are teaming up in a comic hours around the same time it was officially revealed Lore is in Star Trek: Picard Season 3. I’m hoping it means something, but will certainly be checking out Defiant either way. 

Star Trek: Picard Season 3 will premiere for anyone with a Paramount+ subscription on Thursday, February 16th. The wait for the final season is still a while out, but luckily there are other great new Star Trek shows on the way to keep fans entertained in the meantime. 

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.