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Warning! The following contains spoilers for the Star Trek: Picard episode "Et in Arcadia Ego, Part 1." Read at your risk!
Star Trek: Picard completed Part 1 of its Season 1 finale, which ended with Jean-Luc Picard and crew at Soji's mysterious home planet. It was there they uncovered a community of Synths, the son of Dr. Noonian Soong, and an explanation behind that alarming prophecy.
We also learned about the work Noonian's son Altan (played by Brent Spiner) has been up to over the years, and there's a theory it may play heavily into Star Trek: Picard's future. More importantly, it could result in a massive change to Jean-Luc Picard, which would undoubtedly be controversial to a large number of Star Trek fans. Let's break down the theory and ask ourselves, could Picard become a Synth at the end of Season 1?
Picard's Terminal Illness
Jean-Luc Picard had did a solid job of masking his terminal illness from the rest of his crew, but after he fell unconscious during the team's crash landing, Agnes Jurati uncovered the truth via the "archaic" Tricoder. With the cat out of the bag, Picard rounded up his crew and filled them in on the situation, stating he didn't wish to be treated any differently going forward.
Picard's terminal brain illness hasn't been mentioned since the early episodes of Season 1, and even then only briefly. The fact that Star Trek: Picard has brought it back into the story now has some thinking it will play a part in the finale, which may even result in a "cure" for the Admiral's illness.
Dr. Altan Inigo Soong And Bruce Maddox's Work
Dr. Altan Inigo Soong picked up where his father left off on Synth research, and continued research in a Synth community on the remote planet Coppelius. Bruce Maddox was working alongside Soong, but with his death, Soong's progress on creating advanced Synths had halted.
Dr. Soong found potential reprieve in Jurati, who he asked for help in working on a Synth. This particular Synth would allow for "mind transferrence" between the body of a human to that of a Synth. Jurati agreed to help Soong, in order to help repay her debt for killing Soong's confidant and her lover Maddox.
The Theory That Could Change Jean-Luc Picard Forever
A new theory from Meaww suggests that these above two plot points, while completely separate in the episode, may ultimately come together before Season 1 is over. In the theory, this hollow Synth could be used to save Jean-Luc Picard's life, and that his mind would be transferred into the vacant Synth.
This would, obviously, be a huge change to Star Trek canon. The idea that Picard could potentially shift from human to Synth is a huge deal, and would prevent the character from ever dying from a terminal illness or natural causes. It would also unquestionably be the biggest change the modern Trek shows have made to canon to date, and change has not sat well with folks in this community.
Will Star Trek: Picard Actually Make Jean-Luc Picard A Synth?
Modern Star Trek has already given Spock an adopted sister, so Alex Kurtzman and company haven't balked at making big decisions in the franchise. Plus, a large theme of the season has been Picard advocating for the rights of Synths and frequently alleging Data and Soji are just as human as any organic life form he's known. A move like this would be the perfect way for him to prove that, and also save his life.
On the one hand, Patrick Stewart is 79-years-old. Star Trek giving the character a terminal illness gave Star Trek: Picard an opportunity to be finite. The other hand gives the option for the character to survive on forever. That just doesn't seem like a call anyone involved in Star Trek would want to make, especially knowing they'd eventually have to recast Picard in a future series. Again though, Star Trek: Discovery recast Leonard Nimoy's Spock in the Prime timeline, so can any Star Trek character be deemed too sacred?
Star Trek: Picard's second part of its Season 1 finale arrives on CBS All Access Thursday, March 26. Keep an eye on CinemaBlend to see if this theory proves accurate, and for a look at what else is happening in the world of television and movies.