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In the Star Trek TNG series finale, "All Good Things", Data is clearly alive and well while Picard is an old man.

But Data is clearly destroyed in Star Trek: Nemesis, while Picard is still relatively young.

How is this possible?

Surely it's not "B4" that we're seeing in the All Good Things future timeline?

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The best way to reconcile time travel in Star Trek is to not. – Xantec Feb 26 '14 at 2:52
The upside of having a lot of contradictions is that you can pick what you consider canon. NOT canon to me: bad movies (Nemesis), embarrassing episodes (Lizard Janeway and Paris), the Great Eugenics War of 1996, and so on. – jdm Feb 26 '14 at 14:28
spoilers... spoilers everywhere! – RedCaio Dec 3 '15 at 3:42
While that particular future never happens, Data's personality eventually takes over B4's body (who was never going to evolve as Data did), so Data is alive and well anyway. – Petersaber Apr 25 at 23:03
up vote 44 down vote accepted

Just remember these lines at the end of "All Good Things" (from the transcript here):

CRUSHER: You know, I was thinking about what the Captain told us about the future. About how we all changed and drifted apart. Why would he want to tell us what's to come?

LAFORGE: Sure goes against everything we've heard about not polluting the time line, doesn't it.

DATA: I believe, however, this situation is unique. Since the anomaly did not occur, there have already been changes in the way this time line is unfolding. The future we experience will undoubtedly be different from the one the Captain encountered.

RIKER: Maybe that's why he told us. Knowing what happens in that future allows us to change things now, so that some things never happen.

(Worf and Riker look at each other)

WORF: Agreed.

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Picard violated Temporal Prime Directive! – DVK-in-exile Feb 26 '14 at 3:04
I should also add that the second answer at… mentions that in the backstory to Star Trek Online, Data's memory was recovered and overrode B-4's program in 2385, and that the comic book Star Trek: Countdown (a tie-in to the 2009 movie by the movie's co-writer Roberto Orci) showing Data as Captain of the Enterprise-E in 2387. – Hypnosifl Feb 26 '14 at 4:55
I had quite similar question on how Troi could die in "future" line of this episode, if she was eventually married to Riker in one of theatricals of Star Trek? Your answer does answers my question as well! :> – trejder May 20 '15 at 7:52
@Hypnosifl that is strange. Data already had transfered his memory into B-4 during Nemesis. oO Also B-4 had showed signs of becoming Data just at the end of Nemesis. – Thomas Aug 9 '15 at 9:03

The events in All Good Things were the result of Q playing around with reality (or possibly just Picard) by moving things backwards, forwards, and sideways through time. The presence of Q and his usual shenanigans means that all bets are off as to what is real, what isn't real, what will be real, and what might become real.

The future events in All Good Things were just one possible future. Q chose or created that particular future to see if Picard could step outside of his limited human view of time and reality. Also keep in mind that the events shown during the Farpoint mission didn't happen in the past-as-we-know-it either.

Time travel is all wibbly wobbly timey wimey and doubly so when Q is involved.

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Ehm, Quwee wuwee? – Mr Lister Feb 26 '14 at 20:13
@MrLister: Or perhaps Qwibbly Qwobbly Quwee Qimey. – mu is too short Feb 26 '14 at 20:30
Ooh, this would have been pure blasphemy, if there hadn't been an episode named "Q Who". – Mr Lister Feb 26 '14 at 20:37

Data downloaded his memory when he realized he was going to die, with the intention that it was to be uploaded to his brother, B4. This would not have conflicted with DATA's ethical subroutines because in his last interaction with B4, DATA tells him that he is to remain deactivated indefinitely, essentially making him a spare body. DATA must have left behind instructions for his memory integration and his reasoning for B4's indefinite deactivation. You could argue (since, in the end of Nemesis, we see a reactivated B4 conversing with Picard) that Starfleet would have objected on ethical grounds, but B4's sentience could easily be argued, as his response to most any input was, "I do not understand". DATA nearly failed to establish himself as a life form in "The Measure of a Man". B4 would have absolutely failed had such a hearing taken place for him. Even if he would have succeeded, when faced with the reality of a Starfleet without DATA, they would have denied B4 and still went through with the procedure.

The real question, as far as DATA is concerned; given that we weren't anywhere close to the first beings to develop WARP capability, how the hell is DATA the only one of his kind? Shouldn't there be android Vulcans, Romulans, Klingons, Bajorans, Cardassians, etc. You'd think at the very least, the Ferengi would have a civilization of androids, since you wouldn't have to pay them for their work.

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What does your answer have to do with the episode All Good Things...? Everything you've described in it happened after that episode and it is never clear that the body of Data in the future timeline is actually B4. – Ellesedil Apr 25 at 22:45

Data is still alive in All Good Things because a) it was pre-Nemesis and there is no evidence that any of that future actually happened (see the thread about O'Brien).

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