In "Brothers," after Data has commandeered the bridge, Captain Picard wonders if the computer would supply them with the exact stun setting required to incapacitate Data.

It seems unlikely to me that even maximum stun would affect Data. Admiral Quinn, while enhanced by the symbiont, was only knocked out with a phaser set to kill.

In-universe, perhaps Picard was ignorant of Data's durability, or maybe he wasn't fond of speaking about a "kill" setting for Data, even though the android likely wouldn't be extinguished at lower settings of the phaser's kill range.

1 Answer 1


Phasers can work

We know in TNG 'Descent Pt II', Data successfully immobilises Lore using a phaser.

but the exact setting is a little dubious

In 'A Matter of Time', Rasmussen says to Data:

RASMUSSEN: Nor does this. This phaser is set at the highest stun setting. If I'm correct, that is sufficient to immobilise even you.


This doesn't establish that he was necessarily correct (if only Data had had the emotion chip, we could have seen if he was fearful!)

It does stand to reason though: a phaser is an energy-based weapon. Data is essentially a computer running on energy, so a surge of energy sufficient to stun a humanoid is likely to have a negative impact on his system.

The closet incident we see to Data being stunned is in 'Birthright Pt 1' when Data is struck by an energy discharge from the Gamma Quadrant device, this immobilises him - he begins dreaming, but is physically immobilised.

So, based on this, I would expect that, probably on the highest stun setting, yes Data could be immobilised.

  • Notice that after Rasmussen makes that claim, Data shakes his head! May 14, 2016 at 14:43
  • @T-1000'sSon deception on Data's part perhaps? I just thought I'd throw that out there as the best piece of evidence we have directly related to phasers May 14, 2016 at 23:42
  • I just find it unlikely that Admiral Quinn is unaffected by maximum stun, and Data is put down. May 15, 2016 at 0:34
  • @T-1000'sSon it's not really a fair comparison- a magnet won't affect me that much but it can wreck a computer May 15, 2016 at 0:50

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