In Nemesis Picard discussed the hopeless situation with his officers and said:

PICARD: At least that's what we hope. ...He must not be allowed to use that weapon. All other concerns are secondary. ...You understand me?

RIKER: Yes sir.

What exactly did he mean with all others concerns and secondary?

Riker understood. I didn't.

  • 7
    life and death of any one person or even the ship aren't as important as stopping the weapon. It's also, in my opinion, bad writing foreshadowing events to come
    – NKCampbell
    Feb 10, 2017 at 14:31
  • 3
    @NKCampbell Come on, what's life without a little foreshadowing... Feb 10, 2017 at 16:56
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    This was pretty simple and clear. He was saying it was more important to destory and weapon and the ship than for any of the crew to try to save him. Feb 10, 2017 at 18:58
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    Equivalent to "At all costs".
    – user15742
    Feb 10, 2017 at 19:12
  • 3
    I'm not sure what's confusing here, could you expand on that?
    – user47739
    Feb 10, 2017 at 22:01

2 Answers 2


This is addressed in the film's official novelisation. The orders are that the mission objective (stopping Shinzon) is their primary concern and that their own lives and the wellbeing of the ship and crew are secondary to that objective.

"We can only hope so." Picard paused to somberly study each of his officers in turn. "He can't be allowed to use that weapon. All other concerns are secondary. Do you understand me?"
From the grim expressions around the table, it was clear each person did. The Enterprise - and all aboard her - were expendable.
Riker spoke for all of them. "Yes, sir."

You may wish to note that this is far from the first time that a crewman (or even an entire crew) has been told that their lives are expendable. Troi orders (holo)Geordi to his (holo)death in TNG: Thine Own Self, the entire Voyager, and indeed the Prime Directive itself, is put on notice in VOY: The Omega Directive, and Kirk makes it clear that he's been told to avoid war at all costs in TOS: Balance of Terror:

KIRK: But if necessary to avoid interspace war, both these outposts and this vessel will be considered expendable. Captain out.

  • Thank you, I had this assumption but, since Picard didn't state his order explicitly, I did not think that he would really mean to destroy the Enterprise and let all his people die (what he has tried after that). Thus, I was wondering if really all of them did understand what Picard expected from them. Feb 10, 2017 at 18:22
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    @treppenlift - Given the gravity of the situation, I think it doesn't need to be said explicitly.
    – Valorum
    Feb 10, 2017 at 18:26
  • You mean holo-Geordi.
    – jpmc26
    Feb 10, 2017 at 20:04
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    @jpmc26 - I've edited it. Enjoy your holo victory.
    – Valorum
    Feb 10, 2017 at 20:08
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    @treppenlift: "I did not think that he would really mean to destroy the Enterprise...." Well, considering that Picard orders the Enterprise to ram the Scimitar, did that not clarify things for you? Ramming a ship like this is pretty much guaranteed to involve casualties for both vessels. And Troi's expression makes it clear she understands. She's obviously unhappy about it, but she understands the reasons for the order and executes it.
    – Ellesedil
    Feb 10, 2017 at 20:28

I'm not sure what is unclear... don't be concerned about your life, or the crew, or the ship. Stop him from using the weapon! If all is lost, but the weapon is not used, it is a victory.

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