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Bent Spiner is known to have commented that he couldn't play Data anymore due to his age.

Yet in the recently released trailer for Star Trek: Picard, there he is!

Screenshot: enter image description here

Was this realized through extreme makeup, a stand-in, CGI, prosthetics, or some combination?

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I think, and I admit that this is just speculation, that it's a mix of Spiner wearing an improved version of the Data makeup and some digital de-aging but not an entirely CGI character. Data's face in the new pictures looks rounder and softer, closer to how Spiner's looks now, with a much less prominent chin. So if any de-aging is applied, they seem to mostly be using it to smooth up Spiner's face and remove some of the lines, which the makeup also helps to do, but no, I don't think they're using any sort of prosthetics (except for the contact lenses) or lots of CGI (because why not make Data look closer to how he did 17 years ago or even before that?).

EDIT: For the sake of the original question, I (like the OP and most of the fandom) am assuming that Brent Spiner is playing Data here and that while this Data might use the body of B-4, his neural net/memories/etc are the same as the original's and as such I've elected to refer to the character as Data.

  • I don't know. My guess is that there's a bunch of fake skin applied to parts of his face too. – ThePopMachine Jul 21 at 2:02
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    It could depend on how much money they want to throw at it it. Consider the CGI they used for Nick Fury/Samuel L. Jackson in Captain Marvel. Also, keep in mind that it probably isn't Data you are seeing. He died in the movie Nemesis remember? It's more likely to be his brother, B-4. – Allan Mills Jul 21 at 2:54
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    @AllanMills Well yes it's probably B-4's body, but it's not B-4's mind, it's Data's. After all, our thoughts and memories and personalities are what make us truly human. 'Course, I'm kinda hoping they'll explore that a little. Star Wars tried it with Callista/Cray in a few of the EU books and... didn't reeeally succeed. – SpaceWolf1701 Jul 21 at 3:39
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    @SpaceWolf1701 I don't see they specifically state it is Data in the clip though. Picard mentions losing Data and he shows a disassembled Data type android. The "Data" who speaks in the clip could be B-4 though but he might be more Data like since Data uploaded his memories into him. Keep in mind though, he'd have something like a different OS. – Allan Mills Jul 21 at 4:16
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    @ThePopMachine The Captain of a Ship is always referred to as "Captain" - regardless of whether their rank is Captain, Admiral, Commander, or even an NCO. (This actually comes up in DS9, when Commander Sisko captains the Defiant) So, there is a lot depending on other context we don't see surrounding that scene. – Chronocidal Jul 22 at 8:47

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