In the new Star Trek: Picard series, we see a disassembled B-4 kept in storage at the Daystrom Institute in Okinawa.

The last time he was seen on-screen was on Star Trek: Nemesis, when he was depicted as an android with limited capabilities if compared to the more his more "advanced brothers" Data and Lore, but nonetheless it was certainly a life-form, even if one with a limited intelligence.
And the reasoning behind Data's defense and his right to live in The measure of a man could certainly apply also for the less intelligent B-4, in the end.

Why was he disassembled and stored away like an "item" instead of being regarded as a life-form and consequently with his right to live (despite his status) recognized and protected?

He is told to be not like Data at all, but this seems to be a rather feeble reason to deny him the right to live, and doesn't seem like something that some of the more idealistic and humanist characters in the Star Trek universe could easily look-upon, especially Picard himself.

Are there some other reasons of his current state that maybe I have missed?

1 Answer 1


** WARNING: SPOILERS for Star Trek: Picard Ahead**

The reason given in-universe was ALL positronic-type developments had to cease and any androids/robots, ie Synths, disassembled after the "attack on Mars", by the order of Federation council.

Since it was initially thought to be a programming error in the synths, the Federation Council placed a ban on synthetic lifeforms. Androids such as B-4 were dismantled, and the Daystrom Institute was restricted to "theoretical" studies on synthetics.

-- Memory Alpha

The decision was not well liked, as that also meant Riker/Troi's son cannot be saved due to the ban on positronic devices.

With all active positronic matrixes shut down, people who would contract mendaxic neurosclerosis, such as Thaddeus Troi-Riker, would eventually die from the illness without treatment

-- Memory Alpha

  • 1
    I was under the impression that the ban was about "new" synths, those created by Dr. Maddox, and not the already existing ones. But your answer makes perfect sense.
    – Sekhemty
    May 17, 2020 at 23:54
  • 4
    The ban was about ALL positronic and cybernetic lifeforms. It was drastic, and it was meant to be Federation's "9/11", according to the writers. It's basically throwing the baby, the baby carriage, and the diapers out along with the bathwater. May 18, 2020 at 0:56
  • 2
    If Data had still been alive, would he have been disassembled too?
    – Burhan Ali
    May 20, 2020 at 8:47
  • 2
    It would be very likely that Data will not be spared. May 20, 2020 at 16:20

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