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In the last movie of TNG's generation, "Nemesis", near the end in the Scimitar (Shinzon's ship)... spoilers ahead...

Data dies

Earlier in the movie the team discovers B-4, a prototype android constructed by Doctor Noonian Soong. A little later Data wished to give his brother the opportunity to expand his capabilities, in much the same way that he himself had in years past. Towards that end, Data willingly copied all of his memories to B-4, hoping that the added experiences would help B-4 to expand beyond his original programming. However, soon afterward, B-4 had to be deactivated because of the danger he posed to the Enterprise crew, as a result of Shinzon's tampering.

At the end:

Some of Data's memories began to surface as Picard left the android in his ready room, B-4 beginning to sing the song that Data had sung at Riker and Troi's wedding shortly before B-4's discovery. His future was uncertain.

Does anyone know if Data was slowly resurfacing through B-4 and might be still alive?

  • In the Countdown comics (Prequel of 2009 movie), he was the captain of USS Enterprise. Means, he did survive as a normal android. – Captain Cold Jan 19 '16 at 6:33
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The clear implication at the end of the film is that something of Data has remained and in the tie-in comics to the new 2009 reboot of Star Trek, we learn that when LaForge attempted to install Data's emotion chip into B-4, that was the final trigger needed for Data's memories and personality to override the crude personality of the B-4 android.

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(Star Trek : Countdown 1 - "The Official Prequel to the Upcoming Motion Picture")

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(Star Trek : Countdown 2 - "The Official Prequel to the Upcoming Motion Picture")

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    So, did Data kill B4 to ensure his own existence? Maybe a separate question... – Reinstate Monica Dec 23 '14 at 9:34
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    Thanks :) I might finally listen to that movie without shedding any tears LOL :P – Rocket Dec 23 '14 at 9:39
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    @Wikis - Yes, the implication is that Data's memories overrode those of the B-4 android. – Valorum Dec 23 '14 at 9:39
  • Data has gone down in my estimation! – Reinstate Monica Dec 23 '14 at 9:42
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    @Wikis - see my answer here; B-4 was never alive to be killed; scifi.stackexchange.com/a/76485/20774 – Valorum Dec 23 '14 at 10:04
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Warning: the following is non-canon information - this answer is not designed to compete with Richard's answer, just to provide additional information.

This matter is actually dealt with in Cold Equations: The Persistence of Memory where the tale of

Dr Soong is explained - he transferred himself to a more perfect android body.

After a long series of events which I won't disclose here as they are not really relevant to the question

Soong met up with an away team from the Enterprise who were trying to rescue the Soong-type androids, B4 included, who had been stolen by the Breen. After that situation was resolved, Soong began work to rectify the problem that B4 was experiencing - he would suffer a positronic failure because of Data's memories. Soong connected to B4 and transferred Data's consciousness to Soong's android body, thereby restoring Data to a physical body of his own.

The series Cold Equations continues to explain the adventures of Data.

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    This is still on my list of things to read, and so I'm resisting the urge to click on the spoilered-out passages... ;-) – Praxis Aug 12 '15 at 0:14
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    How can it possibly be non-canon when it comes from Soong himself? ;-) – Rand al'Thor Aug 15 '15 at 19:12
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In yet another continuity (Star Trek Online), after the Enterprise-E's encounter with the Scimitar, B-4 was in the custody of the Soong Foundation (an affiliate of the Daystrom Institute).

In 2385, Geordi takes a leave of absence from Starfleet to work on "personal projects" including assisting the Soong Foundation restore Data.

By 2386, they've reactivated the Data personality inside the body of B-4, and it is Data himself that helps finish repairing/upgrading his positronic net and rebuilding his emotion chip. He is reininstated in Starfleet and given command of the Enterprise-E.

In 2408, the Enterprise-E is lost in combat, but Data and much of the crew survive. Data retires from Starfleet and takes a position at Oxford (rather than Cambridge as he did in All Good Things...).

3

In TNG's finale, All good things..., the Data of the future is shown to be the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, and even though that is considered an alternate timeline called the Anti-time future, there is no indication that anything but the Q-meddling would not remain intact in the "real" timeline - on the contrary, the Apocrypha mentioned at the bottom of that article (including the comic mentioned in Richard's answer) support that all non-Q-related things still will have been happening (uhm, timeline-handling grammar anyone?). This obviously includes B4 having ultimately turned into a reincarnation of Data.

Professor Data

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    On the contrary, the Anti-Time future shows an Enterprise-D surviving into the distant future insted of being destroyed at Veridian III in 2371 (Generations). – Robert Columbia Aug 5 '18 at 12:48
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    @RobertColumbia Good point. I wonder how the difference occured, though. That means maybe not even the events of Nemesis happened, i.e. maybe its not B4 but Data himself seen in the Anti-time future... – Zommuter Aug 5 '18 at 12:52
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Having just read Jean-Luc Picard’s autobiography I can (assuming it is canon) answer this without needing to make any assumptions.

During Picard’s debrief with Admiral Janeway following the events of Nemesis Q appears and “because he misses Data” turns B4 into Data. Data later becomes captain of the Enterprise E when Picard retires.

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