Allyn Gibson wrote:
I've made this assumption; it's how I make some things in Nemesis make sense in my head. Why did the Romulans clone Picard? When he was in command of the Stargazer they couldn't have known that he would be important someday.
Remember the timing. Nemesis
took place 24 years after Picard's command of the Stargazer
ended, which is about the same age Tom Hardy was when he played Shinzon. So at the time Shinzon was most likely conceived, Picard was already an accomplished, fifty-year-old Starfleet captain with over two decades of command experience -- aside from rank and posting, essentially at the same point in his career that Kirk was around the time of The Wrath of Khan
. He was already
important. People forget this, but the original intent behind the Picard character as stated in the series bible was that he had already become a Starfleet legend before TNG even began -- that he was given the flagship because
of his long and impressive record of achievement as an explorer.
After all, Roddenberry basically put TNG together by recycling the unused Phase II
series premise with a few tweaks and name changes. Riker was Decker, Troi was Ilia, Data was Xon crossed with Questor. And in Phase II
, Kirk was supposed to be the seasoned veteran acting as mentor to the next generation of Starfleet hero as personified by Decker -- and perhaps even ceding command to Decker after a while if Shatner didn't want to commit to the full series. So that was the idea behind Picard -- that he had already had his equivalent of Kirk's famous mission a generation earlier and was now the admired elder statesman passing the torch (although that idea that fell by the wayside once Patrick Stewart's popularity -- and ambition for action-hero storylines -- outstripped Jonathan Frakes's by a wide margin).
So, either the Romulans knew something about the future -- or they had a cloning program that covered hundreds of Starfleet officers. The assumption I make, then, is that alt-Yar revealed some things about the future that eventually filtered into the cloning program.
According to Death in Winter
, a Romulan agent took DNA samples from numerous important Starfleet officers at the Crushers' wedding in 2348. They wouldn't have needed to sample hundreds, though -- just the top tier of officers, which, again, Picard was already in at the time.
And we don't know that Shinzon was the only clone they created. There could've been dozens of clones of Starfleet officers laboring in the mines of Remus, with Shinzon being the only one who managed to survive and escape them.