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Old September 2 2008, 10:07 PM   #16
EnochRoot
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Re: Data - B4 Question

^Marvel comics has explored similar grounds with another android character, the Vision.
Recently, he was destroyed and eventually reformatted with a younger personality and many of the old Vision's databanks.
I agree that should B4 return, a more interesting ground to cover would be B4's own search for his place in the universe and not 'hey look I'm Data now'.
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Old September 2 2008, 10:22 PM   #17
flandry84
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Re: Data - B4 Question

Um,at the risk of sounding stupid(I'm used to it by now) has it ever been explained just where B4 came from in the movie?
Was he part of the Romulan plot?(I can't see how/why).
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Old September 2 2008, 10:25 PM   #18
EnochRoot
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Re: Data - B4 Question

^Check out David MAck's 'Twilight's Wrath' in Tales of the Dominion War short story collection.
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Old September 3 2008, 12:54 AM   #19
Christopher
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Re: Data - B4 Question

EJD1984 wrote: View Post
I'm a little surprised (and discouraged), that no one has adressed the fate/future of Data in a novel (i.e. somehow escaped/taken at the last split second).

This is science fiction, and any number of possibilities could be used to bring back one of Trek's most popular characters. He could then very easily live on in future books.
Easy isn't always desirable. Far too many fictional characters have been resurrected, and that cheapens the whole concept of character death. Where is the cost, the sting of death, the legitimacy of tragedy and sorrow, if every major character who dies can be expected to pop up alive again a few volumes down the road? Where is the story logic, or the fairness, if minor characters die permanently but major characters are effectively immortal? Where is the courage or creativity in pressing the reset button on every death rather than exploring how the characters live with its consequences?
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Old September 3 2008, 04:45 AM   #20
JWolf
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Re: Data - B4 Question

CommanderRaytas wrote: View Post
I'm inclined to think you're joking.

I'd think he was joking if it actually was funny.
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Old September 3 2008, 02:06 PM   #21
Timo
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Re: Data - B4 Question

Yes, Data's information and memories were transferred, but reduced to facts and events, rather than experiences.
How do we know this?

LaForge says that Data's memories will be transferred in the jump-start procedure, but that by no means establishes that nothing else will. Since Picard accepted the procedure, one might assume it's familiar to him from "The Offspring" already - and that procedure was described as the complete transfer of Data's brain contents over to Lal. Not just "dead" memories, but the complete contents, including experiences, personality patterns and so forth. What use Lal or B-4 would make of those is a different issue.

For all we know, Data was dumped into B-4's head in totality. How much of that overflowed and was lost, we can't tell; Data and LaForge probably wouldn't have attempted the operation unless B-4's brain had the ability to receive the essence of what was being given, though. Data clearly expects B-4 to undergo a rapid change from moron to clever android brother, and even when he's disappointed, LaForge still comforts him that this may simply take some time.

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Old September 3 2008, 02:27 PM   #22
Christopher
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Re: Data - B4 Question

Timo wrote: View Post
Yes, Data's information and memories were transferred, but reduced to facts and events, rather than experiences.
How do we know this?
Well, in terms of the novel continuity, we know it because it's been explicitly stated in GTTS and maybe another book or two. As far as the novel continuity is concerned, this question has already been decided: B-4 does not hold Data's "katra."


For all we know, Data was dumped into B-4's head in totality. How much of that overflowed and was lost, we can't tell; Data and LaForge probably wouldn't have attempted the operation unless B-4's brain had the ability to receive the essence of what was being given, though. Data clearly expects B-4 to undergo a rapid change from moron to clever android brother, and even when he's disappointed, LaForge still comforts him that this may simply take some time.
Data didn't expect that to happen, he hoped it would. The fact is, any pretense that Data didn't have emotions without the chip is bull; he obviously had hopes, desires, regrets, the works, even if he didn't express them with the intensity of human emotion. He felt excitement at the prospect of having a brother (who wasn't evil) and the desire to nurture and encourage that brother. He was willing to try anything to help B-4, whether it had a good probability of succeeding or not.

And when Geordi said it might take time for B-4 to assimilate the knowledge, that was immediately after the transfer. By the end of the movie, Data himself had become convinced that the transfer had failed completely and that B-4 had no capacity for significant growth. Sure, the bit about B-4 remembering "Blue Skies" at the end was meant to offer a ray of hope to the audience, but it's unrealistic to assume based on that single recollection that Data's judgment about B-4's capability was so profoundly off the mark, especially since Data was the one person who most wanted to believe B-4 could grow. At most, B-4 might have some limited capacity to learn and grow, he might have incorporate a small percentage of Data's engrams, but at best he's the equivalent of a human with a severe learning disability.
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Old September 3 2008, 08:20 PM   #23
Saul
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Re: Data - B4 Question

Christopher wrote: View Post
EJD1984 wrote: View Post
I'm a little surprised (and discouraged), that no one has adressed the fate/future of Data in a novel (i.e. somehow escaped/taken at the last split second).

This is science fiction, and any number of possibilities could be used to bring back one of Trek's most popular characters. He could then very easily live on in future books.
Easy isn't always desirable. Far too many fictional characters have been resurrected, and that cheapens the whole concept of character death. Where is the cost, the sting of death, the legitimacy of tragedy and sorrow, if every major character who dies can be expected to pop up alive again a few volumes down the road? Where is the story logic, or the fairness, if minor characters die permanently but major characters are effectively immortal? Where is the courage or creativity in pressing the reset button on every death rather than exploring how the characters live with its consequences?
However, more Trek characters have come back to life in novels than onscreen.

Turtletrekker wrote: View Post
And as recent ENT and TNG novels have shown, TPTB at Paramount (in this case Paula Block) would allow the writers to bring back dead or kill off major canon characters if there was a good enough story reason for it. I just don't think that there is one in Data's case.
I find that hard to believe considering they left the door open for Data to return at the end of Nemesis. Kirk and Trip didn't have any hint of coming back from the dead when they were killed off onscreen. They made it far easier to write Data back to life.
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Old September 3 2008, 08:28 PM   #24
Trent Roman
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Re: Data - B4 Question

saul wrote: View Post
I find that hard to believe considering they left the door open for Data to return at the end of Nemesis. Kirk and Trip didn't have any hint of coming back from the dead when they were killed off onscreen. They made it far easier to write Data back to life.
Kirk was pretty much dead. But I do think there was a backdoor with Tucker, with respect that we last saw him--stil alive--vanishing into a tube of undisclosed function. Later dialogue strongly suggested Tucker was dead, but it would have been simple enough, had a miracle occured and ENT was picked up for another season, to claim that was a statis tube and Tucker was being put into storage, near death, until a way to help him could be found. Then, presumably, at some point (because TATV was several years into the series' future) we would have had a STIII-style arc to save Tucker before he was too far gone.

...frankly, I'm not sure why that wasn't used in the rush to resurrect Tucker for the books, instead of the tottering house of cards we wound up with. And I'd have much preferred that, if anybody would have gotten the 'Get out of Death' card, it would have been Data rather than Tucker (for the entirely selfish reason that I prefer Data as a character; I do recognize that Data had a better, more heroic death than the silly, slapdash death Tucker got).

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Old September 3 2008, 09:24 PM   #25
KRAD
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Re: Data - B4 Question

saul wrote: View Post
However, more Trek characters have come back to life in novels than onscreen.
Really? Onscreen we've had McCoy ("Shore Leave"), Scotty ("The Changeling"), Spock (The Search for Spock), O'Brien ("Visionary"), and Kim ("Deadlock"). In fiction we've had Kirk (The Return) and Tucker (The Good that Men Do). I suppose you could make an argument for Sisko (Unity). That still puts the screen stuff in the lead.
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Old September 3 2008, 09:26 PM   #26
captcalhoun
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Re: Data - B4 Question

and Wesley died on-screen in 'Hide and Q'...

shame on you for forgetting, KRAD...
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Old September 3 2008, 09:29 PM   #27
Marco Palmieri
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Re: Data - B4 Question

KRAD wrote: View Post
I suppose you could make an argument for Sisko (Unity).
Not persuasively. "What You Leave Behind" rather unambiguously sets up his return, which to me meant he never actually died.
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Old September 3 2008, 10:08 PM   #28
EJD1984
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Re: Data - B4 Question

It just seems to me that there was a purposeful setup at the end of Nemesis that Data would eventually reemerge through B4 (to me Nemesis was just an elaborate rewrite of TWOK).

Basically Data had downloaded his “Katra” into B-4 (i.e. TWOK - Search for Spock), and I’m just surprised that this hasn’t been explored in the novels.

Maybe the situation is that Data is fully encompassed in B4’s subconscious, and it would take some extreme event for Data to emerge, though with some of B-4’s limitations - making Data more “human”.

Last edited by EJD1984; September 3 2008 at 10:33 PM.
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Old September 3 2008, 10:23 PM   #29
Therin of Andor
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Re: Data - B4 Question

EnochRoot wrote: View Post
I agree that should B4 return
Maybe, but why the hurry? He'll be an entirely different personally to Data, or should be, so he won't actually be the drawcard to attract Brent Spiner fans that a return of B-4 in a movie or telemovie might be.
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Old September 3 2008, 10:33 PM   #30
Christopher
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Re: Data - B4 Question

EJD1984 wrote: View Post
It just seems to me that there was a purposeful setup at the end of Nemesis that Data would eventually reemerge through B4 (to me Nemesis was just an elaborate rewrite of TWOK).
It wasn't a purposeful set up, it was a safety net. Writers in an ongoing franchise can't make assumptions about what subsequent storytellers will do, or even whether there will be subsequent stories. Brent Spiner wanted John Logan to kill Data off in NEM, and that's what he did. But in the wacky world of movies, there was always the possibility that there could've been a sequel and enough money offered to Spiner to get him to come back. So they left a little bit of a loophole that could theoretically be used to bring Data back if things had worked out that way. It doesn't mean their intention was to absolutely, positively bring Data back the first chance they got, because filmmakers in an ongoing series know better than to make rigid plans like that. It just means they wanted to hedge their bets.

Consider your own TWOK analogy. The final shots of TWOK, with Spock's tube intact on Genesis and Nimoy giving the voiceover, weren't put in because the filmmakers knew for a fact that Nimoy would be returning, because at that point, they didn't know any such thing. They were put in because test audiences found the ending of the film too depressing, so a more hopeful grace note was added. B-4's little song at the end of NEM serves the same purpose -- to offer a glimmer of hope to soften the tragedy. It suggests that, even if Data can never come back from the dead, at least part of him lives on.

Maybe the situation is that Data is fully encompassed in B4’s subconscious, and it would take some extreme event for Data to emerge, though with some of B4’s limitations - making Data more “human”.
I just find it thoroughly unbelievable that a prototype as crude as B-4 would ever be capable of containing any sizeable percentage of Data's consciousness. Telling the story that way would require glossing over most of what was established about the character in NEM. At most, B-4 might be able to grow to the point of being a functional child with occasional flashes of Data's memory. And I think that's potentially a hell of a lot more interesting than resurrecting Data. We've spent 20 years exploring what it is to be an advanced android with superhuman intelligence and capabilities. What's it like to be an advanced android with a severe, crippling learning disability? There's a staggering irony in that. Also a splendid opportunity for social commentary. The story KRAD told in Articles of the Federation about the legal debate over B-4's right to exist and be defined as sentient could never have been told if he were just Data 2.0.
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