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Old September 2 2008, 12:46 PM   #1
EJD1984
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Data - B4 Question

I've been a little out of the loop in regards to recent Trek novels, so forgive me if this has been covered before.

Since I'm 99.9% sure that we'll never see a Next gen. movie any time soon. Have there been any novels dealing with the possibility of Data remerging thru B4 (or by some other means)?

If I'm not mistaken, it seems that a few times it was alluded to in the Next Gen. series that Data would be around far into the future.

I personally think his death was a major mistake in the movie. I'm not even sure if there had been any preliminary plans in dealing with this issue in a future Gen. movie.

In a related question: If Data were to come back thru B4, would Starfleet recognize his prior service?
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Old September 2 2008, 01:06 PM   #2
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Re: Data - B4 Question

It might be of interest here that Lieutenant Jadzia Dax was promoted to Lieutenant Commander during her DS9 service, yet superceded by Ezri Dax who was only a Lieutenant (junior grade). Essentially, Ezri had all the skills, training and expertise of Jadzia, only repackaged - but Starfleet denied her the Lieutenant Commander rank.

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Old September 2 2008, 01:25 PM   #3
EJD1984
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Re: Data - B4 Question

Timo wrote: View Post
It might be of interest here that Lieutenant Jadzia Dax was promoted to Lieutenant Commander during her DS9 service, yet superceded by Ezri Dax who was only a Lieutenant (junior grade). Essentially, Ezri had all the skills, training and expertise of Jadzia, only repackaged - but Starfleet denied her the Lieutenant Commander rank.

Timo Saloniemi
Though the other side of the argument would be that Starfleet did seem to fully reinstate Spock's ranck and service time. There could have always be internal politics involved in situations like this (you could almost wite a would novel on this alone).
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Old September 2 2008, 01:33 PM   #4
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Re: Data - B4 Question

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Old September 2 2008, 01:40 PM   #5
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Re: Data - B4 Question

EJD1984 wrote: View Post
Since I'm 99.9% sure that we'll never see a Next gen. movie any time soon. Have there been any novels dealing with the possibility of Data remerging thru B4 (or by some other means)?
There is one story in Strange New Worlds 10 in which that happens, but in the novel continuity, there's essentially zero chance of that happening. B-4 is a far cruder model than Data, and can't process Data's entire memory and personality any more than a Commodore 64 could run Windows Vista. Even if he weren't a bear of very little brain, the download he received from Data consisted only of memories, not personality. He wouldn't turn into Data any more than Data turned into Lal when he downloaded her memories.

In the books, B-4 is in residence at the Daystrom Institute, being studied by Commander Maddox, who (in a complete turnaround from "The Measure of a Man") has been a stalwart champion of his right to be judged sentient and protected from disassembly. The last we heard, the Federation Council granted B-4 that right (as seen in Articles of the Federation and alluded to in Greater Than the Sum). But what B-4 does with his life, or if he's even capable of learning and growing at all, remains to be seen.

If I'm not mistaken, it seems that a few times it was alluded to in the Next Gen. series that Data would be around far into the future.
We also saw possible futures in which Troi had died, the Enterprise-D survived and had three nacelles, Riker became the captain of the Enterprise-D, etc. The future isn't fixed.
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Old September 2 2008, 01:59 PM   #6
Timo
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Re: Data - B4 Question

There would certainly be much greater legal issues with deciding that B-4 = Data than with deciding that post-Genesis Spock = pre-Genesis Spock. From the layman's point of view, at least.

Not only are B-4 and Data physically distinct, we don't even know for sure that they would be "related". Data is the "legitimate son" of Soong, as much as Lore is - but B-4 could be an unrelated fake created by the Romulans for all we know, another component in their original plan of attempting to replace key Starfleet personnel with copies.

The deciders would probably err on the side of caution here, as they wouldn't be motivated to do otherwise. Reaccepting Spock would mean accepting a person who had performed world-saving heroics both before and after the confusing swap, while reaccepting Data in the B-4 guise would mean welcoming a traitor who hasn't yet done much to redeem himself.

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Old September 2 2008, 02:05 PM   #7
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Re: Data - B4 Question

Poor Data (B-4). Trip, Spock, Kirk (and maybe in future Janeway?) all come back from the dead but Mr. Data isn't allowed to.
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Old September 2 2008, 02:17 PM   #8
Dayton Ward
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Re: Data - B4 Question

I never bought the "B-4 could be Data" argument, anyway, for the reason's Christopher already stated.

Yes, Data's information and memories were transferred, but reduced to facts and events, rather than experiences. In other words, nothing that actually made Data the "person" into which he had evolved over the years made the transition, as B-4's systems were inferior to those Data possessed. This much was stated in the movie, and to some extent is exactly the scenario Data feared would happen when he faced off against Maddox in "The Measure of A Man."

Now, can B-4 learn and evolve into his own person, perhaps guided to some degree by what Data left him yet still having his own experiences, making his own mistakes, and so on? That remains to be seen.
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Old September 2 2008, 03:47 PM   #9
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Re: Data - B4 Question

saul wrote: View Post
Poor Data (B-4). Trip, Spock, Kirk (and maybe in future Janeway?) all come back from the dead but Mr. Data isn't allowed to.
The fact that he's the only android of the group kind of makes this seem ironic.
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Old September 2 2008, 04:09 PM   #10
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Re: Data - B4 Question

It's the big reveal of Destiny - he's actually become the king of the Borg. The end of the third book is a showtune followed by a comedy moment that isn't actually fun.
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Old September 2 2008, 05:05 PM   #11
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Re: Data - B4 Question

I'm inclined to think you're joking.

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Old September 2 2008, 06:04 PM   #12
EJD1984
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Re: Data - B4 Question

saul wrote: View Post
Poor Data (B-4). Trip, Spock, Kirk (and maybe in future Janeway?) all come back from the dead but Mr. Data isn't allowed to.
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.

Unless there is some type of novel review board at Paramount that will not approve this type of storyline.
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Old September 2 2008, 06:27 PM   #13
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Re: Data - B4 Question

EJD1984 wrote: View Post
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.
Only because something could be done, doesn't mean that it has to be done.

Unless there is some type of novel review board at Paramount that will not approve this type of storyline.
Theoretically it would be Paula M. Block from CBS Licensing and her staff, who could shot down a plot if it doesn't fit into what was established onscreen, but I doubt that the idea has even been brought up.
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Old September 2 2008, 08:43 PM   #14
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Re: Data - B4 Question

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.
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Old September 2 2008, 09:06 PM   #15
ClayinCA
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Re: Data - B4 Question

Dayton Ward wrote: View Post
I never bought the "B-4 could be Data" argument, anyway, for the reason's Christopher already stated.

Yes, Data's information and memories were transferred, but reduced to facts and events, rather than experiences. In other words, nothing that actually made Data the "person" into which he had evolved over the years made the transition, as B-4's systems were inferior to those Data possessed. This much was stated in the movie, and to some extent is exactly the scenario Data feared would happen when he faced off against Maddox in "The Measure of A Man."

Now, can B-4 learn and evolve into his own person, perhaps guided to some degree by what Data left him yet still having his own experiences, making his own mistakes, and so on? That remains to be seen.
I agree with Dayton that I never really thought this argument could actually be used to bring back Data, though I have always thought that the wrongheaded writer(s) of Nemesis intended this to be the idea - it just goes along with all the other "wrongness" of that particular movie's logic.

What I would very much like to see is the evolution of B4 as a new, original character, one which happens to include certain aspects of Data. This would be an interesting opportunity for the novel writers to create and develop a character who both is and is not our old friend. While B4 has remained essentially an offscreen character in the books up until now, I'm hoping that something like this eventually will come to pass.
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