Did Data really still have his emotion chip, in INS and NEM?

Discussion in 'Star Trek Movies I-X' started by Lance, Aug 31, 2013.

  1. Lance

    Lance Commodore Commodore

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    The only evidence we have that he didn't are two throw away lines, which could be easily ignored. In INS we are told he "didn't take it" on his mission to the Baku planet, and in NEM Data himself states he does not understand emotion. The former is a hand-wave, the latter a ret-con.

    On the other hand, there is considerable evidence that Data is still using emotional responses in both movies, including several instances where he clearly delivers jokes (and is self-aware enough to know that they're jokes, unlike the pre-emotion chip Data who would never have shown that kind of self-awareness). "I am programmed to serve as a flotation device" and "Saddle up, lock and load!" are both lines that emotion chip Data would say, but pre-emotion chip Data wouldn't.

    Did the writers forget that Data was supposed to be 'emotionless' in these two movies, and accidentally provide him with several emotional moments?

    Or did Brent Spiner forget, and accidentally delivered those lines in an emotional way?

    Would it just be easier for us to just assume that the emotion chip was still installed, and ignore the two pieces of evidence to the contrary?

    If we accept the emotion chip has been removed, do we take these instances as examples that, despite the chip, Data has incorporated emotions from it into his matrix, thus transcending his original programming?
     
  2. austen_pierce

    austen_pierce Captain Captain

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    Picard stated in Generations that it could not be removed. Geordie states in Insurrection that it had been. I chalk this up to progress... Advances in capability eventually allowing Data to first turn it off at will (First Contact) and later remove it (Insurrection). There is no evidence to directly support this, but to your point his dialogue after Geordie reactivates him in INS leads me to believe Geordi reinserted the chip after bringing Data back online and removing the compromising memories.

    I disagree with the assessment that Data's statement in Nemesis is a contradiction. It is very possible to have emotions and not understand them. I'd argue that this was the case for Data throughout Generations.
     
  3. Timelord Victorious

    Timelord Victorious Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Can't his emotional expressions mellowed quite a bit over the years? Like a child when growing up he learned to control them over time.
     
  4. Melakon

    Melakon Admiral Admiral

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    The "lock and load" line reminds me of TNG: In Theory, when Data used canned phrases from what appeared to be 50's era television ("Honey, I'm home!"), in order to emulate a romantic relationship. "Lock and load" may have been something he filed away after watching a few movies.
     
  5. Mage

    Mage Commodore Commodore

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    The novel series A Time To..., written after Nemesis but set before them, stated that Data had to give up his emotionchip during Insurrection and Nemesis. Don't remember exactly how or why.
     
  6. austen_pierce

    austen_pierce Captain Captain

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    Few would morn the loss.
     
  7. Workbee

    Workbee Commander Red Shirt

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    What would have been gutsy is if the filmmakers said that the emotion chip never worked -- it was just an electronic placebo. That Data had the necessary "hardware" to experience emotions all along -- Up until that point he just never believed that he could have emotions.

    Yes, I know that episodes like Descent kinda screw this up. But I really dislike the concept that Data was somehow incomplete. Kinda goes against the IDIC thing a little bit. Because Data does not seem to experience emotions the way humans do means he is somehow incomplete?
     
  8. FormerLurker

    FormerLurker Commodore Commodore

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    Even without the chip, he had access to what emotions are, whether he understands them or not. He recorded all of his daughter Lal's memories, including her emotions. He may have figured out how to access them for his own use.
     
  9. Argus Skyhawk

    Argus Skyhawk Commodore Commodore

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    I have felt that way for years. I find it odd that the filmmakers felt the need to insert that "didn't take it with him" line, only to have him act quite emotional through the rest of the movie. I also found it bizarre that so many viewers at the time posted online that they were glad to have the old, emotionless Data back. Apparently, that line alone was enough to satisfy them despite all evidence to the contrary.