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This is a "Wild Mass Guess" entry, where we pull out all the sanity stops on theorizing. The regular entry on this topic is elsewhere. Please see this programme note.
Star Trek: The Next Generation
Ro Laren was originally supposed to be a lesbian.

From this article:
  • "In 1991, Roddenberry told the press that he planned to add an LGBT character to the TNG cast that season, but when he died suddenly a few months after the interview, his promise vaporized."

Since Roddenberry died around the time "Unification" aired, that would put the aforementioned interview around the season 4/5 hiatus. Ensign Ro was introduced in early Season 5, exactly at the same time Roddenberry had declared he would introduce this new LGBT character.

A few other things to note:
  • Ro's first appearance after Roddenberry's death was in the episode "Conundrum," where she was sexually involved with Commander Riker. At this point, the producers (who did not agree with Roddenberry's desire to have a gay character on the show) may have wanted to explicitly establish that Ro was not a lesbian and thus prevent any further "damage" from being done.
  • Ro's habit of wearing her earring on the left ear as opposed to the traditional right (even in her introduction, Keeve and Orta were both wearing it on the right) has yet to be explained. Similar hint-dropping has been practiced by the LGBT community fairly often (gay men wearing earrings, for one), and keeping things secret would make sense in a highly religious society like Bajor.
  • Ronald D. Moore was involved with TNG back then. Perhaps making Admiral Cain a lesbian was an Actor Allusion?
On the deviousness of Lwaxana Troi.

1) Somewhere else on here I postulated that Lwaxana Troi is actually in charge of Section 31, or at least the official Federation politician who deals with 31 behind closed doors, but I looked at the timeline and realized I got it a little wrong. So, I don't think Troi infected Odo with the virus that hurt the link, that doesn't match up. However I postulate that it was HER idea. That's why when she came onto DS9 she got so cozy with Odo. She was doing recon and that time he turned into his liquid state she probably got more biometric data on him as well. During all of this she also did develop a true affection for him, since she knew that he was going to be used in such a horrific manner. I do contend though that it was always Lwaxana's plan that they would infect the Dominion and then force their surrender, she never intended genocide.

2) But that seems so out of character you say...or does it. Let's look at this as well: So it has always been important to Lwaxana that her daughter marry the right man for purposes of aristocratic marriage politics. We know that Troi had an arranged marriage, but we don't know when that marriage was arranged. We also know that Troi and Riker had an affair when he was stationed on Betazed. We also know that before being on Betazed Riker was on the Pegasus and we all know how that went. Then when on Betazed he suddenly got a promotion to some other ship on a deep space mission. SO - Troi arranges a marriage for her daughter. Then Troi is in on the cover up for the Pegasus project, but it goes blooey. She helps to basically promote Riker out of the way to keep it all hush-hush by sending him to the cush and easy post on Betazed. But while there he starts sleeping with Troi screwing up Lwaxana's plans for Troi's arranged marriage. So Lwaxanna makes a few discreet communications and suddenly Riker is posted on a deep space mission far, far away from her daughter.

Anyone else have conspiratorial evidence to back me up on the fact that Lwaxanna is a devious and dangerous chessmaster extraordinaire?

3) In "Manhunt", Lwaxana intercepts the Enterprise in a Starfleet-operated shuttle, having suddenly been appointed an ambassador and going to the same conference to which the Enterprise is transporting Antedean delegates. She proceeds to flit around pretending to be an airhead and comically pursuing Picard. Despite the fact that she is known to be a very advanced telepath, she seems utterly clueless about everyone she meets. Until the last few minutes of the episode, during which she casually exposes the Antedeans as terrorists before departing. This clearly indicates that either she has been reading the minds of everyone around her the entire time she was on the ship, or else she already suspected the Antedeans and wanted to personally confirm what they were up to. That she doesn't reveal their plans until the last possible moment hints that she was giving Picard & Company the chance to spot the terrorists on their own, and only said something because they had failed to do so. She makes a seemingly cute and innocuous remark about saving everyone's careers that is actually a little disturbing when you think about it. Then she beams down to the Pacifica conference, where she will presumably be plundering the minds of every single attendee as part of her intelligence-gathering.

4) As an aside, one might wonder at the membership of Betazed in the Federation. Their entire species is one vast security breach! Betazoids can not only read minds, they can do so across very long distances. In space it is thousands of kilometers at least, and whether this is in any way reduced when on the surface of a heavily-inhabited planet is unclear. At best, a Betazoid could sit in a cafe in San Francisco reading the minds of Starfleet admirals inside HQ! So why does nobody seem paranoid about them? Enlightened society...blah, blah, blah...just doesn't cut it. But Section 31 gains a very obvious benefit from the Betazoids, an entire planet full of long-range telepaths. Interestingly, there aren't a lot of Betazoids in Starfleet, but their species is treated as having some prestige within the Federation. Lwaxana Troi is a member of the Betazoid aristocracy. She could be posing as a flighty dilettante, spending her leisure time on diplomacy while using her carefully-cultivated Manic Pixie Dream Girl image to prevent anyone from suspecting just how on top of things she really is, and at the same time making sure that her people are respected and yet taken for granted. The Dominion going after Betazed might have been about more than just soft targets and strategic locations...

The Talarians were allies of the Cardassians during the Cardassian-Federation War of the 2350s and 60s.
My theory is that the Cardassians used them like proxies or possibly as a distraction; they might still be allies or not, but the "Galen Border Conflicts" mentioned in "Suddenly Human" were an extension of the Cardassian Wars that involved the Talarians and Starfleet. The Tzenkethi too might have had some mutual defense arrangement with the Cardassians; Garak was on Tzenketh at some point in his career, he mentions in the Two Parter where he and Worf are held in a Dominion prison camp, so the Cardassians and the Tzenkethi may have considered the Federation a mutual enemy. All these conflicts seem to take place around the same time as the first Cardassian War.
  • There are already too many border conflicts from the just-pre-TNG era. It makes a lot more sense if the Cardassians were the primary aggressors with the Talarians and Tzenkethi as allies. Also, the Talarians with their outdated weapons would hardly provoke a war with the Federation (and probably the Klingons by extension) unless they had the more powerful Cardassians on their side.

The Talarians from "Suddenly Human" are distant cousins of the Klingons, the result of hybridization with a more human-looking alien species.
They have a similarly martial culture with enough distinctions from Klingon culture that it stands on their own; they resemble humans with Klingon ridges on their scalps instead of their foreheads. At some point in the past, Klingons (who are implied to have warp drive before humans) must have interbred with a species of Human Aliens. They developed their own great Houses, including the House of Talar, a great warrior, and eventually evolved into the "totally NOT Klingon" Proud Warrior Race Talarians.
  • The Klingon renegades in "Heart of Glory" were aboard a Talarian freighter when the Enterprise found them; they may well have been trying to leave the Klingon Empire for the more anti-Federation but still partly Klingon Talarians.

Max Headroom, and all the Mad Max films take place during the Post-Atomic Horror
"Encounter at Farpoint" showed the Eastern version of Post-Apocalyptic, Pre-Federation Earth (Q's court of horrors, filled with jeering radiation-scarred spectators and drug-addicted soldiers). Max Headroom was set in the western world, probably the US or Canada, in the same time period: mutants, cybernetic and genetic engineering, oppressive corporations and controversial media... sounds like an American post-apocalypse to me. And Mad Max? Well, that was how it played out in Australia. Alternatively Max Headroom takes place right before the Eugenics Wars, and most of the Mad Max trilogy is set during the Post-Atomic Horror.

The first Borg encountered by the Next Generation crew were El-Aurian drones assimilated from Guinan's species
It would make sense if El-Auria is somewhere between official Borg territory and System J-25 where the TNG crew first encountered the Borg. It also explains why later Borg that were assimilated from Alpha Quadrant species are more diverse looking, retaining some if not all of their superficial appearance, such as Cardassian and Klingon drones we've seen in First Contact and Voyager.

The Borg interest in assimilating people is cyclical.
In "Q Who," we're told that the Borg's raison d'etre is to capture technology by force to constantly improve themselves. If they just assimilated everyone, they would have problems with resources (regen energy shortages, equipment etc.) due to the law of diminishing marginal utility...but since they don't breed, when drones die en masse for whatever reason or need to be "phased out" they need a way to maintain the optimum number to keep things running and get further to their objective. It's possible that the 2370s were just a phase where they needed to increase their numbers. The converse is that when they encountered other species that they simply killed off (making them think they were only after tech, since they couldn't see the future), they were gaining technology in preparation for a major population expansion.
  • They can breed. That is, they show - multiple times, starting from their introduction - the usage of technology to artificially grow organics, who then are fully assimilated when they are physically old enough.
  • "Canonically" they can't breed, because Voyager said they can't in one of its weirder moments, and new canon supposedly overwrites old. In this case most fans ignore the ...revelation... because 1) it contradicts stuff that actually happened on screen and 2) it's ridiculous. (So yeah, they can breed.)
    • It's said they do not reproduce 'in this fashion'. They can breed, they just don't use that specific method.
  • Assimilation is probably significantly more efficient than procreation because you get a mostly adult population that doesn't have to be kept in storage for years before it becomes useful. Presumably the Borg have access to assimilated cloning technology and the option of leaving the reproductive organs of their drones intact but elect not to because they consider it unnecessary
    • Given the Queen and her many incarnations, the Borg probably have the technology to replicate or clone adult body parts as required and do a full or partial mind transfer when the new body is ready (but it still sucks to be an unimportant drone who won't get a personality backup). Assimilation is going to be most useful when a very small Borg population (e.g. one drone) needs to take over an enemy vessel and hasn't got a huge stash of raw materials from which to create more drones from scratch.
  • Any discontinuity involving the Borg can be attributed to their mandate to adapt to new targets... until shown in a flashback predating its introduction. I always thought Transwarp was a recent acquisition as of "Descent" and "First Contact" but then "Voyager" showed they had been using Transwarp for years, back when the Hansens were studying them. But adaptation means more than thinking of using force fields after five of your drones go down. That's Ant Hive-level behavior. The Borg are supposed to be a hive, but they're also supposed to be intelligent.
  • Despite having a Transwarp Conduit near the Brunali homeworld, the Borg never bothered to systematically assimilate the entire species. Instead they seemed to periodically swing by and cherry pick some Brunali before continuing on their way. This does imply that the Borg only bother assimilating beings into the Collective on an as-needed basis. When the Borg assimilated the Hansen's, they would have ascertained that physiologically humans were an unremarkable species. Thus they would not have felt an urgent need rush off to the Alpha Quadrant to assimilate them all. But as they processed what they learned about the Federation, they decided that an advanced, multi-species civilization was much, much more interesting. Also, there was a mystery: the Borg were unaware that Q transported the Enterprise to its first encounter with one of their cubes, and they likewise did not know that he was what whisked the Enterprise away again just as they were about to assimilate it. From their perspective, this might have looked as if the Federation possessed some special technology that they wanted to learn more about.

At some point between TNG and Star Trek: First Contact, the Borg assimilated nanotechnology.
It completely changed the basis of their technology, re-assimilating drones and spacecraft from the ground up. All Borg technology became nanotechnology. It brought many advantages: instant assimilation, self-healing cubes, etc, but it also made their technology more exploitable by the Federation, who already had nanotechnology (indeed, developed it before the Borg did). Why? because nanotechnology is too versatile and too easy to reverse-engineer (it basically reverse-engineers itself). The crew of Voyager reverse-engineering Borg technology hastened their Villain Decay. Soon, the Borg were no longer the uber-advanced race they once were before they became dependent on nanotech. Instead they became just another Rubber Forehead Alien roughly on par with the Federation.
  • A (very) minor correction: the Borg already had self-healing ships when they were encountered by the 'D.
  • True, but they didn't appear to possess nanotech until First Contact. The cubes were just designed to heal themselves by some other process before that.

All of the Wesley episodes occur in the holodeck
He is just some regular kid, who uses the holodeck to make himself feel important and smart.
  • Alternatively, all of the Wesley episodes are based on real missions, but Wesley inserts himself into them using the holodeck to make himself feel important and smart.
  • He could even actually be a freaking genius kid and not a single bit of this theory would break.

In Yesterday's Enterprise, when mirror-Picard tells Captain Garrett that the war is going very badly for the Federation, he's lying to manipulate her into agreeing to go.

One of the Enterprise-Ds in the episode Parallels comes from the future of the 2009 film
Obviously, this was one of the many alternate quantum realities Worf experienced.
  • This is almost certain. There has to be an Enterprise-D in that timeline, or else Star Trek: First Contact wouldn't happen the right way.
    • It was probably the one where the Borg had overtaken the Alpha quadrant, because the 2009 Film's universe in general is such a Crapsack World.
      • Crapsack as it may be, the Federation in the new timeline is also substantially more badass and capable.
    • But if the Borg overtook the Alpha Quadrant, there would be no Federation at all in the 2009 film's universe. No, the 2009 film's universe is definitely the last universe the "prime" Worf ended up in.
      • Except that you're ignoring the fact that the Borg only attacked Earth after meeting the Enterprise-D during the events of "Q Who." If there is no Enterprise-D in the alternate universe, there is no Enterprise-D for Q to send to the Borg, there is no reason for the Borg to seek out Earth for assimilation, and the events of First Contact never happen. Your proof is no longer self-sustaining.
      • Not true. The dying Borg in the Enterprise episode "Regeneration" sent directions on how to get to Earth deep in to the Delta Quadrant. We could still be attacked, it will just take a while.
      • Also, V'Ger discovered humanity decades before there was an Enterprise-D, and it's heavily implied (even outright stated in the novel "The Return") that he was repaired and sent by the Borg. It was likely in contact with them for the entirety of Star Trek: TMP, which explains how it knew just how to assimilate Illia.
      • No, the Borg were already on their way to the Federation. In season 1 episode "Neutral Zone" the Enteprise found several colonies had been scooped up by an unknown force. In season 2 episode "Q Who" Q launches the Enterprise over hill and dale and discover planets where cities had been scooped up in the exact same way. Implying the Borg had already made it as far as the Neutral Zone. Yes Q introduced humanity to the Borg, but what he REALLY did with that was give humanity a chance to PREPARE for the Borg. So no Enterprise D means the Federation is unprepared when the Borg arrive and gets assimilated immediately by the Wolf 359 Cube...however, of course the issue here is about alternate Enterprise Ds Worf encountered, so if there is a timeline with no Enterprise D Worf didn't encounter it. Just correcting the factually incorrect assessment that the Borg only attacked the Federation because of Enterprise D.
  • Star Trek time behavior changes on a per-episode/plot basis, but the current idea is like that of Back to the Future pt 2 - that any changes cause a new temporal dimension to occur but do not undo the actual previous changes. This, for example, is how in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine the Defiant crashlanded on a planet, created a minor civilization which then caused the defiant to NOT crashland. The grandfather paradox doesn't exist because time isn't cyclical. Thus, First Contact happened as depicted but Nero's jump to the past caused a new timeline which did not undo the previous time alterations. In this new timeline, there's every possibility that the Borg never will try to undo First contact in the first place. Anyways, Captain Braxton will somehow work it out.
    • According to Word of God, the 2009 film explicitly uses the same rules for alternate realities as Parallels. That being said there's nothing to suggest for sure that the Borg would have made the same decisions in the 2009 timeline that they did in the Prime timeline, Enterprise D or no.

Riker uses his Q powers quite often to solve the weekly problem.
This is why he doesn't want to leave the Enterprise; if he did, then they would have catastrophic failures.

Hey, once nigh-omnipotence is granted to someone, no one can forcibly take it away — it has to be freely surrendered. And Riker is the sort of fellow who can beat androids and empaths at poker; he could easily bluff Q during the time he was one — meaning that he could still be one....

It is possible that he is not 100% aware that he has Q-powers, making him a Haruhi-class Reality Warper. Once again, his poker instincts protect him from detection.

Q & Picard are lovers.
Between Q's entrance in "Deja Q" and the bedroom scene in "Tapestry", this is nearly obvious. Also, this is the excuse on why Q only decides to "judge humanity" through testing Picard, instead of judging the more warlike races such as the Klingons and Cardassians.
  • Well, it may not be canon, but Q is certainly... interested in Picard. One can only imagine what you could do with an Alternate Universe. (Say, one where he never met Janeway.)
  • John de Lancie (for non-Trekkers, the actor who played Q) confirmed that Q was in love with Picard. The jury is still out on Picard's side.
    • Let's keep the Rule 34 to a minimum here. We're talking about Patrick Stewart, not Ian McKellen.
      • Who's bringing the actor's sexualities into it? John de Lancie didn't say anything about himself, just Q.
      • With Q, I'm not sure if "sexuality" is the right word for it, given that he's an Energy Being who could look like Marilyn Monroe just as easily as John de Lancie and be just as true to his own [lack of] appearance.
      • He even says in one episode he wished he had originally appeared as a woman.

Picard and Dathon, in the holodeck.
Mirab, his sails unfurled. Shaka, when the walls fell.

Tamarians are hardcore alien Tropers who have forgotten how to speak normally.
At some time in Tamarian history, the Tamarian people created the equivalent of the Tropes & Idioms Wiki. It became so popular that all the Tamarians ending up speaking in tropes. As generations passed, even the way their brains worked began to change. As a result, they now can only think in Tropese.

Deanna Troi has clairvoyance
In the novel Contamination, She supposedly had a nightmare of asphyxiating on some kind of yellow gas, after waking up someone had died the exact way. this leads to the fact that She can only use this when asleep.
  • Or maybe she just has bet
ter mind reading abilities than she can consciously control, and she unintentionally went into the mind of the unfortuate soul as he was dying. She IS half Betazoid after all.
  • You know, Troi having much greater mental abilities than she is aware of would kind of explain why many of the plots that revolve around her telepathy tend to forget all of the other crew members onboard Enterprise from telepathic species.

B4 will eventually "evolve" into Data.
The ending of Star Trek: Nemesis makes it practically Word of God. It's possible he may undergo a physical change, so Return!Data can be played by another actor in further movies.
  • Amalgamation: The knowledge and experiences of Data combined with the base personality and experience (what little there is) of B4 will merge into a separate individual who is comprised of both Data and the original B4.
  • According to the site for the new Star Trek Online game, this is true in that continuity. Hooray for WMGs!
    • Hooray? Look, it's great to have Data back and all, but did it have to happen at the expense of who B4 might have become? Neither the writers nor the surviving characters considered the morality of overwriting one person's brain with another. That holds even if the first person was incapable of personal growth. (Please don't overwrite the Kenner autistics...) This is Star Trek! Morality has been one of its major themes from the beginning!
      • That's "Hooray, WMG got one right!" rather than "Hooray, Data crossed the Moral Event Horizon by stealing his brother's body."
      • B-4 pulled a Heroic Sacrifice by re-routing the "suicide" program that Data had written to overwrite his own engram out of B-4's memory banks so it would kill him instead of Data. B-4's last words to his brother? "Dying is easy. Comedy is hard."
  • Confirmed in the Star Trek Countdown comic.
    • Countdown is confirmed non-canon by its own writers.
  • The hint at the end of Nemesis is that B-4 is humming a tune to himself that Data sang at the start of the film. There's an episode of Voyager where the holographic doctor gets rebooted and no one knows whether he'll get all his memory and personality developments back - then, as the episode ends, he's humming a tune to himself that he sang at the start of the episode. Of course, he's back to normal in time for the next episode. Data's chances are good.

Data had several cats.
Spot's gender and breed changed between episodes because it died. Data was still learning things like small talk and figures of speech, so he would probably be bad at taking care of pets.

Spot's gender and breed changed between episodes because it wasn't a cat.
  • It was a changeling.
    • Specifically, the changeling equivalent to Ship.

Data got Spot out of his personal replicator.
It appears that replicators, the holodecks, and the transporters all work on the same principle — they all assemble complex objects from base matter constituents. Transporters can create living creatures. So can holodecks for certain values of living — ask Moriarty. Why can't a replicator?
  • Transporters create a living organism being transported as much as a car creates its driver. As in not at all. It just moves it, by turning it into energy and sending it at the speed of light to another location. Yes, it disassembles and reassembles but it's not creating anything new.
  • Legal restrictions and limitations in how complex things it can create.
  • Data would be able to hack the system and get around the Copy Protection. He's done it with things more sensitive than his personal replicator when the imperative was strong enough. And he starts keeping cats after the system has burned him and his "species." If Spot had appeared in canon before Lal died, then the legal argument would have merit — but the cats came after. Data wanted to be a parental figure, and the system denied him that. Thus, he keeps unlicensed cats, and the rest of the senior crew look the other way because he's usually one of the nicest people onboard.
  • According to the ''Next Generation Technical Manual'', life forms can't be replicated because, to make data storage practical, the replicators work at a much lower resolution than the transporters do. This is fine for dead or nonliving materials, but "single-bit molecular errors could have severely detrimental effects on living DNA molecules and neural activity. Cumulative effects have been shown to closely resemble radiation-induced damage."
    • So you can try and create lifeforms, probably even fully sentient beings, with transporters and replicators but what you create would most likely materialize as a living cancerous mass, or something that would make the Elephant Man look like Brad Pitt (too soon?). From a technological stand point it would be easy to create these mishappen happless things, so a program would have to be added to the replicator/transporter/holodeck operating systems to dissallow this. Out there somewhere in the Federation is some sick f&ck who has probably overidden this safety and creates this accursed things. Some of these sick bastards may do it out of sadism, some out of the drive to create life but with callous disregard or twisted concern for the mishappen failures. Some of them may be done by children fooling around, sort of the high tech version of children pulling wings of flies for fun. This would probably be considered one of the most abhorrent crimes in the Federation. There'd be that weird creepy kid down the way who replicates unviable lifeforms from his replicator, and the smart young kid who may have tried to replicate a pet and produced some gross non-viable lifeform and their disgusted parents had to teach the kid why this is wrong.
  • Life forms have been replicated in the transporter — accidentally, but it happens. It happened to Riker...
  • Okay, replicator files are highly compressed, and transporter files are uncompressed. Still, the ship officially has exactly one independent computer — two if you count Data. We know there's a lot of space in the ship computer. Data has been shown to hack the ship computer. As long as the living DNA stays living, damage to it isn't a big problem — Data isn't breeding cats, just replicating them. And it only has to be done once per cat. He can arrange to have one high-quality file in his replicator.
    • Minor correction: Enterprise-D has three independent main computers; two in the saucer and one for the engineering section, and each alone are capable of handling all shipboard functions. Data's personal computer in his quarters, which is implied to be rather powerful, is explicitly stated to be an independent system as well in Genesis. It should also be noted that La Forge was once able to transport an away team of three to a planet surface by "networking some tricorders together" in Brothers.
  • In "Dead Stop" we see technology that seems to be the precursor of, if not the very technology that is, the replicator. That technology was not able to create an actual living being, even though it could replicate a human body in perfect detail. So it is safe to assume that Next Gen replicators would have that same limitation. Transporters work because they are moving the actual living matter, not reassembling the body using inert raw atomic components. Only on some rare occasions has a transporter malfunction managed to create a living duplicate of someone such as the time it made two Kirks and the time it made two Rikers.
    • I would wager this is why you can't use transporters to clone people. You could copy someone's pattern but when you loaded inert raw atomic components the body would be a perfect replica of the original, but it would just be inert matter and not alive at all.

Spot is a robot that changes its form a lot.
Hey, we only meet Spot after Lal dies. The Federation isn't interested in non-sentient, impractical machines. Of course, Spot is sentient, but no one needs to know that...

Spot is a Pokémon.

Unfortunately s/he was exposed to a Missing No, and so s/he evolves into other things at random. Including iguanas.

At some point between "Phantasms" and "Genesis," the entire crew came down with a weird sort of alien sex-change virus.
Dr. Crusher was able to cure them without incident, but she didn't get around to curing Spot because s/he wasn't as important as the sentient crewmembers. We didn't get to see that episode because it's not the sort of thing that is suitable for a mainstream network television audience — or even a mainstream syndicated television audience.

Cats in Star Trek regenerate the same way Time Lords do.
But unlike Time Lords, they can only do it eight times, so they literally have nine lives. Spot has seven left.

Data and Lore are the same person.
...for most of the series, at least. This theory was explored in one of the Strange New Worlds endorsed Fan Fiction anthologies.

After being beamed into space in the episode Datalore, Lore was never seen again. Data continued to live on for centuries until long after the extinction of the human race and probably a few other species, too. He created an entire race of androids but was ultimately unable to recapture the essence of a world where the former extinct species had existed, leaving him disillusioned about this whole thing. This whole thing ends with a temporal jump which places him conveniently within reach of a Pakled trading ship (the ?fortunate encounter? Lore mentioned in "Brothers"). Data resigns himself to the unchangeability of fate (as is his habit) and ?becomes? his own brother. This also explains why Soong couldn't tell that the "Data" he was giving an emotion chip to in Brothers was Lore in disguise: if it had been the real Lore from Datalore, wouldn't there already be an emotion chip in there?

Canon has pretty much Jossed this, what with Nemesis and all; but damn, that was a good story.
  • Since this theory involves Time Travel from the far future, canon cannot joss this. Star Trek usually has ontological inertia.
  • Possible, given the WMG above talking about B4 "evolving" into Data.
    • There has also been a fan theory tossed around that states that B4, himself, is Lor; and that someone dumbed him down prior to Star Trek: Nemesis. I don't think this is very likely personally, but it would explain away a few of the weirder inconsistencies.
  • 'Lore' didn't have an emotion chip already because he didn't need one, his positronic matrix was complex enough to allow for emotions on its own. Unfortunately it was also complex enough to allow psychotic tendencies to manifest.

All or most of The Next Generation (and possibly anything else with the same characters) is a Schrödinger's Butterfly effect from the Holodeck.
Any time the Holodeck generated real beings or did things like giving Moriarty consciousness, it was impossible - from the point of view of one in the real world. It makes perfect sense if Computer made a copy of the Enterprise and any places they had shore leave the first time anyone tried to exit the Holodeck. Someone's instructions just gave it too much free reign.

The interphase cloak never made it back to the Romulans
The cloaking device from "The Pegasus" worked fine, but we never see Romulans using them in later Deep Space Nine. Obviously, Pressman was right about having friends in Starfleet Command. They made sure the device was conveniently destroyed or replaced with a non-working replica.
  • Pressman wouldn't need specific friends. Do you think Section 31 would allow that technology to fall into Romulan hands? There was an entire episode about the Romulans working on a Phase Cloak (that failed); there's no way Section 31 is going to let them have one that does work.
    • But wasn't the episode's premise showing that it did NOT work? (assuming the 1701-D was just lucky at the end)
      • Even if it didn't, there is always the chance that the Federation version was a better prototype than what the Romulans had or could have shown them where they made mistakes.
      • It worked. Think what happened to Geordi and Ro in "The Next Phase"; that's what a Phased Cloaking Device is supposed to do to a ship. And only a working prototype could embed a ship inside solid rock the way the Pegasus was embedded - it just slipped back into normal space in the wrong place. Remember, they had to use the cloak to get the Pegasus back out!
      • The only reason it failed was that the majority of the crew who had mutinied against Pressman attempted to disable the phase-cloak device after Pressman and Riker were forced off the ship; they screwed up and didn't know how it worked - hence the accident.
      • So if they had successfully disabled the cloak where they were, they still would have rephased in solid rock. Dumbasses (the crew, not you guys). The cloak must have had a glitch/hiccup, or just failed.
  • Confirmed in the New Frontier continuity; Starfleet Special Operations (basically, Section 31) sends Mackensie Calhoun to destroy it.
  • The only thing the Romulans learned at the end of "The Pegasus" was that the Federation phase cloak prototype worked. That's it. Nobody was mentioned as actually giving them the technology, and the prototype was kept in Federation hands anyway.

The bluegills of "Conspiracy" are offshoots of the Trill symbionts.
This theory was advanced in the Post-Deep Space Nine novels. Instead of having a beneficial relationship with their hosts, the bluegills invade and take over.
  • At one point, Jadzia mentioned that Trill symbionts could overtake the mind of their hosts unless those were psychologically prepared in a specific way. And it darn near happened to Ezri when the Federation had her on a mission that required her to access a past life of Dax that had committed cold-blooded murder.
    • That also explains Riker being taken over, but does not explain why the lady was still the same person. The TNG trills must have also been an offshoot that prefers empty hosts.
      • We didn't really see enough of the final host to see what whether she'd been merged or just possessed. That would explain the makeup differences, though.

Bluegills are Goa'uld.
And Trill could be Goa'uld, too - remember, there was an offshoot of Goa'uld, the Tok'ra, who were truly symbiotic.

Bluegills are evolved Yeerks who hopped through a dimensional rift
Not possible, as Star Trek is explicitly mentioned as a fictional series within the Animorphs universe.

Bluegills are a scouting force for the Tyranids.
And they'll eventually fight the Borg.

Bluegills were a scouting force for the Borg.
Soften up resistance and species are easy to assimilate. Or they figured that the Federation's defeat of the critters means they are worthy to be assimilated. Or they could have just been a one off. Given their failure, the Borg figured that it's easier just to send a cube.
  • It's worth noting this was actually the writers' original intention, as well as for the Borg to have been an insectoid collective, rather than Cyborgs, as the concept was eventually redeveloped. But yeah, this is What Might Have Been.

Everything since "Brothers" is Data's delusion
A good eye and good freeze-frame will reveal that the password Data gives the computer when locking down the Enterprise is not what appears on the screen. The computer misheard Data for some reason, and Data is therefore unable to unlock it. They're still in orbit around Soong's planet to this day. The guilt of this (especially as it certainly lead to the death of the sick boy) drove Data into a positronic psychosis, and everything since then has been a timeline he's invented in his own mind as a better alternative. His final death in Nemesis is actually a psychological metaphor for Data's damaged positronic matrix finally collapsing under the strain.
  • While this doesn't address Data directly, the Enterprise crew would simply have to manually jettison an emergency beacon, wait for another starship to respond and tow them to a Starbase to have the computer system (including Data's lockout code) completely purged and the core software reloaded (similar to what the Defiant had to do in "For The Uniform").
    • Yes, but the help came too late to save the boy and thus, Data. The entire breakdown took only a short time outside his head, but seemed like years to him.
  • If that were the case, then how do you explain episodes like "The Inner Light," "Frame of Mind," "Eye of the Beholder," "Dark Page," "Tapestry," "All Good Things," etc., where Data is not only unaware of but also logically incapable of witnessing the episode's action? And there are many ways for the Enterprise crew to deal with this problem. The only logically consistent explanation (if we are assuming that everything we see on screen is exactly what happened) is that what was faulty was the computer's display routine.
  • Or maybe Data, being incredibly intelligent, careful and fully versed on all the Enterprise's systems, intentionally reprogrammed the computer to display incorrect characters, since due to the questionable wisdom of the original designers the code was displayed in clear text (Why...?), and Data was not taking the chance that the crew who was actively working to stop him by that point had not found a way to get a peek at the bridge. His code could even be coded again through reprogramming the computer so even if they had both the visual and verbal record, they still could not break in. With everything else he was doing to secure the ship being so thorough and his mind working a billion times faster than any human's, this isn't really a stretch.

The Borg are not trying to assimilate the Federation — yet.
When they attack, they send only one ship to destroy most of Starfleet's local defenses and then get Locutus to give the Enterprise a reasonable way to get victory at the last second. ("Sleep, Data. Sleep.") They're trying to get Starfleet to invent new technologies so, when they do assimilate the Federation, they'll have better stuff to take.
  • Man, that's one hell of a plan ! Maybe that's how the Borg generally deal with the uncreativity that results from their specific version of a Hive Mind: They not only assimilate the technologies of other species, but they push other species to invent new technologies so they don't have to do it by themselves!
    • One episode of Voyager involved a race the Borg were systematically harvesting in this way whenever they got to the default Star Trek tech level.
  • Holy crap, could that mean that Picard's a sleeper? We're never given any canon explanation for why he can hear the Borg in Star Trek: First Contact, and the Queen seems to be very aware that Picard's connection to the collective still exists; she even exploits it prior to the film's climax.
    • Seven of Nine was remote-contacted by the Queen in "Dark Frontier". It's possible the Queen can do this with any former Borg.
      • Ah, but you'll recall that in the very same episode, the Queen states that the Collective allowed Seven to be abducted by Voyager to gather information about humanity. While she was probably lying to manipulate Seven, there's an undeniably eery similarity between the two cases.

Q's warning against antagonizing the Borg comes from fear
It is implied that Guinan has the ability to resist Q. Perhaps others of her species share this ability. If that got shared amongst the Borg, then the Borg could use it to assimilate a Q. And that would be bad.
  • The question is, would they then assimilate everything or, having nigh-omnipotence dropped in their lap, would they have finally achieved the perfection they aim for?
    • And in obtaining that perfection, they will become the Q. Maybe when Q arranged the first contact, he was laughing inside that Picard can't win against them even when they were "primitives." The fear might be of destroying their own ancestors.
      • This wouldn't work, as the first iteration of that loop could never have happened. Who would they have assimilated before the Q existed? And the Borg only get more powerful by assimilation.
  • Um, Guinan's home planet was taken by the Borg shortly before the beginning of Star Trek: Generations. (The only reason the Federation didn't learn about the Borg then was that those El-Aurians they retrieved were too shellshocked from exiting the Nexus to express it in a timely fashion.) So, if the Borg can gain the ability to assimilate Q that way, then they already have. Fortunately, the average Q can teleport.
    • The average Q can teleport...or totally erase the Borg from existence.
  • Q warns his son not to provoke the Borg.
    • Because the Q detest having to clean up messes. One Borg cube nearly brought down the Federation! Drop one anywhere near less powerful civilizations and those civilizations would all be assimilated in no time. Since the Q generally feel obligated to maintain the status quo, they do not want their members unleashing troublesome species like the Borg into places where they do not belong.
  • Well if a single Q were careless enough to get assimilated that would spell doom for the entire universe. One Q-Borg would transform the entire collective into Q-Borg, then overpower the Q Continuum and turn them into Q-Borg, then move onto assimilating everything in the Universe and turning that into Q-Borg.
  • It is highly doubtful that the Borg could successfully conquer the Q. Species 8472, another extradimensional race that was nowhere near as powerful as many of the Energy Beings running loose in the Star Trek universe (including the Q), were nonetheless successfully shredding their way through the Collective and would likely have defeated it in time. Likewise, the technologically advanced Voth have lived in the Delta Quadrant for millions of years and there is no evidence that the Borg have been able to successfully assimilate them or their technology. The Borg seem to have hit a plateau, where they have assimilated most of the advanced species that they can, and the more powerful ones are beyond even their ability to defeat.

Deanna Troi is not actually empathic
As a human-Betazoid hybrid, Deanna Troi doesn't have any telepathic/empathic powers. She just has a human-like knack for reading facial expressions, and on her homeworld this was mistaken for an ability to telepathically read emotions. Her human father tried to correct this notion, but he died while Deanna was just 7, and Deanna's overbearing mother refused to believe that her daughter lacked any Betazoid abilities. Other Betazoids might have suspected, but they chose not to say anything since Deanna's mother was a powerful aristocrat who held high office with the government.
  • But she can detect telepathic forces around her, like Q's and the genetically altered child in "Natural Selection", and the grief of the alien in "Encounter at Farpoint" drove her to her knees when she sensed it.
  • Is there any proof for this, or is this just a random guess? The events of The Loss show pretty clearly that she lacks the ability to read people's emotions just from conversation or their facial expressions. How do you reconcile that with this theory?
    • IRL, some humans visually perceive auras, which seem to carry information about others' emotional state. A plausible explanation is that this is a form of synaesthesia, where some cognitive process that perceives (via ordinary physical means) emotional states, has crosstalk with color perception, resulting in anomalous perceptions of emotion as color. This even aligns with evidence from spider monkeys suggesting that the development of color vision in primates has something to do with emotional perception — color vision allows the detection of subtle changes in skin tension and bloodflow that betrays emotional states. Troi's affliction in "The Loss" may be a loss of the means by which she can consciously access what is otherwise unconsciously processed. This sort of thing also has precedent in neurology; some patients blinded by neurological injury exhibit "blindsight," showing by their behavior that some visual information is being processed, but they have no conscious experience of vision. By analogy everyone has blindsight for emotions, but empaths have conscious awareness of their emotional processing.

Deanna does not properly exercise her telepathic abilities
Deanna's underdeveloped telepathic abilities are the result of the fact that she does nothing to train them. Spock, despite being only half-Vulcan, was very adept at mind melding. But we also saw him regularly engaging in Vulcan meditative practices. This constant regimen of mental discipline helped him develop his abilities fully. In "Ménage à Troi" we even see Lwaxana meditating at one point. But we never see Deanna doing anything like that. In "Manhunt", Lwaxana criticizes Deanna on this specifically, insisting that she has "allowed your mental powers to rust". Rather than deny it, Deanna insists that it is "Only to avoid confusion. Humans constantly think one thing, then say another". Deanna's argument however implies that rather than learning to filter thoughts more effectively, she has deliberately allowed her powers to atrophy instead. It may also represent a kind of rebellion against her Betazoid mother, and identification with her deceased human father. She tries to rely more on her skills in Psychology (with debatable amounts of success) rather than her psychic powers.

Betazoids do not have the skills in telepathy and empathy they claim to have
Think about it. Deanna states the obvious. Lwaxana is oblivious to how people feel about her. That guy who was obsessed with Tin Man could have been making it all up or could have been crazy — or rather, crazier.

Add to that the inconsistency about whether Ferengi can be read and the sheer ridiculousness of mental waves traveling over subspace, and one gets the idea that the Betazoids are being humored, just like Vulcans are when they claim they don't lie.

We will note that Deanna Troi has a psychology degree. Even human psychologists are supposed to be able to read feelings and motives without having insider access into anyone else's mind. If Deanna is really "empathic", then her psychology degree is worth less than whatever it's written on.

  • The idea that an entire race is undergoing a mass delusion is an interesting one.
    • And How...
  • To say that Troi's degree would be useless if she were "really" empathic would be assuming that we know everything about how the human brain works, which has not happened even in the 24th century. (See "Shades of Grey.") Whenever Deanna is mistaken, it's usually because she's misreading, rather than not reading; she could be making exactly the same mistakes we do even with the extra information available to her. Her psychology degree gives her an advantage when it comes to understanding her own abilities. Being able to read a mind doesn't mean you understand what you're "seeing", and just because you get someone going "I feel angry" in your head, and can probably pinpoint the source of that anger, doesn't mean you're going to understand everything exactly. The human brain is a complicated thing, and many people aren't even AWARE of some of their own thoughts. See Post Repression of Memories — there are episodes with Deanna and Lwaxana dealing with that.
  • There are several episodes that make a big deal out of the telepathy, and none of them are 100 percent convincing. Lawxana's repressed memories episode can be explained away by the similarity of Hedril to Kestra, which would be enough to freak any parent out, and a technology which allows people to get inside another's dreams, which exists in the Delta Quadrant and thus might get invented here as well. Tam Elbrun could have been faking the torture he had to live with everyday. That was one freaked-out guy, but he seemed to know exactly what was happening and why he was freaked out. As for Lwaxana... she's just teasing people.
    • Maybe Elbrun was the only Betazoid who really was telepathic, and was driven mad with irritation by everyone claiming they knew how he felt.
  • This also fits the rest of Trek. We don't see telepaths play a major role in any other series, and empathy is limited to Vulcan-level. It's just that the Betazoids all believe they're telepathic. Picard and Riker fell for it; most of Starfleet and the Federation (barring the woman in "The Drumhead") humour them. The Betazoid murderer in Voyager, Suder, is fittingly a Betazoid version of a Straw Atheist — he says he's never had telepathy!
  • While it's true that most of the cases of Betazoid empathy could be chalked up to them just being really good at reading expressions and whatnot, there are a few episodes that might be hard to explain:
    • "The Survivors" - Kevin puts music in Troi's head so she can't sense what he is;
    • In "Ménage à Troi" Deanna and Lwaxana are able to communicate mentally even through doors and walls, with no ability to actually see each other.
    • Troi's forewarning of Q's arrival in "Encounter at Farpoint" (not to mention an incident or two in the rest of the two-parter), of the explosives in "The Bonding," and of Roga Danar's... distress in "The Hunted"
    • The entire plots of "The Loss," "Eye of the Beholder," and to some extent "Night Terrors"
    • Also, Dr. Crusher in a couple episodes ("Dark Page" and "Eye of the Beholder" mentions the specific chemical used in Betazoid telepathy.

Deanna Troi's accent is from her mother, or at least her world.
  • This one is similar to the one concerning Sarek's two actors. Deanna is actually speaking English, as her second (at least) language, with an actual Betazoid accent. Her mother, on the other hand, uses a Universal Translator, and/or has taught herself to sound more like a native speaker over time, possibly even with the aid of translator output.
  • Having spent time with a fair number of hearing impaired people, I hear Deanna's accent as "deafy". I wonder if she is moderately hearing impaired, or in fact, if most Betazeds are, compared to other humanoid species. (From their point of view, humans might have freakishly good hearing in the vocal registers.) Full Betazeds might be able to compensate either by projecting what the words are supposed to sound like, or just by being able to use their ability to listen to what humans think they sound like.

The USS Hera was taken by the Caretaker.
  • They never met Voyager because Captain LaForge decided to make for New Bajor rather than Earth, and take the Wormhole the rest of the way.
    • Too bad the writers didn't remember the loss of the Hera when they wrote the two-parter "Equinox".
Oh well...

Everything since Star Trek: Generations is a Nexus-generated figment of Jean-Luc Picard's imagination.
The Nexus is a ribbon of energy that lets beings that fall into it get their every wish. Picard's first, seemingly superficial, greatest wish is to be married with children of his own. He knows this is not real, so he offers up his next greatest wish: To prevent Soren from doing what he did. The Nexus offers him an ally and the back in time "exit". In reality, Picard remains trapped in the Nexus, and the Enterprise-D was lost with all hands during the destruction of the Veridian Star System. The series cut was approximately when Ben Sisko was promoted to Captain. Every Trek episode made since then, and all movies made since then, are products of the Nexus.
  • If the Nexus is supposed to bring only joy, why would it make Picard sit through Voyager, Enterprise, Insurrection and Nemesis? Ugh.
    • As long as Picard's experiencing joy, it doesn't matter. Picard wouldn't need to sit through Voyager, it wasn't his ship. He had a lovey-dovey relationship in Insurrection, so that was joy to him. Enterprise takes place pre-Kirk, so Picard doesn't need to sit through that either.
    • Enterprise was just a game that Riker was playing anyway.
    • Picard had deep-seated jealousy towards Data for remaining "fully functional" throughout his lifespan. That's why he sat through Data's death in Nemesis.
      • Or that he wasn't cast as Data... no, wait... what?
  • SF Debris offered an alternate theory: Picard, is an elderly man dressed in mostly black who's been sitting in the hot desert sun for several hours. Picard isn't in the Nexis, he's suffering delusions brought on by severe heat stroke and dehydration. Everything after Generation is an Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge scenario.

Alexander is half Q.
K'Ehleyr was actually the Lady Q. She pretended to be a Klingon for a lifetime as a lark. Alexander got some of her powers. He is able to go from Worf's adopted parent's house to the Klingon Empire without explanation, aging as he does so. Is able to convince his father that he doesn't have to be a warrior, and in at least one alternate future was able to time travel. It's so obvious!

Wesley is Picard's illegitimate son.
This is an old one, but there is evidence for it throughout the three character arcs of Picard, Crusher, and Wesley. Picard admitted on several occasions that he had been in love with Beverly since before Jack was killed. Beverly in turn has implied that these feelings were not totally unrequited. Wesley has always displayed an extreme level of hero worship towards Picard since the premiere of the series that goes far beyond what is to be expected of a teenager meeting a respected authority figure.

Here's the theory:

  • Beverly has always known, probably discovering the fact through routine medical scans while she was carrying. Considering her profession and acknowledged level of competence, it is not unlikely that she performed these tests herself and therefore kept it to herself.
  • Wesley discovered the truth for himself at some before being going to the Enterprise, explaining his undue fixation on Picard.
  • Picard learned of it later on in the series from Beverly, thus causing his shift from seeing Wesley as an unavoidable annoyance to doing everything in his power to push Wesley toward a career in Starfleet.
    • Or Picard was just pushing him toward a career in Starfleet to get the Wesley off of his ship.
    • The change in Picard's attitude toward Wesley has a canon explanation. In "Where No One Has Gone Before", The Traveler secretly told Picard that Wesley had hidden potential beyond normal human ability and asked him to help Wesley develop more.
  • Related to this, some fans have speculated that Picard arranged for Jack to be killed. Word of God has tried to refute this, for obvious reasons.
    • That's pretty much what Evil!Picard did in the Mirror Universe novel ''Dark Mirror". Original!Picard was understandably horrified by ths.

The "virus" proposed to be given to Hugh wouldn't have worked.

Though this theory is mostly due the fact that I don't want to think that Picard inadvertently caused all of the deaths, assimilations, and other destruction caused by the Borg after the events of "I, Borg" by being soft-hearted. It is much easier to simply think that the Borg would have survived; though perhaps the virus would have taken out the cube sent to pick up Hugh, the collective would have realized the trick quickly and adapted to it. Additionally, they may have thought of the paradoxical shape as "an irrelevant waste of time" and deleted it along with all of the other memories Hugh had picked up throughout the course of the episode.
  • This makes more sense in retrospect, now that we (and the writers) know about the Borg Queen. Where a Collective might not have caught onto something like that, she would probably have been able to notice it as a problem and stop it before it got out of hand. This also helps explain why Hugh's individuality didn't cause the entire Collective to unravel.
  • Plus, even if the entire collective crashed trying to solve the paradox, they may have an automatic restarting system that restores the collective from a backup prior to acquiring the paradox file.
    • The Borg are equipped with Paradox-Absorbing Crumple Zones?
  • Also, don't forget, in two episodes of Voyager (Collective and Infinite Regress), the Borg will cut off/destroy drones and vessels with imperfections. Soon as they found that cube in Hugh, he'd have been gone quicker than you can say "Resistance is Futile".
    • Hence why Hugh's individuality only caused the one group of rogue Borg to split off from the Collective.
  • It is likely that Starfleet was overestimating the real-time connectivity of the various components in the Collective. In reality, they appear to use store & forward synchronization for widely-distributed nodes, such as cubes operating in remote locations or regions of space where communications are temporarily blocked. For example, it is doubtful that Data's "sleep" command in the "The Best of Both Worlds - Part II" actually put the entire Collective into regeneration cycle, but rather just the one cube. The Collective seems to check the system health of its various nodes, and if some logic bomb were spreading through some of them then all it would need to do is shutdown the link to those nodes. This is why Admiral Janeway needed to go and face the Queen directly at the Primary Unicomplex in order to infect her with the neurolytic pathogen in "Endgame", instead of just infecting any random drone somewhere.

Armus from "Skin of Evil" is a Founder from Deep Space Nine

I've had this theory for some time that Armus, that oil-slick looking thing that killed off Tasha Yar in "Skin of Evil", is a failed Founder from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. When the Enterprise crew first encounters Armus, he describes himself as "a skin of evil, left here by a race of Titans who believed if they rid themselves of me, they would free the bonds of destructiveness." The Founders certainly thought of themselves as the most perfect lifeforms in the universe. And anything that did not fit their standards of perfection was cast aside. Armus, like the Founders, has a basic form that is puddle-like, although he cannot assume a humanoid form like the Founders, they seem similar enough to make this guess.
  • Odo had difficulty compared to the rest of the Founders assuming a humanoid form (he had trouble with facial characteristics) so this theory is valid. Perhaps Armus has more difficulty with the humanoid form.
  • Maybe Armus was one of the infant changelings sent out to explore the galaxy, only he remembered everything and resented what the Great Link did to him.
    • Odo did encounter a fellow infant changeling, Laas, with powers beyond what any of the Founders seemed to have, such as transforming into energy or flying though space at warp speeds.
  • Maybe he was a Founder criminal. Maybe he killed another Founder, and was severed from the Great Link, but instead of giving him humanoid form he was deformed and crippled, resulting in the oil-slick with rudimentary shapeshifting skills. His other powers developed over time.
    • The problem with that is that the founders say that no founder has ever harmed another founder before Odo. However, it does leave it open to Armus being some sort of diseased founder like a cancerous mass or something that was ejected.
  • Going back to the original "Race of Titans" quote, remember that the Founders were originally solid before "evolving" to a more advanced state. Perhaps Armus was some sort of residue left over when the Founders ascended to changelinghood?

Wesley was a Q.
This would explain all the reality warping and "always-right" crap, and how he froze time (or whatever) just before he left.

The Ferengi in season one are not members of the Ferengi Alliance.
They are a group of pirates or mercenaries exiled from Ferengenar for being idiots who jumped around like monkeys and not being cunning enough to turn a real profit, relying on petty theft instead. If real Ferengi were to make first contact with the Federation, they'd be trying to ingratiate themselves with powerful trade partners, not antagonizing them for no reason. Daimon Bok turned down potentially enormous opportunities for profit for the sake of revenge - this would be reason enough for a competent Grand Nagus to ban or exile him.
  • This troper heard somewhere that the Ferengi acted this way around humans as a trick. When the Grand Nagus learned that humans didn't use money or any kind of barter system, he thought that meant humans were, by Ferengi standards, insane. Ergo, the Ferengi were instructed to act just as insane around those crazy, non-money-using humans.

The Traveler is a Time Lord.
No, he never regenerates, nor do we see his TARDIS (its chameleon circuit is working fine). But he has a Time Lord-esque name, and he recruits Wesley as a companion to travel time and space. The Traveler is similar to the Doctor, but he obviously has much higher standards for companions, grooming Wesley over several years.
  • Kosinski, the engineer accompanied by the Traveler in his first appearance, was likely his previous companion.
  • Why isn't this canon?

The Traveler somehow zapped the ship into V'ger.
The ship winds up somewhere where aliens are manifesting themselves in the ship, and there was somewhat of a resemblance to the V'ger cloud. This could have been that they were zapped there again, and V'ger recognized they were humans, and not a threat. The manifestations were just its way of trying to communicate with more humans.

Soran from "The Outcast" was faking her brainwashing.
Riker and Worf planned to rescue Soran from the J'Naii's "psychotectic treatment," which was supposed to happen the next day. But when Riker gets to the planet it seems the "treatment" had already happened and Soran isn't "female" or in love with Riker anymore. Soran was faking this in order to protect Riker. She knew enough about the Federation that Riker was sacrificing his career in Starfleet by breaking the Prime Directive, and saw that as too big a sacrifice. Also, Soran probably didn't want to cause an "interplanetary incident" or too much trouble. Perhaps the other J'Naii saw her talk to Riker and assume Soran had come to "her" senses.

Troi's Captain Obvious-status is deliberate.
She is stating the obvious to indicate that the person or persons in question are not just acting, which could be a rather important thing to know. If they are shown to be acting after that, that indicates they are special in some (generally mental) way, which, again, is important to know. After all, several of the times she states the obvious, she does so about someone not actually there in person, but rather on a viewscreen, which would make it easier to miss cues that something is off about how a person acts.
  • That or she was assigned to the Enterprise because Picard was terrible at telling how other people were feeling, and Troi was the empathic daughter of a somewhat annoying ambassador. Hmmm, how do we solve this problem?
  • Or she can't reliably tell what is or isn't obvious to everybody else, so she errs on the side of stating the obvious. Wasn't not stating something he thought was obvious part of what got Tam Elbrun in trouble?

Data's trouble with metaphors is due to a quirk in his programming.
Basically: He treats synonyms as synonymous. So, after replacing words with synonymous ones and realizing it doesn't work, he figures that the metaphor must have been something a person made up, rather than a well-known phrase. This still allows for people understanding—people make up figures of speech all the time that don't become common enough to be idioms. Were this quirk discovered and repaired, he would be able to learn metaphors the same way Vulcans do: one at a time. Until such a time, it's so much a part of him that no one really notices anymore.

Alternatively: It was intentionally put there to push Data out of the Uncanny Valley, as before his language skills were a little too good.

The PADDs are descended from the iPad.
Apple became a Starfleet contractor in the intervening 3 centuries (and chilled out on restricting independent app development).
  • And would Motorola have also become a Starfleet contractor? The Motorola logo looks an awful lot like the Starfleet logo...
    • The Motorola Logo at this point is inspired somewhat by the starfleet logo.

Picard speaks French, not Federation Standard.
The reason Picard sounds like he's from Yorkshire rather than France is because he speaks a dialect of French. The Universal Translators pick this up and add an equivalent dialect to his translated dialogue.
  • Possible. Northern France and Northern England are surprisingly similar places.
  • Patrick Stewart may be from Yorkshire, but Picard's accent certainly isn't. It's very proper RP English.
  • This would explain many things - Worf speaks Klingon which is properly translated, rather than English with a Russian accent because of his parents (he was adopted, Klingon is his first language). Troi has an accent while her mother doesn't because Troi actually learned English either through her father or as part of her Counselor training - her mother is simply speaking Betazoid. Etc.
    • A quite plausible theory that fits the facts on the show, but there's nothing at all unrealistic about a French person speaking English with an British accent. In fact, right now many French people who speak English speak it with a British accent, since that's the nearest English-speaking country - especially those who grew up bilingual and thus don't have much, if any, of a French accent while speaking English.
There really were five lights.
Picard was brainwashed so thoroughly, they even managed to brain wash him into thinking he had defeated the brainwashing. Fortunately, the guy running the show fell out of favor at exactly the same time, so nothing came of it.

Dr. Pulaski's cold attitude toward Data stems from a more general technophobia
I was reading Pulaski's entry on The Scrappy page, and most of it had to do with this (including calling Data "it"). Think of it though...she also has transporter phobia, is a strong believer in more primitive medical practices (prescribing things like chicken soup for flu cases), and so on. Consider too that Data was an abnormality - completely human-like androids were still a rare thing. Her attitude might actually have been fair for its time. (And she did warm up to him more later in the season.)

Pulaski was sent to test Data.
Starfleet wanted to make sure that Data would not go maverick under any circumstances, so they sent the most abrasive bitch they could find to continually provoke him past the point that a human would bust her across the mouth. That explains why she didn't wind up in the 'fleet equivalent of Captain's Mast her first day, or any other day. Data passed.

The Tamarians have a Hive Mind.
This is why all members of their culture have an inherent understanding of the mythology behind their metaphoric language that lacks any easy way to communicate the myths themselves. As a result of the Hive Mind, young Tamarians are born knowing the myths, which would permit this sort of language to develop.
  • Or they learn the language the same way we do—how does a child learn what a rock is? Or success? Or failure? They don't, nor do they know the words that are normally used to define these words. They learn by observing how the words are used, and in what situation. So, Tamarrian kids learn the same way—and THEN are taught the myths themselves.
    • It's more likely that they use visual techniques of storytelling, rather than a verbal method. The Tamarrians learn everything visually, and each meaningful phrase is associated in their minds with the associated image - "Shaka, when the walls fell" evokes a mental image for them of that event in their mythology, which they only know as "Shaka, when the walls fell". Note that the spontaneous creation of a new phrase, "Picard and Dathon, at El-Adrel", suggests that they still retain the ability to construct new phrases and sentences, but that they are simply incapable of creating new mental images - as such, unless provided with a specific situation, such as Picard and Dathon being at El-Adrel during the episode, they are simply unable to create any meaningful mental image from a phrase. In short, they must learn the myths first, and then the phrases that refer to them.

The USS Bozeman, from "Cause and Effect", was NOT part of the Enterprise-D time loop.
In reality, the USS Bozeman got stuck in a time warp anomaly that sent them into the future. But they ended up emerging at the exact point and time that the Enterprise-D was located. Since that happened where the space-time continuum was in flux, the Enterprise-D was knocked into the time loop. Just because it was the cause of it, doesn't mean the Bozeman was actually PART of the time loop. It also explains why nobody on the Bozeman was aware of a time loop.

Sonya Gomez was kicked off the Enterprise shortly after that hot chocolate incident.
Totally not canon, but let's face it, that was a horrible first impression.

In all of Patrick Stewart's movies, his character is really Captain Picard messing around in the holodeck.
Same goes for the acting careers of the rest of the Next Generation cast. So Independence Day, for example, is just a holodeck adventure Data had one day.
  • This would explain so much about Gargoyles.
    • That's actually a rather disturbing thought considering Troi, Riker and Data would be playing
Demona, Xanatos and Puck.

Hugh created the Borg Queen as we know her.
Initially, the Queens acted as a mere figurehead for the Collective, with no personality aside from what the Collective needed to express. Then, Hugh comes along and spreads individuality throughout the Collective. This effects the Queen, who uses her newfound personality to impose her control over the Collective, rather than the other way around. This lead to a radical restructuring of Borg activities, resulting in the Borg's in-universe Villain Decay.

Data has emotions.
They just aren't human emotions. In the episodes, it's clear that he reacts emotionally to the events around him, but his way of expressing those reactions is much more subtle or completely different than humans' way. He's been trying so hard to find human emotion that he hasn't taken the time to explore his own android-emotion.
  • This would explain how he develops interests and sets himself goals. He does enjoy working with people and actually misses Tasha Yar when she is gone. He just is not aware of his emotions. He probably has emotions, but lacks illogical reflexes and quirks normally attached with them, like laughter accompanies happiness. But he feels he is happier serving aboard the Enterprise than just apathetically lying down.
  • It also makes more sense to assume that having emotions is a normal consequence of Soong-type positronic brain design, since Lore, Juliana, etc. have them, while Data is a re-engineered version of Lore with the emotions removed. So he would probably have emotional undercurrents suppressed by whatever modifications were made to the Lore design (and later, filtered through the emotion chip in a safe way). It's also mentioned several times that the Soong-type android use an artificial neural network as the basis of their AI; in the real world, emotional behaviour of some kind (unlikely to be similar in any way to what humans experience) is a necessary consequence of this design since it builds decisions on past experiences.

Geordi identifies more with technology than with other people.
This is a direct result of growing up with cybernetic enhancements. It explains his engineering prowess, as well as why he has a much easier time interacting with androids, sapient holograms, and disconnected Borg drones than he does with, for example, Human females.

After the death of his brother and nephew in Star Trek: Generations, Picard has had extensive difficulty in coming to terms with said deaths, going through several stages of grief.

Even Kübler-Ross herself admitted that not everyone goes through the five stages the same way or even all of them, and the Picard of the movies experiences them thus:

Star Trek: Generations - Despair. He is more visibly depressed in this movie than at any other point in the movies or in the series before it.

Star Trek: First Contact - Anger. Since his brother and nephew played a large part in his rehabilitation after being liberated from The Borg, encountering them again after the death of Robert and René brought forth anger over their death, perhaps subconsciously, and caused Picard to regress back into deep-seated resentment toward The Borg.

Star Trek: Insurrection - Bargaining. Picard encounters a race of immortal aliens, befriending an intelligent child, and becoming close to the mother of said child. Perhaps, again on a subconscious level, he had taken the place of his brother. When the truth of what the Son'a and Starfleet are up to comes to light, and after trying repeatedly to convince the Admiral to reconsider what they were doing to the planet and its people, he violates direct orders from a superior officer and the Federation Council. He acts not only in exactly the opposite manner to how he had acted during a similar incident years earlier, but the course of action he chooses to take is fairly similar to the actions of Wesley Crusher during that same incident. He had previously reprimanded Crusher for these actions rather severely. All of this, in addition to going directly against the idea of the needs of the many outweighing those of the few, leads to the possibility that Picard was rather zealously defending these two people who reminded him of his deceased brother's family situation, doing whatever he possibly could to ensure the safety of the stand-in family he had just located.

Star Trek: Nemesis - Denial. Picard starts trying, desperately, to stop reminding himself of his own misery and takes an interest in mid-life crisis-ish things like riding around in a dune buggy. He also clings to the idea that Shinzon might not be evil for way longer than any consideration Shinzon merited.
  • This might have also been a result of Picard viewing Shinzon as the only family he has left.

Naturally, at the end of each movie, some form of Acceptance begins to manifest, but by the next, Picard has regressed into another stage of grief.

At any rate, this is the best explanation I can come up with for Picard's extensive Character Derailment in the Star Trek TNG Movies...

Sela was a clone.
Sela looks exactly like Tasha Yar, and doesn't show signs of inheriting any genetic traits from her supposed father. Star Trek: Nemesis shows the Romulans had a program for cloning Starfleet officers for the purpose of replacing them. Her back story is that when Sela was 4 (too young to remember), her mother tried to escape Romulus, but Sela didn't want to leave her father or her home and cried out, getting Yar killed. In other words, she grew up being told that she betrayed her human mother for her Romulan father and home - a perfect story to instill loyalty. Sela was only allowed to make her existence known after Tasha Yar was killed, ruining the original plan of replacing her.
  • Except people remember plenty of things from when they were 4. Especially something traumatic like that.
  • What about her ears? Remember, some romulans have the brow ridge, some don't. Half-vulcans can easily pass for humans so why not half-romulans?
    • Half-Vulcans look like full Vulcans, as shown many times over in TOS.

Data is using Obfuscating Stupidity
Data has an oddly variable intelligence level. While normally brilliant and with a perfect memory, he nevertheless:
  • Loses to Troi at chess. This would mean Data is less advanced than Deep Blue.
  • Loses to another humanoid at a game of strategy and reflexes, and in a rematch is only able to tie him.
  • Is consistently unable to understand metaphors. Apparently they no longer have slang dictionaries in the future. Note that other than the Tamarians, a newly encountered race, the Universal Translator can handle metaphors.
  • Can never remember that Captain Picard doesn't want to know the time estimate to the nearest second.

On the other hand, there are occasions Data shows himself to be more capable than he usually acts when affected by an outside agency.
  • When affected by a subliminal message from a himself in a previous time loop (long story), Data demonstrates he is capable of tracking every card in a deck and shuffling them in such a way to producing any hands he wants. Data claims to be surprised by this. How he could have not known he could do this is not explained.
    • Perhaps it's not so much he didn't know he could, he didn't know he was doing it then. My theory - whenever he plays his "Poker" subroutine specifically avoids checking his memory of previous deck states when he is shuffling and while the hand is being played. This means while he would know what cards were where, he would specifically ignore that information, rendering each card a mystery. This would allow for his subconscious to stack the deck as it would know what cards were where, which it wouldn't if he was doing something similar to deleting his memory files for previous deck states. There's also the question of how, considering his eyesight, he wouldn't be able to pick up on small creases or folds of the cards and recognize them by their specific signature, similar to how Geordi can see the cards with his VISOR but chooses not to.
  • "Brothers": In response to a retrieval signal from his creator, Data commandeers the Enterprise, takes over the computers, and alters its course. The rest of the crew proves completely outmatched trying to stop him, and even hours after Data leaves the ship, the crew never manages to regain control of it until Data returns it to them.

    • Note that losing to Kolrami isn't that ridiculous, given how little we know about the game. Even today there are a lot of board games where a computer program cannot beat a human, including some for which that will probably remain the case for a long time.
    • Also, computers like Deep Blue were specifically designed and built to play chess and nothing else. Canon says that positronic matrices are meant to mimic the brain (in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Dr. Bashir replaced half a Bajoran brain with one) and so it's possible that while he's great at doing calculations, the combination of having to sit around and wait for what he'd consider a "slow" opponent, coupled with an interface designed for human(oid) users, might have handicapped him significantly. If he'd been able to plug his brain directly into the game, the results might have been different.
    • Most likely, his ethical subroutines prevent him from cheating in these games, forcing himself to hold back from using his full abilities in situations that are not life threatening. Since he is confused by his loss to Kolrani, odds are he doesn't even realize that he is doing it.

Data used to suffer periodic bouts of Ace Lightning Syndrome.
You have to wonder why his restricts himself to Puny Earthlings level most of the time. Perhaps he used to have trouble not knocking doors loose or accidentally injuring people, so he stays Willfully Weak most of the time to avoid ever doing it again.
  • Because he's trying to mimic humans. There have been instances where someone or something has circumvented his code and used all his strength. Recall when his "grandfather" loaded his consciousness into Data, he was easily able to break a woman's hand.

Pulaski went rogue.
Funny how the doctor who invented a memory-erasing technique vanished between seasons and was never mentioned again. Makes you wonder what Federation secrets disappeared with her.
  • Alternatively, she got recruited by Section 31.
  • Another theory: given her constant insubordination towards Picard, her racist/speciest attitude towards the ship's 3rd in command, and her general disdain for modern medical procedures, there's every chance that she was simply kicked out of Starfleet.

Picard and Crusher slept together immediately before the last scene in "Attached".
Nothing in their closing conversation excludes this possibility, and at least one reference seems to support it. Crusher mentions having listened in on Picard's dreams, and previously we saw that their psychic link caused them pain when they got more than a dozen feet or so apart. Possibly that side effect vanished after they removed the psi implants but the psychic link faded more quickly, but it seems just as likely that they decided the only prudent decision would be to share a room. Thereupon the intimacy of the link got the better of them, and the finishing conversation is between two people who have impulsively consummated their passions and are now discussing whether to pursue a relationship or not.
  • Alternatively, their "sleeping together" was entirely platonic in the physical sense, but not at all in the mental sense. When Crusher spoke of "listening in" on Picard's dreams, she was being tactfully euphemistic about how erotic they were and the degree to which she was participating... especially since they were her dreams too. People aren't much in control of themselves while asleep, and considering the involuntary mental link, it would be fairer to say Crusher was sharing dreams with Picard.

In the Q's trial against humanity, Q is actually the human race's defense attorney
Q wants humanity to survive, as he can see how humanity has grown from savage race to something much better over a short time. Since the continuum has a trial against humanity, Q chose to "use" Picard and his crew to prove that humanity was worthy of life in space. Q acting like an antagonist is simply because he knows how to motivate the captain.
  • Watch 'All good things...' again. Q's final conversation with Picard is essentially Picard going 'The whole of these past SEVEN YEARS were the trial, and you were helping us along. Thank you.' with Q responding 'Yeah, but only because I thought you deserved the help. Now go explore.' Your WMG is almost made explicit truth!
  • Not "almost". Q specifically says that the Continuum had sentanced humanity to death. It was only at his demand that Picard was put in the position to stop the paradox and save the species, proving our fitness for survival. He all but admits that he is a guardian angel for our planet. albiet a Jerkass one.

Nagilum is a Q
Maybe not the Q we're used to, but he's still a Q. As explicitly stated in the final episode, humanity has been on trial. Now add to what Nagilum tells Picard that he thinks of the people on the Enterprise. It's pretty much the same as what the Q's trial humanity for. Add to that, the ability to create a Negative Space Wedgie, and fuck with, well, reality and take any form it wishes.
  • Alternatively he's a rogue Q, or similar being, and the Negative Space Wedgie is his prison. The Q imprisoned Quinn in an asteroid. And in the novels the "God" Being that Kirk encounters in the center of the universe is an omnipotent Q-like entity that the Continuum imprisoned there because he was utterly insane, and utter insanity crossed with omnipotence makes for a very dangerous entity.

The iPad is descended from the PADD.
Someone dropped their PADD on one of their jaunts to the early 21st century. Whoops.

The Q Continuum put Humanity on trial for their arrogance in creating the Prime Directive, a self-righteous policy that has led to the needless deaths of billions.
  • Whether a self-righteous policy of non-intervention leads to more unnecessary deaths than a self-righteous policy of intervention is highly up to debate though. Also, the Q themselves seem to have something like non-intervention policies, although they're less rigid than the Prime Directive. However, your guess would explain why the Q didn't trial the Klingons or Romulans in a similar way.
  • The fact that the Federation interprets the Prime Directive very flexibly depending on their own interests also comes into play. For example, in the TOS episode "Errand of Mercy", the Federation's motives in "helping" the Organians have more to do with their planet being strategically placed on the Klingon border, and thus being a valuable base, than a genuine desire to assist the Organians. Indeed, Kirk does everything he can to escalate the situation when the Organians, in accordance with their own cultural values, are much too passive for his taste in the face of Klingon occupation. Kirk flat-out tries to bribe them with technology, provokes violent responses from the Klingons via acts of insurgency that could lead to a massacre of the Organians and even openly berates them for their pacifistic behavior. Being a massive hypocrite, when it turns out that the Organians are Sufficiently Advanced Aliens powerful enough to literally put a stop to the entire war, Kirk turns around and is outraged that they are now interfering in the Federation's right to self-determination! The Prime Directive meant nothing to him because it was wartime, yet he was offended that a more advanced race would not keep their noses out of his civilization's affairs! At least the Klingons were honest up front about their intentions (conquest) and what they were willing to do in order to accomplish it. Q would later take great pleasure in pointing out human hypocrisy, and I doubt the Organian incident escaped the Continuum's notice.
The Q have a true form and real names that humans wouldn't comprehend,
The true form of a Q is a creature with a goat head, snake tail with puff of fluff at the end, long snake like body covered in eagle feathers, a Pegasus left wing, a bat right wing, a deer left leg, an alligator right leg, an eagle left arm, a lion right arm, a long neck with donkey or pony hair, a goat left horn, a right antler, a snake tongue, a large fang, and yellow eyes with different sized red pupils. Mere humans just wouldn't comprehend seeing a creature like this so they make themselves look like humans around them. Q had in the past ruled a world of ponies who couldn't comprehend his appearance so they took him as the most unredeemable evil thing ever, so two pony sisters turned him to stone with a spell so strong it takes over 1000 years for even a Q to escape(even though that's not a very long time for an immortal), and after he did he attempted to rule again before being turned back into stone, then sent back to the Continuum, and then messing with humans but this time appearing as one of them so the past doesn't repeat itself. Also each Q does have a real name, but is named after a feeling or concept or something like that, which they feel won't make sense to humans, so they each go by Q to them. But their true names do make sense to ponies, so they knew him by his real name: Discord.

Either that or Discord was just another alias of Q. In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine it was mentioned that a Gamma Quadrant civilization knew him as the God of Lies, and he has had dealings with a lot of different species before.

Riker tried to lose the trial in "The Measure of a Man"
Think about it for a second. Riker makes weak arguments that Picard easily should be able to tear apart, while sounding passionate about it. The argument about Data's strength doesn't hold water (Picard turns it down) and neither does the "turning Data off" (think Vulcan nerve pinch). As for the removal of hands, wouldn't it be the same as LaForge's VISOR? Did Riker want Data to win? Beyond a doubt he did. All he had to do was put up weak arguments that Picard should easily tear apart.
  • Weak to the viewer, maybe, but the characters themselves seem moved enough by Riker's arguments to Joss this. Picard even tells Guinan that Riker almost convinced him.
  • It's possible that Riker was trying to give Picard an easy win while looking like he was setting up a slam-dunk, and Picard missed it because of his discomfort with the situation, his past history with the Starfleet JAG officer, his worries about Data's chances of victory/survival, along with still having to oversee the daily functionings of the Enterprise-D.

Lal can come Back from the Dead.
At the end of "The Child", Data mentioned that he uploaded her into himself before her death from positronic brain failure. In Countdown, Data was preserved in the form of the "Data Matrix", and came back in B-4 as described above. B-4 was backed up in his own "B-4 Matrix" prior to his own Heroic Sacrifice. Given that matrixes seem to be the form that backups take, there should logically be a "Lal Matrix" in there somewhere. Additionally, computers of the time have been shown to support a sapient intelligence (see the Doctor and Moriarty). Given these facts, Data should be able to create a Holo-Lal and Holo-B4 using the same system. She'll probably be happy to meet "Uncle B-4".

Taking the Universal Translator down would be supremely disastrous...
...because none of the senior staff of the Enterprise speak the same language. 400 years have passed between the modern day and the time of the series, and the amount of linguistic drift that can occur in 400 years is more than enough to create full languages out of simple dialects. Some of the senior staff might speak mutually intelligible languages, but they need the Universal Translator to conduct everyday business. Related to the above WMG above about Picard speaking French, here are the languages that the senior staff speaks:
  • Picard speaks Frainc-Comtou, an already distinct dialect of French that is likely to pick up influcences from its Swiss and Alsatian neighbours by the 24th century.
  • Riker speaks Alaskan, an Anglic language more closely related to Canadian languages than to American languages.
  • Data speaks many languages, but his first language is probably Thetese, an Anglic language closely related to Hong Kong dialects.
    • Arguably, Data would be the element that prevents traged in this situation, as he likely knows all the native languages for every crewmember and can thus translate until the program is working again.
  • These days Worf probably speaks Klingon, but the language he uses with his parents is probably a language descended from Russian.
  • Tasha Yar is canonically Ukrainian - and probably speaks, depending on where she's from, either Ukrainian or Russian.
  • The Crushers speak Copernican, an Anglic language with strong Celtic influences descended from Scottish dialects.
    • Beverly Crusher, at least, has identified the language she speaks on-screen (in the finale): it's English.
  • Geordi LaForge speaks an African language descended from French.
  • Katherine Pulaski speaks Huronese, an Anglic language spoken in the US Inland North.
  • Deanna Troi speaks Betazoid.
    • Troi more likely speaks the native language of her father, as the Betazeds are primarliy telepathic and thus rarely use vocal communication amongst themselves (or amongst other species, as Lwaxanna has shown time and again). Odds are, her thoughts are heard in the native language of the person she is communicating with, allowing her to circumvent the translator if need be.
    • The popular counterpoint to this (which as far as I know is also unconfirmed by canon) is that the Universal Translator is turned off most of the time, because everyone learned some English/Chinese/Vulcan hybrid language at the Academy.
      • The thing is, linguistic drift tends to happen due to geographic isolation, such as how different regions of China have separate dialects, and Britain and the US have slightly different (due to less time separated) styles of English. The growth of the connected world, particularly the Internet, has slowed linguistic drift. In Trek's era, they have nearly-instant (for the scale) communications. The various dialects of colonies probably blend into a language of the top one or two languages hybridized together.
  • It could be even worse. What if universal translators are relied on to excess, such that every person, in infancy, develops their own idiosyncratic language that the translator turns into a consensus language everyone understands. OK, it's crack in this universe, but maybe in Farscape, with those translator microbes...

The reason the Enterprise was sent to patrol the Neutral Zone rather than face the Borg in Star Trek: First Contact was because someone (or a group) in Starfleet wanted the Federation to be assimilated
He/She/They believed in the Borg's philosophy. Taking advantage of the Federation's invasion, they ordered the Enterprise, the strongest ship in the fleet, out of the way in order so that they could be assimilated.

Q is a Time Lord
Think about it.
  • I know that the Time Lord thing is kind of a meme on here, but Q is both able to regenerate (he's omnipotent in our universe) and is extremely both strong and durable (because he's omnipotent).
  • Q isn't a Time Lord, he's a TARDIS. He can change shape to blend in, ridiculously powerful and pretty impossible.
    • Either way, that means he was probably trying to recruit a member of the crew as a Companion: first Riker (giving him Q powers in hopes of luring him along), then Picard (offering him whatever he wants, knowing that Picard has a fascination with alien archeology), then finally leaving the ship alone after Vash goes with him. And, as time has shown, she eventually got tired of travelling with him and got herself stuck a good ways from home.

Picard had picked up some knowledge about Bajoran traditions before Ensign Ro
During the initial earring discussion, Picard seems oddly unmoved to someone citing cultural traditions for a man who let his chief of security get away with wearing a much more intrusive baldric, and his counselor not wearing a Starfleet uniform at all. The thing is, Ro Laren isn't quite following Bajoran traditions with her earring: she wears it on her left ear, instead of her right (the novels' explanation is that she does it to connect to Bajoran traditions while at the same time indicating she doesn't actually believe in the Prophets). Picard is the sort of person that would notice that — if Ro (from Picard's perspective at the time) doesn't bother following Bajoran traditions, why should he give her an exemption for them?
  • Picard is the sort of person who would know this, but exceptions for traditional accoutrements are likely a case-by-case favour. Worf is allowed his baldric and (sometimes) loose hair because Picard knows and trusts him; conversely, he is making a point to Ro that she cannot push him on grounds of tradition or anything else.
  • More likely, Picard rejected her initial offer because of her past. Worf has demonstrated on countless occassions his dedication to his duty and his willingness to follow orders he disagrees with. In return, all he asks is for permission to wear a traditional item from his culture. Ro, on the other hand, was court martialed for getting 8 people killed by disobeying orders and, upon recieving a last chance to redeem herself, immediately walks in making demands about a uniform exception. Picard rejects her demand until she proves herself and that she is willing to follow the rules before letting her break one.
  • In the US Navy, any ship captain has the authority to wave or modify uniform regulations at their discretion. Given that Starfleet is roughly based on the Navy, they likely have the same rule. Worf was a model officer who had earned the right to modify his uniform. Ro wasn't. It's that simple.

Starfleet lets Riker avoid promotion as a way to keep a handle on Picard.
In "The Best of Both Worlds", it's mentioned that Riker had thrice turned down the promotion to captain, and was starting to get some serious pressure from both his superiors and his comrades to move on. After TBoBW, this pressure goes away. Why? Because Starfleet needs Riker to keep an eye on Picard, who's both the captain of the Federation's flagship and has just undergone a horrifying trauma. As we see in "First Contact" that Starfleet is still leery about Picard in certain respects, and that's years after Wolf 359.

Worf is suicidal even by Klingon standards, hence the Worf Effect.
Since when is rushing in barehanded against every threat in the universe a good tactic? Granted Worf uses his phaser a lot, but when that doesn't work he just goes berserk and gets his ass handed to him. Why? Because his previous supervisor got exactly what all Klingons dream of, a battlefield death, and Worf is jealous as hell. This is a guy who pushes himself to be the most Klingon of Klingons, with Prime-Worf winning the bat'leth tournament in Parallels and getting cheated out of it in nearby realities. He's got a serious inferiority complex, as seen when he interacts with other Klingons, and a cultural/species identity crisis as seen when he interacts with his adoptive human parents. He wants so badly to be a "real" Klingon it's eating him up inside, and thus he takes the already self-destructive motto "It's a good day to die" far more seriously than average. So every time he rushes in to try face a new enemy he's hoping he'll finally get that Red Shirt death he's been praying for.

The real reason for Picard's Face Palms
When he was younger, whenever he got annoyed or irritated, Picard would actually pull his hair. He did it so much that he became bald, and with no more hair, he simply Face Palms instead.

Why they didn't use Happy Birthday to You at Worf's birthday
The Klingon word for "happiness" is better translated as "To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their women!"

The "virus" given to Hugh caused the formation of the Borg Queen
Hugh said that his reassimilation initially caused chaos within the Collective. However, they were able to overcome this after a short period of time. What the Collective did was "adapt" to this new threat by creating the Queen, an individual mind capable of analyzing and rejecting this unknown item that was an obvious threat. This also explains the Badass Decay that the Collective shows: by having the Queen calling the shots rather than the whole, they are more prone to making errors (like trying to invade and assimilate a dimension they knew nothing about). To ensure that her control was complete, she would likely have edited the memories of the Collective to convince them that they had always had a Queen. Thus, Picard 'remembers' her from his assimilation because of his residual connection to the Collective. Using that trace connection, she was able to insert herself into his memories of the events.

The Q Continuum was formed from survivors of an encounter with the galactic barrier
When a ship passes through the galactic barrier, certain members of the crew are shown to become imbued with ESP. A ship with a large enough population, like a colony ship, would likely have a significant population that would be affected by the barrier. The change that Mitchell and Dehner underwent continually made them more powerful, but the change was interrupted by their deaths. Had they continued, they would have reached a point where they would no longer need to recharge or have physical bodies. If a large ship had this happen, then the survivors, becoming as Gods, would likely band together into a Continuum.
  • why does it need to be a large population? for all we know there could be 3 Q, or 1 with time travel duplicates.
  • The Q have shown that there is a decent sized populace amongst them. Aside from Q, we have seen Q (the one that restored Q's powers), Q (his wife), Q (who renamed himself Quinn after becoming human), Q and Q (the unseen parents of Amanda Rogers, not to mention Amanda herself), and q (the offspring of Q and Q). Aside from those Q who had attention brought to them, there are enough Q to fight a shooting war, with mounting casualties on both sides. That implies a reasonable population.
    • OOOORRRRR it is one individual with time duplicates, basically it lives out the entire length of the history of the universe learning such and such lessons and developing such and such personality and then it loops back and starts again, learning new things and developing new personality. Each individual represents a different level of it's personal development, the civil war is basically like a person who has conflicting thoughts, just each thought is itself a powerful individual. This is why Q wanted to mate and produce a child, that child would be something completely new and give the chance for the creation of a new personality (Amanda Rogers not withstanding).

Geordi needed his visor, opposed to artificial or cloned eyes, because of a severe physical internal deformity
Geordi's visor broadcasts in a vision spectrum far from normal human eyesight. In First Contact, hen he gets new artificial eyes, they still communicate information beyond human eyesight BUT he can at least now see the same things normal humans see. In fact, it was made a plot point as far back as the second episode that he could not see normal colors.

The reason he could not simply get artificial or even cloned eyes? His brain/optic nerves/etc were severely deformed at birth to the point that no surgery could have accounted for that and the visor was his only means of sight. His brain may have been unable to handle normal eyesight. It is the 24th century, there'd be no reason for him to see in such a primitive spectrum otherwise.

This changed when Lore and Data began their experiment on him in season 7, using Borg technology to stimulate internal nerve growth. This procedure may have caused a part of his brain to begin growing, repairing itself enough to the point he was suddenly able to accept better artificial eyes.

Q introduced humanity to the Borg in a plan to destroy the collective.
It's known now that the Borg were aware of the Federation before the official first contact, and initiated the encounter in "Q Who" so the Federation would begin preparing for the confrontation. The first invasion was successfully repelled, ending with Picard obtaining information on Borg weaknesses which were eventually used to defeat them again in First Contact. Sisko also went on to design the Defiant as a result of the battle, a ship designed to fight the Borg, and eventually proved vital in defeating the Dominion and preserving the Federation; more are known to have since been built.

The reason he never just sent Voyager back to the alpha quadrant in his first appearance was because he was trying to cause the results of their later encounters with the Borg. In "Scorpion", the Borg were severely crippled, but Voyager also stopped 8472, weakening the collective and providing Voyager with Seven, an expert in their technology and capabilities, information which eventually made it back to Starfleet. In the finale, Voyager destroyed one of their hubs, the queen, and the unicomplex, a few episodes after Q refused to simply send them home for poorly justified reasons.

Lal's cascade failure was because she had no fail-safe switch to handle fear.
Think about Data's first emotion in Star Trek: Generations. He feels fear at the fact that he can't stop laughing, then goes into Heroic Safe Mode. Later, when Geordi is kidnapped, Picard has to talk Data into accepting the fact that he is afraid. Later in Star Trek: First Contact, Data does it again when he turns his emotion chip off while hunting the Borg with Picard.

Lal has no problem accepting feelings such as love (she tells her father that she loves him) or loneliness (she asks Data why he continues to strive to be human when there is no hope of succeeding), but it is the fear being taken away from her father that causes her cascade failure. Fear of possibly never seeing him again, fear of being surrounded with people who only see her as a "thing". It is not having emotions that cause the cascade failure, but one particular emotion — fear. And there is no suggestion that Data ever programmed her with such a fail-safe. Perhaps if one day Data decides to try again, with knowledge gained from his own experiences with fear, he will be more successful with Lal's future sibling.

In his childhood and/or studies of turn-of-the-millennium Earth culture, he saw some of the episodes (though there are probably some lost due to WWIII). In Q Who, he unconsciously connected Q's voice and mannerisms with Discord's and called him "next of kin to chaos".

The forgotten plot line which ties Next Gen, DS9 and Voyager together into one vast epic sweeping story line.
An important but completely overlooked by the fans and by the writers of the show was the parasite invasion plot from the 1st season. However this plot sets up so much of what becomes of Star Trek as we know it. The entire franchise flows from this 4gotten plot line. I think it being forgotten was for the best because it wasn't neccesary for the story arc I'm getting way to outlay.

So the Parasites took over all of the upper echelons of Star Fleet, taking out the admirals and taking over the best captains. Then they moved star fleet operations around in such a way that “starfleets left hand did not know what its right hand was doing.” Then Picard and Riker destroyed the head parasite and all of the others dropped dead. That means after this incident the best of Starfleet was killed off, and the entire fleet and infrastructure was all out of whack, and the Federation was thrown into who knows how much confusion and paranoia over the fact that they had been taken over by aliens. So the parasites are stopped and the Enterprise flies off, end of episode. But here would have been the consequences. 1) The Federation council would have had to catch up with what just happened. During that time Starfleet would have been in serious dissaray and the Federation vulnerable. Not only that the Parasites were sabotaging Star Fleets own efforts to win the Cardassian war, so that instead of the war being ended easily as it should have been, it has become a quagmire and a cluster fuck where they sent unwanted captains and crew to die. With the Parasites gone, the war was now going even worse for the Federation. 2) In this vacuum of security, behind the scenes, quietly and secretly Section 31 would step up to defend the Federation. Not only would 31 step up, 31 would be shocked, SHOCKED, that this even happened on their watch. The Federation was almost infiltrated and destroyed right under their noses. 31 would swear by all that is holy they would NEVER let this happen again no matter what, by any means necessary because it is now proven to them that without them and their tactics the Federation is vulnerable. 3) worried about the Klingons and/or Romulans taking advantage of the gap in Star Fleet's defenses Section 31 helps works behind the scenes to poison the Klingon Chancellor and manipulate the Duras family into position to launch a civil war, and infiltrating the Romulans with operatives who will later help the Romulans be manipulated into wars the Federation wants them to fight. 4) After months and months of figuring shit out the Federation Council finally gets to re-staffing the upper echelons of Star Fleet. The best of the admirals were killed off, leaving only the shitty admirals who have to run the place, so the Council has to promote a slew of captains...however most of the really qualified captains were also killed off by the parasites. So the only people they have to promote aren't ready for the big desk. So Star Fleet ends up with nothing but the shitty admirals, and underqualified admirals to run everything. This explains ALOT! Even so those admirals have the task of re-organizing Star Fleet back into something that makes sense since the Parasites had flung Star Fleet all over the place. The new, underqualified Admirals, who need to pull back their forces sign a crappy peace treaty with Cardassia just to get this war over so they can re-organize the Federation defenses. 5) After two years FINALLY they get Star Fleet back together again and the Federation in a secure position...just in time for the Battle of Wolf 359. Back to square one. The federation is in even less a position to enforce the Cardassian Treaty. Section 31 is more active. 6) Star Fleet is trying to re-organize and rebuild once more. As part of that organization they send Benjamin Sisko to Deep Space 9...where he discovers the wormhole...and the Dominion. 7) the rest is history.
  • AND after the Dominion War - Chinzon destroyed the Romulan Senate, which killed all of 31s operatives in the Romulan Government. Afraid of, and seeing a newly patriotic Romulan senate coming back to power 31 learned a trick from the Dominion and used a protomatter bomb to detonate a star near Romulus. Spock attempted to use red matter to open a black hole to swallow the resultant super nova...and got sucked into the black hole along with the mining ship Narrada.
  • In season 1 the episode order was "Conspiracy" and then "The Neutral Zone". So after the Parasites were destroyed and it came to light that the Federation had been gutted then the Romulans, thinking them weak, became more aggressive. They also began working with the Duras family resulting in all the Klingon drama.
  • There is the criticism that the use of Section 31 undermines the utopian vision of humanity that was at the core of Star Trek, however if you view it through the lense above you can see what happens is that as Star Fleet looses power Section 31 rises in power through illicit means. So it gives us the interpretation that it is Star Fleet and its ideals that hold 31, and the dark side of humanity, in place.

Starfleet's Peacenik Period is the reason why no Starfleet Andorians show up in TNG
First, it's indicated that non-human members of the Federation can and sometimes does run parallel organizations to Starfleet (for instance, Vulcan still runs a separate fleet, as shown in Unification), so it is entirely possible that there the Andorian Imperial Guard is still an extant and active (if given less authority and importance than before the Federation) organization during the 2360s-70s period. Secondly, Andorians are a Proud Warrior Race, and thirdly, Starfleet had gone very far into 'we're not a military organization!' by TNG, to extremes like having children aboard and having respected, high-ranking officers openly disparaging the idea of wargames. Is it any wonder that the Andorians would gravitate towards their own military in such an environment?

Families are so dysfunctional in Next Gen because they are the children/grandchildren of a disenfranchised hippie generation
In TNG we see that family relations in the Federation tend to be very, very dysfunctional. I would list them but it's easier to list the characters in TNG who have functional family upbringing....Geordi, that's it, and we don't even actually see his family we just hear him say he had a great time growing up...though his parents were stationed far apart in Star Fleet. So in this enlightened future why would all these people have crap family lives? In TOS episode the Way to Eden we are introduced to a space hippie counter culture. As is exposited in the episode the space hippies the Enterprise encounters are extremists seeking an Eden planet, but based on comments from the crew we are also exposited that this is a much larger movement back in the Federation. People fed up with the programmed, homogenized culture of the Federation. In the episode the leader of the space hippie movement dies and his followers realize their Eden is a poisonous planet, so they return to Earth. They return to Earth let down by their leader, let down by their own beliefs. They give up on their space hippie dreams and go along with the homogenized programming, a broken and cynical generation who end up making terrible parents. So their kids, raised in homes of bitter, cynical people run away to join Star Fleet.
  • Well now, that would depend. The Hippies were a reactionary movement to the growing terror of the Cold War, rather than just something that developed on their own. We learn fairly late in TNG that the Federation apparently fought a fairly serious war with the Cardassians during the 2350's that wasn't even mentioned in later seasons. Then you have people like Deanna and Wesley, both of whose fathers were literal Red Shirts who died on Starfleet missions. Tasha grew up on a colony, Turkana IV, which had seceded from the Federation in the 2350's and degenerated into anarchy. Data's "family" issues stem from an eccentric creator and an evil twin. Riker's family was not that bad, although I don't recall them coming up much. Crusher apparently got on quite well with her family, and idolized her grandmother in particular. Worf's adoptive parents were actually excellent, and he had a good family life. Picard's main issue was his desire to follow one path of the family tradition (exploration), while his brother chose to follow the other (wine-making). Were Hippies really needed? Or was it just that there were some bad things that impacted some of the crew?

Holodeck Four is reserved for Adult Programming.
That's the reason Riker had his I'll Be in My Bunk moment there. That's where lonely crew members go.

The Picard family vineyards are a Federation project.
The Star Trek universe is not a safe one; the Federation faces multiple threats, starting with Romulans and Cardassians, and escalating to the Borg, crystalline entities, and the various god-like aliens. Hell, even subspace is being eroded, putting interplanetary travel and communication at risk. And just like in our time, a lot of the ancient methods and technologies that were vital for everyday life have been forgotten.

The Federation is trying to make sure that should the Federation fall, civilization can continue. Part of this project is researching and preserving ancient (by Federation standards) farming techniques, which is why the Picards even have a vineyard in the first place. The Picards grow the grapes and harvest the crop, and the Federation records and disseminates the results. There could be hundreds of similar projects on Earth alone, never mind places like Vulcan.

The Husnock were originally at war with the Federation, before they were removed from the timeline.
In the season three episode "The Survivor," we hear of the Husnock, who murdered an entire colony before a nearby Sufficiently Advanced Alien erased all fifty billion Husnock from existence. But no one knows of the Husnock, and no one notices that their aggressive asshole neighbors are all gone. There are no empty cities or even empty planets for others to investigate.

What really happened was this: in the original timeline, the Husnock were a major player in that corner of the universe, and was at war with the Federation. A Husnock captain saw a target of opportunity and destroyed an enemy outpost. Unfortunately, by doing so he killed the wife of an Energy Being and doomed his race. The Douwd didn't just kill all Husnock in the present, but in the past as well, preventing them from ever existing.
  • But if Kevin had the power to manipulate space and time (as opposed to just matter), then why couldn't he have returned his wife and the other colonists to life by pulling them forward from the moments before they died? Or the Husnock for that matter (he did feel guilty over the xenocide)? Q would have just snapped his fingers and brought everyone back to life. Then again,a Q would have also just turned the Husnock into Tribbles for disturbing their vacation home rather than trying to deter their attack with illusions.

Data isn't really dead
His head survived the explosion, and drifted in space until it was sucked into the atmosphere of a remote asteroid, where it is now on a pedestal being worshiped by tribbles.
Star Trek: EnterpriseWMG/Live-Action TVStar Trek: Voyager

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