The season finale of Star Trek: Picard featured the song "Blue Skies," a song that was used also in the first episode of the season and that calls back to when Data sang it in the film Star Trek: Nemesis. In the Picard finale, the song is sung by star Isa Briones, who plays Data's daughters Soji and Dahj Asha. "This is obviously a bit of a throwback to Star Trek: Nemesis, when Data sang 'Blue Skies,' so it's really cool that Data's daughter kind of gets to sing it as well," Briones says in a featurette filmed during the recording to the song. "My parents are musical theater actors, so I kind of grew up around it and when I was 19 I had moved to New York and my first audition in New York was Hamilton and I got to do Hamilton on tour and so that was kind of my first bigger musical theater experience and right after I left Hamilton jumped right into this."
Star Trek: Picard composer Jeff Russo came up with the song's new arrangement for Briones. "This song was always going to play," Russo says. "I think Alex [Kurtzman] and Michael [Chabon] had talked about it as a means to sort of bookend this season and I was talking with Alex about it and he said, 'You know, maybe we do our version of the song' and I said, 'Oh, well, what a great idea. Why I do a version of the song and we'll find a singer to sing it for us?' And he was like, 'Well, you know, Isa is a singer.'
"The instrumentation is close to our score. It's a little bit smaller of an orchestra and that's because it's a very intimate song and I wanted it to feel very close to your heart. But it's strings, it's woodwinds, it's some brass, and a lot of it is very textual because really the main part of the song is the lyric and the melody so you really want to be able to keep that front and center so we didn't want anything too loud or too much to jump in front of that vocal."
Russo and Briones both also discussed the song's place in the finale and its symbolism. "Admiral Picard has a theoretical meeting and discussion with Data and at the end of this conversation, he asks Jean-Luc Picard to basically unplug him from life support because he would like his life and his emotions and his relationships to have the kind of meaning that they can only have if his life was finite," Russo says. "That's where this song will play and the song plays kind of across that whole section of him going and doing and interacting with the rest of the cast in order to do that."
Briones adds, "The song is coming at a very important moment in the final episode. We're kind of saying goodbye to Data. It's so right that this is the song that is playing during this moment because I think when Data sings it in Nemesis it's the beginning of something and as we sing it this time it's the end of this chapter. It's a goodbye, so you kind of get the whole journey within this one moment. "
Briones and Russo's rendition of "Blue Skies" is now available as a single to stream on Spotify or purchase from iTunes.
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