Star Trek: Picard's premiere episode manages to bridge the gap between the nostalgia of The Next Generation's past, and the darker new vision of the Star Trek universe 20 years later, where we find ourselves in Picard. Really, the entire nature of the Star Trek universe as we knew it gets upended in Picard's premiere, as the galaxy has taken some truly unexpected turns. The big thing Picard does is explore the ramifications of the destruction of Romulus, which was the catalyst for the events of J.J. Abrams' Star Trek (2009) new Kelvin timeline. However, in Star Trek: Picard we learn that a large faction of surviving Romulans have established a curious connection with cybernetic race known as The Borg!
Warning - Star Trek: Picard SPOILERS Follow!
The premiere of Picard reveals that there was one main incident that provides the catalyst for a lot of the new show's events: Starfleet's attempt to evacuate the Romulan people before Romulus' destruction. Admiral Picard spearheaded that effort, but the sudden and inexplicable uprising by rogue synthetics resulted in the loss of hundreds of millions of lives. Startfleet abandoned the Romulan rescue effort out of fear and prejudice, which made Picard heartbroken enough to leave Starfleet.
Well, Picard reveals that the synthetic race isn't as dead as was assumed: in fact, the big MacGuffins in the show are two "perfected" synthetic twin girls, built from Data's programming. As we learn in the final scene of the premiere, one of those synthetic girls, Soji Asher (Isa Briones), is working on a Romulan reclamation site, totally unaware of her true nature or identity. The reclamation site is then revealed to be a battle-damaged borg cube, that has been re-purposed by the Romulans.
There are very brief hints in this final scene of the premiere, as well as the "This Season" preview trailer for Star Trek: Picard - but they are telling hints. Soji Asher is said to be "fixing broken people," and trailer previews have scenes of haunted humanoids with cybernetic parts referring to Picard as "The Destroyer," while Seven of Nine (Jeri Ryan) seems to be on some kind of freedom-fighter quest. Taken altogether with the themes of Picard's premiere, it seems that this Romulan faction may be rebuilding the Borg Cube, re-purposing the tech, and possibly reversing the assimilation process to free former Borg soldiers from their programming.
As for why the Romulans are messing with Borg technology? Given how Starfleet abandoned them, and the continued plight of the Romulan people - plus how we saw Nero lose it in Star Trek (2009), we have to guess that the advantage of Borg tech would go a long way in helping the Romulans get revenge and/or reclaim a new homeworld. Neither sounds very good for the universe.
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