Star Trek: Picard‘s second season has wrapped. Its final episode included a surprising tie to Star Trek: The Original Series. SPOILERS for the Star Trek: Picard Season Two finale follow. One of this season’s subplots was about Adam Soong, an ancestor of Data’s creator Noonien Soong. Adam Soong has been conducting experiments, creating genetically engineered human clones. His rise to power and the success of his work bring about the totalitarian alternate future of the Confederation. However, when Jean-Luc Picard and his crew arrive, the only one of his projects to survive is Kore, his “daughter.” But Kore doesn’t know about her true origin. Once Q reveals it to her, she becomes angry with her “father.” The final episode shows Kore putting an end to her father’s experiments for good by permanently deleting all of the data from his work. Soong instead is forced to turn his attention toward a lone physical file left lingering in a drawer: “Project Khan.”
The name Khan should quickly ring bells for any Star Trek fan. Khan Noonien Singh was one of Jame T. Kirk’s greatest foes. He first appeared in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode “Space Seed” and returned in the film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Khan was an augmented warlord who controlled a quarter of the world during the Eugenics Wars. The Eugenics Wars were one of Earth’s worst conflicts, resulting in approximately 30 million deaths. The conflict sent Earth into a new Dark Age, which humanity is only beginning to climb out of in Star Trek: First Contact.
Star Trek: Picard suggests that the conflict may start with Adam Soong and that Soong could be Khan’s “father.” If that’s the case, it would make Noonien a “family name” of sorts, passed down to Data’s creator, Noonien Soong. It also explains why Arik Soong, a descendant of Adam’s seen in Star Trek: Enterprise, had dedicated himself to researching and championing augments even after the Eugenics Wars. However, he ultimately decided to turn his attention toward synthetic life instead.
The timeline isn’t exactly right, however. Star Trek: Picard‘s final takes play in 2024. Previous Star Trek episodes say that Khan rose to the peak of his power in 1992. and was exiled into space by 1996. Star Trek Into Darkness even suggests the research that would result in the creation of augments began in the 1950s, during the Cold War.
It’s possible that, given the “Dark Age” that follows the Eugenics Wars, some of the dates used in future centuries are incorrect. However, that might conflict with what we see in Star Trek: First Contact. Alternatively, perhaps Adam Soong is creating Khan. He may, instead, be expanding on the work that did make him. It’s hard to know for sure, as Star Trek has always played somewhat fast and loose when documenting Earth’s pre-first contact history.
What do you think of this connection between Adam Soong and Khan Noonien Soong? Let us know how you feel about it in the comments section. The first two seasons of Star Trek: Picard are streaming now on Paramount+.