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  • Writer's pictureRev. AP3

PICARD: Season 1 -- On Death, Dying and Beyond

[AUTHOR’S NOTE: April 10, 2024: When I originally wrote this article on December 9, 2022, my father was still alive. Little did I know that 6 months later, on June 19, 2023, he would pass away. Since, I hadn’t published this article yet, I wanted to incorporate my thoughts on my father’s passing, without changing the original structure.]

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(Warning: Spoilers Ahead!)


Picard Season 1 tackles many issues: what it means to be human; substance abuse, loss and recovery; aging and agism; friendship; relationships; trust and revenge; and a host of other things. However, the overwhelming issue which permeates the entire season and culminates in the climactic finale is: DEATH. To me, season 1 is a treatise on death and dying… and beyond. And it is this issue which I want to focus on. Before I do, allow me to share a tidbit about Jean-Luc Picard’s influence on my life.


I met Captain Picard on the bridge of the Enterprise D when I was thirteen. The star date was 1987. At first, he was a bit standoffish, cold, stiff and calculating. But after a few seasons he found his stride and—while still calculating—became more warm, engaging and empathetic with the crew. To many of them—and to me as well—he was a sort of surrogate father-figure. He was someone we wanted to emulate. Soon, some of his phrases were added to my lexicon: “Make it so.” “Engage.” “Tea: Earl Grey. Hot.” I would watch almost every episode with my own father—who introduced me to the Star Trek Universe—and we would talk about them at length. It was a great time of bonding with my father during my teen years, as we both imagined going “boldly where no other person had gone before.”


Naturally, all of these years later, I was excited to hear that a show focusing primarily on Picard was forthcoming. The season released in 2020 right as the world was about to go into lockdown due to Covid-19. I watched episode one as soon as it was available. Honestly, I was a bit disappointed. This was an aged Picard who was now a retired Starfleet Admiral. The pacing was a bit slow—perhaps to reflect the now older Picard. It was an interesting plot, but I didn’t want to continue the cinematic journey. I didn’t know why. It wasn’t until recently, when I felt the sudden urge to watch the series, that I was able to process my feelings.

This was not the Starfleet of The Next Generation. Picard was no longer in the “summer” of his life—young, strong and vibrant. He was now in “winter.” And seeing him left behind and practically discarded by the Starfleet he loved so much was a bit too close to home. His agedness reminded me of my father’s agedness. Now in his 70’s, my father too is in the “winter” of his life. And if I’m honest, I don’t like it one bit. Now, both my real father and my surrogate Science Fiction father were close to death. And as I suddenly found myself compelled to watch the season in November 2022, it became apparent that the show would warp headlong into this very real territory (even if it was through fictional means). (Perhaps—this is me in 2024 writing this line—God was somehow preparing me for the inevitable death of my own father which would occur 6 months into the future…)


I have to go back and rewatch season 1, but it seemed like someone was dying in each episode. Whether it was the humans, the Synthetics, the Romulans, the Borg, and a host of others. To make things more intense, Jean-Luc now was dealing with an incurable medical issue that had been rather dormant over the years, but had now become active. As the show progresses, so does his brain abnormality. It was slow at first, but stress served as the trigger which infuriated the pace of his disease. And as Picard was thrust out of retirement into one last adventure, the immense stress of the climactic resolution took its ultimate toll.

In the last episode, Admiral Picard… died. Even though a possible solution was telegraphed a few episodes before, when Picard died, it not only broke the characters around him who loved him—it also broke me. I cried like a baby… as if I was there with the rest of them, holding Picard in my arms too. This is the power of good storytelling. The thought occurred to me that for all of the medical technology which existed in the 24th century, it was surprising that any condition would be incurable. After all, isn’t science supposed to figure out a way to conquer death?

How does one face their own death? Death is coming to us all. In watching Picard die, my thoughts drifted to my aging parents. I was reminded of the recent deaths we all had experienced over the past two years as family members and close friends had passed away—some due to old age, others due to Covid-19 or some other medical condition. These recent deaths had also made me examine my own life in greater detail, realizing that—at 48—I most likely have more years behind me than I do in front of me. (Now, I will be 50 this year…)

The death of Picard was handled gracefully by the writers and actors of the show. It wasn’t rushed, neither was it too long. They gave characters enough screen time to express their grief in believable ways. They gave the viewer enough time to take it all in. Then, they employed the “possible” solution from a few episodes before.


In the moments just after Picard’s death, a complete and thorough digital copy of his brain was made and his consciousness was uploaded into a synthetic body! His DNA was used to make the body look like his own. The brain abnormality was edited out! Picard’s new body was programmed to age at his normal rate, so that he would eventually “die.” But, without the abnormality affecting him, he had many more years of life left!

It would seem that Picard is the very first human to have their consciousness uploaded into a synthetic body. Everyone is happy to have him back! He is happy to be back! I was happy to have him back! All seemed right with the world as Jean-Luc was now able to continue his adventure into Season 2 and beyond…


But is everything right with the world—in our world? What happened to Picard is the very Science Fiction that scientists all over the world are trying to make Science Fact. Billions of dollars are being spent to be able to digitally replicate the human mind in order to upload a human consciousness to a computer, the internet or an android body. The belief that these technological, transhumanist efforts will eventually become an everyday occurrence are very real. They are held by many who fear death and seek another alternative. But we have to ask the question: even if scientists and engineers figure out the technology to do this very thing, will the copy BE you?

One of the great things about digital technology is the ability to make digital copies of files that are identical to the original. Before digital, we had analogue. With analogue, we had to be concerned about preserving the original and we made copies from the original. And if you made a copy from a copy from a copy, with each copy there would be degradation and loss. But not so with digital! Now, once the original has been copied, if you lost it, it wouldn’t matter as long as you had the copy. You could copy something ad-infinitum and never lose quality. This is how the notion of brain mapping and consciousness uploading is being addressed: make an exact digital copy of a person’s brain—accounting for every neuron and cell—and you essentially have the person. But will this truly be the case?

Humans are not digital beings. We are not even purely physically matter-based beings. There is something… immaterial… about each one of us. We would call this the soul. And the soul does not seem to be quantifiable by ones and zeroes.  If this is the case, then a digital mapping process which copies the physical attributes of the human brain will entirely miss the very core of our consciousness which both makes us human and makes us a Being.


This is vitally important because the Bible indicates that our soul lives on after our body dies. It also indicates we will then stand before God and give Him an account of our life. Then, we will either receive entrance into His eternal kingdom or we will be cast away from His Presence into an eternal torment prepared for the the devil and the fallen angels. And the Bible lets us know that what determines our eternal destination is whether or not we have received Jesus—God’s Son—as our Lord and Savior.

Could it be that while Picard’s “copy” is galavanting around the galaxy on new missions, the real and true “original” Picard is dead and dealing with the reality of some kind of afterlife? Could it also be, that if our own technology ever enables us to make copies of ourselves, that who we really are—our souls—won’t be included? That is a very frightening prospect. Family and friends would be interacting with a facsimile—a caricature—while the real us is standing before God for judgment.


Even with these concerns about Picard (and ourselves), it is clear that the technological plot device presented in the show (which allows the storyline to continue for more seasons) points us towards the reality of resurrection. We don’t want to die. We long to live forever—if we can imagine good days ahead. The beautiful thing about resurrection is that we don’t have to look to science for the solution. The Bible lets us know that this has been God’s plan all along! This is the significance of Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection from the dead. Because He rose, we too will rise at the end of this Age. The Bible is clear: death does not have the last word! Everyone will be physically resurrected! However, those who have rejected God’s offer of eternal forgiveness and life through His Son will face eternal condemnation. Those who have surrendered to Jesus will receive new, upgraded bodies which will never decay! And they will live and reign with Christ on a restored earth and be able to explore the universe and beyond.

As great as the Picard storyline is, the true STORY in which we find ourselves, is infinitely more amazing than anything we could ever imagine! When Jesus returns to the earth, humanity will face a future only imagined in the mind of God—of which He has provided us glimpses through His Word. Then, we will truly go, “where no one has gone before.”     


This is the 2024 me… It’s been almost 10 months since my father passed away. At his homegoing celebration, back in June 2023, I mentioned to over 1000 people how my we enjoyed Star Trek and how we both love Jesus and His Word. I firmly believe that, according to the Bible, my father is with God, the angels and the saints right now. One day we will see each other again. I look forward to that day.

I am grateful for the experience of watching Picard: Season 1. Yes, somehow it did help prepare me for my father’s unexpected death. I am also grateful for reading this article, now, for the first time since my father passed. I can’t explain why… but I do know it has been helpful. While it is exciting to imagine where technology could take us, I do realize that no human achievement will ever surpass the creative power and wonder of The One who brought the entire universe into existence! So, I put my hope for live beyond the grave into His Hands. --AP3


Scripture References: Isaiah 65:17-25; Daniel 7:13-27; Daniel 12; John 6:35-40; 1 Corinthians 15:1-58; Philippians 3:20-21; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Hebrews 9:27; Revelation 20-22


Allen Paul Weaver III is the author of RESURRECTION: The BIG Picture of God's Purpose and Your Destiny and The Resurrection Life: A 40 Day Journey with Jesus. Both books seek to unpack the Story of our creation, purpose and destiny. These books are available on Find out more about his books and Allen at

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