Star Trek: Who Created Data and Lore?

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Star Trek is one of the best, longest-running science fiction TV shows of all time, with multiple spin-offs, movies, and other pieces of its ever-expanding universe. Throughout the years, we have seen countless characters, but hardly any of them were as interesting and endearing to fans as Data, and his long-lost android brother, Lore. But who created Data and Lore?

Data and Lore were both created by Doctor Noonian Soong and his wife, Juliana Soong, at the Omicron Theta colony. They are both portrayed by Brent Spiner, as both Data and Lore were androids created in Soong’s picture. Eventually, his creation led to his demise.

After the Omicron Theta colony was destroyed in a Crystalline Entity attack, Data and Lore were the lone survivors. Data was found and rescued by Starfleet in 2338, while Lore was left behind in the rubbles of Dr. Soong’s lab. To learn more about Data, Lore, their creation, and differences, keep on reading this article.

Who was Data in Star Trek?

Data is a highly prominent and important character in Star Trek: The Next Generation and beyond. He is portrayed by the actor Brent Spiner and first appeared in the episode Encounter at Farpoint in 1987’s Star Trek: TNG.

Data wasn’t always a member of Starfleet. They found him in 2338 as the only survivor of the Omicron Theta colony that was destroyed in a brutal attack from the Crystalline Entity. Seeing that Data is an intelligent life form, Starfleet chooses to rescue him from the rubble, which is the moment when Data becomes a vital member of the fleet.

As mentioned before, Data was an android created with a positronic brain, making him incredibly intelligent and giving him amazing deductive and computational skills. He was also superhumanly strong, but one of his biggest ‘weaknesses,’ if one can call them that, is his lack of human emotions and the difficulty in understanding them.

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That trope is often used as comic relief in Star Trek, but throughout the years, Data has become better at understanding humans and our behavioral patterns. The fact that he couldn’t comprehend human emotions made Data aspire to achieve his own humanity.

Despite the fact that he struggles with human emotions, sometimes making him appear goofy, Data is nothing short of the opposite – he’s cunning, wise, curious, and shows deep empathy towards those in need of help. He’ll often provide guidance and advice to his fellow fleet members in times of dire need.

Throughout the years, Data became the Second Officer and Chief Operations Officer on the USS Enterprise-D and the USS Enterprise-E. Eventually, Data obtained an ‘emotion chip’ created specifically for him, which allowed him to achieve the thing that he had been looking for for so long – his humanity.

That being said, it turned out in subsequent episodes that Data wasn’t the only survivor of the destroyed Omicron Theta colony…

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Who was Lore in Star Trek?

The second survivor of the 2338’s destroyed Omicron Theta colony was Lore, another android of the same kind – and appearance, as Data. While Data was found and rescued by Starfleet, Lore remained deactivated in the rubbles of his creator’s laboratory.

Lore was, in many ways, similar to Data – a highly intelligent android with superhuman strength and a lack of human emotion – they were diametrically opposite in one crucial regard. While Data’s intelligence and lack of emotion manifested in benevolence, wisdom, and kindness, Lore was on the other side of the spectrum.

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He was cunning enough to pretend to be kind and helpful, but the malevolence of his actions soon came to light. Lore believed that Data was weak and that the era of biological lifeforms should come to an end.

Lore saw himself as superior to humans, which led to fear in many of the Omicron Theta colonists that prompted his creator to deactivate him. They did just that, but not before Lore contacted the Crystalline Entity that eventually destroyed Omicron Theta. Lore was left behind in the lab deactivated.

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Data was found in 2338, but Lore wasn’t discovered until 2364, when the crew of USS Enterprise-D found Lore’s parts, reassembled and reactivated them. Lore presented himself as benevolent, but soon, he deactivated Data, stole his uniform, and tried posing as Data to cause all kinds of problems for the crew – including contacting the Crystalline Entity again.

His treachery was discovered due to different mannerisms between him and Data, and Lore was left in deep space, where he drifted for about two years. Eventually, Lore found his way back to his creator, and… well, it didn’t end well.

Who created Data and Lore?

The name of Data and Lore’s creator – the one both of them called their father – was Doctor Noonian Soong. Soong, along with his wife, Juliana, focused on trying to create the perfect artificial life form instead of experimenting with biological engineering like his ancestors.

Data and Lore were both created in Doctor Soong’s image – which is why all the Soong characters are portrayed by the same actor, Brent Spiner.

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Doctor Noonian Soong, younger and older

Lore was the first successful attempt at creating a fully functional positronic brain. However, it had flaws, which manifested in his malevolence, whereas Data – a more sophisticated, later model, didn’t have those same flaws.

Fast forward to the moment where we mentioned that Lore met his creator again. Lore learned that Doctor Soong was dying and had created an emotion chip specifically designed for Data. Lore was livid and resented his father for abandoning him in favor of working on Data. The malevolence kicked in, and he killed Doctor Soong while stealing the chip for himself.

Of course, the chip didn’t work properly, as it wasn’t designed for Lore, and it only caused even more behavioral issues. Instead of just having malevolent tendencies, Lore was now spiteful, angry, and even more unstable.

In the end, Data was the one to defeat and deactivate Lore once and for all after the malevolent step-brother conducted brutal experiments on a group of Borg to make them his murderous followers. After their last encounter, Data finally gained the emotion chip that was meant to be his to begin with.

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Doctor Noonian Soong, Data, and Lore actually weren’t the only Soong characters in Star Trek portrayed by Brent Spiner. We met Dr. Adam Soong in Picard Season 2 – the oldest known Soong who was a billionaire in the 2020s and used his wealth to conduct genetic engineering experiments.

There was also Dr. Arik Soong, the 22nd-century Soong descendant who did genetic engineering experiments, even if they were completely unethical. His botched experimentations resulted in a Klingon genetic catastrophe, but that’s a topic for another day.

Lastly, we were introduced to Dr. Altan Inigo Soong in Picard Season 1, who was the only biological son of Dr. Noonian Soong. Yes, that technically made Altan the brother of Data and Lore. 

Dr. Altan took his father’s steps in creating artificial life instead of biological engineering like their ancestors, but his creations weren’t solely focused on human androids – he created AI animals as well.

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