Data’s death and resurrection were written into Insurrection

Lt. Commander Data was going to die sooner than Nemesis

Brent Spiner, who played the ageless android Lt. Commander Data, on Star Trek: The Next Generation was forty-seven when Star Trek: First Contact was released, and, the producers had considered killing his character off in that movie. In fact, a possible story idea was for the Borg Queen to completely remove his skin so that it could either be replaced with an older version of Spiner’s skin, or the producers could have recast the role with a younger character, essentially starting afresh with the android.

Spiner was actually for the idea of his character being killed off since he was aging and the android wasn’t supposed to. So when pre-production started on Insurrection, he asked that Data’s death be written into the script, and surprisingly, it was. Paramount, however, wasn’t at all pleased with the premise.

Data’s death and resurrection were written into Insurrection

Producers went back to the script and came up with the idea for Captain Picard to kill Data early in the movie when he and Worf were trying to catch him. Then, he would have been brought back to life later in the film and still be able to help Picard in the finale. This way, if Brent Spiner didn’t want to continue the role, the android’s ‘consciousness’ could then be transferred to another body. So that new Data would still know everyone and have the same memories.

The idea was eventually scrubbed from the script, and he was left alive and well in Insurrection. When Spiner received his copy of the final script, it had a note from the producers that read, “Sorry, kill you later.”  It wouldn’t be until 2002, when Spiner was fifty-three, that Data sacrificed himself to save the life of his captain, and it would take almost twenty more years before the android’s consciousness was terminated for good in Star Trek: Picard.