Is Data in Star Trek: Picard’s third season the same Data from before?

Star Trek: Picard brought back Data, again, but is this the same character as before?

Data is one of the pillars of Star Trek: The Next Generation and is often cited by many fans as their favorite character. So it came as a surprise during the events of Star Trek: Nemesis when the script called for him to die. He sacrifices himself to stop Shinzn and the Remans who supported him. It was a very emotional moment, made even harder when it was implied his brother, B-4, may have some of his memories.

The concept of memories and what is “life” was further explored in Star Trek: Picard’s first season, when it was revealed that he was still “alive”, somehow. It wasn’t his body, just his consciousness this time around. Data would eventually die yet again, thus closing off his storyline for good.

Or so we thought. In season three of Picard, Brent Spiner once again played Data, but this time in a different “form”. Spiner was no longer painted up to look like the android and instead, they created a workaround for why Data looks so human.

Yet, some believe this isn’t Data after all, and some new version of the character.

Is Star Trek: Picard’s Data the character we all remember?

Speaking to TrekMovie about the final season of Picard, Spiner revealed if he believes the current character he’s portraying is the same one from his time on The Next Generation, saying;

I do, because he’s still equipped with his original memories. If your computer blows up—I mean Data is a machine. He didn’t die like a human being dies. He’s a machine. And if your computer blows up and you can retrieve the hard drive and all the information in it, that computer is just a shell. The body was just a shell. And so he’s taken with him on this journey everything that came before.

Right now I’m curious how this body got all of Data and Lore’s memories into itself. The how and why they were able to transfer their consciousness and memories into this new golem is certainly going to be a fun conversation to have for weeks after the show ended.