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Star Trek Fans Question Section 31's Motive To House Famous Captains' Bodies

It's a funny thing, stealing the dead bodies of famous people and keeping them in a fridge to look at later. When you do it to mummies, people call you an archeologist. Do it to Starfleet captains, though, and "Star Trek" fans start raising their eyebrows. That's according to the recent swell of activity on Reddit's r/StarTrek forum, where responses to the events currently unfolding on "Star Trek: Picard" have been borderline accusatory. 

In the Season 3 episode "The Bounty," viewers learned that Section 31, Starfleet's nasty cousin that likes shooting cats with BB guns, has a secret lab filled with the remains of some of the galaxy's greatest heroes, including James Tiberius Kirk (William Shatner) and titular series protagonist Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart), because sci-fi is complicated sometimes.

"So what exactly is the deal with Section 31 holding on to bodies of famous Captains?" asked user u/Final_Handle_4976 in a Reddit post, going on to postulate that the shadowy organization might be trying to reanimate Starfleet legends as biomechanical golems. The speculation didn't end there.

Fans agree that Section 31 needs a new hobby

Some fans of "Star Trek: Picard" latched onto a key detail that they spotted in Section 31's lab: The codename "Project Phoenix." U/VruKatai wrote, "So a 'Project Phoenix,' a couple dead captains [...] one with apparent life sign readings (Kirk) and ... the Genesis device."

The pieces seem easy to put together based on those context clues. Section 31 has always been a group of awful customers with a pothole where their morality should be. "Project Phoenix" implies rebirth, and a storage area full of dead captains would certainly point to an attempt at bringing them back, either individually or, if there's any justice in the world, as a heaving multi-headed homunculus sewn into a Starfleet uniform and constantly screaming "Let me die."

Others, like u/Valuable-Ad-5586, were skeptical — "Must be a billion places to look if one wanted Picard or Kirk DNA," they rightly pointed out. They conjectured instead that keeping Kirk and Picard had more to do with their shared experience in the extratemporal heaven dimension of the Nexus in "Star Trek: Generations." Maybe, they hypothesized, the timey-wimey nature of their time in the ribbon would make it possible for Section 31 to exploit new time-harnessing technologies, allowing them "to cause shenanigans of their own."

Whatever the case, we'll find out soon enough. The final season of "Star Trek: Picard" is currently streaming new episodes on Paramount+ every Thursday.