The Big Twist in Star Trek: Picard Was ... $79 Stock Footage?
SPOILERS for episode 9 of Star Trek: Picard
The first season of Star Trek: Picard is almost at an end, meaning soon we can all stop worrying about the elderly Jean-Luc's safety. Hopefully, the finale will find him playing Bingo or taking a nice Epsom salt bath or enjoying some holographic Matlock away from the dangers of outer space.
In the last few episodes we learned that a secret cabal of Romulans is trying to destroy all synthetic life. Why? Because of the "Admonition" an ancient message that warns of the inherent danger posed by androids. The visions it causes are so extreme, those who bear witness to them are instantly driven mad; clawing their eyes out and bashing their heads in as if they'd just left a screening of Cats.
In the penultimate episode, we got a closer look at what the message actually entails and it's ... painfully generic. There are shots of embryos, and explosions, and a bunch of robots that wouldn't seem out of place being interrogated by a beanie-clad Will Smith.
You don't have to be Dixon Hill to figure out that there's some stock footage being utilized here, but one fan found nearly all of it available to download on Shutterstock (the robot pointing in the video's thumbnail was just $79). The video "Robot, cyborg touching screen" was pretty much copy-pasted but with a Starfleet insignia superimposed on top to make it, um, more Star Trek-y?
The result feels less like a bold new vision of the future and more, well, like one of our dopey articles.
Obviously this isn't the first time Star Trek has cut corners to save money, lest we forget the time The Next Generation went over-budget and had to air a clip show for its second season finale. But this montage was supposed to be a pivotal moment for the entire Picard series, not only revealing key plot details, but literally driving ordinary people to acts of cold-blooded murder and kickstarting an inter-species war. So it's a tad disappointing that these mystical visions were achieved with simply a laptop and a credit card. Hopefully the final episode won't just relay its story in the form of the Distracted Boyfriend meme.
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