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Star Trek | The End Is the Beginning: Watching Picard with My Father

Star Trek: Picard’s themes of dying, progeny, inheritance and memories hit harder for those who have lost a parent.

Warning: This article contains spoilers for the Star Trek: Picard episodes ‘Remembrance’ (S1, Ep1), ‘The End is the Beginning’ (S1, Ep3), and ‘Nepenthe’ (S1, Ep7). Proceed with caution.

I grew up on Star Trek: The Next Generation. In my formative years, many conversations with my dad were inspired by the show and its characters.

Dad developed kidney disease when I was a child, and in my early adolescence, he learned how to dialyze at home – three times per week. He would tape his favorite shows and save them up to watch so he could distract himself and pass the time while the machine flushed his kidneys. The show I most liked to sit and watch with him, both before and during this period, was Star Trek: The Next Generation.

My sister and I would sit on the velvet brown corner lounge and Dad would use it as a catalyst to talk with us about ethics and morals – about empathy, commitment, integrity, and equality, and about big topics like politics, war, and religion. He was on dialysis for seven years before getting a transplant from an anonymous donor.

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