|“||You are me! The same noble Picard blood runs through our veins! Had you lived my life, you'd be doing exactly as I am. So look in the mirror. See yourself. Consider that, Captain... I can think of no greater torment for you.||„|
|~ Shinzon, to Captain Jean-Luc Picard.|
Praetor Shinzon is the main antagonist of the 2002 science fiction film Star Trek: Nemesis, the final film of the Star Trek TNG film series.
He is a clone of Captain Jean-Luc Picard, created by the Romulans for the initial purpose of replacing Picard with a Romulan operative. He later became the leader of the Remans, staging a successful coup against the Romulan Senate and plotting the annihilation of Earth in the name of Reman freedom.
He was portrayed by Tom Hardy, who also played Charles Bronson in Bronson, Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, John Fitzgerald in The Revenant and Venom in Sony's Spider-Man Universe. He has the distinction of being the final antagonist of The Next Generation Era (which had started with Q in the Star Trek: The Next Generation premiere episode, "Encounter at Farpoint") before the franchise was rebooted in 2009.
Engineered sometime during the mid 24th century by the Romulans, Shinzon was a clone intended to conduct covert espionage within the United Federation of Planets. Shinzon was created from DNA that a Romulan spy was able to recover from Picard while the latter was attending the wedding of Jack Crusher and Beverly Howard. Shinzon he was meant to replace Picard. As part of this plot, his design incorporated temporal RNA sequencing, which vastly accelerated his maturation rate. Like his progenitor, Shinzon, as a child, was diagnosed with Shalaft's Syndrome, which made him hypersensitive to any kind of sound. He suffered until a Romulan physician could be found who was capable of treating rare human illnesses.
Not long after Shinzon was created, a new government came to power within the Romulan Star Empire and the Romulan Senate abandoned its plan, believing it to be too provocative an act if discovered. With no use for such a clone, the Empire exiled Shinzon from Romulus, sending him to work as a slave in the dilithium mines on Remus. Reviled by the Romulans working there, Shinzon became the target of abuse. In his time in the mines, he was severely beaten, having his nose and jaw broken by brutal Romulan guards. One Reman named Vkruk, however, took pity on Shinzon, teaching him strength and compassion; this man would become Shinzon's Viceroy in the conflict to follow.
In 2374, the Romulans declared war on the Dominion, joining the Federation and the Klingons in the Dominion War that lasted until 2375. Enlisting the aid of the slaves on Remus, the Romulan military drafted Shinzon, who quickly distinguished himself in battle and ascended the ranks. Like his Starfleet counterpart, Shinzon became regarded as a great tactician, leading twelve successful engagements against the Jem'Hadar.
Following the end of the Dominion War, Shinzon had both military experience and a capable army at his disposal. Forming an alliance with several Romulan officials, including Senator Tal'aura and Commanders Suran and Donatra, Shinzon vowed to free his Reman "brothers." Setting into motion a plan to overthrow the Romulan government, he and his henchmen constructed a massive warbird, the Scimitar. Operating out of a secret base, Shinzon and his people also developed a weapon that utilized deadly thalaron radiation. Deploying a small thalaron projector in the Romulan Senate, Shinzon was able to kill all the Senate members.
Shinzon's days, however, were numbered. Abandoned by his Romulan creators, Shinzon's temporal RNA aging program was never activated, and it began slowly breaking down his cellular structure. The only way for him to avoid death was to make a complete blood transfusion from the only genetically-compatible donor: Picard. Towards this end, Shinzon concocted an elaborate plot to lure the USS Enterprise-E (and, by extension, Picard) to Romulus. He planted the pieces of a Soong-type android, B-4, on Kolarus III, where he knew that the Enterprise-E would find it. As a result, the Enterprise-E was the closest starship available when Shinzon offered to open peace negotiations between the Federation and the Romulans, and Picard sailed directly into the trap.
Upon meeting Picard, Shinzon delayed his plans, having acquired an intense interest in his originator's history as well as the history of the Picard family. He also became smitten with Counselor Deanna Troi, who was the first human woman (albeit, only half-human) he had ever seen. During his first meeting with Picard and his crew, Shinzon remained hidden in the shadows (he and his Reman "brothers" were not comfortable in the light) and informed Picard of his intentions to negotiate peace with the Federation. After correctly guessing what Picard thought of such a negotiation, Shinzon revealed himself, shocking Picard who now realized he was facing a younger version of himself. Shinzon then cut his own hand with his knife and gave the knife to Lieutenant Commander Data to have Dr. Beverly Crusher examine his blood. Afterward, he invited Picard to dinner in the Romulan Senate, insisting that they had "much to discuss."
During dinner, Shinzon explained to Picard how and why he was created and his upbringing in the mines of Remus. He then asked with great curiosity about the history of the Picard family. Despite their obvious similarities, however, Picard was reluctant to forge a friendship with Shinzon and an alliance with his Romulan government until the Praetor had earned his trust. When Picard left, Shinzon was informed by Vkruk that they were wasting time and reminded the young clone of their mission.
Afterward, Shinzon and Vkruk returned to the Scimitar. Instead of proceeding with their mission, however, Shinzon had Vkruk form a telepathic link between Shinzon's mind and that of Counselor Troi's so that he could make love with her; this telepathic form of rape was a violation and traumatic experience for Troi, but would ultimately assist in Shinzon's downfall.
When further delay was unacceptable because of the accelerating deterioration of his condition, Shinzon ordered B-4 to be beamed aboard the Scimitar to download the data that the android had acquired from the Enterprise-E's computer. Afterward, Shinzon kidnapped Picard by transporting him from the Enterprise-E's sickbay to the Scimitar's brig. As soon as Shinzon left the brig, Picard managed to escape from the Scimitar with the help of Data, who had taken B-4's place, and left the Romulan system aboard the Enterprise-E at maximum warp. During the subsequent trip, Data assured Picard that Shinzon would not have been him even if the two had lived the same lives, because Picard had always aspired to better himself and his understanding of the universe around him, while Shinzon sought nothing but death and destruction for those who had "oppressed" him.
Desperate, Shinzon ordered the Scimitar to pursue the Enterprise-E, and launched an attack in the Bassen Rift, a region where subspace communications were unavailable. In the battle that ensued, Picard continued to elude capture with the assistance of Romulan reinforcements led by Donatra, who had betrayed Shinzon after realizing that Shinzon was planning mass genocide. She subsequently aided Picard in the Battle of the Bassen Rift until her ship, the IRW Valdore, was heavily damaged by a disruptor blast from the Scimitar.
For some time, the battle was in Shinzon's favor, due mostly to his ship's ability to fire while cloaked. Things changed, however, when Troi re-opened the telepathic link that was made between herself and Vkruk, allowing the Enterprise-E to pinpoint the Scimitar's exact location. With its cloak disabled, the Scimitar began taking damage, but Shinzon was not through yet. After the Enterprise-E's shields took extensive damage, Shinzon ordered Vkruk to lead a boarding party aboard the Enterprise-E to retrieve Picard; unfortunately, the boarding party was pinned down and Vkruk himself was killed by Commander later Captain William Riker in a maintenance shaft.
In whole, however, the battle was not going well for the Enterprise-E. Shinzon had nearly crippled the Federation starship and had even destroyed a section of its bridge, sending at least one Starfleet officer hurtling to his death. Overconfident, Shinzon had the Scimitar turn to face the battle-damaged Enterprise-E, but Picard turned the tables by ramming the Enterprise-E into the Scimitar. With both ships heavily damaged, Shinzon ordered his Reman officer to activate the thalaron weapon and to fire at the Enterprise-E. He then ordered the officer to take the Scimitar into Federation space and complete their mission once every living thing aboard the Enterprise-E was dead.
To stop the thalaron weapon from firing, Picard beamed himself over to the Scimitar. On the Scimitar's bridge, Picard managed to kill all Reman crewmembers with his phaser rifle. As Shinzon's condition worsened, he engaged Picard in a ferocious hand-to-hand battle which moved from the bridge itself to the thalaron radiation generator room. In the end, Shinzon was killed when Picard used a piece of wreckage to impale Shinzon as the clone lunged in for the kill. With his plans collapsing around him, the dying Shinzon used the last of his strength to pull himself down the makeshift spear and grab the captain by the throat so he could utter his last words: "Our destiny is complete."
As Picard stood in shock, realizing that he, his ship, and the Federation were doomed by the weapon, Data arrived and transported the captain back to the Enterprise-E. Data then fired his phaser at the thalaron generator, destroying himself and the Scimitar, and effectively concluding Shinzon's plan for galactic conquest.
- The earliest version of the script was written so that Patrick Stewart would have been playing Picard and Shinzon, and the final battle between the Enterprise and the Scimitar took place in the orbit of Earth.
- Jude Law, Michael Shanks and James Marsters were all considered for the role of Shinzon before Tom Hardy was cast.
- In an interview given years after this movie came out, Tom Hardy said that he took the role very seriously, as it was intended to be his big break. The commercial failure of the movie, and the response from long-time fans, apparently led to his relationship dissolving, his turning to alcohol, and considering suicide. It was only when he pulled himself together and starred in Bronson that he got over the film.
- According to the novelization, the name "Shinzon" is Reman for "liberator". This, however, was never referenced in the film.
- Shinzon is an actual Chinese name, chosen by screenwriter John Logan as it continues the trend of Chinese names for Romulan characters (as well as the new Reman characters). Logan admitted that he has absolutely no idea what the name actually means.
- The end of the film where Shinzon decides to unleash the thalaron device to destroy the Enterprise and Data's subsequent decision to destroy it, ultimately killing him, mirrors the end of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, where Khan decides to unleash the Genesis device on the Enterprise, in which Spock sacrifices himself to save the Enterprise.
- Since Nemesis is the final film of the TNG film series, Shinzon is the final boss of TNG as a whole.