“Blue Skies” by Irving Berlin
Originally Data’s wedding present to Will Riker and Deanna Troi (in honor of their “conjugation”) as performed during the reception was a fun little beat in, well, one of the Next Generation films. I honestly really like this moment in the movie (certainly more than much of what follows) even if a hung-over Worf doesn’t appreciate it much.
The surprising part about it though is that the song “Blue Skies” has since become a poignant almost-leitmotif for the life of Data. At the end of STAR TREK: NEMESIS, it reappears as the child-like B4 recalls some of the lyrics in a sort-of duet with Captain Picard. Just like the original performance, I really enjoy this moment. Say what you will about the film in between, this bookend works for me. Every time.
But we’re not done yet. Because 18 years later we were given season one of Star Trek: Picard. And in a call-back I don’t think anyone would have predicted, we see another version of Data wanting nothing more than to have his existence allowed to end. And the choice of music for that final scene? It’s “Blue Skies” once again, this time wonderfully performed by Isa Briones (who played Data’s daughters Dahj and Soji). While I have issues with a lot of the conclusion of that season, this moment 100% worked for me, and Briones’s performance is wonderfully affecting.