While the non-serialized nature of Next Generation meant that Picard got over being Locutus by the end of season four’s second episode, the trauma of the event was revisited in the movie First Contact and in the first two seasons of Picard. We’ve seen the Borg return in one form or another in each of these properties, and with them, their attempt to bring Locutus back into the fold.
With its emphasis on the Changelings, the prime antagonists during the Dominion War shown on Deep Space Nine, it seemed like Locutus and the Borg were in the rearview, save for Shaw’s memorable Quint moment. But a number of fans, ranging from users on Reddit to the hit Star Trek podcast Greatest Trek have theorized that the Changelings want to bring back Locutus for their own ends. And the theory seems plausible!
One Reddit user proposes that Locutus would have the same regenerating capabilities as the Borg Queen, something that could be of interest to those Changelings who did not receive the cure for the bio-weapon the Federation unleashed on them during the Dominion War: “These Changelings were absent from the Great Link when Odo delivered the cure to the morphogenic virus, so they are still infected. They managed to come up with ways to survive, but it has drastically affected their shapeshifting abilities (remember, Odo’s constant shapeshifting while working with Kira and Damar accelerated his condition).”
“At some point, these Changelings met up with a piece of functioning Borg technology that contains an exact copy of Locutus. Remember, the Queen has been killed at least 3 or 4 times and always comes back more or less the same. Locutus was intended to be her counterpart, and thus was preserved the same way,” Reddit user Captain_Strongo continues. “Locutus offers the Changelings a chance to be able to ‘link’ together again–as a collective. But to do that, he needs a physical body with compatible Borg nanoprobes. The Changelings stole Picard’s body, but maybe there’s something insufficient about it, so Locutus orders the Changelings to bring Jack instead.”
A climactic final battle between our synth Jean-Luc and a reborn Locutus would certainly fit with this season’s theme of legacy. Although a very dark chapter in his life that haunts him in retirement, Locutus is very much a part of what Jean-Luc has left behind for future generations to reckon with. We see how it’s affected Shaw and has shaped his worldview, particularly the way he feels about Seven of Nine, and how it changed Commander Sisko‘s life on Deep Space Nine. Finally confronting what is arguably the darkest villain of The Next Generation era could be a proper send-off for the Starfleet hero.
Another Reddit user posits that Locutus 2.0 could be the latest in a long line of evil AI in Star Trek, not unlike Control or Landru: “Baddie is a Locutus and evil AI (AGMUS, Control, Landru, Peanut Hamper, whatever) combined together. Similar to Picard, Locutus is without a body and has combined with an evil AI to exist. That’s why they stole Picard’s body for Locutus. As well as Jack Crusher for the evil AI so they can have physical form.”