Some fans have questioned the timeline behind Shinzon's creation. Shinzon is a biologic clone of a twenty-something Jean-Luc Picard and he has been aging at a regular rate. The Romulans had planned to speed up his growth, but their disinterest in doing so led to the horrible illness Shinzon began to suffer from. Now, if Shinzon really did grow up in normal time, that means he was created twenty years or so prior to Star Trek X: Nemesis which, in the Star Trek timeline, means that when the Romulans hatched their cloning scheme, Jean-Luc Picard was not even yet the captain of the Enterprise-D. Why did the Romulans have such an interest in Picard at this time in his career? Did they see great things coming for him? Or was this entire plan a long-shot to begin with?

It has been suggested that it would have been more feasible for the Romulans to have obtained a sample of Picard's DNA during the time he spent on Romulus in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Unification". After all, at this point in time Picard was the captain of the Federation flagship, making him a much more attractive cloning target than he would have been during his time on the USS Stargazer, his previous command.