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Mr. Spock

From Academic Kids

This article is about the Star Trek character Mr. Spock. For other uses of the name, see Spock.

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Mr. Spock was one of the most famous fictional characters to be introduced in the original Star Trek television series. He is half human and half Vulcan, played by Leonard Nimoy.

Contents

Biography

Spock is the son of the Vulcan ambassador Sarek and his human wife Amanda Grayson. Although Spock identified himself as Vulcan, he had an ongoing internal conflict between the reason and logic of his Vulcan half and the emotion and intuition of his human half. By human standards, however, he was incredibly logical and utterly unflappable in the face of danger.

According to an episode of the original series ("This Side of Paradise"), Spock has a first name which is unpronounceable by humans. However if 'Spock' is his family name, it raises the question of why his father does not share it. It's worth noting, however, that there are a number of elements of Vulcan society that were revised both during the original series, and in subsequent films and spin-off series; to date this is the only occasion in which a Vulcan's "second name" is acknowledged.

In his youth, Spock was subject to considerable harassment by his peers as a "half-breed" and he was deeply conflicted what path to follow. To prove himself, he prematurely underwent an important coming of age trial without parent's knowledge, but his pet sehlat, I-Chaya insisted on accompaigning him against his guardian's wishes. During the trial, a dangerous beast attacked the pair and I-Chaya was seriously wounded fighting it. Although they were saved by a relative who had followed them (Actually the adult Spock himself who had gone back in time to save himself at this moment), I-Chaya needed immediate medical attention. Although Spock was able to bring a healer, the sehlat was beyond meaningful aid when he arrived. When presented with the options of a painful extended life or a merciful release, Spock logically chose to have I-Chaya eunthenized. That decision marked his commitment to follow the philosophies of Surak and the Vulcan ideals of logic and strict emotional control.

Nearly Spock's entire Starfleet career — he joined Starfleet against his father's wishes — was spent serving onboard a single ship, the famous USS Enterprise. He served for nearly eleven years under Captain Christopher Pike. Publications from the producers of the Original Series indicate that Spock's "backstory" had him assigned to the Enterprise while still a Cadet, and that he was later commissioned an Ensign and subsequently promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Junior Grade. The first time the viewing audience saw Spock he was a full Lieutenant, serving as a junior science officer onboard the Enterprise (Star Trek: The Cage).

Spock's first temporary command was in 2254 when he ordered the evacuation of the Enterprise from Talos IV, after all of the senior officers had been kidnapped by the hostile inhabitants. In the late 2260s, Spock was promoted to Lieutenant Commander and assigned as the Executive Officer and Science Officer of the Enterprise under Captain James T. Kirk (Star Trek: The Original Series). By 2268, Spock had risen in rank to a full Commander. He resigned his commission in 2270 in order to return to Vulcan and undergo training for the Kolinahr discipline.

In 2271 Spock returned to active duty and was reinstated as a Commander and posted as Science Officer to the USS Enterprise. Following the V'ger crisis (chronicled in Star Trek: The Motion Picture), and the loss of Enterprise Executive Officer, Captain Willard Decker, Spock apparently assumed the post of First Officer and Science Officer of the USS Enterprise. It is assumed that another mission of exploration followed this event, however this has yet to be established into canon.

A number of years later, the Enterprise was assigned as a training vessel for Starfleet Academy. Spock was promoted to Captain and assigned as the Commanding Officer of the USS Enterprise as Kirk resumed his duties as an admiral in Starfleet Command. In 2282, Spock was temporarily relieved of command during the Genesis Crisis (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan), when Admiral James Kirk took command of the Enterprise as per Starfleet regulations in order to combat Khan Noonien Singh. During that mission, Spock was killed in action after he entered an antimatter chamber without a protective suit. He did this in a successful emergency effort to bring the ship's warp engines online just in time to allow the Enterprise to escape the explosion of the Genesis Device, which would create the planet Genesis.

It was later discovered that Spock had transferred his katra, or spiritual essence, to the brain of a shipmate, Dr. Leonard McCoy, at death. In an honorary space burial Spock's body was enclosed in a torpedo and fired onto the rapidly forming Genesis planet. Thanks to the unique environment of the planet (the work of the Genesis Project) his body was actually "re-birthed" on the planet and it was recovered and his katra returned to it in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. (The nature of the katra was further explored in Star Trek: Enterprise; see the main article on Vulcans for more about the katra.)

Following Spock's rebirth, he completed an accelerated training program and was reinstated as a Captain in Starfleet. (Although never explained on screen, it is assumed that Spock's original personality and memories from his katra somehow reasserted themselves following a brief period of disorientation and amnesia.) In 2286, after the "Whale Song Incident", he was assigned as the Executive Officer of the USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-A) (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home), although he retained the rank of captain. Spock remained as the Enterprise Executive Officer for the next seven years. During this time, he participated in a historic journey to the center of the galaxy (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier) and also was a key figure in forming the lasting alliance with the Klingon Empire (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country).

Sometime after the decomissioning of the NCC-1701-A, Spock retired from Starfleet service and entered the Federation Diplomatic Corps. His activities and whereabouts over the next 70-75 years are a matter of conjecture, but in the early 2370s, Spock was seen outside his then-role as Federation ambassador on the Romulan homeworld of Romulus. He was attempting to bring about a peace between the Romulans and Vulcans, healing a rift between the two peoples thousands of years old. (Star Trek: The Next Generation "Unification Parts I and II") (Vulcans and Romulans are the same species; Romulans left the planet Vulcan after refusing to accept Surak's logical philosophy.) Spock's whereabouts after this event are unknown, although he was referred to on a couple of occasions. It's possible that his work may have been responsible for the improving relations between the Federation and the Romulans (Star Trek Nemesis), however nothing has been established in canon as yet. As far as we know, Spock remained on Romulus.

Personal Life

Spock had an older half-brother, Sybok, who eschewed pure logic, resembling the relationship between Data and Lore; Sybok was presumably killed on the planet Sha-Ka-Ree when a creature Sybok thought was God turned out to be a malevolent entity. He may also have been married, as Captain Jean-Luc Picard once observed that he had met Sarek at "his son's wedding". After the death of Amanda, Sarek remarried another human woman, Perrin, who became Spock's step-mother, even though she was considerably younger than Spock.

Missing image
Tv_guide_50_greatest.jpg
Spock was named one of the 50 greatest TV characters ever by TV Guide.

In the Star Trek novel Yesterday's Son, Spock is revealed to have fathered a son while trapped in the past on the subsequently destroyed planet Sarpeidon. Using the Guardian of Forever, Spock travels back in time to rescue his son Zar. However, Zar returns to the past after helping Spock defeat a Romulan plot. In the sequel, Time for Yesterday, Zar returns to the present to help Spock repair the malfunctioning Guardian of Forever. Zar returns to the past at the end of the novel, but also reveals he is sterile, precluding any possibility of grandchildren for Spock. (Note: these novels are not considered to be canon and therefore may someday be contradicted by future television or film scriptwriters. In addition, another non-canonical novel, Vulcan's Heart features the marriage of Spock and Saavik, suggesting potential future offspring.)

Many fans believe that Spock is the first Vulcan to join Starfleet, a fact that appears to be contradicted by the series Star Trek: Enterprise; in fact, there is no reference to Spock being the first. It has been suggested that he is the first to graduate from Starfleet Academy, however. Note: some official documentation from Paramount such as the startrek.com (http://www.startrek.com) website support the first-Vulcan-in-Starfleet theory, as do some original Trek novels, however these sources are not considered canon, only what is shown on screen. There is also some uncertainty whether the Starfleet seen in Enterprise is the same entity seen in Star Trek: The Original Series and later series.

Various episodes of TOS revealed different facets of Spock's personality and abilities. For example, "The Omega Glory" revealed that Spock had the ability to exercise limited control over the minds of others—an ability never again exhibited by any Vulcan. This, combined with Spock's ability to transfer his katra, has led some to speculate that Spock possessed more advanced mental and psychic abilities than average Vulcans. TOS also revealed that Spock is an accomplished musician, adept at playing a form of Vulcan harp. He also (in "Requiem for Methuselah") displayed advanced knowledge of classical music. He also possessed enthusiasm for three-dimensional chess.

In popular culture, particularly among non-fans of the series, Mr. Spock is often misnamed Dr. Spock and is confused with the real-life physician Dr. Benjamin Spock. Trek creator Gene Roddenberry denied that he named the character after the real-life Spock; he was simply looking for an alien-sounding name.

Trivia

External links

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