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Star Trek’s Spock - what happened after TOS and the sci fi movies?

Spock is one of the best Star Trek characters throughout the franchise's timeline. Let's explore what happened to the half-Vulcan after the sci fi series.

Spock explained in Star Trek. Leonard Nimoy as Spock

What happened to Spock after his adventures in TOS and his final Prime timeline Star Trek movie? 

Spock is, unarguably, the single most iconic character from Star Trek‘s history. Originally portrayed by Leonard Nimoy, the half-Vulcan science officer stood alongside Shatner’s Kirk at the helm of the USS Enterprise in the first Star Trek series and in the six subsequent Star Trek movies. Since then, things have gotten messy.

Nimoy returned as Spock at a later point in the Star Trek timeline in order to usher in the new Kelvin era of movies. Now, we’ve got the prequel series Strange New Worlds, which explores Spock’s first adventures on the Enterprise as a Lieutenant under the command of Captain Pike. But, after his adventures in TOS and the films, what happens to Spock? Let’s unpack the lesser-known adventures of the best Star Trek character with an explainer on what happened to Spock.

What happened to Spock after the Original Series?

After Spock served alongside Captain Kirk on the famous five-year mission of the USS Enterprise, Spock resigned from Starfleet.

Leaving his career behind him, he returned to the planet Vulcan in order to purge himself of his emotions through the Kolinahr ritual.

Spock left Kirk and Bones behind, despite his friendship and attachment to his former colleagues. In fact, it may have been the pressures and strains of the five-year mission – and his growing relationships with his crew – which saw Spock make the decision to leave Starfleet, as it was leading to too much-uncontrolled emotion.

Spock and Kirk in The Wrath of Khan

However, after some years on Vulcan, just as Spock was about to undergo the Kolinahr ritual, he felt the presence of V’Ger. This made Spock realize he was needed back in Starfleet alongside Kirk (now an Admiral). He rejoined the crew of the Enterprise to help deal with the V’Ger crisis, and the half-Vulcan was vital in solving the dilemma.

Now back in Starfleet, in between the events of The Motion Picture and The Wrath of Khan, Spock was promoted to the rank of Captain. He commanded the USS Enterprise like his friend Kirk before him, where he oversaw the training of new Starfleet cadets.

Spock died in the culmination of Kirk’s confrontation with Khan, before being resurrected with the help of Bones and Kirk in Star Trek III. His adventures in the Star Trek movies continued alongside his crew, and he remained in Starfleet becoming an unofficial ambassador to the Klingons after the destruction of Praxis. Along with Gorkon, he played a pivotal role in securing peace between the Federation and the Klingon Empire.

Leonard Nimoy as Spock in The Voyage Home

Spock’s life after the TOS Star Trek movies and in TNG

After the events of The Undiscovered Country, Spock continued to pivot his career toward diplomacy. He became an official Federation Ambassador, like his father, Sarek.

In the year 2368, Spock led an unofficial diplomatic mission to Romulus, attempting to de-escalate tension and unify the Romulan and Vulcan peoples after years of violent hostility.

Though he undertook the mission independently (unwilling to risk the life of his Federation colleagues after the near-death of Kirk in The Undiscovered Country), Captain Picard and Data became unintentionally involved.

The mission was unsuccessful. However, Spock remained resolute in his intentions, and the Romulans and Vulcans did eventually reunify long after his death, as seen in Discovery.

Spock and the Kelvin timeline

Over two decades later, Spock attempted to save Romulus and the Romulans from their star going supernova in 2387.

Using red matter, he intended to create a black hole that would consume the star prior to its explosion. He was too late, but he created a black hole anyway to protect other planets.

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Spock was successful here, but the resulting black hole consumed him and his starship, the Jellyfish. He was transported to the alternate reality of the Kelvin timeline, where he remained until his eventual death. Sadly, there was no Kirk and Bones around to save him this time.

Leonard Nimoy as Spock in The Voyage Home

If you want more on Star Trek, check out our guide to the Star Trek movies in order. You can also find out why Nimoy said The Voyage Home was inspired by TOS’ best episode, and how he came up with the Vulcan salute.

If that’s not enough, see what’s going on with the Star Trek Strange New Worlds season 3 release date and the Lower Decks season 4 release date. You can also see our ranking of the Star Trek captains, including Spock.