Star Trek: 20 Things Wrong With Spock We All Choose To Ignore

From the second Star Trek aired, Mr. Spock has become one of television's most enduring icons. His trademark emotionless intensity has led the character through not only the original series, but also an animated spin-off, a movie franchise, a supporting television role, and a reboot. He will also appear in the franchise's newest show in 2019.

For a character so universally beloved, sometimes it can be hard to remember some of the darker or wackier character moments throughout his history. Everyone loves to remember the beautifully iconic moments of the character, but often look through rose-colored glasses at some of the questionable decisions the character has made throughout the years. These moments don't take away from the character but rather show the journey it took to make the character a pop culture legend while also showing the complexities that made him interesting in the first place.

So while you may think you have a pretty good handle on Earth's favorite Vulcan, there might be plenty of things that you have forgotten about, or maybe even flat-out ignored. It is very possible, considering the fact that many people tend to overlook any negative trait about who may be their favorite character.

Here are 20 Things Wrong With Spock We All Choose To Ignore.

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20 He Once Took Over The Enterprise

Spock and a Robot

Imagine being a normal crew member of the Enterprise, having a normal day, when all of a sudden the ship's first officer randomly decides to commandeer the vessel, fly it to a random location with no explanation, and then promptly give himself up. That's exactly what happens in the Star Trek two-parter "Menagerie." Spock receives a mysterious message that he claims is from the former Enterprise captain.

It turns out that Spock only had his former commander's best interests at heart. He's cleared of all crimes, Pike gets to kind of live a life again, and he and Kirk make up. Spock claims that he kept Kirk in the dark in order to keep him from being an accessory to his crimes. Still though, was there not a single more logical option than full-blown mutiny?

19 He Nearly ended Kirk

This scenario plays out much the same way as the first one did. It's a normal day on the Enterprise except for the fact that Spock has stopped eating and is acting erratically. Kirk confronts him and Spock only answers by saying he needs a leave of absence to go home. This is all well and good until they get orders to go somewhere else. Unfortunately, Spock doesn't care about orders and sends the Enterprise to Vulcan instead.

It turns out that the cause for this is just that Spock is going through a massive mood swing called pon farr. The more logical thing would've probably been to be upfront about that before committing mutiny, but whatever, Kirk doesn't hold grudges. The crew makes it to Vulcan and they become involved in a surprisingly complicated mating ceremony that ultimately involves a famous duel to the between Kirk and Spock, and Spock almost eliminates him completely.

18 no one cared when he came back

Spock's death in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan may be one of the most iconic moments of the entire franchise, but his resurrection in the sequel often gets overlooked. The extremely advanced medical science of the Federation may have cured many ailments but they still have yet to fully conquer death. Except for that one time, the first Vulcan officer in Starfleet's history was resurrected on the Genesis planet. Spock is slowly reborn, gets rescued by his friends and regains his consciousness.

Despite this, the incident is never mentioned again. Had Starfleet more securely researched the effects of the Genesis Wave, endings like Tasha Yar and Jadzia Dax could've been cured as easily as the common cold. Instead, Starfleet just put more energy into its massive "Uniform Design" department.

17 He Forcibly Mind Melded

On the first viewing of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, the scene where Spock pulls Kim Cattrall's Lt. Valeris into a mind meld against her will, it seems like an appropriate action to resolve the conspiracy that was threatening peace in the galaxy. It was just a harmless psychic interrogation, right? After watching the Star Trek: Enterprise episode, "Fusion", the scene seems a lot darker. In this episode, T'Pol is similarly held in a mind meld despite attempting to resist. This time though, we get to see the ramifications of such an act on a Vulcan. T'Pol contracts Pa'Nar Syndrome because of the incident. Not only is the disease potentially fatal, but it is also considered a mark of shame in the Vulcan community.

This makes the scene with Spock and Valeris particularly disturbing. Despite it being the turning point in resolving the Klingon peace negotiations, one can't help but imagine the long-term effects that it had on Valeris afterward. It does make one thankful that the incident didn't happen with Lt. Saavik from the previous movies.

16 He Tried To Overthrow A Foreign Government

Spock from Star Trek in his dress uniform

In the Star Trek: The Next Generation two-parter "Unification", Captain Picard and Data go on an undercover mission to find Spock on Romulus. At the time, he was assigned to Romulus as an Ambassador. He is missing and most suspect the Romulans have abducted or harmed him in some way. The truth, however, is far different.

When Picard and Data are taken off of the streets of Romulus, they finally encounter Spock who was never captured by the Romulan government, but instead is assisting a Romulan rebellion. His attempts to bring Romulus and Vulcan back together may have been noble, but they are definitely questionable. He acts without the Federation's consent to try to overthrow a foreign power that they are in a cold war with, and it ends up backfiring.

15 He Promised To Save Romulus (And He Failed)

Years after "Unification", Spock became involved with another massive threat against the Romulan government. This time, however, it was a nearby star threatening to destroy the planet, not a rebellion. To his credit, the ambassador did think he could save the planet. He even went so far as to promise a certain Captain Nero that he would save his people. This promise was proved to be arrogance when the star went supernova early, obliterating the planet.

This not only drove Nero mad, but also broke a hole in space-time due to Spock's use of Red Matter. Nero and Spock both traveled into an alternate past where Nero possessed Red Matter along with advanced technology from the future. He uses that technology to kill Kirk's father (and nearly Kirk himself) and to permanently alter the timeline's history. He then made Spock watch as he used his own technology to destroy Vulcan this time.

14 He Interfered With A New Timeline

Best Movie Sidekicks Mr Spock

Spock then took it upon himself to alter the Kelvin timeline further. Time travel and alternate universe ethics are always questionable in the franchise. The Prime Directive prohibits them from interfering in such things but they frequently do. He goes on to save Captain Kirk from a monster and then gives Kirk and Scotty a lot of advanced knowledge from the future. He essentially robs Scotty of his most famous accomplishment just to get them on the Enterprise. After Kirk and the crew save the universe from Nero, Spock makes another big no-no in introducing himself to his Kelvin counterpart.

He even goes so far as to tell Spock details about how the original crew stopped Khan when the villain shows up in the Kelvin timeline. (He does not explain, however, why Khan is all of a sudden a white British character actor.) Prime Spock may play fast and loose with Federation ethics, but he's not the only one...

13 He Nearly took down Kirk (Again)

After Kelvin Spock watched his planet get destroyed, he got understandably emotional. When Kirk rightfully questioned Spock's command decisions, Spock decided not to put him in the brig for mutiny, but to rather maroon him on a hostile alien planet with little chance for survival. Kirk was almost immediately eaten by a giant ice monster until he is ironically saved by another version of the same person who put him in danger in the first place.

If that isn't bad enough, Prime Spock convinces Kirk that the only way to save the day is to provoke the much stronger and emotionally compromised Kelvin Spock into a physical confrontation. He does so and it does not go well. Not only does Spock lose his cool, but he beats Kirk to a pulp with almost no effort.

12 He Never Mentioned His Sister

Spock's family has always been depicted as tense since the first appearance of his father, Sarek. The newest series, Star Trek: Discovery continues that trend by introducing a mysterious new member of the quirky Vulcan/Human household, his half-sister Michael Burnham. It's amazing that in all of his screen time, Spock never once thought to mention he was connected to such an infamous Starfleet officer.

Maybe the series will end with Michael's unfortunate demise or her erasure from the timeline. His appearance in 2019 will almost surely shed light on why this is. Smart money says that the explanation will likely fit right along with this list. While it may be odd for most people to never mention famous siblings, it seems to be a trend with Spock. Though it's a lot harder to chastise him for not wanting to talk about the oddball of the family.

11 He Never Mentioned His Brother

Star Trek V: The Final Frontier is arguably thought of as the worst of the original film series. While there are many factors that make the film a far cry from its Wrath of Khan glory days, the main reason the movie is so widely panned is the inclusion of Spock's long-lost brother, Sybok. Sybok is quite different from his famous father and brother.

Instead of finding peace in logic and serenity, he instead chooses to embrace his emotions and commits himself to a mission of locating the one and only God.  While Sybok redeemed himself in the end by sacrificing his own life, it's much less hard to imagine why Spock never spoke about his elder half-brother.

10 He Refused To Forgive His Father

It's clear by now that the Sarek clan doesn't exactly meet regularly for the Vulcan equivalent of Thanksgiving every year. While his relationships with his siblings are definitely strange, the one he had with his father was by far the worst. The two are shown being cold to one another almost all the time. Sarek is a famous Vulcan ambassador who seems ashamed that his half-human son chose to join the Federation instead of the Vulcan Science Academy.

In The Next Generation, an almost gone Sarek is shown to feel great remorse for the distance between him and his son, but Spock doesn't care. Luckily, he manages to find a bit of that when Picard offers to share what remains of Sarek in his own mind with Spock. When they mind meld, Spock is shown to be visibly emotional as he is confronted by his father's true feelings.

9 He Tried To Have Kirk Expelled

The Kobayashi Maru test is the most famous thing about Starfleet Academy. It's an unwinnable test that's meant to teach humility and grace. So, naturally, Kirk cheats it. What started as a throwaway bit at the beginning of Wrath Of Khan turns into a big plot point in the 2009 reboot. In this version, it is revealed that Spock is the one who designed the test. Naturally, Spock is not too happy about this punk kid cheating all his hard work. In typical Star Trek fashion, the only way to deal with this minor academic issue is to have a huge tribunal with an Admiral as the judge.

Spock attacks Kirk in the hearing, even throwing his emotional connection to his dead father in his face. This emotional attack proves to be bitterly ironic when Kirk uses the same tactic to steal the bridge from him. This whole incident is completely forgiven by the end of the movie.

8 He Had His Brain Stolen (And Was Fine)

"Spock's Brain" is a pretty odd episode. A woman beams aboard the Enterprise, stuns the crew, steals Spock's brain, uses it as basically a low tech OS, and then Kirk and Bones save the day. Roll credits. For anyone else, having your brain forcibly removed would be a traumatic experience, but Spock seems pretty okay about it.

The man lived through a Rob Zombie movie and is just back to playing 3D chess the next day. Also, why would a culture that has technology so advanced that they can incapacitate the entire Enterprise crew, but they need to harvest a brain because they can't come up with a simple computing system?

7 he does not like Humans

Kirk and Spock may be the more famous pals, but Spock and McCoy are almost as famous frienemies.  They've got fun banter that openly reflects the contrasting views of an emotionless alien and a passionate human. However, almost every interaction between them has at least one reference to Spock's green Vulcan blood or the fact that McCoy's silly humanity makes him much more susceptible to his emotions.

This didn't seem weird at the time, and the show does age much better than most of its 60's contemporaries. One can't really imagine an episode of Next Generation where Crusher talks about how needlessly aggressive Worf is. Not unless she wants a speech from Picard about harmony.

6 He Joined Starfleet As An Insult To His People

For a people who claim to be fully motivated by logic alone, the Vulcans frequently make decisions based on bias and bitterness. They exemplified this when they insulted Spock to his face, during his hearing to determine whether he would enter the Vulcan Science Academy. So Spock, having been brazenly insulted by an educational body, uses his logical upbringing to turn the other cheek and continue on with his goal of joining the science academy.

No, he stares them down and basically tells them where they can shove their academy. It's a pretty awesome moment, but it plays pretty hypocritically when he rants on about logic in the face of extreme pressure in Kirk's tribunal.

5 He wrecked Michael Burnham's Future

Michael had a very similar childhood to Spock's. They both were shamed mercilessly for their human heritage. Both of them rose above that prejudice to become exceptional students worthy of the Science Academy.

Unfortunately, the Academy is only interested in one weird human/Vulcan kid at a time. They give Sarek the option of which child he'd choose. Sarek chose Spock over Michael, crushing all of Michael's dreams and hard work. So Michael ends up being forced into Starfleet to appease the Vulcans and her father. If Spock had only made up his mind earlier, Michael would've been able to go where she wanted. She would've avoided her mutiny and her criminal sentence.

4 He Betrayed Kirk For Pike

Spock's mutiny didn't just show his willingness to break Federation rules, it also brought into question where Spock's true loyalty lies. Kirk and Spock are widely thought of as the ultimate bffs of the franchise, but in truth, we don't see much of Spock and his original Captain. It almost seems as though there is a father/son style bond between the two.

Is Pike just the stand-in father for every Starfleet officer with parental baggage? That scene where Pike judges Sulu for not being able to start the Enterprise does seem familiar. It seems we'll have to wait for Discovery to reunite Spock and Pike in 2019 before we can really know which bromance is superior.

3 He Had A Secret relationship With Uhura

While the sequels did very little to expand on the plot line, the initial Spock/Uhura pairing in 2009's reboot was very controversial. In the original show, Spock was stoic to a fault. He repeatedly rejected the romantic advancements of more than one love-struck lady during the series. That's why it was so surprising to see him and Uhura sneaking kisses in the turbo lift.

It's strange that no one seems particularly bothered by it either. Especially considering the fact that he assigned her to her position. We bet there were several communications officers who were none too happy about how that went down. Still, it would've been an interesting concept for the writers to explore further.

2 He Never Rescued Kirk From The Nexus

When Spock seemingly passed, Kirk defied every order and sense of logical reasoning he had to save his old friend. He sacrificed his ship, his career, and very nearly his life to get his first officer back. He showed Spock that his life was worth more to his makeshift family than just the amount of people he could save. When Kirk seemingly passed, Spock...well, didn't do anything. Kirk was presumed dead but he was actually safe and sound, riding horses in the Nexus. Had Spock been the one to rescue Kirk, perhaps the two could've resumed their best friend space adventures in a new century.

Instead, Picard gives Kirk a lecture about duty and drags him off to an alien planet like some kind of nameless redshirt. The death has long been held as one of the low points for the entire franchise and Spock could've saved us from it!

1 He took down Khan

Khan Noonien Singh is about as formidable as Trek villains get. He has enhanced strength, is a tactical genius, and is pure evil. So it's kind of crazy to think that Spock beat the quintessential Trek supervillain into a pulp. In the original show, Spock was always the stoic one and Kirk was the man of action. After watching Star Trek Into Darkness, you get the feeling that those roles should've been reversed.

Watch that fight again and then watch the Gorn fight and decide which one of them should be the ship's designated combatant. On top of that, in Star Trek: Discovery we see Michael Burnham wrecking people left and right with her Vulcan kung fu. It's safe to assume that Spock had the same training. In his fight with Khan, however, he doesn't use these martial arts. He's pretty much just using straight rage to take down his opponent.


Are there any other things you think fans choose to ignore about Spock in Star Trek? Let us know in the comments!

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