Star Trek - The Wrath of Kahn



Spock dies.


Spock dies. Don't make me write a summary.


Who Killed Spock!?

Mr. Nimoy didn't like his experience filming Star Trek: The Motion Picture and had decided it was time to move on.


Who Killed Spock?!

Well, Mr. Nimoy said that it wasn't him who suggested Spock's death until he was blue in the face. For anyone who might still doubt his word, this Starlog interview with Jack Sowards from Feb. 1983, who admits to the deed, should settle it.

Though, Harve Bennett is also laying claim to the (in)famous idea in the second part of this interview:

When I first took the Star Trek assignment, one of the problems was that Leonard Nimoy had already written his book I Am Not Spock. He had publically put it out there that he’d never do Spock again. And one of my first challenges was to convince Leonard that he should come back, because it wouldn’t be Star Trek without him. I finally convinced him with a very simple, actor-proof argument. I said, “Leonard, if you come back, I’m going to give you the greatest death scene since Janet Leigh in Psycho. One third of the way into the picture, we’re going to kill you. The audience will be shocked. It will be the end of your problems with Spock and we will go on to complete the story.” He said, “That’s good. I like that.” So he signed on. For a variety of reasons, including Gene and the 100,000 letters the studio received from fans after it got out that we were going to kill off Spock, we couldn’t do it the way we planned. Hence a rewrite and when Nick Meyer, God bless him, came on board we found a way to extend Spock’s role. And it was much better, because I think Wrath of Khan might have been a failure if Spock had died one third of the way through it. So we got Wrath of Khan done, Nick Meyer was brilliant, and the rest is history.

And since we're on the subject of Spock's life and death and life, here's William Shatner's enthusiastic account of that historic moment when Mr. Nimoy hinted he'd stay with Star Trek:

He tells his stories so well that the audience ceases to ask questions and begins to ask for more stories. He obliged this request by telling the story behind the controversial death of Spock as depicted in ST 2. No other aspect of the film excited more pre-release criticism than Spock's planned demise: there were threats of boycotts by fans infuriated at what was, to them an incomprehensible decision. The anger was generated mostly at the thought of Star Trek without Spock. (Could there be a Star Trek without Spock?) Shatner explained the circumstances surrounding the decision.

"Leonard had had enough of Mr. Spock" he began. "Putting on the ears meant he had to come in an hour and a half early every morning. It was tedious. He had played the role as fully as he was going to and he felt that was enough. And he hadn't liked his experience on ST 1. So he said when ST 2 was contemplated, 'Look, I've had enough of Star Trek, it's not been good professionally, being known only as Mr. Spock. I want to do other things ... (as any actor would). Len said 'I didn't sign a life contract to play Mr. Spock and it's time for me to stop.'

"But Harve Bennett, who was coming in to produce the second movie, felt he needed Spock to create the mystique. The chemistry of Star Trek is such an unknown factor that to disturb it at all may be to ruin it. Nobody wants to touch that. Harve convinced Leonard to play Mr. Spock one more time and that he would kill the character, so he could leave the Star Trek films with the fans' approval. Even Leonard felt that would be the perfect solution to end his career as Spock.

"So, the death of Spock was written. However we wanted to keep it hidden. We didn't want to tell anybody Spock was going to die, essentially because the actor had decided that 15 years of being Mr. Spock was enough. Obviously, you couldn't blame him. You had to understand and love him.

"All right," continues Shatner, catching his breath. "We're in the middle of filming. We're having a ball and laughing with Nicholas Meyer, our director, pulling Nick's pants down. Things got to be fun and Leonard was joking with me. He loves Harve Bennett, the producer and everybody's so happy. So one day, I'm sitting in Leonard's dressing room and I say, 'You know, Len, this is going so well ... gosh ... why do you want to die?'

"Leonard looked at me. 'Who said I wanted to die?'

"I said,'You mean you'll come back?'

'Yeah,' he said, 'Listen, I'm having such a good time, maybe I won't die ... forever..."

"So me, the snitch, ran up to Harve Bennett and exclaimed, 'Guess what I've got to tell you!'

"Harve said, 'Go back to the set. You're on now.'

"'No,' I told him, 'You're going to want to hear this. Leonard just told me he wouldn't mind playing Spock again!'

"Well, Harve fell down. I picked him up and he fell down again, he was rather overcome. That was half way through the movie so we had to get clever and try to make it so even though he dies, we could bring him back to life.'

(Note: page 24 unfortuantely is missing)

ET Flashback: 'Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan'

Contains scenes of "Nimoy's final moments on the set when he's wrapped from the film." ET

Gif's from the above video and more goodies here.