There is no doubt that Spock, the original iconic Vulcan, is one of the most popular Star Trek characters in existence. In Season 2, Star Trek: Discovery is making a bold move by adding this pointy-eared scientist to the cast. It's not that crazy of a leap, though. After all, they already made the main character, Michael Burnham, his adoptive sister.
With Spock impending, fans will be on the edge of their seats to see what the show does with him. This is a major power move that could skyrocket Discovery into greatness or into the abyss. But first, they have to combat what all prequel series have faced since Star Trek: Enterprise: staying traditional or going for the retcon. So far, the show has an fairly equal mix of the Spock fans adore and new sides of his character to enjoy. Here are 5 Things They Kept The Same About Spock (And 5 Things They Changed).
10 KEPT: DADDY ISSUES
Despite his suppressed emotions, Spock has always had a complex relationship with his father. He's always wanted to be more like him and make him proud, yet also forge his own path between humanity and Vulcan. Sarek's own lack of emotions don't help that situation. Both brilliant men have never quite seen eye to eye.
When it comes to Star Trek: Discovery, Spock and Sarek seem no different. Spock is pressing on doing what he thinks is best and Sarek is the renowned Vulcan ambassador that he always is. One on a lone, wayward mission to save the universe and the other with other council-members on their homeworld, they are as far apart as ever.
9 CHANGED: HIS FAMILY
Throughout all of The Original Series and on, Spock was the younger sibling of his full-Vulcan brother, Sybok. However, they were fairly estranged since they didn't share the same mothers. Other than that, he was basically an only child.
His adopted sister, Michael Burnham, is a new addition to the Vulcan family. As the main character of Star Trek: Discovery, her past is pretty important to the series. It'll be fascinating to explain why Spock never talks about such a unique sibling. If it's anything like Sybok, their estrangement will just keep his past under wraps.
8 KEPT: CLASSIC COLOR PALETTE
Other than the Star Trek films where Spock is an Admiral or an elderly ambassador, he's kept the exact same color palette. The half-Vulcan is fond of his array of blues mixed in with some blacks to match his hair. While his jacket is a darker blue, it still fits those classic Spock colors that all fans are accustomed to.
With such a younger Spock with a scruffier, disheveled look, keeping those common colors is almost necessary. After all, he needs to still in some ways resemble the Spock everyone knows and loves. Only time will tell what else about his has changed or stayed the same.
7 CHANGED: FACIAL HAIR
In Star Trek: Discovery, the new ominous figure in the background is the Red Angel. Somehow, Spock is connected to the entity and has visions of them. These visions have left him harrowed and haunted, on a constant quest to figure out what this Red Angel is and how to stop its path of destruction. When he meets up with the Discovery crew, that only gets more complicated.
As directors and creators have discussed, Spock's new facial hair is there to represent the chaos going on in his mind. Without Starfleet's rigid order and on a trek of his own, Spock is not the polished, wise Vulcan many fans know. Not yet, at least. Between his unchecked emotions and beard, Spock's journey will be a roller coaster.
6 KEPT: AMANDA GRAYSON'S INFLUENCE
Throughout Spock's life, his mother always was a great influence on him. At his most Vulcan, he still relied on her guidance and it led him to Starfleet instead of Vulcan avenues. Furthermore, it's why he intelligently tries to face his emotions head on instead of suppressing them. As a half-human, Vulcan tactics don't always work as effectively so her influence is very important.
With what Star Trek: Discovery has shown of Amanda Grayson, she's no different here. Her influence will be vital as Spock and Burnham try to work together to hunt the Red Angel. Her gentle, motherly kindness may even be the only connection that brings the two siblings together.
5 CHANGED: STARFLEET EMPLOYMENT
Even in the Abrams Star Trek films, the only Spock fans know is in Starfleet. He's a brilliant officer that provides logical advice for any passionate captain. However, now in Star Trek: Discovery, Spock will be on his own. Instead of on a Starfleet bridge, the crew will find him in a lone shuttle trying to explore the galaxy and save it from the Red Angel's dangerous mysteries.
This Vulcan in Starfleet is a dedicated, order-driven second-in-command that makes calls for the greater good. While this new version of Spock is doing things for the greater good, it's clear there is much less order and logic to it this time. When it comes to the Red Angel, he relies more on mystical visions and heroism.
4 KEPT: HIS HEROISM
Despite his rigid, logical mind, Spock doesn't just pick the safest options. More often than not, if the only risk is to himself, he's more likely to play the hero. After all, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.
This iconic Vulcan has risked his career, safety, and life several times to protect innocent people and his crew. The most well-known example of this is when, in The Wrath Of Khan, Spock sacrifices himself to save the ship, and by extension, his crew. True to form, in Discovery Spock is on a dangerous venture to save the galaxy from the Red Angel. No matter how his emotions sway, he always is a hero. It's a defining characteristic of his personality.
3 CHANGED: SAREK SUPPORTS HIM (AND REGRETS IT)
For most of the various series Spock has shown up in, the rift between his father and him comes from a lack of connection and support. Many times, his son would make decisions and Sarek would either remain indifferent or ignore them. Even when he was proud, he wouldn't share that with Spock. Often, his role as an ambassador made him feel as if it got in the way. Their different emotional levels and Sarek's dedication to impartiality kept them apart.
However, in Star Trek: Discovery, not only did Sarek support Spock in an academic venture but he later regretted it. This complicates things and makes their relationship even more strained than ever before.
2 KEPT: STRUGGLE BETWEEN EMOTION AND LOGIC
Though an older Spock has found tranquility between emotion and logic, imbalance plagued his younger years. As a Vulcan, he struggled with the increased emotions he inherited. As a human, he wrestled with suppressing things that felt natural. Between the two, it was an absolute mess.
When it comes to Discovery's Spock, it seems he's still struggling with that balance. He may know the Vulcan tactics to suppress and supersede emotion, but his frustrations with family still bubble over from time to time. Fans will have to see how Burnham brings out the best and worst in him.
1 CHANGED: VISIONS OF THE RED ANGEL
Spock's childhood has always been characterized as trying to fit a many sided shape into a round hole. He desperately wanted to fit perfectly into Vulcan culture, but never quite perfected it. This shines best in his relationships to his parents. With his mother he wanted to be affectionate but couldn't, and he wanted some level of attention and support from his father and didn't get it.
Meanwhile, there never once was a story about his visions of a Red Angel. This is possibly the largest retcon Discovery is doing with Spock. A estranged sister might get avoided in conversation, or a period away from Starfleet. But continuous visions of a destructive Red Angel and eventually meeting it? You'd think that would come up eventually.