Star Trek Guide

Star Trek: Spock's Disappearance Is A Mystery In Picard

By the late-24th-century era of Star Trek: Picard, Ambassador Spock (Leonard Nimoy) has disappeared, and it's very likely the United Federation of Planets has no idea what actually happened to the legendary Vulcan. The new CBS All-Access series starring Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard hinges upon a pivotal event in Star Trek: the Romulan supernova, which was introduced in J.J. Abrams' 2009 Star Trek movie. Star Trek: Picard establishes that Jean-Luc led a historic mission to save the Romulan people from the supernova, which was curtailed when the rescue armada under construction on Mars was destroyed by rogue androids. However, Spock himself took on the mission to stop the supernova before he vanished.

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By combining the known sequence of events regarding the Romulan supernova, a timeline emerges: in 2379, the Romulan Star Empire's government was overthrown by a coup orchestrated by the Remans and they installed Shinzon (Tom Hardy), a clone of Captain Picard, as the new Praetor. In the 2380s, the Romulan Empire, which was left in disarray by Shinzon, learned their sun was going supernova and would destroy their homeworld. According to Admiral Picard himself, the Romulans asked the Federation for assistance and Jean-Luc left the Starship Enterprise to command the Romulan rescue mission, until the synthetics' attack on Mars in 2385 annihilated the fleet being built. The Federation then moved to ban all artificial life in the galaxy and ended the Romulan rescue mission, citing a lack of both resources and political support. Following this, the elder Spock vowed to save the Romulans in 2387. After all, Spock had been secretly living on Romulus trying to reunite the Vulcan and Romulan races since Star Trek: The Next Generation.

In Star Trek (2009), Spock's plan was to use red matter to create a black hole that would swallow the supernova, but the heroic Vulcan was too late to stop the exploding sun from annihilating the Romulan homeworld. Nero (Eric Bana), who believed he was the "last of the Romulans", blamed Spock for the doom of his planet and attacked the Vulcan's ship as Spock ejected the red matter into the supernova. The resulting black hole sent both Nero and Spock's vessels back in time to the 23rd century; Nero's arrival in 2233 caused the alternate Kelvin timeline when his ship destroyed the U.S.S. Kelvin, killing George Kirk (Chris Hemsworth), the father of Jim Kirk. Spock arrived 25 years later and was able to help the younger versions of the Starship Enterprise's crew defeat Nero. Unable to return to the Prime timeline, Ambassador Spock remained in the Kelvin timeline to help repopulate the Vulcan race after Nero destroyed Vulcan. He also offered advice to the younger Spock (Zachary Quinto) before he died in 2263 at the age of 162.

Incredibly, the Federation (and Picard) in the Prime timeline are likely not aware of what ultimately happened to Ambassador Spock. Although Starfleet knows about the Mirror Universe alternate reality, there has yet to be any indication that they learned of the Kelvin timeline's existence. So, as far as Starfleet is aware, the most likely scenario is that Spock perished trying to stop the Romulan supernova in 2387, but they probably have no clue the Vulcan time-traveled 129 years to the past, where he ultimately died. Spock has not been mentioned yet in Star Trek: Picard but the Vulcan's heroism in Star Trek (2009) is inexorably linked to Jean-Luc's backstory in the new series, which has placed the Romulans center stage.

It's quite sad that Starfleet in Spock's proper timeline likely has no definite closure to the Vulcan's legendary career and he's probably listed as "Missing In Action/Presumed Dead". Considering Spock's eminent status in Star Trek, his death is arguably more unfortunate than James T. Kirk (William Shatner) dying on Veridian III in Star Trek Generations because no one in Spock's own timeline even knows what really happened to the Vulcan. But perhaps the truth about what happened to Spock will finally emerge in Star Trek: Picard, and the Vulcan can be remembered properly by Jean-Luc, who is now one of his oldest living friends.

Star Trek: Picardstreams Thursdays on CBS All-Access and Fridays internationally on Amazon Prime Video.


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