For Star Trek fans across the interwebs, the past two years have been endlessly exciting. Not only has a new Star Trek series been created, but also several new Star Trek properties are in the works. This includes a highly anticipated series on Jean-Luc Picard, captain of the Enterprise during Star Trek: The Next Generation. When Gene Rodenberry created Star Trek in the 1960s, he probably never knew it’d become this popular. Everything started with a brash Captain Kirk and his hyper-logical, alien first officer, Spock. Now, the franchise is a staple of nerd culture.
Though Star Trek: The Original Series only lasted three years out of a planned five, the Enterprise crew started the formation of a fandom that would span generations. At the core of its lasting effect and long-term success were Spock and Kirk, the best friend opposites that balanced each other out. Their relationship was the core of the show, along with McCoy’s witty and passionate quipping.
Years later, fans are still obsessed with Kirk and Spock. It’s evident in the rebooted Star Trek films, where the duo are still fan-favorite characters with the most interesting friendship.
With so much time between them now, and so much material, there’s a lot that casual fans might not know about them. As Spock is spending some time now on Star Trek:Discovery, it’s good to remember this wild relationship that encouraged decades of space-fans.
Here are 25 Wild Revelations About Kirk And Spock’s Relationship.
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25 Both Captained The Enterprise
For three glorious, hammy years as captain, Kirk pioneered the Enterprise across the galaxy and wooed perhaps too many a lady. However, Star Trek was cancelled and that journey ended. In the the films, his legacy lived on. His role changed quite a bit, though.
After the series ended, Kirk was promoted to Admiral and moved his adventures back to Starfleet. With the loss of her captain, the Enterprise replaced swoony Kirk with its second-in-command, Spock. Without Kirk, he built his own crew and led his own voyage into new galaxies.
With how much both men loved the U.S.S. Enterprise, it’s only fair both got to lead her.
24 Spock Was Initially Science Officer, Not Second In Command
In Kirk’s first forray as Enterprise’s captain, his second-in-command was Gary Mitchell, his good buddy from Starfleet days. After investigating a derelict space-ship, nine crew members perish, and Mitchell and the ship psychiatrist gain extreme psychic powers.
Eventually, they have to end Mitchell’s life, despite Kirk’s protest. This promotes science officer Spock to second-in-command of the Enterprise.
Furthermore, the true first pilot of Star Trek, “The Cage,” had Majel Barrett as Number One and everyone’s favorite Vulcan in the scientific position. It took three episodes and some fatal encounters for Spock to become Kirk’s number one man. While he’s the one everyone remembers, he wasn’t the one Gene Rodenberry envisioned at the beginning.
23 Many Fans Are Convinced The Relationship Had Romantic Undertones
Of all the relationships in Star Trek: The Original Series, Spock and Kirk have the strongest and most beloved. Fans adore the duo— an impulsive, passionate captain and his logical straight man. They bring out the best in one another and always have each other’s back.
However, certain scenes have led fans to believe the pair could be a bit more than friends. A few too many wry looks and assumed massages are thrown around the bridge. While never confirmed, the pair are the most important people in each other’s lives. Of course some people may interpret that as romantic.
22 Spock Prime Saved Alternative Spock And Kirk’s Relationship
When Nero went back in time and created the split timeline of the “Abrams-verse,” he also brought along an unsuspecting passenger: Spock. This much older Spock crash-landed on an ice planet only to be found by Chris Pine’s Kirk, a much younger and more problematic Starfleet Officer. After all, Nero changed his entire childhood history by taking his father’s life.
Though young Kirk was in trouble with Starfleet and a bitter rival with Spock, “Spock Prime” described to him the truth of the other timeline. In his time, Kirk was a decorated officer who was always supported by his father. More importantly? He and Sock were the closest of friends.
Sending young Kirk along with this information, Spock Prime saved the friendship that a younger him almost lost.
21 They Once Battled Over A Woman
As a child, Spock was promised to a Vulcan woman named T’Pring. They were bonded and betrothed, their parents intending for them to marry when Spock reached a decent age and was experiencing pon farr.
Unfortunately for T’Pring, that day didn’t occur until Spock was years deep into a Starfleet career. In his time away, she fell in love with another. To deter her betrothed from wanting her, she chose Kirk to fight for her. However, this fight was the fatal kind and Spock wounded his captain terribly.
Lucky for them, McCoy was ahead of the curve. Kirk was saved, the violence brought Spock out of pon farr, and T’Pring married her beloved. Quite a risky experience, though, almost costing both men their best friends.
20 In Alternate Universes, They Both Sacrificed Themselves Against Khan
One of the most iconic villains of all Star Trek history is Khan Noonien Singh. While on Earth, he was the most benevolent of the genetically modified superhuman leaders, but after the Eugenics Wars of the 1990s, only he and 80 of his people were able to flee the planet. Time has made him malicious and tyrannical. During the original series run, the Enterprise crew ran into his people. Khan almost destroys the ship, but Kirk stops him.
Next time they meet, Khan is even more homicidal. Spock sacrifices himself to stop Khan from destroying the entire ship. In Star Trek: Into Darkness‘s split timeline, it’s Kirk who instead makes the sacrifice.
19 Kirk Convinced Spock To Go Camping
While many fans argue that the Star Trek films were the best part of the original Star Trek crew, they definitely still had their hokey moments. Easily one of the weirdest ones is Kirk convincing McCoy and Spock to go camping with him in Yosemite in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. After being demoted back to Captain, the Enterprise is on shore leave and he convinces the pro-tech and logic Spock to do old-fashioned camping, with fires and lanterns and tents.
Considering the rest of the film involves Spock’s cult leader brother, Klingon alliances, and space gods, though, camping seems pretty nice. The Enterprise trio seem to agree, as the film ends on Kirk, McCoy, and Spock right back to their camping trip.
18 They Both Had Human Mothers
Despite Spock acting like the most Vulcan-y Vulcan ever to Vulcan, he mostly acts this way to overcompensate for his mixed heritage. Unlike most Vulcan, Spock is half-human. His father, Sarek, fell in love with the human Amanda Greyson and complicated his genetics. Because of this blending, Spock has a harder time containing his emotions and has to work harder than most to adhere to Vulcan traditions. However, he still has a close relationship with his mother and loves her dearly, even if he never says it.
As a born and raised Earth kid, Kirk’s mother’s also a human. But that meant the pair had similar emotional relationships with their mother, instead of their upbringings being completely different.
17 Spock Allowed Kirk To Break Log Rules (Multiple Times)
In Starfleet, there is a distinct rule to always log the daily happenings and keep track of all the encounters that happen. This lets the Federation have records of all possible discoveries throughout the quadrants. However, every once in awhile. captains are known to break that protocol and keep certain events off record.
Throughout his three year journey, Kirk deliberately didn’t log several important events. For example, when they finally found the missing Dr. Roger Korby, they learned that Korby learned to create androids and downloaded his consciousness into one to achieve immortality. Kirk logs that “Dr. Korby was never here.” As a stickler for Starfleet rules, Spock should have probably been more diligent on making Kirk report hard truths instead of comforting lies.
16 The Only Thing That Could Distract Spock From His People Was Kirk
Regardless of his mixed heritage, Spock is just as dedicated to Vulcan as any full-blooded member of the species. If anything, he’s more devoted. In his Starfleet career, he wants to honor his culture and be the best Vulcan officer he can be (even if he ends up in Starfleet to spite the Science Academy.) He brings fierce logic to all situations and is an upstanding leader.
Beyond Starfleet, Spock eventually becomes a famous Vulcan Ambassador and devotes the end of his life to Romulan and Vulcan re-unification. However, despite all of his dedication, he will drop all of that at the drop of a hat if Kirk needs him. Before his dear friend’s passing, Spock several times risks rank and reputation to protect him.
15 Kirk’s Romantic Side Never Rubbed Off On Spock
If Kirk wasn’t a captain, he’d spend all of his days romancing every woman in sight. Since leading the Enterprise gets in the way, he only manages a lady every other episode.
When it comes to Kirk and Spock, they teach each other a lot. Kirk learns more restraint and logic from his Vulcan friend, and Spock learns the benefits of going with the flow and bending the rules. They’ve made each other better men and officers.
However, as far as Kirk’s Casanova antics go, Spock learned none of that. Throughout their adventures and beyond, Spock isn’t one for intimate, romantic relationships. The only examples either are very brief or happen in completely different timelines.
14 Spock Defied Orders To Save Kirk
Starfleet sounds glamorous and honorable, exploring among the stars, but the job comes with inherent dangers. After all, how many red shirts were lost in the making of the various series? When Kirk was in similar danger, and Spock was in direct order to leave a planet, he instead chose to stay in orbit and save his captain.
While Spock doesn’t defy Starfleet rules nearly as much as Kirk does, he’s still willing to do so to help protect his friend.
Even the most logical Vulcan will break a few rules to help someone they really care about. They may base their entire culture around reason, but they still have powerful ties to family and comrades.
13 Both Have Complicated Relationships With Their Brothers
As the Vulcan lifespan is pretty long, Amanda Greyson was hardly Sarek’s only love interest. His first was a Vulcan Princess who passed away young, leaving Sybok, their son, in Sarek’s care. He raised Sybok and Spock together, but the pair were very different. Despite being full Vulcan. Sybok was charismatic and spiritual while Spock was logical and scientific. They never quite got along, but Sybok sacrificed himself to save Spock and the Enterprise.
Similarly, Kirk and his brother, George Samuel, were night and day. Kirk was an overachiever dreaming of the stars. “Sam,” as Kirk called him, was a simple biologist who wanted to build a family. Kirk hadn’t seen Sam in years by the time he found his corpse on Deneva.
12 The Actors Were Best Friends In Real Life
Despite all the cast tensions that went on behind the scenes of Star Trek: The Original Series, William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy came out of the experience as close friends. Throughout the years of making Star Trek films and various conventions, they really grew to care about one another. They were constants in each other’s lives, weathering the years of show business.
Unfortunately, a few years before Nimoy passed, the pair drifted apart. According to people close to Nimoy, Shatner’s insistence on making a Star Trek documentary, to the point of filming Nimoy without his permission, broke his trust. Shatner laments the fact he missed seeing Nimoy off in his final months.
11 They Have Very Different Relationships With Dr. McCoy
As good a captain Kirk is, he really was a wild card that needed advisers and good friends backing him. This is how the Holy Trinity of early Star Trek formed, the vital relationships Kirk had with Spock and McCoy. While Spock gave Kirk logic and reason, McCoy called him out on dumb ideas and supported him when his heart was set on something. Both men were necessary in Kirk being a well-rounded captain.
When it came to the relationship between McCoy and Spock, though, the pair often didn’t get along. McCoy found Spock’s incessant knowledge annoying, and Spock disagreed with McCoy’s “bedside manner” sensibilities. While the pair respected and relied on each other, they weren’t exactly close friends, either.
10 Their Relationship Is The Most Important Thing In Both Their Lives
Both James T. Kirk and Spock spent their lives adventuring among the cosmos, exploring and learning as much as possible. They met many new people, make revolutionary scientific discoveries, and go where no man has gone before. Even once Kirk is promoted, though, they remain close friends who care deeply for one another. Kirk was willing to give up his rank to get Spock back.
Women never stuck, but they always were there for each other. In both of their lifetimes, this relationship was the most significant one that they experienced. After all, romance is fun, but who else would go camping to Yosemite or save Blue Whales at the drop of a hat?
9 In The Abrams Films, They’re Both Attracted To Uhura
As much as the Abrams films change, they don’t touch one thing: Kirk’s womanizing ways. Only a few scenes into the film, he’s hitting on Starfleet recruit Uhura. Later, when they meet again after he courts her roommate, he flirts with her all over again. Beautiful and capable, it’s understandable why he would be interested in Uhura. However, she has zero interest in him.
What really complicates matters, though, is Uhura’s relationship with Spock. In the original series, Spock and Uhura don’t have many conversations together at all, much less romantic tension. Now, in the Abrams-verse, they have a secret teacher-student type relationship and it definitely makes things even more complicated on the bridge.
8 Spock Can Easily Tell When Kirk Isn’t Himself
Though Kirk is a formidable man, there are quite a few episodes where his body is taken over by various aliens or he’s replaced. Or, in an infamously uncomfortable episode involving Janice Rand, a transporter accident gives him an evil twin that goes lurking about the ship.
Lucky for Kirk, Spock has a keen eye and knows his behaviors well. Over time, the Vulcan becomes a Kirk Litmus test that can identify a fake Kirk from a real one at a moment’s notice. This becomes really important in Star Trek: The Original Series final episode, where Janice Lester tastes over Kirk’s brain. If it wasn’t for Spock, Kirk in Janice’s body would have been executed and evil Janice would have become Enterprise’s captain.
7 Both Have Mirror Universe Versions Of Themselves
The Mirror Universe is a running Star Trek parallel universe, used in several different series to cause conflict. The Mirror universe tends to have heroes and good people in darker, terrible roles and relationships completely altered and warped. In the case of the first Enterprise, where several bridge members end up on the mirror universe counterpart of their ship, trying to keep hidden from the twisted “other” crew. In this place, Spock and Kirk are comrades there, but far more adversarial. Several times mirror Spock threatens Kirk’s life.
On a more fun note, though, Spock also has a weird goatee. Everything in the mirror universe looks generally bizarre.
6 Spock Grew Much Older Than Kirk
While Star Trek can be a bit confusing about ages (for example, if Spock served under a young Captain Pike, he should have aged a good fifty years, but sources say that Spock is only thirty something by the start of the original series,) that doesn’t change the long lives of Vulcans. Spock’s father, Sarek, was 203 when he finally passed on.
Whether Spock was 30 or nearing 100 when he met Kirk, by all Vulcan averages he still had decades before his own demise. No wonder he had to find fulfillment in a greater purpose. After all, those closest to him were all humans who would never live as long as he did.
5 Both Experienced Mind-Control Romances
Various adventures in Star Trek include a little mischievous thing called mind control. Whether it’s done by aliens desperate for entertainment or manipulative spores, the Enterprise crew gets hypnotized quite often. More fascinatingly, though, they seem to get shoved into romances during these events.
While under the influence, Kirk kissed Uhura in the famous first biracial kiss on television. Similarly, Spock entered a romance with a woman named Leila for a time while controlled by spores. Though he preferred being himself, he said his time with Leila was his “happiest.” When an avid scientist, Spock enjoys life but just isn’t satisfied with the world.
4 Kirk Risked Rank To Save Spock’s Life
During Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, the Enterprise crew lost its most beloved member: Spock. He sacrificed himself to stop the evil conqueror Khan’s plots. However, it seems Spock didn’t stay gone. His coffin landed on the Genesis planet and decided to regenerate.
Though Kirk and friends were banned from going anywhere near the dangerous Genesis planet, they disobeyed orders at the chance to save their friend. Moreover, having Spock’s consciousness in McCoy was probably going to break his brain if they didn’t trying.
They recovered Spock, but all of the crew-members were court-marshaled and demoted. Maybe Kirk wasn’t an admiral anymore, but he was the Enterprise’s captain again, which is pretty good considering their disobedience.
3 They Consider Each Other Brothers
Despite the fact that both Kirk and Spock had other siblings, they spent most of their time together. Through all these adventures, it made the pair consider each other brothers. They each had strained relationships with their own siblings, so they grew to be family. The Enterprise became their home together, travelling the stars.
While both men have made some risky decisions in the name of their relationship, they are daring and devoted friends that care deeply for one another. It’s no surprise they came to see each other as family.
In space, so far away from homeworlds, finding a new family makes the journey all the better.
2 Each of Their Lives Changed Irreparably When They Worked With Captain Picard
For many people, Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s Captain Picard is their favorite Starfleet leader. Others, it’s Kirk or later captains. Either way, Picard had a profound influence on the previous Enterprise leaders. During his time as captain, he got involved with Spock’s Romlaun/Vulcan re-unification plan. This meant keeping the Romulan underground and Spock hidden from Romulan leaders. When Picard left, Spock decided to stay, ultimately meaning he would likely spend the rest of his life on Romulus.
Then in one Picard film, he met up with a once-missing Kirk and took him on an adventure that took the captain’s life. Despite their plan to escape, Kirk sacrificed himself to save Picard and the Shakespearean man came home as he left it: alone.
1 Considering Discovery’s Canon, Spock Never Told Kirk About His Sister
In Star Trek, Kirk and Spock were best friends, brothers, and dearly devoted to one another. They were closer to each other than anyone else in their lives. Despite this closeness, Spock kept a lot from Kirk. Not only did his brother go unmentioned for decades, but according to Star Trek: Discovery canon, he failed to mention he had a sister at all.
While Spock was a private and unemotional man, he shared his relationships with his parents openly. Considering how complex his relationship with Burnham is, and how they effected each other’s lives, it’s baffling how Spock didn’t share that with his best friend.
Maybe he just didn’t want Kirk to try to flirt with his little sister.
Were there any other weird aspects to Spock and Kirk’s friendship in Star Trek that we missed? Let us know in the comments below!