Star Trek: Leonard Nimoy Wanted Dual Role In Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

Nimoy wanted to promote Sybok from half brother to twin brother so that it would enable him to play both parts.

Laurence Luckingbill has revealed in an interview with StarTrek.com that Leonard Nimoy didn't talk to him much during the filming of 1989's "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier". The reason? Nimoy was upset because he wanted to play the villain in the film. Luckingbill played Sybok, the charming yet deluded Vulcan who hijacks the Enterprise to go find ''God.'' Sybok was presented as Spock's half brother in the film, a plot device that divided fans. But Nimoy wanted to promote Sybok from half brother to twin brother so that it would enable Nimoy to play both parts. Much like how he played his mirror universe counterpart in the Original Series episode ''Mirror Mirror,'' Nimoy wanted to show off his acting credentials and pushed for the change. Luckingbill recalls;
"He did not say one word to me for quite a long time, other than 'Hello.' I found out later he had really, really pushed hard to have this be a double role, a dual role for him. That was the scuttlebutt, and I got that from very high up in the food chain of information, that Leonard wanted to play Sybok and play Spock. That would have been a tremendous thing to do that, but since they weren't twins, they cast me.'' "I think Bill wanted a separate actor, and he was right. We were very different people."
Nimoy apparently kept his distance from Luckingbill during the shoot but became more friendly towards the end;
"The best compliment I got was, in the last scenes, 20 or 25 weeks later, Leonard looked at me and said, 'You know, you're terrific in this.' I thought that was a great send-off."
Luckingbill also commented on Star Trek V being the least liked Original Crew film and the unjust criticism William Shatner receives for it's perceived failings;
''I know a lot of people criticize Bill for what he didn€™t do or what he did do. Bill invites that because he€™s just got a big life and he plays it big. But I found him absolutely wonderful. I liked Bill and, to this day, think he did a good job with that film. He€™s a favorite guy of mine.''
I'm glad Nimoy didn't get the changes he wanted and Shatner stuck to his guns. As hard as it was to believe Sybok was Spock's half brother, it would have been more difficult to accept a long lost, never mentioned before twin brother. Luckingbill did a superb job with the Sybok character and was definitely one of the best things in the film. You can read the full interview over at StarTrek.com and my thoughts on Star Trek V: The Final Frontier here.
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Child of the 80's. Brought up on Star Trek, Video Games and Schwarzenegger, my tastes evolved to encompass all things geeky.