10 Star Trek Moments That Broke Our Hearts

Were you feeling happy and relaxed? Star Trek is here to cut the legs right out from under you

Star Trek Relics
CBS Media Ventures

In Star Trek, there's never a shortage of emotional beats to break down any wall. There are those joyous scenes that bring laughter to us all, or those chilling cases that leave us wishing we'd never ventured near the vastness of space. For a moment to truly affect the viewer, there must be this emotional connection to either the character or ship - otherwise, we are simply watching images with no reason to be moved. 

For a franchise that prides itself on taking us out there into the great unknown, Star Trek has excelled time and time again at encouraging us to truly feel for the characters. Prick us, do we not bleed, a certain Klingon General once asked. Well if that's the barometer we use - then Star Trek has learned to stab.

For these ten moments, our breath will catch in our chest, and our hearts shatter into dust, yet we find ourselves clamouring for more. Star Trek, you do tend to break us, don't you? Now, what does it say about us that we keep coming back? That's something we'll address later on. In therapy.

10. Farewell, Old Friend

Star Trek Relics
Paramount PIctures

Star Trek III: The Search For Spock could have been a silly film. The most famous Vulcan in cinema history had been consigned to the Genesis Planet, while the remaining crew felt truly alive for the first time in years. Despite Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan's bittersweet notes, it was a perfect ending to an outstanding story. So, naturally, let's name the next film as a big spoiler. 

Yet Star Trek III ended up becoming something more than people may have expected. It deals with the ramifications of scientific hubris, a disregard for discipline, and the ultimate cost of expansion in the name of impatience. Though (spoiler) Spock is indeed found, it comes at a great cost. What's worse - Admiral James T. Kirk suffers most of all, losing two of the most important things in his life. While we'll discuss the second in a short while, it is arguably the greatest loss to both Kirk, and the audience, that takes this spot. 

The Enterprise is older than Kirk. The Enterprise was there from Gene Roddenberry's early drafts, serving as the base for The Cage in 1964, then returning in Where No Man Has Gone Before. It appeared in every episode of The Original Series, was slated for return in Star Trek: Phase II, and after heavy refit, made its glorious big screen debut in The Motion Picture. For Trekkies, the Enterprise is every bit as important as anyone else. So, watching the countdown to destruction, knowing that it was a sad case of being outgunned and out-maneuvered, it was truly heartbreaking to watch the explosion tear it apart. For this writer, the dissolution of her registry hits the hardest, watching the flames rip along the interior of the saucer section, burning away the missions and the memories. This one was a wrench.

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Writer. Reader. Host. I'm Seán, I live in Ireland and I'm the poster child for dangerous obsessions with Star Trek. Check me out on Twitter @seanferrick