10 Emotional Star Trek Moments That Made The Fans Cry

7. It's Death, Jim, But Not As We Know It

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan Spock Death
Paramount Pictures

His biblical rebirth may well have been telegraphed a mile off (remember?), the scene of his death still had us crying our hearts out. Spock's final words of friendship, coupled with the Vulcan salute, are forever etched into the memories of every Star Trek fan, as is Kirk's tearful final goodbye at the funeral just moments after (in movie time), to the graceful lament of the bagpipe.

This really could have been the end for Spock. As executive producer Harve Bennett stated in the Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan DVD Special Features, "The original ending of the picture was grimmer, more final," closing not on the Genesis Planet but on Kirk's solemn speech on the torpedo deck. This ending left test audiences in a state of shock, exiting the cinema much like they were leaving a real funeral. Bennett started to wonder if it might be better to rewrite this "downer" of a conclusion and leave the door open for Spock to return.

Leonard Nimoy was also having second thoughts about quitting the franchise and so, when asked by Bennett, came up with the mind-meld-McCoy-katra-transfer pretty much on the spot. The final scene of the film was then rewritten to show Spock's coffin on the Genesis Planet, and, for the first time in Trek history, the character was allowed to read a version of the 'these are the voyages' prologue before the credits rolled.

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Jack Kiely is a writer with a PhD in French and almost certainly an unhealthy obsession with Star Trek.