A Father’s Day Tribute To The Dads Of The Star Trek Movie

For a movie that promised not to be "your father’s Star Trek," the new Star Trek film sure has a lot of fathers in it. Today on Father’s Day, TrekMovie.com celebrates the dads of the new Star Trek.



Each of the fathers or father figures in the new Star Trek movie, represents one of the key virtues that makes a great father.

Nero – Discipline
Yes Nero was the big bad evil guy of the movie, but what was it that made him that way? Nero tells Pike how how had chosen a life of ‘honest labor’ to provide for his wife and expectant child, and it was the loss of that wife and child that pushed the humble miner over the edge to give him a path that he stayed on unwaveringly. And for 25 years he held that crew of tattooed Romulans together while they were lost in time, that kind of focus and determination requires quite a bit of discipline. 

Sarek – Wisdom
In the Star Trek movie we learn that Spock’s emotional kryptonite is his mother Amanda. Like calling Marty McFly a ‘chicken’, pretty much any mention of Spock’s momma and you better get ready to rumble. But, it was Spock’s father who was imparting the life lessons for the half human, half Vulcan. It was his eminently logical father who set him straight both as a child after fighting the bullies as well as an adult after fighting Kirk, wisely telling him "what is necessary is never unwise" and supporting him by telling him he was ‘grateful’ for him. It is Sarek’s wise counsel that allows Spock to return to duty and help Kirk save the day.

George Kirk – Sacrifice
The best fathers know that theirs is a life of service to their children and spouses. While Nero represents a twisted version of this idea (he remains in service to his family and planet after their destruction although one wonders what his wife would have thought of his vendetta), George represents the pure notion of sacrifice and service. In one of the best sequences in franchise history, George Kirk’s heartbreaking sacrifice allows not only many in his crew to survive, but his wife and child. Kirk gets the miracle birth associated with all great mythological characters, and audiences are reminded through George that a humble life of sacrifice and service is an honorable path.

Capt. Pike – Encouragement
While Superman may have popularized the sentiment "The son becomes the father, the father becomes the son" the very best dads know if they do their jobs properly, their sons and daughters should surpass them in accomplishments. Fathers don’t compete with their kids, they encourage them to be better. As a father figure, Christopher Pike gives Kirk the encouragement he needs by ‘daring’ him to surpass his real father. And Pike has a faith in the young Kirk that he does not have himself, which we see when he promotes him to first officer. And is proud when his adoptive son surpasses him at the end of the film. Indeed, it may very well be that Kirk was heading down the same path as Nero (both being "salt of the earth" people whose loss of a loved one affected them in harmful ways) if not for Pike’s encouragement.

Spock Prime – Love
The time traveling Spock is a father figure to young Kirk and Spock, and by extension, the rest of the crew. And it is entirely appropriate that the elder Vulcan, who long ago (for him) realized that logic was merely the beginning of wisdom, represent the greatest of emotional connections between fathers and children: love. It is Spock’s love of his own crew, especially Kirk, that sets him upon his mission in the film. Spock implores his younger self to stay with Kirk and the crew, telling him of "the friendship that will define you both." And like a proud father seeing his child walk for the first time he wistfully recites "thrusters on full" as the crew he loves heads out, again and for the first time, on their mission to the final frontier.



Inline Feedbacks
View all comments


Perfect cap to a Trek Father’s Day. Thanks :)

Just one question…where did you all get these shots of the movie from? I’m pretty sure other than the Sarek shot, none of these shots are in clips available in trailers and such…

Oh yeah, happy Father’s Day! For those few of you that happen to be fathers out of pure luck anyay….


Very nice, good aspect on the new movie.

3. Yeah, where did those shots come from?

Happy Father’s Day to all!

That was a NICE artile. Thanks for that. This is my first Father’s Day as a father. I really enjoyed this tribute!!!


Nero murdered 6 billion people as step 1 after lashing out and killing Captain Robau for uttering an unacceptable stardate. He’s more like my ex-wife than any good father (including myself) I have ever known. No discipline at all.

You’re better off looking at all of Trek for models of what constitutes a good (or bad) father.

Discipline: Sarek. Mark Lenard. Never satisfied with Spock’s choices, but always secretly proud, he was never able to descend to Spock’s level and tell him he loved him. He maintained his veneer, and his several rifts with Spock until he died. Also file under “love.”

Wisdom: Sarek (Ben Cross). Tempered by a more open love for Amanda, and the catastrophic events of ST09, he was able to convey to Spock a more balanced view of his heritage, and why he is always in conflict. Definitely loves his son openly.

Sacrifice: Nail on the head. George Kirk. Though, it certainly throws off the “work-life balance” equation.

Inability to live up to one’s own expectations, but makes the most of it due to a paternal love instinct:

Kirk in TWOK/TSFS. Data in “The Offspring”

Biggest unforgivable prick: Kyle Riker

Dad we all want: Chris Pike (Trek09)

All these Star Trek fathers and hardly ANY DAUGHTERS.

Happy Father”s Day to all dads – past present and future

Aww Crap. Forgot Ben Sisko. Best Dad Ever.

That really was one of the best sequences in franchise history.

R.I.P. George Kirk ;_;

I’d just like to point out that Spock may very well be a father… we saw Saavik get off on Vulcan pregnant perhaps.

I know that the pike pic is floating around the net (i use it as my avatar at my forum)

I’ve always thought that Geordi La Forge would be a cool dad for some reason. He should have been married in one of the films imo.

Scotty was too into the Enterprise in disturbing ways to have a normal relationship with a woman, much less raise a family properly. The “ample nacelles” line was a good early reference to this fact. Maybe in the alternate reality he’ll be able to make it happen with Keenser.

But seriously, Geordi would be a cool dad and should have been paired up with a great woman (probably a tad nerdy) some time between Generations and First Contact. Would have been a good compliment to the new eye implants that he has. I suspect that Geordi would have been better at the whole husband/father thing than Miles O’Brien.

#12. My understanding is that the Saavik / Spock love affair isn’t cannon, and if it isn’t canon, there are multiple apocryphal accounts of Saavik’s life.

I kind of liked a story presented in an old Star Trek comic series which had Saavik as a Vulcan-Romulan hybrid who was taken in by Spock as a young child and entrusted to Sarek and Amanda who basically raised her. There was some great dialog in that comic based on the fact that Spock and Saavik were children of two worlds and all that. I suppose this apocryphal story doesn’t exclude the possibility that she was secretly in love with Spock and later they made whoopee as a result of his genesis induced Pon Farr from hell.

The Kelvin opening with the death of Robau and then George Kirk’s sacrifice was the best, most emotional moment I can recall for any Trek.
Wounding and blinding the tiger temporarily while the rest escape…Trek on TV was famous for the “hook”, setting the premise before the opening to hold the viewer.

What a hook.
Jimmy, you have a hell of a daddy.

Lovely post!

In TOS, didn’t McCoy have a daughter? I wonder if she exists in this alternate ‘verse?

#15 Major,

canon, dude. Thanks

Cannon is ball and fodder and gunpowder and “boom!”. You want the one with one less “n”.

I just celebrated Father’s Day by seeing Trek again with my wife and kids. I don’t care what the commercials say — the movie is THIS father’s “Star Trek”.

In addition to being a Trek fan since seeing TOS’s premiere episode as a kid, I had a nice little trip down memory lane today:
– The son of one of the parents in our Boy Scout Troop played a Vulcan child (and his mom did Simon’s Pegg’s make-up).
– Another of our Troop families lives a stone’s throw from Vulcan (Vas Quez Rocks).
– Starfleet Academy was filmed at my old alma mater, Cal State Northridge.
– The engine room scenes were filmed at the nearby Budweiser brewery, which I toured as part of Busch Gardens as a kid.

So it was a great way to spend Father’s Day, and this article was the cherry on top!

# 17. nonymoose

The TOS episode ” The Way to Eden” was originally written by D.C. Fontana as “Joanna”, because one of the space hippies was supposed to be McCoy’s daughter. However, I think the producers changed it because they didn’t think that McCoy, as one of Kirk’s contemporaries, should be portrayed as having a daughter old enough for Kirk to date (my words).

Nice and Thank you.

What about Captain Kirk (Shatner) his son David was killed in Star Trek III
They were on their way to having a good father, son relationship .

Terrific article, thanks for the wishes, Trekmovie!

They should have made Nero to be Spocks son with a Romulan mother. Wasn’t Saavik half Romulan in the novelization of TWOK? That would have given Nero’s character more of an emotional impact in the movie and would have given him more complexity.

It also would have given the movie a good son bad son dynamic. Zachary Quinto and Chris Pine’s characters of Kirk and Spock could have been like the good sons!

I saw Star Trek again yesterday and that part where George Kirk sacrifices himself made me tear up like a bitch. That is such a powerful scene. This article totally ruled. Thanks, Trekmovie!!!!!! :)

“Thrusters on full…”

…I loved it when Nimoy said this. It was perfect.

Found my Next Generation toy phaser I got for Christmas over 15 years ago today, decided to give it to my son. He loves it.


Please take care of your spouses, sons and daughters. Be there for them.


Yeah but first he has to get a woman to sleep with him. The guy new the intricacies of warp field geometry but seemed to be inept in his interactions with the female of the species.

George Kirk was cool; he’s one of the few elements in JJTrek that makes me just smile, nod placidly, and go “Yeah. That’s the stuff right there.”

Very well-written piece. When I saw the movie in an IMAX theater, I felt a tear trickle down my face when George Kirk died.

I still find it almost poetic that one of the greatest disasters in Starfleet history produced one of the greatest heroes of all time.

And I still am getting over the role Bruce Greenwood put in as Christopher Pike. I hope we’ll see more of him in the future.

While we are addressing the movie only, let’s not forget the other great father’s from TREK long storied history (and this list is by no means complete).

Leonard McCoy (though we didn’t officially hear the word “my daughter” until TAS episode “Albatross”)
Matt Decker
Hikaru Sulu (lord only knows when that happened, though)
James Kirk

Lt. Cmdr. Worf
Jack Crusher
Dr. Soong (Data’s creator)
Chief Petty Officer Miles O’Brien

Captain Ben Sisko (one of the finest father-son relationships I have ever seen portrayed on film)

Lt. Tom Paris
Lt. Cmdr. Tuvok

Dr. Phlox

Feel free to add to the list.

Happy Father’s Day everyone!

As far as the Saavik question goes. She is half Romulan (at least the expanded universe books say so) and she eventually marries Spock (again, in the books). That wedding is the one Picard says he was at when he encounters Sarek in TNG.

WHY just “new movie” fathers….?

“Prime” James T. Kirk was a father…

“Prime” Leonard McCoy was a father…

Even “prime” Sulu was a father…!!

Strange family bonds in the future…

Congratulations, nevertheless…!!


George Kirk’s sacrifice was one the best sequences on film ever. It takes a lot of nerve and daring to pull off a scene like that, and Abrams absolutely comes through. That scene even brought tears to my eyes… and geeks/nerds are difficult to break down. xD

ahh,, but let us not forget worf’s son alexander! “I don’t want to be a warrior” he said. :)

I wish they would take out the reference to Nero in the article. He was not a father at all. He was a mass murderer — period, end of story.

Hitler loved his dog, after all, but so what? (Yes, I realize that this violates Godwin’s Law….)


Oh dear,

Nero was seeking revenge for the death of his wife and unborn child. Plus the destruction of his home-world – Hitler wasn’t out for revenge because his wife was killed or home-world was destroyed, he believed what he was doing was for the good of Germany – he was a crazy dictator, Nero wasn’t crazy or a dictator and there’s a huge difference between a Dog and a Child.

#38 “Nero wasn’t crazy …”

So, murdering billions of people is rational?

Um, guys this is where it gets creepy.

These characters are fictitious. There’s not sane reason to pay tribute to fictional fathers.

Wow, that’s why trekkers are deemed to be delusional losers.

And don’t say this is all in good fun. Most people wishing these non-existent fathers a happy father’s day are probably grown men.

#40: “And don’t say this is all in good fun. Most people wishing these non-existent fathers a happy father’s day are probably grown men.”

Is the implication that grown men are not permitted to have good fun?

@40, If we’re all delusional losers, and you have nothing better to do than troll among them, what does that make *you*?

Kirk was ALWAY MY #1 HERO!!!!!!
Sisko and Jake — their very close relationship reminds
me of the one I have with my 16 year-old son!

Great article! Trek indeed has some wonderful Fathers. Even though my Dad and I haven’t always been close (my parents were divorced when I was 11) he has always been there for me. Father’s Day is a bit poignant for me this year because i just found out that my Dad has Alzheimers. Also that fact that I now live over 3,000 miles from him makes Father’s Day even more bittersweet for me.

Yes, Sisko and Jake. Their close relationship was my favorite things about Deep Space Nine.

I also like the relationship between Ben and his own father. I really miss that crew ;)

Nah.. I think Nero and his crew woke up after a Romulan Ale bender… saw their tattoos in the mirror and said, “There is NO way I’m going home to the family looking like this!” The rest, as the say, is a quantum rewritten history…

Wonderful article, beautifully written! Really brought a lump to my throat. Hope all the Trek Dad’s out there had a great Father’s Day!

As much as I love the new film, I think my only major disappointment with it was Ben Cross’ Sarek.
Mark Lenard scored a hat trick with every single appearance as this character; the tense, complex father-son relationship he shared with Nimoy across TOS, the films, and TNG was among the best ever depicted on film- and in true Trek tradition, one of the most realistic human relationships was one between two aliens.

48, what did Mark Lenard score, again?

:-P ;-)

#14 In the alternate future in the last episode of TNG, Geordi was married to Dr. Leah Brahms and they had 3 children.