Michael Bay Talks About Leonard Nimoy & Star Trek Nods In Transformers: Dark Of The Moon

Yesterday we talked about Paramount’s big Star Trek movie for next 4th of July weekend (at least officially). For this 4th of July weekend Paramount’s big movie is Transformer: Dark of the Moon, and it turns out that it contains some Star Trek of its own. Today director Michael Bay is talking about the Trek references in TF3, including Leonard Nimoy’s voice work.  


Star Trek and Transformers: Dark of the Moon

The just released movie Transformers: Dark of the Moon includes a few Star Trek references (see end of article for spoilers). These include Star Trek’s Mr. Spock himself Leonard Nimoy who voices Sentinel Prime in the film. Director Michael Bay explains to MTV how he used a family gathering to ask if Nimoy would un-retire (again) for Transformers:

He’s actually related to me. He married Susan Bay [the director’s cousin]," Bay said. "I was scared to ask him to voice. I saw him at Thanksgiving, and my mom was like, ‘Ask him! Ask him!’ I’m like, ‘No, Mom, no!’

As for the other Trek references (see below), Bay explains:

"That was my writer, Ehren Kruger," Bay said. "[He] is a ‘Star Trek’ geek, so that wasn’t my thing."

The previous two Transformers films were penned by Star Trek writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. They were the ones who brought in Kruger to help on the second film, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Perhaps they bonded over Trek?

Sentinel Prime (voiced by Leonard Nimoy) in "Transformers: Dark of the Moon"

SPOILERS: Trek references in Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Here are some of the Star Trek references in Transformers: Dark of the Moon:

  • After seeing the size of his girlfriend’s workplace, Sam (Shia LaBeouf) says "It’s a beautiful building you guys have. Like the Starship Enterprise in here." (see video below)
  • While hiding at Sam’s apartment, Autobots Brains and Wheelie are (apparently) watching Star Trek as one says "Hey, I like this episode. It’s the one where Spock turns evil"
  • One of the sound clips used by Bumblebee (talking to Sam) is "your friend" taken from Spock’s line in Star Trek II "I am and always shall be your friend."
  • Sentinel Prime (voiced by Leonard Nimoy) explains himself by saying "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few," an obvious redo of Spock’s famous line from Star Trek II.


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I seen transformers last night and I love the Nods to Star Trek. Nimoy as Centanal Prime when he said the Needs of the Many Outweigh the Needs of the Few was a very powerful line in Transformers. it was great to hear Nimoys Voice as Prime and i for one though this was the best of the Transformers Movies.

All in All I would give Transformers 3 a 4.5 out of 5. Also Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is a much better Actress then Megan Fox and of course she is simply HOT!!!!!!!!!!!!! and she can act as well. This Movie had everything, Great Action and Drama and some suspence as well. I for one Truly hope that they will do one more. For the Trek References. They were simply great and a great nod to Star Trek and that is always a good thing.

Also. In the movie if you listen to Bumble Bee there are other Trek References and even some Voice clips from TOS and Trek 2.
Also. The 3D is simply Fantastic. Many times I simply forgot that I was Watching this in 3D and this is the first 3D Movie I have seen since Avatar that I can say that about.

“the one where Spock goes nuts” ?

I thought…


Thank you, Jack… I was wondering if I remembered it wrong. I, too, thought it was “goes nuts”.

Was the clip from Amok Time or Naked Time? I think Amok. Spock was smashie-smashie the computer monitor. If I remember the 2 second clip correctly. Also ironic/foreshadowing considering Nimoy’s role in TF3.

Sounds like a Shrek movie… and not in a good way.

These TF movies are horrible. Enough said.

looking forward to this, baby sitter and restaurant booked before the 9pm screening.

The 3D was very good. I’ll leave it at that.

Actually, Sentinel Prime said it the correct way: “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”

MTV got it wrong.

The clip was from Amok Time. They are watching it on TV, very funny.

Nimoy’s work is tremendous. He’s a huge part of the film.

#11. You and i are both right. MTV got it wrong.
The Scene from TOS was from Amok Time. I know that sound like the back of my hand.

#8 Greg2600. Don’t make me put you in the Agoniser Booth. Lol/

I really didn’t like how Optimus was so violent and non-heroic in this last film. He killed without mercy. Not the hallmarks of a true hero. I had to explain these things to my son after the movie.

“Kill them all.” Really? I could never imagine Superman or Captain Kirk saying such a line. I was really bummed about Optimus Prime’s characterization. Not a good thing or role model for kids to watch.

Ok… now I’ll have to see the movie… I got to see all these references to Star Trek… smart writer… LOL

:-) :-)

The words – “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few” were reversed in Star Trek: Search for Spock when Spock asks Kirk why they came back for him. Kirk said, “The needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many”.

Not sure I want to see this movie. It just looks too noisy, violent, over the top. I get tired of seeing so much destruction of cities where hundreds of thousands of people live, even though I know it is only fiction. I guess I’ll check it out when it comes onto DVD.

How freaking cool for Michael B.

vzx without spoiling , that attitude was something that had to happen…..some characters will never be rehabilitated , and that is indicative of real life .

He never would have stopped …..either one of them . He was heroic, because his choice may not have been a popular one…..but it was the correct one .

Well,it would take more than some Star Trek talk in this movie to make me go see it!!


I really don’t like the Transformers movies, but these writers know right where the Trekkies’ weakest points are…

Now I’ll just wait an agonizing nine months for it to come out on DVD, then I can watch the “nods” as many times as I like…

The Transformer films are the perfect example of everything that is wrong with modern cinema.



People are being very melodramatic about Transformers films. They certainly aren’t writer’s films, but considering the money they make, they’re obviously filling a niche. I saw the first one and hated it, and will never see another, but a lot of people didn’t feel like me. They just supposed to be escapist, and considering that they are based on TOYS I couldn’t ever be too hard on them. Not bad for a bunch of TOY movies, I suppose. Just not my kind of thing.

But I would never go so far as to say they’re everything that is wrong is modern cinema. First of all, what does that even mean? They certainly can’t be everything that is wrong with past cinema, so maybe we should say “everything that is wrong with current cinema” to be more specific? But even then it sounds kind of hyperbolic. Surely there are worse movies out there?

Of course, this is just my OPINION!

Star Trek is everywhere

Thank God!

Everywhere IS Star Trek. :) :)


Okay, I’ll be more specific. The Transformers movies are loud, flashy, mindless, poorly written heaps of the lowest-common-denominator kind of “entertainment” that has infected Hollywood in the past ten years, promoting with all the subtlety of a chainsaw the high-minded ideals [sarcasm] of graphic violence, sexism, and ethnic stereotypes.

Yes, it is based on TOYS and meant to get every twelve-year-old sugar addict to beg his mommy for a detour down the action figure aisle at Wal-Mart, but so were Pixar’s TOY Story movies—and they’ve been quite well-regarded, now haven’t they?

If you’d like an even more detailed analysis, I recommend this:


Maybe if there were less HUMANS in a movie series called TRANSFORMERS (not HUMANS CONCERNED ABOUT ROBOTS IN DISGUISE, last I checked), the films would be better.

I Belive that the Episode they talk about is one where the Terran Empire Spock is Encountered

The prologue was awesome. After that it was terrible.

#15 “Kill them all.” Really? I could never imagine … Captain Kirk saying such a line.

How about “Scotty! General Order 24 in 2 hours! 2 hours!” (A Taste of Armageddon). Pretty much amounted to ordering Scott to kill everyone on the planet.

I really liked Transformers 3, I actually found the story compelling and I found that I cared about what was going on, motivations were also clear. It wasn’t just “giant robots beating the tin out of each other” it was “giant robots beating the tin out of each other for clearly defined reasons”, I liked that and I loved Nimoy’s voice work, he was very good but then again he always is. I can’t believe they got him to say “the needs of the many…” line, I imagine that took some doing.

What I find more interesting is Peter Cullen, he’s played different incarnations of the Optimus Prime character over the past 25 years or so, doesn’t he get tired of saying essentially the same stuff over and over again?

I mean, imagine this conversation:

Cullen “So let me get this straight, you want me to talk about how freedom is the right of all sentient beings, the war between the autobots and the decepticons and the battle for Cybertron?”

Producer “Yes Mr Cullen, we have a script for you.”

Cullen “That won’t be necessary, I know what I’m doing, just animate around me”.

Did this occur to anyone else?

Also the whole “kill them all…” thing in the new Transformers movie I felt made sense. As a leader Optimus Prime had been pushed to his limits. He had been betrayed by his former mentor who tried to have him and all of his Autobot friends killed and on top of that the world that had adopted him and is now his home was being threatened, grounds for him to be pushed to extreme measures I’d say, plus they were certainly needed, I couldn’t see any other way out of that.

Does anyone agree?


I think it is crossing the line for our hero a bit. I think Kirk 2.0 did the same thing at the end of ST09 when he blasted Nero’s ship. Unnecessary. Gratuitous violence.

While, the adult in me can appreciate Prime blasting Sentinel and think wow that was ballsy and bad ass – at the same time, I wonder what kind of example is being set for this generation of kids are growing up with this incarnation of Optimus Prime. What happened to the “we are all a little wiser now” Optimus from G1?

As for Peter Cullen, I agree. He doesn’t need a script. Just animate around him.

Example for this generation of kids? Well … sorry to say, but the example is kind of good. It’s the real life … If someone wants to kill you, what do you do? You kill him first. If five people want to kill you, what do you do? You kill them all, if you can.

Thinks like heroism, compassion, etc. unfortunately are not the driving power of our 21st century society. I know this may sound strange, but heroism in our way of living can get you nothing, and even can get you killed (just watch the evening news and you will surely see some hero killed while trying to catch a bank robber or by trying to save someone else – that’s pure stupidity, not heroism, and we must adapt to the modern society we built).

So, I think that Optimus killing all the bad guys is the example which will help future generations survive in our metropolitan jungle of life.

PS: By the way, Optimus let them live twice (in the first 2 movies) … it was the time to not make the same mistake the 3rd time.

War is hell. Sometimes you have to fight without mercy. Sounds like Optimus Prime was doing what he had to do!

People are so soft, sentimental and unpragmatic these days! Most of our historical heroes would be had up in The Hague nowadays, but that doesn’t stop them being heroes who defended us!

Lame they made Nimoy pimp off his greatest line ever… Then Sentinel Prime turns to the camera and says, “I’d buy thaaat for a dollar.”

It was crap, again.

Does no one read the script before making films.

They only left out the “Live long and prosper” from the list of Spockisms. I guess it is never too early for Paramount to start raising the awareness of its next big franchise. Remember the next Transformers will be due around 4 years from now with a new cast and director etc. Paramount needs something to fill that financial gap for the shareholders. ST2009 performed abysmally in the foreign markets i.e. beaten on its opening weekend in Spain by the “Hanna Montana Movie”, and only making about half of the foreign boxoffice of the horrendous dud that is Jack Black’s “Gulliver Travels”. We should instead thank him for the assist.

I saw the film this evening, and I’ll agree with the whole problem with the “kill them all” line. It really jarred with what was the ridiculously overstated “freedom” sentiment that slapped you in the face every time he spoke. Yes, good guy, fight for humans and rights and all that stuff, but damn, I got it the first time he said it. The fifth time, with the American flag waving behind them all… we don’t all live in America, and that sort of patriotic vehemence doesn’t sound right. It sounds very forced. And then saying “kill them all” went totally against that. I can see why killing them all was a very good idea, but, just, don’t… it was said so audiences went woo and yeah and clapped etc etc. Over the top, like the entire film.

Which isn’t a bad thing. But it isn’t the best thing either. Star Trek handles all of this stuff with much more aplomb. The Motion Picture, at it’s heart, was the same deal. Alien machine doesn’t see humans as important. And from a story point of view, the concept was handled much better. These guys just blew everything up so eventually there was no bad guy to teach the morals to. I am only 20, but I genuinely sat there and considered what these sorts of films would be teaching my kids if I took them to see it.

And I have to say that Star Trek would always win out.

Transformers: The Movie is still my favorite. Enjoyed it as a kid, and it still holds up now.

It was okay. I can see why it opened weaker than the others. Only so much that you can do with this.

The fourth reference is a bit off, from what I recall; He does say the actual “The needs of the many outweight the needs of the few” line, rather than the inverse.

In regard to violence, even the Transformers fandom’s had discussion with half-joking comments that Optimus Prime is the real villain of the film. It’s definately not the kid’s cartoon from the 80s, but I felt it was a decent movie. Far better than Revenge of the Fallen, but it helps having a script before you start shooting.

#21. Let Them Eat Plomeek Soup …

Well, Transformers is not my favorite franchise, too… but fans are receiving the movie in 2011… and, Trekkies are still waiting for a little information about Trek2… it seems that so far we have only the references in Transformers… LOL

:-) :-)

“The needs of the few outweigh the needs of the many,” – face-palmed

Seeing it tonight.

I thought the line one of the Autobots says was “This is the one where Spock goes mad.” Could be mistaken. Anyway there is a credit for music from the episode “Amok Time.”

T:DOTM was terrible. Wild swings between comedy and drama. Example. Ken Jeong basically reprises his role as Chow freon The Hangover but when he’s attacked by a Decepticon, it’s not so funny. And hungover is the way you will feel after this movie. Non-stop action. And I mean it. Pound you in your seats action until you’re sick with nausea. You would be hard pressed to find more than two straight minutes of dialogue. While the movie was filemd in 3D, the characters are 2D.

Shia Labeouf is annoying throughout the movie. Rosie Huntignton Whiteley is a mannequin. Wait to you see her introduction to this movie. On the big screen, I’ll just say it was cheeky. Frances McDormand (Fargo?!) is given some silly things to say. She will probably never leave the Coen Brothers again.

There is one good thing about this movie. The 3D effects. They are spectacular. That’s because most ot it was filmed in 3D. Effects pop and yeah there are things thrown at you. I like that. Use it or lose it. And since this stinker is going to make a billion bucks, I believe the next Star Trek movie should be filmed in 3D. No conversions. That’s purely financial not for artistic reasons. Trekkers, don’t fear 3D. A Star Trek movie with native 3D, i.e. filmed in 3D could look cool. Just expect the next Star Trek to come out in 2013.

I grade this turkey with a D. I predict it will repeat for the Razzie as Worst Picture. Critics got it wrong with Tron: Legacy, this time they got it right. See RottenTomatoes link.

T:DOTM mostly filmed in 3D

No plans to see this one.

How about this ST connection: Peter David, who’s written several great ST novels, also wrote the novelization for TRANSFORMERS 3 film.

@24: Well said. I liked the first and third films, hated the second, but I agree with you–they are entertainment, not a Melville-type story.

You didn’t like the movies, but you’ve written one of the best defenses of them I’ve read. I gotta salute you for that.


Yes, people are receiving the movie in 2011. They also received Harry Potter 7 last year, and that was honestly one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. But they know that even though people don’t actually like these franchise films, they will still pay $10 to go see them in theaters just because. Maybe having hope there is a chance it’ll be better than the last one…but that’s never the case.

@34 I’d rather not adapt to that kind of ‘modern society’, call me old-fashioned, but we used to call such behaviour ‘cowardice’. Just sayin’. The modern world is crying out for decency, chivalry, honour and bravery: people can call that foolhardy if they wish, but I’d rather die that kind of fool than live a coward.