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What exactly was Spock doing in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan that caused his death?

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He was trying to correct a problem with the warp core

You will remember that Khan engaged the Enterprise in battle; this severely damaged the Enterprise, including the Warp Core. The Enterprise needed warp drive to escape the explosion of the Genesis device. Consequently (and as per Memory Alpha's description):

Spock sacrificed his own life by repairing the Enterprise's plasma conduits – in a severely irradiated portion of engineering – in order to save the crew.

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    And in J.J. Abrams "remake" in the new timeline, it is Kirk who corrects the core and gets killed. – Thomas Feb 3 '16 at 8:06
  • Spoilers, @Thomas ! – Slacklord the Terrible Feb 3 '16 at 17:15
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    That movie was spoiled before they filmed the first scene. – T.J.L. Feb 3 '16 at 19:10

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