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I'm still trying to get over the fact that my honorary grandfather is

dead!

Is there any explanation of what happened to his character in Star Trek: Beyond?

  • @amflare - Your edit fundamentally changed the question. OP is aware that Spock is dead. He wants to know how/why. – Valorum Dec 14 '17 at 17:19
  • The implication was that he just died of old age. I don't see any reason to look for another explanation, and there's no reason to expect half-Vulcans to live as long as full Vulcans do. – Harry Johnston Dec 14 '17 at 19:56
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The cause of Prime Spock's death has not been confirmed, but his passing was intended to parallel that of Leonard Nimoy and so one could assume that "natural causes" were at play.

As you note, early in Star Trek Beyond, the Kelvin-timeline Spock is made aware that Prime Spock, who we last saw in Into Darkness on New Vulcan, has passed away.

The cause of death was not made explicit in the film. The script notes do not shed any further light on this. Also, note that an official novelization of Star Trek Beyond was never released.

Presumably, he died of old age, given that he would have been 162 at the time (based on his official database entry at StarTrek.com). This is not exactly of "advanced age" for a Vulcan (whose lifespans can meet or exceed 200 years, as evidenced by Sarek), but is certainly advanced for a human. As Omegacron notes, given that Spock is half Vulcan, half human, one might surmise that 162 is an advanced ge.

Finally, we should note that Spock's passing was a later addition to the script, and that it was a direct response to Leonard Nimoy's passing in early 2015. According to Beyond director Justin Lin:

LIN: It's something you'll see in the film [a reference to Nimoy's passing]. It obviously affected everybody because he's been a big part of our lives. There's an attempt to acknowledge that in some way.

(Source)

As Spock's death was meant to parallel Nimoy's passing, one might surmise that Spock died of natural causes, like Nimoy himself.

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    He died from radiation poisoning in the engine room. Oh, wait... – Machavity Dec 15 '17 at 2:36
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Spock Prime died, presumably, of old age. When Spock Prime died on New Vulcan, he would have been approximately 162 years old.

Sarek, Spock's father, was considered to be middle-aged at 102 (TOS) and very old at 203 (TNG). Using this as a scale, we can assume that 162 for a Vulcan would be roughly 80-ish for a human. And like humans, not all Vulcans could expect the same lifespan - all manner of criteria, including genetics, would factor into determining their natural lifespan.

Couple this with Spock's half-human biology and we can safely assume that 162 was a pretty good lifespan for him - just a couple of decades shy of the Vulcan norm, in fact.

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Spock Prime dies at the start of or just before the events of Star Trek: Beyond.

When Enterprise arrives at the Yorktown space station, Spock is briefed by Vulcan emissaries about the ambassador's death, news that influences Spock's actions throughout the rest of the movie and his decision whether to remain in Starfleet.

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  • OP is already aware that Spock is dead. I think he was looking for a more in-depth analysis – Valorum Dec 14 '17 at 17:21
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    Jeffronicus - in TNG "Sarek": RIKER: The way Mendrossen described him, I expected to see a frail old man. PICARD: I hope I'm that frail when I'm two hundred and two years old. But his aides did seem to be a little overprotective, didn't they? Later: CRUSHER: There's a very rare condition that sometimes affects Vulcans over the age of two hundred. Bendii Syndrome. So clearly Vulcans can live OVER 200 years. – M. A. Golding Dec 14 '17 at 17:37
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    @jeffronicus - There was no novelisation for ST: Beyond. – Valorum Dec 14 '17 at 17:37
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    Ugh, this answer is getting worse all the time. – jeffronicus Dec 14 '17 at 18:07
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    I would remind everyone that Spock is half-human and that normal Vulcan standards of longevity might not apply. – Emsley Wyatt Dec 14 '17 at 20:21

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