In Star Trek 3 the auto-destruct code was entered. The sequence goes (from copied from memory alpha):

"Destruct sequence 1, code 1-1 A."
"Destruct sequence 2, code 1-1 A-2B."
"Destruct sequence 3, code 1 B-2B-3."

There is also a clip - it may be noteworthy the dashes are not displayed.

I could find remarkable little about this scene online. I keep wondering if it was intended as joke because of its simplicity. Or due to the similarity of Kirks and Scottys code if it was implied one copied the others code with an error.

I am looking for out of universe information.


By the way, the final confirmatory code is

"Code zero zero zero. Destruct. Zero."

I just recalled this is very similar to the nuclear launch code: 00000000. So might be a connection in this direction.

  • 8
    My recollection is that the codes from Star Trek III were originally used when the self destruct was activated in the old episode "Let This Be Your Last Battlefield.". So whatever the reason those codes were chosen, it would have been back in 1968.
    – Buzz
    Mar 26, 2018 at 5:53
  • 14
    The code itself may be of little significance. It could be that the presence of all the required officers who say their code words for e.g. voice recognition purposes is the security aspect with the words themselves being purely to verify the nature of the order. Mar 26, 2018 at 6:27
  • 8
    Yeah, it just needs to be something you're not going to say accidentally. Or when drunk. Mar 26, 2018 at 6:28
  • 2
    @Buzz is correct - the sequence was originally used in the TOS Season 3 Episode "Let that Be Your Last Battlefield" - youtube.com/watch?v=STQNi7ArRl8
    – NKCampbell
    Mar 26, 2018 at 14:38
  • 1
    even if it wasn't directly a reference from 1968 - either way - 1968 or 1984 - it's still varying degrees of Cold War. Thus highly unlikely that the code to nuclear missiles was public information such that screenwriters would drop it in as a joke. Also - according to the article you posted, that wasn't public info until 2004.
    – NKCampbell
    Aug 20, 2019 at 17:32

2 Answers 2


While I cannot find an out of universe explanation, the code is an exact copy of the one from TOS Let That Be Your Last Battlefield as indicated by @Buzz in the comments. The only difference is who speaks the words.

A transcript of TOS:LTBYLB shows the following, which also indicates that besides the code, voice recognition is used (So any phrase would work, like "monkey monkey football" or similar):

KIRK: Computer, destruct sequence. Are you ready to copy?

COMPUTER: Working.

KIRK: Prepare to verify destruct sequence code one. Computer, this is Captain James Kirk of the USS Enterprise. Destruct sequence one, code one, one A.

COMPUTER Voice and code one, one A verified and correct. Sequence one complete.

KIRK: Mister Spock.

SPOCK: This is Commander Spock, science officer. Destruct sequence number two, code one, one A, two B.

COMPUTER: Voice and code verified and correct. Sequence two complete.

KIRK: Mister Scott.

SCOTT: This is Lieutenant Commander Scott, chief engineering officer of the USS Enterprise. Destruct sequence number three, code one B, two B, three.

COMPUTER: Voice and code one B, two B, three verified and correct. Destruct sequence completed and engaged. Awaiting final code for thirty second countdown.

KIRK: Mister Spock, has the ship returned to the course set for it by my orders?

SPOCK: Negative, Captain. We are still headed directly for Cheron.

COMPUTER: Destruct sequence engaged. Awaiting final code for thirty second countdown.

KIRK: Computer, this is Captain James Kirk of the USS Enterprise. Begin thirty second countdown. Code zero, zero, zero, destruct zero.


The code is just to remove all doubt about the order and prevent accidental initiation. There maybe is some light authentication as well. But I believe the words are tied to the sequence of instruction and not the person.

The code Spock gives in TOS is the same as Chekov in the movie. So it's not a unique code. The identity of the officer is authenticated by other means. From TOS it appears to just be voice.

  • Hi, I'm looking for references. The point about the voiceprint is never stated in the references. As example in VOY: "Investigations" Neelix is able access Tom Paris's computer just by using the code.
    – bdecaf
    Nov 6, 2019 at 15:25
  • @bdecaf: Actually, according to the transcript in JohnP's answer, the computer does state it has verified the voice. Also, the auto-destruct feature may well be secured differently than Tom's personal log files. Nov 6, 2019 at 20:27
  • @O.R.Mapper you are right! how did I overlook that. Was just so happy I found a counterexample ;)
    – bdecaf
    Nov 7, 2019 at 7:39

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.