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Star Trek character
Spock and parents 1968.jpg
Mark Lenard as Sarek and Jane Wyatt as Amanda Grayson with Leonard Nimoy as their son, Mr. Spock
Portrayed by Mark Lenard
Jonathan Simpson
Ben Cross
James Frain
Species Vulcan
Affiliation United Federation of Planets
Posting Vulcan ambassador to the Federation
Rank Ambassador

Sarek /ˈsærɛk/ is a fictional character in the Star Trek media franchise. He is a Vulcan astrophysicist, the Vulcan ambassador to the United Federation of Planets, and father of Spock. The character was originated by Mark Lenard in the 1967 episode "Journey to Babel". Lenard previously portrayed a Romulan Commander in another episode of the original series, 1966's "Balance of Terror".

Actor Jonathan Simpson played a younger Sarek in a brief scene in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, with voice-over provided by Lenard. Ben Cross portrayed Sarek in the 2009 motion picture Star Trek. James Frain will play Sarek in the new TV series Star Trek: Discovery.

The character appears in the original Star Trek series, the animated series, four Star Trek movies, two episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and numerous Star Trek novels and comics.

Character biography[edit]

Star Trek: The Original Series[edit]

Sarek was born in 2165.[1] He is the son of Skon of Vulcan and the grandson of Solkar (the first Vulcan ambassador to Earth).[2] Sarek was married twice, and had two sons. Prior to his first marriage, he had a relationship with the Vulcan priestess, T'Rea, which produced Sarek's first son Sybok, a character not developed until the fifth feature film in the late 1980s. Sarek later married Amanda Grayson, a native of the planet Earth. After Amanda's death, Sarek married Perrin, also human, who survived his death. Sarek and Perrin had no children.

Sarek's second son, Spock, entered Starfleet Academy. Sarek opposed the decision, and the two were estranged for 18 years. Following an Enterprise mission where Spock helped save Sarek's life, father and son reconciled.

TOS films[edit]

In Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Sarek asks Kirk to bring Spock's body back along with his katra, or living essence, to Vulcan. Sarek later confronts Kirk at his apartment, thinking that Spock placed his katra into Kirk's mind (since Kirk was the last person to be with the dying Spock), and asking Kirk why he did not return Spock to Vulcan. Unknown to either Sarek or Kirk, Spock had actually placed his katra in the mind of his friend Leonard McCoy for safekeeping. Kirk later discovers this through the security tapes during the last moments of Spock's life in his fight to save the Enterprise from Khan and promised Sarek to bring both men to Vulcan. The Genesis Device regenerates Spock's body and restores his life; Kirk and his crew manage to get Spock off the planet and return him to his home planet of Vulcan. There, Sarek asks the priestess T'Lar to perform a fal-tor-pan, reuniting Spock's mind and body. Sarek thanks Kirk for the rescue of Spock, which took place at the expense of the destruction of the Enterprise and the death of Kirk's son. Kirk admitted if he did not try to save Spock, he would have faced a deeper guilt in his soul.

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home begins with Kirk, Spock, and the rest of the Enterprise crew still in exile on Vulcan. Sarek travels to Earth to speak on behalf of Kirk (who is facing charges from the Klingon Empire), and is subsequently trapped on the planet when Earth is threatened by destruction by an alien probe. After Kirk and his crew return and save Earth, and are largely exonerated at their subsequent trial, Sarek has a private audience with his son. Sarek states that he is pleased with Spock, and admits that he was wrong in opposing Spock's induction into Starfleet, praising his comrades as people of good character.

Star Trek: The Next Generation[edit]

Spock's ongoing conflict between emotion and logic is countered by his parents, a seemingly loving and devoted couple. In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Sarek", Lenard made one of his last appearances as the character. Sarek suffers from Bendii Syndrome, an incurable and terminal neurological degenerative illness that makes him lose control of his emotions. Having established a mind-meld with Jean-Luc Picard, Sarek is able to continue with an important diplomatic mission, but his emotions are expressed privately through Picard, among them his deep love for Amanda, Spock, and Perrin. Sarek finally succumbs to Bendii Syndrome, dying in the TNG episode "Unification, part I", which takes place in the year 2368.

Mark Lenard's final filmed appearance in the role was in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. The film was released before his last broadcast appearance. Here the character is once again shown as a diplomat participating in the Khitomer Conference, the first diplomatic meeting between the Klingons and the Federation.

The character of Sarek and his relationship with Spock and Amanda have been explored in depth in amateur fiction, several authorized novels, and in the animated episode "Yesteryear", written by D. C. Fontana.

Star Trek (2009)[edit]

Sarek appears in the 2009 Star Trek film, played by Ben Cross. Though respectful of Spock's ability to make his own choices, Sarek clearly encourages him to maintain his logical Vulcan nature. Sarek maintains that he married Amanda because it was logical to do so - since as the Vulcan ambassador, it would of course fall upon Sarek to observe human behavior. Later, Sarek is on the board of the Vulcan Science Academy, and is disappointed to learn that his son has turned down admission in favor of joining Starfleet.

When the vengeful Romulan captain, Nero, makes clear his intention to destroy Vulcan, Spock arrives to transport Sarek, Amanda, and the rest of the Vulcan council to safety; however, Amanda is lost in the attempt. When Cadet Kirk provokes Spock to force him to relinquish command, it is only Sarek's stern "Spock!" that calms the enraged half-Vulcan. When Spock leaves the bridge, Sarek is clearly displeased by the events and follows him. Sarek advises Spock that if he feels anger (at Vulcan's destruction and Amanda's death), then he should not try to hide it. Sarek also admits to his son: "You once asked me why I married your mother...I married her because I loved her." Sarek affirms to his son that not all Vulcans are as emotionless as they appear to be; even Sarek is painfully grieved over the loss of his beloved wife. At this moment, father and son have reconciled as they grieve together over the losses of their world and loved ones, before Spock leaves to stop Nero from destroying Earth and to avenge his mother's untimely death.

Star Trek: Discovery[edit]

On January 18, 2017 it was announced that actor James Frain will assume the role of Sarek for the new Trek series Star Trek: Discovery. [3]


Sarek appears in the following episodes and films:

Star Trek: The Original Series
Star Trek: The Animated Series
Star Trek films
Star Trek: The Next Generation


  1. ^ Okuda, Michael; Denise Okuda (1996). Star Trek Chronology: The History of the Future. Pocket Books. ISBN 0-671-53610-9. 
  2. ^ According to Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, identifying him as "Sarek, son of Skon, son of Solkar".
  3. ^ "James Frain Joins Discovery As Sarek". 2017-01-18. Retrieved 2017-01-18. 

External links[edit]