The 2009 film reboot of “Star Trek,” produced by J.J. Abrams and written by current Trek showrunner Alex Kurtzman, focused heavily on the origin stories of both James Tiberius Kirk and Spock. The movie began with Kirk’s birth onboard a medical transport from the USS Kelvin. It also revealed many details of Kirk and Spock’s childhoods, following their stories as they grew up and entered Starfleet Academy.
However, one pivotal Spock scene ended up on the cutting room floor.
The Deleted Baby Spock Scene
In the DVD/BluRay audio commentary for “Star Trek,” Abrams, Kurtzman, producer Damon Lindelof, writer Roberto Orci, and producer Bryan Burk revealed that the movie’s original cut started with Spock’s birth instead of Kirk’s birth. Abrams explained why they ended up removing the scene.
“Well we had the birth of Spock, then we had the birth of Kirk. Then we had young Spock then young Kirk. Then we had older Spock then older Kirk. And it was just too much back and forth for too long. So, we removed the birth of Spock and made the Kirk birth sequence a pre-credit scene to kind of reset the movie.”
The deleted scene showed an adorable baby Spock being cleaned up post-delivery and handed to his mother, Amanda, played by Winona Ryder. She welcomed Spock to the world and cried tears of joy. One of the Vulcan midwives was baffled by Amanda’s display of emotion. The other midwife explained that Amanda was a human.
Sarek appeared, admired his son, and told Amanda he wanted to name him after a prominent Vulcan historical figure. Amanda tried out the name and agreed. The proud parents then discussed how the baby had his mother’s eyes and his father’s ears. Cue the close-up of an adorable infant with pointy Vulcan ears.
Though the scene was quick, it contained a lot of subtexts that informed the characters. It served as an introduction to the fact that Amanda, a human, was out of place on Vulcan. This became a major influence in Spock’s childhood. He and his mother were extremely close and he was often criticized for the emotionality he displayed with her. Spock also struggled with being the only half-human on a planet full of Vulcans.
The scene also showed the gentle, genuine affection between Amanda and Sarek, which was also a pivotal part of Spock’s life. Spock often found his father cold and unfeeling, which led him to wonder how his mother could love him. He also had to deal with the judgments of other Vulcans who believed that his father’s feelings for his mother were inappropriate for a Vulcan.
The Decision to Delete Baby Spock
On the commentary track, the writers and producers revealed that they had a very hard time with the decision to cut out Spock’s birth scene. One of them said that they “debated it for a year and a half.”
The team discussed the decision to open with Kirk’s birth, which put the audience right in the action. They then explained that since they’d shown Kirk’s birth first, they couldn’t go back and show Spock’s birth second because Spock is older than Kirk.
The writers went on to say that they were worried about cutting the scene because it informed so much of Spock’s story. Originally, the birth scene was one of the only scenes that established Amanda as human and hinted at why she and Spock were so close.
However, the power of Kirk’s birth scene won out and fans missed out on baby Spock.
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