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"Share your pain. Share your pain with me – and gain strength from the sharing."

Sybok was the firstborn son of the Vulcan ambassador Sarek and a Vulcan princess during the first half of the 23rd century, and was the elder half-brother of Starfleet officer Spock. Sybok was a revolutionary, one of the V'tosh ka'tur, who sought experience and knowledge that were forbidden by Vulcan beliefs. At one time, when he was confined to a rehabilitation center, he was known by the alias "Xaverius". (SNW: "The Serene Squall")

Early life[]

Sybok was born sometime before 2230. (Star Trek Beyond) Though his father Sarek was married to Amanda Grayson, a Human school teacher, he was born out of wedlock to a Vulcan princess. After the death of his mother, Sybok was raised by Sarek as a half-brother to Spock. As a young student, Sybok was considered to be exceptionally gifted, possessing great intelligence, and it was assumed that he would one day take his place among the great scholars of Vulcan.

It was stated in TNG: "Sarek" that Sarek's first wife was from Earth, a clear reference to Amanda Grayson. This indicated that Sarek was never married to Sybok's Vulcan mother (which Star Trek V never explicitly states). SNW: "The Serene Squall" confirms that Sybok was born out of wedlock, though it is unclear if Sarek was married to Amanda Grayson at the time.

However, Sybok rejected his logical upbringing and chose to embrace emotion like his ancestors, believing that the key to self-knowledge was emotion, not logic. When Sybok encouraged others to follow him, he was banished, never to return. For this reason, he was considered a V'tosh ka'tur, and eventually, his half-brother was told to avoid Sybok "at all costs." (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier; SNW: "The Serene Squall")

In 2259, he was confined to the Ankeshtan K'til Vulcan criminal rehabilitation center, on the third moon of Omicron Lyrae, under the alias "Xaverius" to protect Ambassador Sarek's reputation. Here, agents of the El-Keshtanktil (including T'Pring, Spock's betrothed) attempted to rehabilitate Sybok and other criminals by showing them the true path of Vulcan logic. Around this time, he was romantically involved with Angel, the leader of a band of pirates operating outside of Federation space. Angel sought to free their lover by capturing the USS Enterprise and holding Spock as hostage, using his relationship with T'Pring as leverage. However, this plan ultimately failed thanks to the efforts of Spock and Christine Chapel. (SNW: "The Serene Squall")


During his studies, Sybok received visions given to him by an entity whom he believed to be God himself, and began a journey for a place in Vulcan mythology known as "Sha Ka Ree," from where all of existence was said to have originated. In 2287, Sybok's visions led him to Nimbus III.

During his travels, Sybok gained allies by asking the people he encountered to "share their pain" with him; he used the telepathic abilities inherent to his Vulcan heritage to help them relive traumatic experiences in their lives, allowing them to face and subsequently overcome their most deep-seated regrets.

These were very intense, powerful experiences that could sometimes be witnessed and shared by other people (as was the case with Captain Kirk, Spock, and Dr. McCoy). The recipients of Sybok's "therapy" were always thankful to be healed of their psychological trauma, and would readily join Sybok's quest out of gratitude toward him. This allowed Sybok to amass a large group of followers who dubbed themselves the Galactic Army of Light, and to easily capture Paradise City.

Spock and Sybok say farewell

Sybok bids farewell to his brother

Sybok death

Sybok confronts "God"

In an effort to gain access to a starship, Sybok subsequently kidnapped three ambassadors to Nimbus III – St. John Talbot of the Federation, General Korrd of the Klingon Empire, and Caithlin Dar of the Romulan Star Empire – and successfully manipulated them into joining him. This eventually led to a failed rescue attempt by the crew of the USS Enterprise-A, wherein Sybok was reunited with his brother, Spock. Commandeering the Enterprise, Sybok had the crew set a course for the center of the galaxy, where he believed Sha Ka Ree existed, beyond the Great Barrier.

Although Kirk insisted that the Enterprise would be destroyed attempting to penetrate the Barrier, Sybok was eventually vindicated when the ship was able to do so without incident, and discovered a planet on the other side. Traveling to the surface with Kirk, Spock, and McCoy, Sybok was eventually confronted with the fact that the being which had given him his visions was not, in fact, God, but rather a malevolent alien entity who had been imprisoned within the Great Barrier, and who had manipulated Sybok into providing him with a starship with which he might escape. Realizing that he had made a terrible mistake, Sybok confronted this being, sacrificing his own life to save the crew of the Enterprise. (Star Trek V: The Final Frontier)



Background information[]

In Star Trek V, Sybok was played by Laurence Luckinbill. In Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, the role of a younger Sybok was played by an unknown performer.

In the original story outline, Sybok was named "Zar". [1] The role of Sybok was written for popular actor Sean Connery; however, this did not come to be. Nevertheless, the Star Trek Encyclopedia, 4th ed., vol. 2, p. 288 asserts that Connery's name in alluded to in the final film, by the mythical name "Sha Ka Ree".

According to the Star Trek Chronology, 2nd ed., p. 38 and the Star Trek Encyclopedia, 4th ed., vol. 2, p. 349, Sybok was born in 2224, based on conjecture that Spock was born in 2230. Sybok is Spock's older half-brother despite the fact that Laurence Luckinbill was more than three years younger than Leonard Nimoy.

In an interview with Screenrant, Luckinbill recalled discussing the role with William Shatner: "Hold on very hard to the idea that this is a man who really wanted to change the world that he knew to a better one, to a better world. And I've told the story before, but when Bill [Shatner] said, ‘Let's meet to talk about how you see the role,’ we were supposed to have dinner, but we ended up at an orange juice bar with [us] standing in the corner. And he said, ‘Well, how do you see the part?’ and I said, ‘Lenin.’ And he said, ‘John?’ And I said, ‘No Vladimir Ilyich.’ And he said, ‘Wait a minute, this isn't a commie movie.’ I said, ‘No, no, that's not my intention.’

My intention is the fact that all of these reformers start with the intention of making things better for people, for humans, freedom, equality, justice, all those things. But when they reach obstacles, and there are many people who don't want the kind of government that the guy is projecting, then they start to get dictatorial. And that's what happened when Sybok decided the key thing was to steal the Enterprise, which was a criminal act, and he knew that. But if you recall the ending, which I'm very, very fond of, where Leonard and I became brothers, and then I sacrificed myself for the community.

And so, I would tell anyone who's got the new Sybok robes to remember, really, that his impulse is good, is really good. He is not a villain. He is someone who has made mistakes. You and I might make those mistakes. And in terms of trying to change your family or hold the community better, or something like that, you might get nuts and say, ‘No, you will do it this way.’ But the impulse [is] to make things better, and really, at its heart, is let me take your pain away. Let me make life better for you. So, that was what that is. That is my take on it. And I resisted the idea of being the villain. And I told Bill that. I said he's not a villain. He's a heroic guy. And he's just, he's just in the way of the legal stuff, you know. That's what I would say."[2]

There were rumors that Nimoy wanted to play both Spock and Sybok, but Shatner vetoed it. [3]


The novelization of Star Trek V: The Final Frontier and the novel Sarek both name Sybok's mother as T'Rea (β), a Kolinahr adept who had been bonded to Sarek in childhood. She rose to become High Master, whereupon – per Kolinahr tradition, requiring the severing of emotional ties – her marriage to Sarek was annulled, explaining why Amanda is considered his "first" wife. The novelization goes on to explain that Sybok was banished from Vulcan for violating the mind of a Watcher in the Hall of Ancient Thought in order to locate the receptacle of his mother's katra, and discover the location of Sha Ka Ree.

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