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Every man hides a secret pain. Share it with me, and gain strength from the sharing.
~ Sybok

Sybok is an antagonist in the Star Trek universe, serving as the central antagonist turned anti-hero in the 1989 sequel film Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. He was the firstborn son of the Vulcan diplomat Sarek and the Vulcan princess T'Rea, and was the elder half-brother of Starfleet officer, Spock.

He was portrayed by Laurence Luckinbill on The Final Frontier, and by an unidentified perform on Star Trek: Strange New Worlds.


Sarek and T'Rea married in 2224 and were only intimate one time, which resulted in T'Rea becoming pregnant with Sybok. A short time later she was named High Master of Gol. At that point she left Sarek and the marriage was annulled.

The birth of Sybok, or Shiav as he was then known was kept secret from Sarek. She raised her son to believe that emotions were not to be avoided at all costs, but to be embraced. T'Rea also taught her son about Sha Ka Ree, the place in Vulcan mythology that all of existence was said to have originated, and that God awaited them there.

After T'Rea died Sarek learned that Sybok was his son. He and Amanda brought Sybok into their home and raised Sybok and his younger half-brother Spock together. 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 amongst the great scholars of Vulcan. However, Sybok rejected his logical upbringing and chose to embrace emotion, believing that the key to self-knowledge was emotion, not logic. A revolutionary, Sybok sought experience and knowledge which were forbidden by Vulcan belief.

It was officially stated when Sybok encouraged others to follow him, he was banished, never to return. What actually happened was that Sybok had forced his way in to the Hall of Ancient Thought where his mother's katra was held, violating the mind of an elderly watchman in the process. He tried to take T'Rea's katra into him to journey to Sha Ka Ree but was unsuccessful. When High Master T'Sai and adepts discovered him T'Rea refused to return to the katric ark and her katra dissipated. It was because of these crimes that Sybok was banished from Vulcan by T'Sai.

Sybok in 2259.

By 2255, it had been over a decade since Sybok last had contact with his family. Spock was unsure if Sybok was even still alive at that point. Sometime before 2259 Sybok married a pirate named Captain Angel, who had been raiding Federation shipping. By 2259 Sybok was traveling under the assumed name Xaverius. Captured by the El-Keshtanktil, Sybok was placed in confinement at the Ankeshtan K'til rehabilitation center, where the El-Keshtanktil attempted to get him to re-embrace logic. Angel attempted to force El-Keshtanktil agent T'Pring to exchange Spock for Sybok, but their efforts failed and Sybok remained imprisoned at that time. At some point Sybok either managed to escape from custody or was released.

During his studies, Sybok received visions given to him by an entity whom he believed to be the God his mother taught him about, and began a journey for Sha Ka Ree. By 2287 Sybok's work 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 Sybok could sometimes project telepathically to be witnessed and shared by other people (as was the case with Kirk, Spock, and McCoy).

The recipients of Sybok's "therapy" were always thankful to be healed of their psychological trauma, and nearly all of them would readily join Sybok's quest out of gratitude toward him. The only two that declined to join his quest were his brother Spock and Dr. McCoy. This allowed Sybok to amass a large group of followers who dubbed themselves the Galactic Army of Light, and to easily capture Paradise City. 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 NCC-1701-A, wherein Sybok was reunited with his brother, Spock. Sybok was able to use his technique on a large number of the Enterprise crew, bringing them to his side. 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 Captain 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. (The novelization stated that Sybok had discovered the shield modifications needed to pass through the barrier successfully and had given them to Montgomery Scott to perform). Traveling to the surface with Kirk, Spock, and Doctor Leonard 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.

After the rescue of Captain Kirk from the entity by the Klingons a reception was held on the Enterprise where Spock reflected on the loss of his brother. For the people that Sybok forced to confront their pain the residual effects of the mind meld went away. However there were still benefits, for example McCoy had been to finally able to let go of his guilt for turning off his father's life support equipment so many years ago, and the grief over his father's death was much more bearable now. McCoy made sure to express his thanks to Spock over what Sybok did for him.


  • Originally, the producers wanted Sean Connery for the role of Sybok, but Connery was unavailable, Max von Sydow was also favored for the role of Sybok.
  • Originally, Spock and McCoy were to side with Sybok, but this was scrapped over the strenuous objections of both Leonard Nimoy and DeForrest Kelley - both of whom felt neither Spock nor McCoy would ever betray Kirk.


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Star Trek: The Motion Picture: V'Ger: Klingons ( Barak )
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan: Augments (Khan & Joachim)
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock: Klingons (Kruge, Torg, Maltz) | Valkris
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home: Whale Probe | Kamarag
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier: The One | Klingons (Klaa & Vixis) | Sybok
Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country: Khitomer Conspiracy (General Chang, Nanclus, Valeris, Admiral Cartwright, Patrick West, Harlan Burke, Thomas Samno)
Star Trek Generations: Tolian Soran | Klingons (Lursa & B'Etor)
Star Trek: First Contact: The Borg (Borg Queen)
Star Trek: Insurrection: Son'a (Ahdar Ru'afo & Gallatin) | Matthew Dougherty
Star Trek: Nemesis: Remans (Shinzon, Viceroy, Tal'aura, Suran & Donatra)
Star Trek (2009): Romulans (Nero & Ayel)
Star Trek Into Darkness: Khan | Alexander Marcus
Star Trek Beyond: Krall | Manas | Kalara

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