A new Star Trek variant cover confirms Spock‘s most meaningful romantic relationship. IDW Publishing has released a first look at the variant covers for April’s Star Trek family of titles, and one – for Star Trek: Defiant #2 – depicts Spock standing next to pictures of some of the deepest relationships he ever had – one of which is Lieutenant Saavik. Saavik played an important role in Spock’s life, and they would later marry in some non-canon licensed media – and this new cover seems to confirm this development is in continuity.
The cover, drawn by Jake Bartok, was unveiled on IDW’s Twitter account. The cover features an elderly Spock, looking pensively at something off camera. Next to him are images of some of the deepest, most meaningful relationships he had throughout his life. Included are Star Trek: Discovery’s Michael Burnham (his half-sister), as well as Captains Kirk and Pike, both of whom he served under and had close friendships with; Spock would meet Captain Jean-Luc Picard and Data in the 24th century, and they are represented here as well. The most interesting of these images, however, is Saavik.
Introduced as a protégé of Spock, Saavik first appeared in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, played by Kirstie Alley, though Robin Curtis played the character in subsequent outings. Saavik was present for her mentor’s death and played an instrumental role in his rebirth. After Spock died in the Wrath of Khan, his body was left behind on the newly formed Genesis Planet. When Saavik returned to the planet in Search for Spock, she found Spock alive, rejuvenated by the effects of the Genesis device. Saavik watched over the rapidly aging Spock, and helped him navigate his first pon farr upon entering puberty. Saavik has not been seen on screen since Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home but has made occasional appearances in spin-off media, such as novels and comics – and these may hold the key to her inclusion on the cover.
As stated earlier, Saavik helped Spock with his first pon farr, the Vulcan mating ritual, and some writers have taken this a step further by marrying Spock and Saavik later down the line – for example in Josepha Sherman and Susan Shwartz’s Vulcan’s Heart. This cover seems to confirm that sort of deep connection between them. This relationship was created by writers of non-canon material, but fuel was added to the fire in Star Trek: The Next Generation’s third season episode “Sarek.” Picard mentioned attending Spock’s wedding as a young man and while the bride was not mentioned, it is not a stretch to see Saavik in the role.
It is also telling that Saavik is included with the likes of Burnham, Pike and Kirk – all of whom Spock shared deep and warm bonds with; likewise, he shared an intimate mind meld with Picard. Her inclusion on the variant cover to Star Trek: Defiant #2 confirms that in current canon, Spock shares a major bond with Saavik – one which could presage their marriage becoming official canon.
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