Star Trek: Strange New Worlds' Ethan Peck Comments On Spock's Sexuality And Leonard Nimoy’s Influence On His Portrayal

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds’ latest trailer showed off exciting elements from the Paramount+ show, which has the potential to change the fandom’s thoughts and perceptions of certain classic characters. This even include elements that aren’t technically canon. For instance, quick scenes of Spock getting intimate with a Vulcan woman caused a stir among many fans who had their own thoughts about the Prime Universe character’s sexuality. Now, Ethan Peck is commenting on that subject while also explaining how his work continues to be influenced by Leonard Nimoy's.

While it’s not canon, there’s a belief among some Star Trek fans that Spock is a part of the LGBTQ+ community. Theories about the character being bisexual or asexual, along with the litany of Kirk/Spock fan-fiction over the years, were brought up during the Strange New Worlds panel at Star Trek: Mission Chicago. A curious fan asked Ethan Peck if he takes that into consideration when he plays the role. Peck was honest with his response, saying that he thinks fans can feel however they want about the subject:

I tend not to think about how he will be received. I’m so focused on the writing and what that gives me, and however that’s perceived, and if your imagination takes it someplace, I think that’s wonderful.

Ultimately, the star is playing Spock (who may have a canonical first name now) as written by the writers of Strange New Worlds. He thinks it’s wonderful that fans continue to have their theories about the character's sexuality but, when it comes to his performance, he’s only concerned with making sure he’s portraying what’s in the script. 

Ethan Peck also talked about playing the character in general as well as his process of channeling the Vulcan. Peck (who spoke to Leonard Nimoy’s daughter about the role when he took it) explained that he mainly looks to Nimoy’s portrayal because that’s the character he’ll eventually become during the new show:

When I prep my work, I hear his voice ringing in my head, and I say, ‘Is that the right [way]?’ I hope that he’s with me, you know, as I do it. But, at a certain point, I stopped watching so that I can kind of find it for myself.

Leonard Nimoy’s take on the Enterprise officer is more or less the idealized Spock, but it took some time to get there. Ethan Peck’s debut in the role during Season 2 of Star Trek: Discovery (available now with a Paramount+ subscription) showed that the character has a long way to go before becoming the sage-like figure who first appeared in the original series all those years ago.

Ethan Peck seemingly revealed that Spock is still a work in progress, so to speak, and that leaves room for some interesting storytelling. Peck talked a bit more about portraying the character in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds and the stress involved in doing it:

I think there’s a lot more nuance to explore in this series. We see deeper into his personal life, into him. Which is such a privilege and terrifying as well because we want to do it properly, you know, to do it correctly.

The pressure is on for the latest Trek spinoff to do right by Spock, but the same goes for many of the original characters appearing in the upcoming Paramount+ series. It certainly sounds like a difficult task, especially considering that there are decades of fan debate and theories devoted to a single topic like Spock's sexuality. We’ll see how fans respond to the series and its take on the iconic Vulcan.

Star Trek: Strange New Worlds premieres on Paramount+ (opens in new tab) on Thursday, May 5th. It’s one of many Star Trek shows arriving in 2022 and, based on the footage shown so far, it may be one of the best ones yet.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.