Fans were intrigued when it was revealed that Star Trek: Discovery season 3’s seventh outing was titled “Unification III,” as it referenced an iconic Next Generation two-parter that brought back Leonard Nimoy’s Spock. And sure enough, the episode connected up with that storyline in the most touching way.
Not only did we find out the outcome of the character’s actions, but we also saw the Trek legend himself. Michael Burnham’s brother has featured on DIS before, of course, with Ethan Peck playing the pre-TOS Spock in season 2. However, this time Nimoy himself appeared via archival footage from the original “Unification I/II” story.
“Unification III” saw Burnham on the quest to find out more information on The Burn, the cataclysmic event that ruined Starfleet, which leads her to the planet Ni’Var – formally known as Vulcan. It turns out that in the thousands of years since her time, the Vulcans and the Romulans have reunited, just as Spock always hoped to achieve.
The legendary ambassador is referenced throughout the episode, too, as the combined peoples hold great respect for the most famous man from their homeworld. He also appears when Burnham accesses a video file from the archives of Admiral Jean-Luc Picard and watches a hologram of her brother telling Picard about his dream of reunification.
Nimoy has technically appeared on DIS before, as season 2 used clips from TOS pilot “The Cage” for a memorable “Previously on Star Trek” recap, but this is a far more moving tip of the hat to both the actor and the character of Spock. Though he wasn’t able to witness the fruits of his hard work, Burnham has discovered for him that his dream eventually became a reality. And if this is the last time we see Nimoy in Star Trek, it’s a very worthy send-off.