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"You received your appointment as Enterprise science officer?"
"Based, I'm told, on your recommendation, admiral. Thank you.
– James T. Kirk and Sonak, 2270s (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)

Commander Sonak was a Vulcan Starfleet officer in the 23rd century. He was in the engineering and maintenance branches of the Operations division. Upon the recommendation of Rear Admiral James T. Kirk, he received an appointment to the refitted USS Enterprise as the starship's new science officer. Per the request of Captain Willard Decker, he was at Starfleet Headquarters for a final science briefing before he went to the Enterprise.

Sonak and a female crewmember were killed in a transporter accident shortly before the starship left to deal with the V'ger crisis in the mid-2270s. The ship's transporter was 'temporarily' out of order that time; Janice Rand operated the transporter when she saw their silhouettes being deformed, and despite Kirk's attempts to complete the transfer, their disfigured masses ended back in Starfleet Headquarters. The operator said they were fortunate they didn't live long. Kirk instructed him to contact Sonak's family through the Vulcan Embassy to extend his sympathies. (Star Trek: The Motion Picture)

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Background information Edit

StarTrek Calendar March sml

Image for March in the 1980 Star Trek Calendar

Sonak was played by Jon Rashad Kamal. He was credited as a lieutenant commander in the movie credits.

The unnamed crewmember with Sonak was Vice Admiral Lori Ciana according to the novelization, and the novelization stated that the transporter inverted them: they formed with their internal organs outside their bodies. Director Robert Wise indicated in the DVD commentary for the Director's Cut edition that this woman was to be the ship's navigator, and that Ilia was a last-minute replacement.

In the script for the Star Trek: Phase II pilot episode "In Thy Image", which subsequently evolved into Star Trek: The Motion Picture, the character of Commander Ronak was virtually the same as Sonak and his manner of death was very similar (albeit significantly less gruesome).

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