The last gasp of a dying star! — "Death of a Star" was a Star Trek: The Original Series comic book story published by Gold Key Comics in 1975. It was the 30th issue of their TOS series of comics, the first of two stories written by Allan Moniz and the 27th drawn by Alberto Giolitti. In this story, the USS Enterprise expected to watch a star go nova, but instead discovered a mysterious old woman on the star’s third planet.
- 1 Publisher's description
- 2 Summary
- 3 References
- 4 Appendices
- 5 Timeline
- Teaser page
- Trapped on a veritable keg of cosmic dynamite, Captain Kirk and the Star Trek crew become the unwilling captive audience to the most shattering spectacle in all the galaxy: a star going nova! But the natural cataclysm takes on tragic overtones when a mysterious old woman's life is mystically linked to… a strange cosmic force!
- Captain's log, star date 33:33.3. Our mission is to study and record, from a safe distance, the final death throe of the star Isis. According to our calculations, this gem of space has only 48 hours before it explodes, destroying everything for billions upon billions of cubic miles! Fortunately, its star system is uninhabited!
Hikaru Sulu suddenly picked up lifeform readings on Isis III, as if an entire planet's population were in one spot. James T. Kirk beamed down to investigate along with Nyota Uhura, Christine Chapel and Spock. They discovered an old woman awaiting them inside a Mayan-style pyramid temple. Kirk offered to save her from the impending nova, but she identified herself as Isis, god of the sun. Thinking she was abandoned or insane, the landing party set out to find the missing planet's inhabitants, but the jungle path they'd followed had filled in, their phasers were drained, and solar flares cut off communications with the ship, leaving them stranded near the temple.
- Captain's log, supplemental: While the Enterprise orbits helplessly overhead, due to interference from the near-nova sun, we are marked for doom! Our desperate search for Isis III's mysterious inhabitants has only led us to a strange old woman! But now I have a more immediate concern than saving the lives of the inhabitants — namely, saving the lives of the crew and myself!
Kirk and Spock found a hidden entrance under the temple, eventually locating record tapes revealing that the Isisian civilization became extinct 25 million years ago. Meanwhile, Uhura and Chapel spent time with Isis, gaining an empathy for the woman's dignity and right to die. When Spock asked her to explain some of her statements, Isis replied that Spock's logic was a cage that should be opened. She began to mind meld with Spock, but at that moment, she began glowing. She immediately sent the landing party back to the Enterprise, and then the star exploded. The ship buffeted, guided by unseen forces through the eye of the storm, and survived the blast.
Based on what he saw during his mind meld, Spock said that the Isis entity appeared to have been a human personification of the living star, created so it could talk to them before it died.
- Christine Chapel • Isis • James T. Kirk • Leonard McCoy • Montgomery Scott • Spock • Hikaru Sulu • Nyota Uhura
Starships and vehicles
Races and cultures
States and organizations
Science and technology
- atmosphere • city • class M • phaser • probe • sensor • sun • sunstroke • star • transporter • tape • transporter • tricorder • viewscreen
Ranks and titles
- airplane • assignment patch • atmosphere • beam • communications • electricity • extinction • galaxy • god • hour • humanoid • hurricane • lifeform • lightning • logic • 25 million years ago • mind meld • minute • movie • nova • pyramid • religion • solar flare • space • Starfleet uniform • Starfleet uniform (2265-2270) • suicide • sun • temple • third planets • warp • warp eight • warp four • water • year
- The story was released during a period of worldwide interest in ancient Egyptian culture. Artifacts from King Tutankhamun's tomb were on display throughout the world in the 1970s, particularly in Britain from 1972-1979 and in New York from 1976-1979.
- The story was published four months prior to the debut of “The Secrets of Isis” TV series in September, 1975.
- Kirk, Spock and McCoy visited the Great Pyramid at Giza in TOS comic: "Prophet of Peace".
- The ancient Egyptian goddess Isis was goddess of the afterlife, the elements and the sky. Her powers were said to be the strongest of all the Egyptian gods.
- The sacred star of Isis was Sirius, considered to be a physical manifestation of the goddess.
- It was unclear whether the entity Isis was the actual Earth goddess from Egyptian mythology. While Uhura and Spock seemed to think she was, Kirk did not. She said she was the god of the sun, but only appeared connected to the star Isis. She did not describe any interaction with Earth’s past. Neither her temple, manifestations, nor the Isisian city appeared Egyptian. The headpiece she wore was not that of the Egyptian Isis. Sirius, the star associated with Egyptian Isis, was a binary star, whereas the star which went nova was a lone star. And that moment for her which encompassed the last 25 million years would have included all of recorded human history, including the time of ancient Egypt. If she was the Egyptian Isis, then she was an entity capable of living within or traveling between multiple stars and possibly experienced time in some non-linear way.
- The Isisian’s temple resembled the stepped pyramids of ancient Mayan Earth culture, rather than those of ancient Egypt, particularly as influenced by Kukulkan in TAS episode & Log Six novelization: How Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth.
- It was unclear whether the star itself was alive. Sensors observed the star for 24 hours, but no mention was made of life readings within the star or other evidence that it was alive. The only life readings within the system came from the temple on the surface of Isis III.
- Spock’s mind meld with the cosmic entity, in which he saw wonderment and “inconceivable things,” presaged similar wonder from his meld with V'Ger in TOS movie: The Motion Picture.
- This story has been released seven times in English and translated into Dutch, German, and Italian.
- TOS comic: "We Are Dying, Egypt, Dying!" – The culture and mythology of ancient Egypt was revisited.
- TOS comic: "The Mummies of Heitius VII" – Ancient Egyptian mummification was explored.
- TOS episodes: "All Our Yesterdays", "The Empath" – The Enterprise was present when Beta Niobe and Minara became supernovas.
- TAS episode: "Bem" – The cosmic intelligence Delta Theta III entity nurtured life on a planet as its children.
#29: The Planet of No Return
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#31: The Final Truth
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Star Trek: The Manga
- May 1975
- First published by Gold Key Comics
- Printed in hardcover in Star Trek Annual 1976 (World Distributors Limited)
- August 1976
- Printed in the omnibus The Enterprise Logs, Volume 4 (Golden Press)
- June 2004
- Printed in the omnibus The Key Collection, Volume 4 (Checker Book Publishing Group)
- September 2008
- Included on The Complete Comic Book Collection DVD (Graphic Imaging Technologies)
- August 2014
- Remastered in hardcover in the omnibus Gold Key Archives, Volume 5 (IDW)
- 26 April 2018
- Remastered in hardcover in the omnibus Graphic Novel Collection #35 (Eaglemoss)
- German: As "Ein Stern Verlöscht" in Zack 1976 #19 (Koralle)
- Dutch: As "De dood van een ster" in the omnibus Ruimteschip Enterprise Classics Strip-Paperback #1 (De Vrijbuiter)
- German: As "Tod eines Sterns" in the omnibus Raumschiff Enterprise Comic Taschenbuch #1 (Condor)
- Italian: As "Morte di una Stella" in the omnibus The Gold Key Collection, Volume 8 (Free Books)