STORY BY ADAM EBEL
Leonard Nimoy passed away in Los Angeles on Friday morning at the age of 83. His interests were many and his career was rich, but he is most synonymous with Spock.
I think few people who haven’t seen Star Trek fully understand the fascination with Spock. Many peoples’ impressions will probably center around the logical stoic Vulcan that became the icon for the show.
But Spock’s logic, his banter with the ever impulsive captain
James Tiberius Kirk, played by William Shatner, was only the surface of his character.
Nimoy always admitted that he enjoyed playing the outsider alien-human hybrid on the bridge of the U.S.S. Enterprise. As the ships chief science officer, Spock was almost always the one with the solution to seemingly insurmountable problems. His unique character and the assistance it brought to challenges to the crew was immediately seized upon by fans.
Nimoy was able to speak both on camera and off in such a way that carried wisdom. This lent to his characters ability to offer guidance to the crew through logical argument.
But the most pivotal moments in Nimoy’s character are those with such profound emotion that Nimoy pulled off without violating the feel the character.
The friendship Spock developed with Captain Kirk, and Nimoy’s performance of Spock culminated in brief moments of humanity that were made all the more valuable by their rarity. My favorite would probably be in Amok Time, Episode 5 of Season 2, after apparently killing Kirk he calmly and logically lines out his perceived guilt to Doctor McCoy, but after being notified of Jims survival, a bright uncharacteristic smile jumps across his face with the line “Jim!” rapidly replaced with a look of horror for his emotional outburst in front of his rival Doctor McCoy.
Nimoy himself was not always enthusiastic about the role that became the icon of his career, and how cemented it was in the minds of his fans.
However, he was one of the few original actors at the conventions and meetups that seemed to respect and appreciate his fans.
Nimoy was able to prosper after his performance as Spock ended. He directed “Star Trek III: The Search for Spock” and “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home,” and the comedy “Three Men and a Baby.”
He had appearances on shows such as “Fringe” and “Big Bang Theory,” and “Mission Impossible” and voiced characters such as such as the “science advisor” in “Civilization IV.”
Much like Spock, Nimoy was a multitalented man, who wrote two autobiographies; “I am not Spock” and “I am Spock,” and a a book of poetry, “A Lifetime of Love: Poems on the Passages of Life” and a book of photography, “Shekhina.”
Spock was a Legend. Leonard Nimoy was genuinely nice and relatable person, whom I’ve had the fortune of meeting briefly twice and a brilliant actor. The world will be less for his passing. But to mourn his death, rather than to celebrate his life, would be most illogical.