Like most sci-fi geeks, I was completely shocked by the news that beloved actor Leonard Nimoy had passed away on Friday. I had to double-check the fact, and sadly, it was true. An icon had passed.
I’m not sure exactly how old I was when I first saw Leonard as Mr. Spock on Star Trek. I DO remember that he was the first science fiction character that I could recognize. I remember watching the early episodes of Star Trek when they were in syndication years after the show was cancelled. I remember one of my early elementary buddies showing me a picture of him and his family posing next to a wax statue of Spock sitting in the captain’s chair, and marveling that he had gotten a picture with Spock.
It wasn’t until my junior high days that I discovered and got into Star Trek. A librarian friend had given me a few Star Trek novelization books that her son had owned, and the local CBS affiliate started broadcasting the original series in their afternoon line-up. Lucky for me, since by that time all three Star Wars movies had come and gone, and I needed another good dose of science fiction to sink my teeth into.
Like many geeks growing up, I admired the character of Spock. His analytical brain and precise logical conclusions were impressive in the episodes. I often wished that I was able to remain as cool and collected as he did on the show in everyday life. Being a geek in my early teens, this was much easier said than done. However, the few stories where he was in conflict with his human and Vulcan aspects of his being struck a sympathetic chord with me. I was able to see that he had it tough too! He was part of the crew, but also considered a bit of an outcast because of who he was and how he acted. The episode “The Galileo Seven” is a perfect example of this, in the story he is constantly being dumped on by just about everyone, despite his rank and position. It’s now wonder why so many of us looked up to that character, and we are always indebted to Mr. Nimoy for his brilliant portrayal.
I also enjoyed watching the friendship between Spock and the others. I was always amazed how he could be almost human one moment, and yet easily slip back into his unassuming Vulcan naivete. My favorite moment of Spock’s was in “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country” where he is talking with Lt. Valeris (played by Kim Cattrall) when he says “Logic….Logic is the beginning of Wisdom, not it’s end!” as well as “One must have faith..that The Universe will unfold itself as it should.” Some powerful statements there, as well as telling how his character had matured over the years.
So I thank you and remember you with admiration and respect, Mr. Leonard Nimoy. Thank you for the years of wonderful and engaging entertainment, and contributing so much to my geek life with your talents. If we ever meet up someday in The Great Beyond, we’ll have to sit down and visit over a couple glasses of Saurian brandy.