As everyone no doubt already knows, we lost a national treasure today when Leonard Nimoy passed away. Everyone who knows me or rummages around this silly blog should know that I’ve been a Star Trek fan all my life. I was raised that way because my Mom was a huge Star Trek fan and she raised her boy right to be one too. Growing up, the original series was in syndication and on at around 6pm every weekday and my brother and I used to gulp down dinner so we could sit in front of the TV and watch it. It was one of the few times we weren’t trying to kill each other. At least until after when we would pick up brooms and pretend they were Vulcan tribal weapons and beat the shit out of each other to win the hand of T’Pring (played by Arlene Martel, who happened to pass away last year). When my parents took me to see The Motion Picture, I was only about 8 years old, and it fascinated me. Ok, no it didn’t, it bored me to tears and the best part of that night was getting the Star Trek: The Motion Picture Happy Meal at McDonalds. No, it wasn’t until Wrath of Khan came out that I really got into the movies.
It might interest some people to know that I didn’t like Spock at first and a lot of that probably had to do with how well Leonard Nimoy portrayed the character. He was cold and alien and sometimes violent and he just creeped me out. It wasn’t until I got a little older that I learned to appreciate him. I found him to be particularly endearing in the films, starting with Wrath of Khan and by the end of that film I was ready to shed tears just like everyone else in the theater… and every single time I’ve watched the movie since. I can guarantee you that when I finally get around to watching Wrath of Khan again tomorrow night, I’m going to be blubbering like a helpless child. Nimoy became a focal point for the rest of the movies. The third was all about getting him back, he was perfect comedy relief in the fourth, the fifth was related to his misguided half-brother, and the sixth was him volunteering Kirk and the crew for a mission none of them wanted. Kirk may have been the Captain, but in the end, it was almost always about Spock and it’s hard to believe I’ll never see him don the pointed ears on screen ever again.
I can still remember where I was when we lost James Doohan and DeForest Kelley and I’ll certainly never forget today either. These people crafted characters that will forever be a part of what shaped my life. It’s a terrible thing to see so many heroes in your favorite fandom dying off and when you’re a fan of classic shows like Star Trek or Doctor Who, you have to endure a lot of it and sometimes it feels like memories of my childhood crumbling away. Right now I can relate to Kirk’s line in Wrath of Khan when Carol Marcus asked him to tell her what he was feeling. I feel old and worn out.
Anyway, it’s obvious that Leonard Nimoy took his own advice. He lived long and prospered and he will be sorely missed.
**Picture Credit: http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Spock