However, for me, it was always about Mr. Spock (though, I do like earl gray tea…hot).
As we commemorate the one year anniversary of Leonard Nimoy’s passing, I’m reminded of how his portrayal of the half-human, half-alien (Vulcan) first officer of the Enterprise on the original Star Trek had such a profound impact on me.
My earliest memories of Star Trek were when I was about five years old – I had just moved from San Diego, CA to Puerto Rico (my Dad was in the U.S. Navy) and I remember feeling withdrawn for awhile as I tried to get acclimated to my new environment.
Perhaps, seeing Spock struggle with trying to find balance between his two halves and his two worlds (Starfleet and Vulcan) represented in some way, my struggle to come to terms with my own feelings of awkwardness – in this new exotic place that I found myself in. I definitely found solace in those old reruns of Star Trek.
The episode “Amok Time” was particularly…fascinating (especially the music during the fight scene between Kirk and Spock).
Nimoy gives further insight into how he developed the character of Spock, his early struggles to find the right balance of emotiveness, especially with the juxtaposition between Spock’s stoic nature and Kirk’s fiery personality, the vulcan salute, his other passions like photography and his wanting to make a difference – in this delightful 2013 conversation with artist Pharrell Williams.
Perhaps the most quintessential Spock moment would have to be in the movie “The Wrath of Khan” – where he heroically personified the Vulcan saying “the needs of the many, out way the needs of the few” (my eyes are tearing up just thinking about it).
However, for me, this scene, from the second episode of “Unification,” from Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s fifth season, is a perfect example of the subtle brilliance that Leonard Nimoy brought to his portrayal of Spock.
Mr. Nimoy’s last tweet, was so moving – it’s probably the best way to end this post. Live long and prosper.
A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP
— Leonard Nimoy (@TheRealNimoy) February 23, 2015