Remembering Leonard Nimoy

Leonard Nimoy passed away ear­li­er today. If you asked many peo­ple, they might tell you that they hear Mor­gan Free­man’s voice in their head when they imag­ine the voice of God. To me, it will always be Leonard Nimoy. That placid, chain-smok­ing-induced growl that, in part, made Spock such a won­der­ful char­ac­ter of his fills me with awe.

Hipster Spock

As a child, in addi­tion to Star Trek reruns (both the orig­i­nal series and the ani­mat­ed series), I grew up watch­ing Nimoy host Nick­elodean’s Stand­by: Lights, Cam­era, Action!. That show was a won­der­ful look at how movies are made. Nimoy was a won­der­ful host, engag­ing in demon­stra­tions of spe­cial effects and occa­sion­al gags. His love of movies was evi­dent. In a time before the inter­net, Wikipedia, and movie blogs, it was a source for me to learn about movies, actors, and direc­tors. In fact, it was there that I first learned1 that the orig­i­nal Star Wars were the mid­dle piece of a larg­er tril­o­gy, and some­day there would be pre­quels (before the word pre­quel exist­ed, even, I think) and sequels2. I also learned about Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and the Klin­gon lan­guage from the same show. Of course, that film was direct­ed by Nimoy, who’s involve­ment in movies and tele­vi­sion grew beyond act­ing.

It’s said to nev­er meet your heroes, as they will only dis­ap­point you. How­ev­er, I do tru­ly regret nev­er hav­ing had to the chance to meet Leonard Nimoy in per­son. He tru­ly seemed like a beau­ti­ful per­son in most every way and Gene Rod­den­ber­ry once called him “the con­scious of ‘Star Trek’ ”. A won­der­ful quote from Nimoy:

What­ev­er I have giv­en, I have gained.

It’s very sad to have lost Nimoy but I’m so glad that he was able to con­tin­ue to appear in pop­u­lar tele­vi­sion and films, even up until very recent­ly. His char­ac­ter of Spock is a cor­ner­stone of pop-cul­ture and it’s due almost entire­ly to Nimoy’s act­ing. In a show that is remem­bered for some cheesy plots and ham­my act­ing, as well as some rather uneven movies, Nimoy was a gem in Star Trek. Hon­est­ly, if you can watch the scene of Kirk and Spock in the radi­a­tion cham­ber at the end of Wrath of Kahn and not get choked up, you are pos­si­bly more Vul­can than human:

It’s hard to think of a bet­ter way to remem­ber Nimoy that with a per­for­mance like that. Live long and pros­per.

  1. Well, either there or my Mom, who per­haps also learned it on the same show! []
  2. More recent­ly, JJ Abrams &emdash;who cast Nimoy in his series Fringe as well as bring Nimoy back as Spock in the re-envi­sioned Star Trek films&emdash; has tak­en over those sequel films. In fact, in no small part does the will­ing­ness of Abrams to con­tin­ue to use Nimoy as an actor gives me appre­ci­ate of Abrams’ taste and abil­i­ty to pull off such a daunt­ing role. []

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *