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Friday, February 27, 2015

The Conscience of Star Trek

Leonard Nimoy passed away this morning.

I'll just let that sink in....

I'll admit, when I was first told, in the parking lot of the school by my friend, Cameron, who ran out of his office to tell me he just saw it on Facebook, I didn't have much to reply. I knew he was ill. I knew he had been rushed to the hospital earlier this week. The last time I saw him at a convention he looked frail. It wasn't unexpected.

When I got home, and had a few minutes to look at the internet, and read the numerous texts, tweets, and Facebook messages sent to me it really sunk in. I read the NY Times piece. I read Star Trek Continues tribute. My friend, Genevieve, was very shaken, and her posts and texts pricked my heart. Then I watched this YouTube clip and that's when I lost it.

Leonard Nimoy could not shake off the iconic role of Mr. Spock. The fame he garnered through Star Trek afforded him (and his cast mates) opportunities to write books, direct movies, record albums, publish his photography and even write poetry, yet he would forever be tethered to that character. He eventually accepted that, and wrote in one of his books, “In Spock, I finally found the best of both worlds: to be widely accepted in public approval and yet be able to continue to play the insulated alien through the Vulcan character.”

I read that Gene Roddenberry once called him the "Conscience of Star Trek." I'm not sure about the context of that statement, but I can imagine that it reflected positively on Mr. Nimoy's personal character.

Mr. Nimoy had an opportunity that his other cast mates did not. He was given a role in the revived Star Trek film franchise, and was able to personally pass the character torch on to his successor in the role, Zachary Quinto. What an honor for the younger actor to not only learn about the roots of the beloved character from the man who shaped it, but to act alongside him as well. 

I met Mr. Nimoy at the Star Trek Las Vegas Convention and he was a gentle soul. His signature graces my movie teaser poster, alongside many others.

While the internet explodes this weekend with the tributes, homages, and memorials, I will be watching Star Trek---The Original Series and The Voyage Home film. I might even bite the bullet and watch Star Trek 2006 and try to ignore the lens flares. 

RIP Leonard Nimoy. You will be missed.

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