Mourning an Icon (Goodbye, Spock)

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I remember the exact moment I decided to watch Star Trek.  It actually wasn’t that long ago.  I asked Zach, “Do you think I’ll like Star Trek?  Should I watch it?”

“Sure,”  he replies.  “The Next Generation is really good.”

“No, I mean the original.  I have to start from the beginning!”

Because I’m really obsessive like that.  Sure, I would have been perfectly fine if I had started with TNG (it’s literally the most amazing thing ever).  But I needed to start from the original.

Oh was the pilot horrendous!  It was long and boring, but I knew it wasn’t the cast we all know and love, so I pushed through it.

Except Spock.  I loved Spock, even in that awful pilot.  It only got better and better and I was a Spock addict.  There was a humanity about him that no other character on the show had.  Even though he was the one “without emotion” he had the most depth, and the one who could empathize the best.  After all, he was someone who could mind meld with others, something so ridiculously intimate that the idea of emotional expression was put into question.

I have my criticisms of the films, but Spock stayed true to character.  It’s not surprising, because Nimoy himself took the character seriously, and developed a connection and understanding of Spock that went above and beyond what is required of an actor.

And then the new films!  The only reason I watched the new films was because of his cameos.  I figured, if it’s good enough for Spock, it’s good enough for me.

I know I’m talking a lot about Spock, but that’s the character I know him best as, and love the most.  Nimoy was passionate and kind.  When he talked art, he talked substance.  Spock wasn’t a curse to him, it was something he embraced and made his own.  The character of Spock will never belong to the franchise, it’ll always be his.  There aren’t a lot of fictional characters that are so deeply connected to a real person.

When I was trying to think about others that reminded me of such a character, I immediately thought of Bob Ross, Jim Henson, and Julia Child.  All of these people made a difference, and all of these people are ingrained in our brains and culture, for all the good reasons.  They are timeless.  I’m glad too, because sometimes I lose so much faith in what we have on this Earth, and then The Joy of Painting comes on, or I see a great Spock quote, and it gives me a lot of hope.  Happy trees, muppets, good food, and going boldly are my religion.

Even though Leonard Nimoy is no longer with us, he’ll live long and prosper in our lives and memories.

Until next time, LLAP.

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