“A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP (Live long and prosper).” – Leonard Nimoy
I am a casual Star Trek fan. That is to say I enjoyed the original series, loved TNG and only dipped my toes into DS9, Voyageur and Enterprise. The movies for me are hit and miss (more misses than hits). I’m currently rewatching TNG on Netflix and by and large it still holds up as a solid sci-fi series. Sure, it’s got its problems (Deanna Troi most notably), but circa 1987 it was more progressive than most other television series at the time.
Leonard Nimoy’s death was like the death of a favourite old uncle, one I haven’t seen in ages (I’ve never watched Fringe). Of course, when I say Nimoy, I guess I really mean Mr. Spock. Spock is one of those few transcendent characters in popular culture. When I say Spock, you know who and what I’m talking about instantly. Beloved by nearly all who loved the series, it’s most iconic character, surpassing James T. Kirk himself. Nimoy’s non-Spock career was also rather impressive (I unironically love some of the songs he recorded, such as Highly Illogical and The Legend of Bilbo Baggins) but as he eventually concluded, it was impossible to separate him professionally from the character he portrayed.
There is lots to be said about the character. Shatner was sold as the series hunk, but nearly every woman I know who watched the original series harboured their most secret fantasies for the emotionally inscrutable Spock. He’s a challenge! I can make him love! Spock tapped into a woman’s fantasy in a way that I don’t think Roddenberry et. al. fully realized.
For me, Spock was the first pop culture character I remember that made being cerebral cool. Spock rigorously pursued science and math, played chess for fun and could jam with space hippies. He approached his life and work with determination and confidence, unenamoured by how ‘cool’ he was or what others thought of him. He was a square peg on a ship with round holes and he won their admiration and respect without compromising himself. That was inspiring to me. And although I didn’t know Leonard Nimoy, he always came across as chill as the beloved character he played.
Rest in peace Leonard. And Spock.