This is my little tribute to Leonard Nimoy (born March 26, 1931 and died February 27, 2015), who played Star Trek’s Mr. Spock in the first TV series and the movies. Do feel free to download the poster image below for your computer monitor’s background wallpaper.
As a boy in his early teens, I admired Nimoy’s Mr. Spock very much. I had more affinity with the character of Spock than I did with the swashbuckling Captain Kirk. It must have been his coolness in the midst of any situation, his exotic extraterrestrial alien look and superhuman abilities, and his unflagging logic and brilliant mind. To me, Spock was the nearest evolutionary approximation of a demigod.
When I heard of Nimoy’s passing away a few days ago, I suddenly felt old — as if whatever remnant of childhood left inside me suddenly vanished. That was probably an indication of how strongly Star Trek and Spock made an impression on my childhood.
Leonard Nimoy reportedly made a last post in his Twitter account just days before his transition. I found his post very poignant. It reflected the sentiments of a person whose life has been lived fully. Coming from the man who made Mr. Spock come alive and who gave him a form for us to see and hear, Leonard’s last message to the world is profoundly meaningful and filled with a wisdom that transcends our humanity.
His final message resonates strongly with the prologue that began the Star Trek series episodes and set the stage for the imagination of this once upon a time boy:
Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.
Indeed Leonard Nimoy, himself, has gone where no living man has gone at all, but not before sharing with us the philosophy that seems to have summed up his life in his own words — “A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP”
It seems that Nimoy had a definite spiritual streak to him, being influenced by the Kabbalah or Jewish mysticism. In October 2002, he published “The Shekhina Project,” a photographic study exploring the feminine aspect of God’s presence, inspired by Kabbalah.
A few years before his demise, Leonard Nimoy announced his retirement from the Star Trek franchise to give his Spock acting successor, Zachary Quinto, the full undivided publicity spotlight on the character. Nimoy had befriended Quinto during the making of the 2009 film reboot of the franchise. Although Quinto watched some episodes of the TV show during breaks in filming, Nimoy was his main resource in playing Spock. True to his characterization form, Leonard Nimoy was the gracious Spock to the end.
Thank you, Leonard, for having given us Mr. Spock. Spock and you are now inseparably preserved in our memories.