Leonard Nimoy has passed away at the age of 83.
Whether you were a fan of Star Trek or not, you had a soft spot for Nimoy, whom to me was the grandaddy, the elder wand of my introduction to science fiction, nerd culture, and education. The first real sense of loss I ever experienced was watching him pass away before the shocked eyes of his friend, Captain Kirk In the Wrath of Khan. Those kind of moments when you are a kid stay with you. Learning that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, understanding what it truly means to make a sacrifice. Growing up in a Catholic school I should have learned this from Jesus Christ, instead it was Spock.
Much to my relief, like Christ, Spock was resurrected on the third day...I mean third film, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. Strangely the sense of relief always kind of followed me every time I saw Nimoy in another Stark Trek film, mini series or host; I always thought "Thank God, Spock made it."
Thank God. Truly, because where would we be with out Spock? What would Star Trek be? Who would Kirk be? Who would we be? More importantly to ask: Who would Spock be if not for Leonard Nimoy? An actor who, lets face it had a bit of a challenge on his hands. Spock is not exactly an easy part to play. Vulcans are...logical. They keep their emotions in check. So how is an audience member supposed to care and cheer for someone who is with out emotion? The answer is you get Nimoy to play him.
In his care, Spock was logical, but loyal, a team player, a teacher, a friend and a bother. That's why we are crushed to see Spock pass as Kirk watches helplessly behind the glass. Nimoy gave him heart. Played any other way and no one would have given a shit. But we cared for Spock because deep down we loved him. When I was a kid, I wished Spock was my friend, an older brother or at times even my father. I'd image asking him for help on my homework or advise. I'm sure to many he was and did fit that role because of the impact that he and Star Trek had on our lives.
Nimoy also appeared in other favorites such as Night Gallery, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Mission: Impossible, Get Smart, Gunsmoke, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., The Outer Limits, Twilight Zone, Rawhide, Dragnet, The Brain Eaters, Zombies of the Stratosphere, Them!, Bonanza, Columbo, and Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon
We had the privilege to watch Nimoy and Spock grow old. Passing on knowledge to us as well as the next generation of Star Trek characters. We watched him show us the mysteries of the galaxy in In Search Of... He always seemed to be there constantly daring us to dream and explore beyond the reaches of our planet and space. Yet, with his passing the universe feels a little smaller.
What I take away from him the most are the lessons of friendship, accepting the difference of others, embracing and loving them. The importance of knowledge and the importance of knowing who you are, without that how could we explore the stars? Not many actors can reach so many and convey so much. Nimoy has been and always will be my friend.